Yaron Brook — Free Market Revolution — Videos

Posted on April 17, 2016. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Constitution, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Law, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Trade Policiy, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , |

free_market_revolution-brook_yaronyaron brook free market revolutionyaron brook

Yaron Brook: Free Market Revolution

Inequality: Should We Care?

Objectivism Is Radical (and Applying It Can Be Hard) (OCON 2013)

Why Bad Economics Won’t Go Away

Yaron Answers: How Can Scandinavian Countries Perform So Well Economically?

The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman

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Classical Liberalism — Videos

Posted on April 17, 2016. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Trade, Video, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 ClassicalLiberalismvsPostmodernismliberalism-definition-then-and-now StateFunctionsNigel-Ashford-on-Classical-Liberalism-02j s mills Mises-liberty

Classical Liberalism: The History of Classical Liberalism – Learn Liberty

Classical Liberalism: The Decline and Triumph of Classical Liberalism (Pt. 1) – Learn Liberty

Classical Liberalism: The Decline and Triumph of Classical Liberalism (Pt. 2) – Learn Liberty

Liberal Party: 10 Reasons You Might Be A Liberal – Learn Liberty

Dr Tibor Machan Ayn Rand and the Right to Liberty

Ayn Rand: A Leading Lady of the Classical Liberal Tradition

Libertarian Philosophy: Do you want to live in the world of Atlas Shrugged?

Classical Liberalism: A Primer – Economics, History, Law, Limited Government (2002)

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 1: Introduction

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 2: Milton Friedman and the Chicago School

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 3: Public Choice

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 4: The Austrian School

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 6: Anarcho-Capitalism

Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 7: Conclusion: What’s Your View?

Milton Friedman on Classical Liberalism

Milton Friedman on the Role of Government

Milton Friedman on Limiting the Role of Government

Milton Friedman – Should Higher Education Be Subsidized?

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Yaron Brook: Free Market Revolution

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Capitalism vs. Socialism — Videos

Posted on January 9, 2016. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fraud, government spending, Heroes, history, History of Economic Thought, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Money, Movies, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

mith marxsocialism capitalism 2capitalism_socialism_communismcapitalism-vs-socialism-vs-communismcommunism-vs-capitalism capitalism-socialism-and-communism-spelled-out-in-their-pros-political-poster   nolan-chart-basicphilosophies
nolan-chart-majorphilosophies

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Capitalism_Socialism_Libertarianism_Anarchy_and_Fascisme__4
   jokejCapitalism_communism socialism-vs-capitalismposter

Capitalism vs Socialism

Cartoon – Ronald Reagan on Big Government Programs

Reagan and Obama Face-off in the Ring – I Want Your Money Movie Clip

Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman & Capitalism?

Ayn Rand on Socialism and Dictatorship

Ayn Rand Schools Socialist Phil Donahue

Ayn Rand on Donahue 1979

Atlas Shrugged – ‘The Money Speech’ Mike Maloney

Ayn Rand ‘Man’s Rights’ From ‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’

Milton Friedman – Socialism vs. Capitalism

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Odc.3 – Milton Friedman – Free to Choose (1990) – The Failure of Socialism Napisy PL

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Thomas Sowell (former Marxist) Dismantles Leftist Ideology

Thomas Sowell on Capitalism Part 1/2

Thomas Sowell on Capitalism Part 2/2

Uncommon Knowledge: Thomas Sowell on the Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals

Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism

Friedrich Hayek on Socialism

Friedrich Hayek: Free Market vs Socialism

Friedrich von Hayek: His Life and Thought

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Breaking News — Part 2 of 3, Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is The Answer To Making America Great Again — Videos

Posted on September 29, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Documentary, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Fiscal Policy, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Investments, IRS, Law, Legal, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Non-Fiction, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Trade Policiy, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496: June 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 495: June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494: June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493: June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492: June 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 491: June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490: June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488: June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487: June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

Story 1: Breaking News — Part 2 of 3,  Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans  — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is  The Answer To Making America Great Again —  Videos

Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!

And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

~Senator Barry Goldwater 

Two of Ten planks of Karl Marx’s

Communist Manifesto

ARE Americans practicing Communism?

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

income-tax-receiptsHighest-Marginal-Tax-Rates-1913-2013

ind_corp_taxesfederal-tax-revenue-by-sourceU.S._Federal_Receipts_-_FY_2014

2015 United States Income Tax Brackets

normal_tax_brackets

2015-Tax-Bracket-Table2015_Tax_Bracket_Chart.2

2015-Federal-Tax-Rates

Trump’s Tax Plan

Donald-Trump-Tax-Reform-Proposal-Individual-Income-Tax

FairTax and Fair Tax Less

fair taxFairTax Flag 32jpg

fairtax

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (1 of 2)

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (2 of 2)

BILL KRISTOL SAYS TRUMP’S TAX PLAN IS A STANDARD CONSERVATIVE PLAN, CALLS HIM A SMART POLITICIAN!

Donald Trump Destroys Critics with his Tax Plan

Donald Trump News Conference on Tax Policy. Trump Unveils Tax Plan

Is Donald Trump’s tax plan realistic?

Trump defends new tax plan

The pros and cons of Donald Trump’s tax plan

Trump uses tax plan to push back on criticisms

Donald Trump opens up about his tax plan

BREAKING: DONALD TRUMP says on tax plan: Many Americans will have ‘zero’ tax rate | 60 Minutes

Trump Pledges Tax Relief for Middle Class

Trump Is Lying About His Tax Position

What to expect from Donald Trump’s tax plan

Dr. Ben Carson breaks down his tax plan

Dr. Ben Carson on his flat-tax proposal

National Prayer Breakfast Speaker Ben Carson Lectured Obama on Flat Tax to ‘Please’ God

Dr. Benjamin Carson on Fairness of 10% Flat Tax “Tithe”: Everyone should have “Skin in the Game”

Ted Cruz: Abolish the IRS and move to a flat tax system

Rand Paul’s Fair And Flat Tax

Rand Paul unveils his ‘fair and flat’ tax plan

Rand Paul Explains Flat Tax Proposal on Fox News

Rand Paul: Donald Trump, Chris Christie, GOP Debate, Flat Tax (Fox News)

Mike Huckabee on the flat tax

Mike Huckabee – What is the “Fair Tax?”

Huckabee: Now not the time for Dems to talk tax hikes

RWW News: Mike Huckabee Supports The Fair Tax Because ‘Giving Proportionately Is Biblical’

Reagan supported fair tax policies

Reagan on Taxes

Congressman Woodall Discusses the FairTax

Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax

What is the FairTax legislation?

FairTax Prebate Explained

pyramid-01fair_taxfairtax 4ft-irs-chartFairTax Flag jpgFairtax Truththe_fair_tax_bookcomp-ft-vs-nfittable 5 page

The Beatles – Revolution (1968)

FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

The FairTax: It’s Time

FAIRTAX AD

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax?

Why is the FairTax better than other tax reform efforts?

How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s?

Is the FairTax rate really 23%?

Is consumption a reliable source of revenue?

How will used goods be taxed?

How does the “prebate” work?

Is it fair for rich people to get the same prebate as poor people?

Is the FairTax truly progressive?

How does the FairTax affect the economy?

What will the transition be like from the income tax to the FairTax?

Does the FairTax repeal the federal income tax?

How is the FairTax collected?

Isn’t it a stretch to say the IRS will go away?

Is education taxed under the FairTax?

How does the FairTax impact the middle class?

How will the FairTax impact seniors?

What will happen to government programs like Social Security and Medicare?

How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?

Will the FairTax impact tax deferred retirement accounts like 401(k)s?

Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction?

How does the FairTax affect compliance costs?

How does the FairTax impact retailers?

Will the FairTax tax services?

Can I pretend to be a business to avoid the sales tax?

Do corporations get a windfall break from the FairTax?

Will the FairTax lead to a massive underground economy?

How does the FairTax affect illegal immigration?

How is the FairTax different from a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

“The Case for the Fair Tax”

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

Isakson Discusses Fair Tax in Finance Committee

The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers

100 Years Of Income Taxes – TheBlazeTV – REAL HISTORY – 2013.02.05

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

US National Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb – @FutureMoneyTren #NationalDebt

U.S. debt Clock.org

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Congressman Pence – FairTax and FlatTax

Gov. Mike Huckabee Speech at “Iowa Freedom Summit” – Complete

The Beatles – Taxman – Lyrics

Pure Communism VS Pure Socialism VS Pure Capitalism

Trump Could Have Been A Contender

On the Waterfront,

“I coulda been a contender”

Trump Reveals Himself As A Loser

The Beatles – I’m a Loser – Subtitulado en español

Mr. Conservative: Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention

Ronald Reagan Support of Barry Goldwater (10/27/1964)

A Classic Critique of Government Intervention & Manipulation in Markets: The Road to Serfdom (1994)

F.A. Hayek: Biography, Economics, Road to Serfdom, Quotes, Books, Nobel Prize (2001)

The New Road to Serfdom: Lessons to Learn from European Policy

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insider’s plans to destroy America.

TAX REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

DETAILS OF DONALD J. TRUMP’S TAX PLAN

America needs a bold, simple and achievable plan based on conservative economic principles. This plan does that with needed tax relief for all Americans, especially the working poor and middle class, pro-growth tax reform for all sizes of businesses, and fiscally responsible steps to ensure this plan does not add to our enormous debt and deficit.

This plan simplifies the tax code by taking nearly 50% of current filers off the income tax rolls entirely and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four for everyone else. This plan also reduces or eliminates loopholes used by the very rich and special interests made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rates on individuals and companies.

The Trump Tax Plan: A Simpler Tax Code For All Americans

When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it. It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax for over 73 million households. 42 million households that currently file complex forms to determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time, stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs. Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money.

For those Americans who will still pay the income tax, the tax rates will go from the current seven brackets to four simpler, fairer brackets that eliminate the marriage penalty and the AMT while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II:

Income Tax Rate Long Term Cap Gains/ Dividends Rate Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become unnecessary or redundant. Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions. Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions. Charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.

Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American’s taxes will boost consumer spending, encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.

Business Tax Reform To Encourage Jobs And Spur Economic Growth

Too many companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are leaving America, either directly or through corporate inversions. The Democrats want to outlaw inversions, but that will never work. Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom. Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the industrialized world in the 1980’s (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the industrialized world. That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst to one of the best.

This lower tax rate cannot be for big business alone; it needs to help the small businesses that are the true engine of our economy. Right now, freelancers, sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses and pass-through entities are taxed at the high personal income tax rates. This treatment stifles small businesses. It also stifles tax reform because efforts to reduce loopholes and deductions available to the very rich and special interests end up hitting small businesses and job creators as well. The Trump plan addresses this challenge head on with a new business income tax rate within the personal income tax code that matches the 15% corporate tax rate to help these businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow and prosper.

These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy – significant GDP growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.

The Trump Tax Plan Ends The Unfair Death Tax

The death tax punishes families for achieving the American dream. Therefore, the Trump plan eliminates the death tax.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Fiscally Responsible

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions. The Trump plan also phases out the tax exemption on life insurance interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests. These reductions and eliminations will not harm the economy or hurt the middle class. Because the Trump plan introduces a new business income rate within the personal income tax code, they will not harm small businesses either.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate. Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible. U.S.-owned corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas. Some companies have been leaving cash overseas as a tax maneuver. Under this plan, they can bring their cash home and put it to work in America while benefitting from the newly-lowered corporate tax rate that is globally competitive and no longer requires parking cash overseas. Other companies have cash overseas for specific business units or activities. They can leave that cash overseas, but they will still have to pay the one-time repatriation fee.
  3. An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will remain in place because no company should face double taxation.
  4. Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes for Millions

Middle class, businesses get break, but overseas profits would face a one-time 10% levy

By MONICA LANGLEY And JOHN D. MCKINNON

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan—taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28%—by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral—neither raising nor lowering federal revenues—by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-plan-cuts-taxes-for-millions-1443427200

ARE Americans practicing Communism?Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within theCommunist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. … America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America… KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.

None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free….http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

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Watermelon President Obama and Pope Francis — Green on The Outside and Red On The Inside — Neither Is An Authority On Science, Economics, Or Democides — Cosmic or Social Justice Is Using Coercion and Force To Steal — Leads To Democide and Genocide — Videos

Posted on September 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Babies, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Love, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Microeconomics, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Movies, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Security, Speech, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Television, Television, Terrorism, Torture, Trade Policiy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Watermelon President Obama and Pope Francis — Green on The Outside and Red On The Inside — Neither Is An Authority On Science, Economics, Or Democides — Cosmic or Social Justice Is Using Coercion and Force To Steal — Leads To Democide and Genocide — Videos

Lord Acton on “Power Corrupts”

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

letter that Acton wrote to Bishop Creighton

In The Shoes of the Fisherman (Last Scene)

Pope Francis in the USA- Welcome ceremony and visit to the President

Milton Friedman – Collectivism

AYN RAND PREDICTS OBAMAS END TO THE REPUBLIC

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Milton Friedman discusses the moral values encouraged by economic systems and explains that a primary difference between capitalism and socialism is the difference between free choice and compulsory force.

Milton Friedman – Whats wrong with welfare? (Q&A)

Milton Friedman on Donahue #2

Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Capitalism Humane?

Rush Limbaugh Bashes Pope Francis

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 2 of 2

Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism

Friedrich Hayek on Redistribution of Wealth

F A Hayek – Social Justice

Thomas Sowell – The Quest for Cosmic Justice (Full Video)

The reason Social Justice is fundamentally incompatible with equality of opportunity.

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

The Life & Thought of Friedrich Hayek

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Watermelons

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

James Delingpole is a bestselling British author and blogger who helped expose the Climategate scandal back in 2009. Reason.tv caught up with Delingpole in Los Angeles recently to learn more about his entertaining and provocative new book Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors. At its very roots, argues Delingpole, climate change is an ideological battle, not a scientific one. In other words, it’s green on the outside and red on the inside. At the end of the day, according to Delingpole, the “watermelons” of the modern environmental movement do not want to save the world. They want to rule it.

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

James Delingpole: Great Britain, the Green Movement, and the End of the World

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. Lecture Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria (High Quality Version)

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

The Ten Planks of the 
Communist Manifesto
1848 by Karl Heinrich Marx

List of short-term demands, also known as the ten planks:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

The Left Has Its Pope

By Thomas Sowell

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States.

Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left among Catholic intellectuals. He is, in a sense, the culmination of that trend.
There has long been a political left among Catholics, as among other Americans. Often they were part of the pragmatic left, as in the many old Irish-run, big city political machines that dispensed benefits to the poor in exchange for their votes, as somewhat romantically depicted in the movie classic, “The Last Hurrah.”

But there has also been a more ideological left. Where the Communists had their official newspaper, “The Daily Worker,” there was also “The Catholic Worker” published by Dorothy Day.

A landmark in the evolution of the ideological left among Catholics was a publication in the 1980s, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, titled “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.”

Although this publication was said to be based on Catholic teachings, one of its principal contributors, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, said: “I think we should be up front and say that really we took this from the Enlightenment era.”

The specifics of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter reflect far more of the secular Enlightenment of the 18th century than of Catholic traditions. Archbishop Weakland admitted that such an Enlightenment figure as Thomas Paine “is now coming back through a strange channel.”

Strange indeed. Paine rejected the teachings of “any church that I know of,” including “the Roman church.” He said: “My own mind is my own church.” Nor was Paine unusual among the leading figures of the 18th century Enlightenment.

To base social or moral principles on the philosophy of the 18th century Enlightenment, and then call the result “Catholic teachings” suggests something like bait-and-switch advertising.

But, putting aside religious or philosophical questions, we have more than two centuries of historical evidence of what has actually happened as the ideas of people like those Enlightenment figures were put into practice in the real world — beginning with the French Revolution and its disastrous aftermath.

Both the authors of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter in the 1980s, and Pope Francis today, blithely throw around the phrase “the poor,” and blame poverty on what other people are doing or not doing to or for “the poor.”

Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things — none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.

Geographic settings are radically different, both among nations and within nations. So are demographic differences, with some nations and groups having a median age over 40 and others having a median age under 20. This means that some groups have several times as much adult work experience as others.

Cultures are also radically different in many ways.

As distinguished economic historian David S. Landes put it, “The world has never been a level playing field.” But which has a better track record of helping the less fortunate — fighting for a bigger slice of the economic pie, or producing a bigger pie?

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities.

A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.

Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/09/22/the_left_has_its_pope_128160.html

Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance

Opinion writer

Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.

Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.

George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a contributor to FOX News’ daytime and primetime programming.View Archive

And the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”? Hyperbole is a predictable precursor of yet anotherU.N. Climate Change Conference — the 21st since 1995. Fortunately, rhetorical exhibitionism increases as its effectiveness diminishes. In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be.This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits.” The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.

Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism,” a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire. He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape.

The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.

Matt Ridley, author of “The Rational Optimist,” notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food.” The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today. Sixty-three percent of fibers are synthetic and derived from fossil fuels; of the rest, 79 percent come from cotton, which requires synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. “Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels,” he says, “are responsible for at least 60 percent of today’s global food supply.” Without fossil fuels, he says, global cropland would have to increase at least 150 percent — equal to the combined land areas of South America and the European Union — to meet current food demands.

Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet — “global regulatory norms” — would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.

As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability.” Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30.

Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission.

He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pope-franciss-fact-free-flamboyance/2015/09/18/7d711750-5d6a-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

Obama’s welcoming speech to Pope Francis, and the pope’s reply

President Barack Obama’s remarks came first Wednesday morning at the White House. Pope Francis’ own comments are below the president’s.

Obama

Good morning! What a beautiful day the Lord has made! Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House. Our backyard is not typically this crowded – but the size and spirit of today’s gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics . . . and the way your message of love and hope has inspired so many people, across our nation and around the world. On behalf of the American people, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to the United States of America.

Today, we mark many firsts. Your Holiness, you have been celebrated as the first pope from the Americas. This is your first visit to the United States. And you are also the first pontiff to share an encyclical through a Twitter account.

Holy Father, your visit not only allows me, in some small way, to reciprocate the extraordinary hospitality you extended to me at the Vatican last year. It also reveals how much all Americans, from every background and of every faith, value the role that the Catholic Church plays in strengthening America. From my time working in impoverished neighborhoods with the Catholic Church in Chicago to my travels as president, I’ve seen firsthand how, every day, Catholic communities, priests, nuns and laity feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, educate our children and fortify the faith that sustains so many.

What is true in America is true around the world. From the busy streets of Buenos Aires to remote villages in Kenya, Catholic organizations serve the poor, minister to prisoners, build schools and homes, and operate orphanages and hospitals. And just as the Church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, it has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.

And yet, I believe the excitement around your visit must be attributed not only to your role as pope, but to your unique qualities as a person. In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.

You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to put the “least of these” at the center of our concern. You remind us that in the eyes of God our measure as individuals, and as societies, is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hew to Scripture’s call to lift up the poor and the marginalized, to stand up for justice and against inequality, and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity – because we are all made in the image of God.

You remind us that “the Lord’s most powerful message” is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart – from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. It means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast, those who have suffered and those who seek redemption.

You remind us of the costs of war, particularly on the powerless and defenseless, and urge us toward the imperative of peace. Holy Father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere and a better life for the Cuban people. We thank you for your passionate voice against the deadly conflicts that ravage the lives of so many men, women and children; and your call for nations to resist the sirens of war and resolve disputes through diplomacy.

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet – God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to a changing climate and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.

Your Holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example. And in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to God and to one another, you are shaking us out of complacency. All of us may, at times, experience discomfort when we contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true and right. But I believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better. You shake our conscience from slumber; you call on us to rejoice in Good News, and give us confidence that we can come together, in humility and service, and pursue a world that is more loving, more just, and more free. Here at home and around the world, may our generation heed your call to “never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope!”

For that great gift of hope, Holy Father, we thank you, and welcome you, with joy and gratitude, to the United States of America.

Pope Francis

Good morning. Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of the all Americans. As a son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.

I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which I hope to listen to and share many of the hopes and dreams of the American people. During my visit, I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope, as a brother of this country, to offer words of encouragement to those called to guide the nation’s political future in fidelity to its founding principles. I will also travel to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization.

Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty. That freedom reminds one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.

Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to our future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.

Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded, which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it.

We know by faith that the Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity has the ability to work together in building our common home. As Christians inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.

Mr. President, the efforts which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom.

I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development, so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children.

Mr. President, once again I thank you for your welcome, and I look forward to these days in your country. God bless America.

Read Pope Francis’ Speech That He Gave at the White House

Obama to Bask in Pope’s Aura, But Francis Wants Economic Justice

When Pope Francis meets Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday, the president will bask in his guest’s moral authority and iconic popularity. But the first pontiff from Latin America is likely to exploit those assets to pressure his host on U.S. global economic leadership.

On Francis’s first full day in the country, Obama and as many as 15,000 guests will welcome him on the South Lawn of the White House. For the president, it’s an opportunity to showcase the pope’s support for his initiatives on income inequality, immigration and climate change.

“These are issues that are going to define our future, and the pope I think is providing an incredible sense of motivation that they can and must be addressed,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters. “The pope’s voice could not be more timely and important.”

Contentious issues involving Church doctrine on the family — such as abortion rights and contraception coverage — will be swept under the carpet of the Oval Office. But the pope, who called for “a poor Church for the poor” on his election, is expected to elevate his concern for the downtrodden and the excluded for a global audience.

“There are points of tension, and the role of the U.S. as a world leader in economic justice is certainly going to be an issue — how much the U.S. is doing will be on the pope’s mind,” said veteran Vatican watcher John Thavis, author of The Vatican Prophecies. “The U.S. is in a position to drive some of these discussions, and the pope would like to see some leadership.”

At the White House on Wednesday morning, crowds began gathering well before sunrise to clear the security checkpoints before assembling on the South Lawn. A group of drummers banged on their instruments near the Treasury Department, and a man with a bullhorn disrupted the quiet near Lafayette Square on the north side of the White House complex.

Lines for those holding tickets to the White House ceremony grew after the gates opened at 5 a.m. Yellow and white Vatican flags were flying alongside U.S. flags around the White House ready for Francis’s arrival.

Extraordinary Pulpit

The political heft of the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics will be underscored by crowds that security officials expect to be comparable to a presidential inauguration. Some 150,000 people may congregate on the route of his “popemobile” along the National Mall. Much of downtown Washington will be closed to traffic.

Francis faces a balancing act in crafting his message for the extraordinary pulpit that his first visit to the U.S. affords. He will be the first pope to address Congress, on Thursday, and then speaks to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. He must tailor his criticisms of capitalism’s excesses for a country in which the philosophy is nearly a faith.

“He will make it clear that he is not attacking capitalism as an economic theory, but the way it plays out in the real world — he sees masses of people excluded from the benefits of capitalism, and I think he will say that greed cannot be a motivator in human society,” Thavis said.

Humble Symbol

In one small symbol, Francis chose a humble Fiat 500L to travel from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, where his plane landed, to the Vatican envoy’s residence in the city. The compact car was dwarfed in his motorcade by the Secret Service’s hulking sport utility vehicles.

The Argentine pope’s priorities are reflected even in his choice of language. At the White House, he will deliver the first speech of his visit in English. But 14 of the 18 speeches scheduled in the country will be in his native Spanish.

“He’s more comfortable that way,” his spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said at a briefing last week. He’s also better able to reach the nation’s largest immigrant group in the language, a top item on his agenda.

It’s also in Spanish that Francis will celebrate his first Mass in the U.S. on Wednesday, and canonize a saint on U.S. soil for the first time, Hispanic missionary Junipero Serra.

Persuading the Hierarchy

Earlier in the day, Francis will speak to approximately 300 U.S. Catholic bishops at a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, known to many Americans as the site of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral Mass.

Those remarks are significant, as it is the church’s U.S. hierarchy that is responsible for follow-through on Francis’s priorities through Sunday sermons, religious education programs, Catholic school curricula and parish activities, said Father Tom Reese, a Jesuit priest and a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter.

“The bishops in the United States over the past 10 years have tended to focus on abortion, gay marriage and this religious freedom issue. He wants them to move in a different direction,” Reese said. “He’s not going to succeed unless the rest of the church gets behind him, particularly the bishops and the priests.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-23/obama-to-bask-in-pope-s-aura-but-francis-wants-economic-justice

White House compares Obama to Pope Francis

By NICOLE DURAN

Pope Francis and President Obama have both dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate, and that commonality will be central to their meeting Wednesday during the pope’s first visit to the United States, a White House spokesman said hours before Obama left to greet the pontiff as he landed at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon.

“[B]oth men have talked, quite publicly, about their commitment to social justice,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in previewing their Oval Office meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. “And both men have dedicated their, not just their careers, but their lives, to that effort.”

“Certainly the kind of commitment that we’ve seen from Pope Francis is unique and singular,” Earnest allowed “but I think the values that both men live out have some common ground.”

Earnest talked about how Obama turned down high-paying jobs upon graduating law school to instead work in Chicago’s poor South Side, and how Francis is known for advocating on behalf of impoverished communities in his home country of Argentina before ascending through the Roman Catholic Church’s ranks.

“And you know, the president actually worked quite closely with other Catholics in that community, and the president has talked about that quite a bit … this has been a value that has animated the president’s career choices since he was a young man.”

Earnest said Francis’s story is similar.

“[P]rior to rising through the leadership ranks of the Catholic Church … Pope Francis earned a reputation in Latin America [as being someone] willing to roll up his sleeves” to help the less fortunate, “particularly those who were economically destitute,” Earnest said.

Earnest said many in the administration are looking forward to greeting Francis because they feel they are working toward the same goals.

They’re “animated by the same kinds of values that animate the pope,” Earnest said about White House staffers. “And I think that’s why the opportunity to have Pope Francis, somebody who shares those values, here in this building tomorrow, makes for a really special day.”

A crowd of 15,000 is expected to welcome Francis at a ceremony on the White House lawn Wednesday morning.

According to press reports, several hundred people were on hand at Maryland’s Andrews Air Force Base to watch “Shepherd One” land and cheer the pope as he deplaned.

“We love Francis, yes we do,” people reportedly chanted. “We love Francis, how about you?”

In addition to Obama, First Lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden his wife Jill, and their extended families, nearly 20 other dignitaries were on hand at Andrews, including all of the Washington and Baltimore areas’ Catholic bishops.

“Ho, ho, hey, hey, welcome to the USA,” the larger crowd chanted, welcoming Francis on his first trip ever to the United States.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-officials-are-now-comparing-obama-to-the-pope/article/2572634

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

By NICOLE WINFIELD and RACHEL ZOL

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

he pope of the poor arrived for his first-ever visit to the world’s wealthiest superpower Tuesday denying he is a leftist and riding in a frugal little family car, windows rolled down.

Pope Francis’ chartered plane from Cuba touched down at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where President Barack Obama and his wife and daughters paid him the rare honor of meeting him at the bottom of the stairs on the red-carpeted tarmac. Presidents usually make important visitors come to them at the White House.

Emerging from the aircraft to loud cheers from a crowd of hundreds, the smiling 78-year-old pontiff removed his skullcap in the windy weather and made his way down the steps in his white robes.

He was welcomed by a military honor guard, chanting schoolchildren, politicians, and Roman Catholic clerics in black robes with vivid sashes of scarlet and purple. Joe Biden, the nation’s first Catholic vice president, and his wife were among those who greeted him.

Eschewing a limousine, the pope climbed into the back of a little Fiat sandwiched between huge black SUVs. He promptly rolled down the windows, enabling the cheering, whooping crowds to see him as his motorcade took him to the Vatican diplomatic mission in Washington, where he will stay while in the nation’s capital.

The choice of car was in keeping with his simple habits and his stand against consumerism. His decision to roll down the windows reflected his penchant for trying to connect to ordinary people despite the tight security around him.

During his six-day, three-city visit to the U.S., the pope will meet with the president on Wednesday, address Congress on Thursday, speak at the United Nations in New York on Friday and take part in a Vatican-sponsored conference on the family in Philadelphia over the weekend.

The Argentine known as the “slum pope” for ministering to the downtrodden in his native Buenos Aires is expected to urge America to take better care of the environment and the poor and return to its founding ideals of religious liberty and open arms toward immigrants.

During the flight, Francis defended himself against conservative criticism that his condemnation of trickle-down economics makes him a communist.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he said. He said some may have misinterpreted his writings in a way that makes him sound “a little bit more left-leaning,” but he said that’s wrong.

Joking about doubts in some quarters over whether he is truly Catholic, he said, “If I have to recite the Creed, I’m ready.”

Francis is the fourth pope ever to visit the United States.

Francis’ enormous popularity, propensity for wading into crowds and insistence on using an open-sided Jeep rather than a bulletproof popemobile have complicated things for U.S. law enforcement, which has mounted one of the biggest security operations in American history to keep him safe.

The measures are unprecedented for a papal trip and could make it nearly impossible for many ordinary Americans to get anywhere close to Francis.

For all the attention likely to be paid to Francis’ speeches, including the first address from a pope to Congress, his more personal gestures — visiting with immigrants, prisoners and the homeless — could yield some of the most memorable images of the trip.

“What the pope does in the United States will be more important than what he says,” said Mat Schmalz, a religious studies professor at Holy Cross college in Worcester, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of things he will say about capitalism and about wealth inequality, but many Americans and politicians have already made up their minds on these issues. What I would look for is a particular gesture, an unscripted act, that will move people.”

In Cuba, Francis basked in the adulation of Cubans grateful to him for brokering the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the communist island.

On the plane, though, he told reporters he will not use his speech to Congress to call specifically for the U.S. to lift the Cold War-era trade embargo against Cuba.

He arrives at a moment of bitter infighting across the country over gay rights, immigration, abortion and race relations — issues that are always simmering in the U.S. but have boiled over in the heat of a presidential campaign.

Capitol Hill is consumed by disputes over abortion and federal funding for Planned Parenthood after hidden-camera videos showed its officials talking about the organization’s practice of sending tissue from aborted fetuses to medical researchers. While Francis has staunchly upheld church teaching against abortion, he has recently allowed ordinary priests, and not just bishops, to absolve women of the sin.

Francis’ visit comes three months after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, putting U.S. bishops on the defensive and sharply dividing Americans over how much they should accommodate religious objectors. The pope has strongly upheld church teaching against same-sex marriage but adopted a welcoming tone toward gays themselves, saying, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposedly gay priest.

Americans are also wrestling anew with issues of racism. A series of deaths in recent years of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement has intensified debate over the American criminal justice system. Francis will see that system up close when he meets with inmates at a Pennsylvania prison.

U.S. bishops, meanwhile, expect Francis will issue a strong call for immigration reform, a subject that has heated up with hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric from some of the Republican presidential candidates, especially Donald Trump.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, will be sending a powerful message on that front by delivering the vast majority of his speeches in his native Spanish.

“Our presidential candidates have been using immigrants as a wedge issue,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said. “It’s our hope that the visit of Pope Francis will change this narrative.”

Francis’ most eagerly watched speech will be his address to Congress. Republicans and many conservative Catholics have bristled at his indictment of the excesses of capitalism that he says impoverish people and risk turning the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” Many conservatives have likewise rejected his call for urgent action against global warming.

Nevertheless, Francis enjoys popularity ratings in the U.S. that would be the envy of any world leader. A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week found 63 percent of Catholics have a favorable view of him, and nearly 8 in 10 approve the direction he is taking the church.

Just how far Francis presses his agenda in Washington is the big question.

Paul Vallely, author of “Pope Francis, The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism,” predicted both “warmth” and “some finger-wagging” from the pope.

“He won’t necessarily confront people head-on,” Vallely said, “but he’ll change the priorities.”

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-ends-cuban-trip-address-families-heads-us-040511515.html

Pope Francis visits U.S. amid legal challenges to religious freedom


Pope Francis is arriving in the U.S. at a time when the faithful are facing broad challenges in court over the limits of religious liberty.

From the administration’s contraception mandate under Obamacare to the fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, church-affiliated institutions and individuals are confronting litigation to compel them to carry out policies contrary to their religious beliefs.

Some observers say the pope, with whom President Obama claims to hold a special relationship, shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out in defense of religious liberty in the U.S.

“This is the time, right now,” said Joseph Prud’homme, director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. “I think it’s an opportunity for the pope to speak clearly about the right of religious liberty in this country.”

From his behind-the-scenes role in brokering the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. to his issuing of an encyclical on the environment in June calling for renewable-fuel subsidies and energy efficiency, Francis has appeared to many to be on the same page with much of Mr. Obama’s agenda.

“He has established a considerable bridge with the secular left with his encyclical on the environment,” Mr. Prud’homme said. “And using that kind of bridge, he needs to now walk across it and say very clearly that the right of religious freedom needs to be guaranteed and the right of individuals to follow their conscience needs to be protected.”

Francis addressed the issue of his ideological leanings Tuesday on the plane from Cuba, saying that while some glosses on his writings and words may have created a view that he is “a little bit more left-leaning,” such narratives are wrong.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he asserted, referring to more than 120 years of church criticism of the excesses of capitalism, repeated in various ways by every pope since Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum.

White House aides said the president’s meeting with the pope in the Oval Office on Wednesday will focus on their shared values and won’t address policy specifics.

“Their focus in the context of this meeting will not be about politics, not about specific policies, but rather about the kinds of values that both men have dedicated their lives to championing,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “There is no plan or strategy that’s been put in place to try to stage an event that will advance anybody’s political agenda.”

Mr. Earnest, addressing the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq, said one of the values that Mr. Obama shares with Pope Francis “is a commitment to religious liberty — standing up for the rights of religious minorities around the world.”

“That has long been a value that President Obama has prioritized,” he said.

Whether or not it was timed to coincide with the pope’s arrival, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell gave a speech Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine on progress made under the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court is increasingly likely to take up one or more challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate. A panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled last week that forcing two Missouri organizations to offer contraceptive coverage to employees — even indirectly — would violate the groups’ religious freedoms.

Every other appeals court to consider the issue has ruled in opposition to the 8th Circuit, and the Supreme Court usually steps in to resolve such splits. The other courts have said the administration has done enough to accommodate the objections of religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities.

The Becket Fund’s petitions to the high court involve the Little Sisters of the Poor and Houston Baptist University, both of which are challenging the mandate on religious grounds. The court is expected to decide in October whether to hear one or more of the cases.

“I think it’s unlikely that the court would refuse to address the issue, which is affecting hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations across the country,” Mr. Baxter said.

“The administration shouldn’t be picking and choosing between religious organizations. The bishops who run the dioceses around the country have been exempted from the mandate, there’s no reason why the nuns, like Little Sisters of the Poor, or other religious organizations shouldn’t also be exempt,” he said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/22/pope-francis-visits-us-amid-legal-challenges-to-re/?page=2

Ten Commandments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Decalogue” redirects here. For other uses, see Decalogue (disambiguation).

This is an image of a copy of the 1675 Ten Commandments, at the Amsterdam Esnoga synagogue, produced on parchment in 1768 by Jekuthiel Sofer, a prolific Jewish eighteenth century scribe in Amsterdam. It has Hebrew language writing in two columns separated between, and surrounded by, ornate flowery patterns.

This 1768 parchment (612×502 mm) by Jekuthiel Sofer emulated the 1675 Ten Commandments at theAmsterdam Esnoga synagogue.[1]

The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, are a set of commandments which the Bible describes as being given to the Israelites by God at biblical Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Hebrew Bible, first atExodus 20:1–17, and then at Deuteronomy 5:4–21. According to Exodus, God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses. Modern scholarship has found likely influences in Hittite and Mesopotamian laws and treaties, but is divided over exactly when the Ten Commandments were written and who wrote them. According to New Testament writers, the Ten Commandments are clearly attributed to Moses. John 7:19, Mark 7:10, Ephesians 6:2.

They include instructions to worship only God, to honour parents, and to keep the sabbath; as well as prohibitions againstidolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, theft, dishonesty, and coveting. Different religious groups follow different traditions for interpreting and numbering them.

Terminology

The second of two parchment sheets making up 4Q41, it contains Deuteronomy 5:1–6:1

Part of the All Souls Deuteronomy, containing one of the oldest extant copies of the Decalogue

In biblical Hebrew, the Ten Commandments are called עשרת הדברים (transliterated Asereth ha-D’bharîm) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (transliterated Asereth ha-Dibroth), both translatable as “the ten words”, “the ten sayings” or “the ten matters”.[2] The Tyndale and Coverdale English translations used “ten verses”. TheGeneva Bible appears to be the first to use “tenne commandements”, which was followed by the Bishops’ Bible and the Authorized Version (the “King James” version) as “ten commandments”. Most major English versions follow the Authorized Version.[3]

The English name “Decalogue” is derived from Greek δεκάλογος, dekalogos, the latter meaning and referring[4] to the Greek translation (in accusative) δέκα λόγους, deka logous, “ten words”, found in theSeptuagint (or LXX) at Exodus 34:28[3] and Deuteronomy 10:4.[5]

The stone tablets, as opposed to the commandments inscribed on them, are called לוחות הברית: Luchot HaBrit, meaning “the tablets of the covenant”.

Passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy

The biblical narrative of the revelation at Sinai begins in Exodus 19 after the arrival of the children of Israel at Mount Sinai (also called Horeb). on the morning of the third day of their encampment, “there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud”, and the people assembled at the base of the mount. After “the LORD[6] came down upon mount Sinai”, Moses went up briefly and returned and prepared the people, and then in Exodus 20 “God spoke” to all the people the words of the covenant, “even ten commandments”[7] as it is written.

The people were afraid to hear more and moved “afar off”, and Moses responded with “Fear not.”[8] Nevertheless, he drew near the “thick darkness” where “the presence of the Lord” was[9] to hear the additional statutes and “judgments”, (Exodus 21–23) all which he “wrote”[10] in the “book of the covenant[11] which he read to the people the next morning, and they agreed to be obedient and do all that the LORD had said. Moses escorted a select group consisting of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and “seventy of the elders of Israel” to a location on the mount where they worshipped “afar off”[12] and they “saw the God of Israel” above a “paved work” like clear sapphire stone. (Exodus 24:1–11)

And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

— First mention of the tablets in Exodus 24:12–13

The mount was covered by the cloud for six days, and on the seventh day Moses went into the midst of the cloud and was “in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:16–18) And Moses said, “the LORD delivered unto me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORDspake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.” (Deuteronomy 9:10) Before the full forty days expired, the children of Israel collectively decided that something happened to Moses, and compelled Aaron to fashion a golden calf, and he “built an altar before it” (Ex.32:1–5) and the people “worshipped” the calf. (Ex.32:6–8)

After the full forty days, Moses and Joshua came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone: “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” (Ex.32:19) After the events in chapters 32 and 33, the LORD told Moses, “Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tablets the words that were in the first tablets, which thou brakest.” (Ex.34:1) “And he wrote on the tablets, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.” (Deuteronomy 10:4)

According to Jewish tradition, Exodus 20:1–17 constitutes God’s first recitation and inscription of the ten commandments on the two tablets,[13] which Moses broke in anger with his rebellious nation, and were later rewritten on replacement stones and placed in the ark of the covenant;[14] and Deuteronomy 5:4–20 consists of God’s re-telling of the Ten Commandments to the younger generation who were to enter the Promised Land. The passages in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 contain more than ten imperative statements, totalling 14 or 15 in all.

Traditions for numbering

Different religious traditions divide the seventeen verses of Exodus 20:1–17 and their parallels at Deuteronomy 5:4–21 into ten “commandments” or “sayings” in different ways, shown in the table below. Some suggest that the number ten is a choice to aid memorization rather than a matter of theology.[15][16]

Traditions:

  • S: Septuagint, generally followed by Orthodox Christians.
  • P: Philo, same as the Septuagint, but with the prohibitions on killing and adultery reversed.
  • T: Jewish Talmud, makes the “prologue” the first “saying” or “matter” and combines the prohibition on worshiping deities other than Yahweh with the prohibition on idolatry.
  • A: Augustine follows the Talmud in combining verses 3–6, but omits the prologue as a commandment and divides the prohibition on coveting in two and following the word order of Deuteronomy 5:21 rather than Exodus 20:17.
  • C: Catechism of the Catholic Church, largely follows Augustine.
  • L: Lutherans follow Luther’s Large Catechism, which follows Augustine but omits the prohibition of images[17] and uses the word order of Exodus 20:17 rather than Deuteronomy 5:21 for the ninth and tenth commandments.
  • R: Reformed Christians follow John Calvin‘s Institutes of the Christian Religion, which follows the Septuagint.
The Ten Commandments
S P T A C L R Main article Exodus 20:1-17 Deuteronomy 5:4-21
1 1 (1) I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 2[18] 6[18]
1 1 2 1 1 1 1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me 3[19] 7[19]
2 2 2 1 1 2 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image 4–6[20] 8–10[21]
3 3 3 2 2 2 3 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain 7[22] 11[23]
4 4 4 3 3 3 4 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy 8–11[24] 12–15[25]
5 5 5 4 4 4 5 Honour thy father and thy mother 12[26] 16[27]
6 7 6 5 5 5 6 Thou shalt not kill 13[28] 17[28]
7 6 7 6 6 6 7 Thou shalt not commit adultery 14[29] 18[30]
8 8 8 7 7 7 8 Thou shalt not steal 15[31] 19[32]
9 9 9 8 8 8 9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour 16[33] 20[34]
10 10 10 10 10 9 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s house) 17a[35] 21b[36]
10 10 10 9 9 10 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s wife) 17b[37] 21a[38]
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s servants, animals, or anything else) 17c[39] 21c[40]
  • All scripture quotes above are from the King James Version. Click on verses at top of columns for other versions.

Religious interpretations

The Ten Commandments concern matters of fundamental importance in both Judaism and Christianity: the greatest obligation (to worship only God), the greatest injury to a person (murder), the greatest injury to family bonds (adultery), the greatest injury to commerce and law (bearing false witness), the greatest inter-generational obligation (honor to parents), the greatest obligation to community (truthfulness), the greatest injury to moveable property (theft).[41]

The Ten Commandments are written with room for varying interpretation, reflecting their role as a summary of fundamental principles.[16][41][42][43] They are not as explicit[41] or detailed as rules[44] or many other biblical laws and commandments, because they provide guiding principles that apply universally, across changing circumstances. They do not specify punishments for their violation. Their precise import must be worked out in each separate situation.[44]

The Bible indicates the special status of the Ten Commandments among all other Old Testament laws in several ways. They have a uniquely terse style.[45] Of all the biblical laws and commandments, the Ten Commandments alone[45] were “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). And lastly, the stone tablets were placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:21).[45]

Judaism

In Judaism, the Ten Commandments provide God’s universal and timeless standard of right and wrong, unlike the other 613 commandments in the Torah, which include, for example, various duties and ceremonies such as the kashrut dietary laws and now unobservable rituals to be performed by priests in the Holy Temple.[46] They form the basis of Jewish law.[47] Jewish tradition considers the Ten Commandments the theological basis for the rest of the commandments; a number of works (starting with Rabbi Saadia Gaon) have made groupings of the commandments according to their links with the Ten Commandments.[citation needed]

The traditional Rabbinical Jewish belief is that the observance of these commandments and the other mitzvot are required solely of the Jewish people, and that the laws incumbent on humanity in general are outlined in the seven Noahide laws (several of which overlap with the Ten Commandments). In the era of the Sanhedrintransgressing any one of six of the Ten Commandments theoretically carried the death penalty, the exceptions being the First Commandment, honoring your father and mother, saying God’s name in vain, and coveting, though this was rarely enforced due to a large number of stringent evidentiary requirements imposed by theoral law.[48]

The two tablets

Main article: Tablets of Stone

The arrangement of the commandments on the two tablets is interpreted in different ways in the classical Jewish tradition. Rabbi Hanina ben Gamaliel says that each tablet contained five commandments, “but the Sages say ten on one tablet and ten on the other”, that is, that the tablets were duplicates.[49] This can be compared to diplomatic treaties of Ancient Egypt, in which a copy was made for each party.[50]

According to the Talmud, the compendium of traditional Rabbinic Jewish law, tradition, and interpretation, one interpretation of the biblical verse “the tablets were written on both their sides”,[51] is that the carving went through the full thickness of the tablets, yet was miraculously legible from both sides.[52]

Use in Jewish ritual

The Ten Commandments on a glass plate

During the period of the Second Temple, the Ten Commandments were recited daily.[53] The Mishnah records that in the Temple, it was the practice to recite them every day before the reading of the Shema Yisrael (as preserved, for example, in the Nash Papyrus, a Hebrew manuscript fragment from 150–100 BCE found in Egypt, containing a version of the ten commandments and the beginning of the Shema); but that this practice was abolished in the synagogues so as not to give ammunition to heretics who claimed that they were the only important part of Jewish law,[54][55] or to dispute a claim by early Christians that only the Ten Commandments were handed down at Mount Sinai rather than the whole Torah.[53]

In later centuries, rabbis continued to omit the Ten Commandments from daily liturgy in order to prevent a confusion among Jews that they are only bound by the Ten Commandments, and not also by many other biblical and talmudic laws, such as the requirement to observe holy days other than the sabbath.[53]

Today, the Ten Commandments are heard in the synagogue three times a year: as they come up during the readings of Exodus and Deuteronomy, and during the festival of Shavuot.[53] The Exodus version is read in parashat Yitro around late January–February, and on the festival of Shavuot, and the Deuteronomy version in parashat Va’etchanan in August–September. In some traditions, worshipers rise for the reading of the Ten Commandments to highlight their special significance[53] though many rabbis, including Maimonides, have opposed this custom since one may come to think that the Ten Commandments are more important than the rest of the Mitzvot.[56]

In printed Chumashim, as well as in those in manuscript form, the Ten Commandments carry two sets of cantillation marks. The ta’am ‘elyon (upper accentuation), which makes each Commandment into a separate verse, is used for public Torah reading, while the ta’am tachton (lower accentuation), which divides the text into verses of more even length, is used for private reading or study. The verse numbering in Jewish Bibles follows the ta’am tachton. In Jewish Bibles the references to the Ten Commandments are therefore Exodus 20:2–14 and Deuteronomy 5:6–18.

Samaritan

The Samaritan Pentateuch varies in the Ten Commandments passages, both in that the Samaritan Deuteronomical version of the passage is much closer to that in Exodus, and in that Samaritans count as nine commandments what others count as ten. The Samaritan tenth commandment is on the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.

The text of the Samaritan tenth commandment follows:

And it shall come to pass when the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land of the Canaanites whither thou goest to take possession of it, thou shalt erect unto thee large stones, and thou shalt cover them with lime, and thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this Law, and it shall come to pass when ye cross the Jordan, ye shall erect these stones which I command thee upon Mount Gerizim, and thou shalt build there an altar unto the Lord thy God, an altar of stones, and thou shalt not lift upon them iron, of perfect stones shalt thou build thine altar, and thou shalt bring upon it burnt offerings to the Lord thy God, and thou shalt sacrifice peace offerings, and thou shalt eat there and rejoice before the Lord thy God. That mountain is on the other side of the Jordan at the end of the road towards the going down of the sun in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah facing Gilgal close by Elon Moreh facing Shechem.[57]

Christianity

Christians believe that the Ten Commandments have divine authority and continue to be valid, though they have different interpretations and uses of them.[58]Through most of Christian history, the decalogue has been considered a summary of God’s law and standard of behavior, and has been central to Christian life, piety, and worship.[59]

References in the New Testament

During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explicitly referenced the prohibitions against murder and adultery. In Matthew 19:16-19 Jesus repeated five of the Ten Commandments, followed by that commandment called “the second” (Matthew 22:34-40) after the first and great commandment.

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul the Apostle also mentioned five of the Ten Commandments and associated them with the neighbourly love commandment.

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

— Romans 13:8-10 KJV

Roman Catholicism

In Roman Catholicism, Jesus freed Christians from Jewish religious law, but not from their obligation to keep the Ten Commandments.[60] They are to the moral order what the creation story is to the natural order.[60]

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church—the official exposition of the Catholic Church‘s Christian beliefs—the Commandments are considered essential for spiritual good health and growth,[61] and serve as the basis for social justice.[62] Church teaching of the Commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers.[63] In the New Testament, Jesus acknowledged their validity and instructed his disciples to go further, demanding a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees.[64] Summarized by Jesus into two “great commandments” that teach the love of God and love of neighbor,[65] they instruct individuals on their relationships with both.

Orthodox

The Eastern Orthodox Church holds its moral truths to be chiefly contained in the Ten Commandments.[66] A confession begins with the Confessor reciting the Ten Commandments and asking the penitent which of them he has broken.[67]

Protestantism

See also: Law and Gospel

Even after rejecting the Roman Catholic moral theology, giving more importance to biblical law in order to better hear and be moved by the gospel, early Protestant theologians still took the Ten Commandments to be the starting point of Christian moral life.[68] Different versions of Christianity have varied in how they have translated the bare principles into the specifics that make up a full Christian ethic.[68] Where Catholicism emphasizes taking action to fulfill the Ten Commandments, Protestantism uses the Ten Commandments for two purposes: to outline the Christian life to each person, and to make each person realize, through their failure to live that life, that they lack the ability to do it on their own.[68]

A Christian school in India displays the Ten Commandments

Lutheranism

The Lutheran division of the commandments follows the one established by St. Augustine, following the then current synagogue scribal division. The first three commandments govern the relationship between God and humans, the fourth through eighth govern public relationships between people, and the last two govern private thoughts. See Luther’s Small Catechism[69] and Large Catechism.[17]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit]

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) doctrine, Jesus completed rather than rejected the Mosaic Law.[70] The Ten Commandments are considered eternal gospel principles necessary for exaltation.[71] They appear in the Book of Mosiah 12:34–36,[72] 13:15–16,[73] 13:21–24[74] and Doctrine and Covenants.[71] In Mosiah, a prophet named Abinadi taught the Ten Commandments in the court of King Noah and was martyred for his righteousness.[75] Abinadi knew the Ten Commandments from the brass plates.[76]

In an October, 2010 address, LDS president and prophet Thomas S. Monson taught “The Ten Commandments are just that — commandments. They are not suggestions.”[77]

Strangites[edit]

One Mormon fundamentalist faction, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), offers a unique version of the Ten Commandments that is not found in any other religious tradition—including other Latter Day Saint churches. In his Book of the Law of the Lord, which Strangite founder James J. Strangclaimed to be the long-lost Plates of Laban described in the Book of Mormon, Strang offers a commandment which no other version of the Ten Commandments has: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,”[78] (which appears in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 19:18 and five times in the New Testament). In his “Note on the Decalogue,”[79] Strang asserted that no other version of the Decalogue contains more than nine commandments. He equally speculated that his fourth commandment was lost perhaps as early as Josephus‘ time (circa 37-100 AD). Strang’s version of the Decalogue (together with the rest of his teaching) are rejected by the mainline LDS Church, together with all other non-Strangite Mormon factions.

New Covenant Theology

Main article: New Covenant Theology

New Covenant Theology (NCT) is a recently expressed Christian theological view of redemptive history which claims that all Old Covenant laws have beencancelled[80] in favor of the Law of Christ or New Covenant law of the New Testament. This can be summarized as the ethical expectation found in the New Testament. New Covenant Theology does not reject all religious law, they only reject Old Covenant law. NCT is in contrast with other views on biblical law in that most others do not believe the Ten Commandments and Divine laws of the Old Covenant have been cancelled and prefer the term “Supersessionism” (rather than “cancelled” or “abrogated”) for the rest. In 2001, Richard Barcellos, an associate professor and pastor of a Reformed Baptist Church in California, published a critique of NCT for proposing that the Ten Commandments have been cancelled.[81]

Islam

The Qur’an includes a version of the Ten Commandments in sura Al-An’am 6:151:

  • “Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to indecent deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. thus doth He command you, that ye may remember.”[82]

Another Chapter of The Qur’an also includes a version of the Ten Commandments in Al-Isra According to Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas °the verses of Chapter 17Al-Isra are the Quranic version of the ten Commandments[83] Commandment 1 Verse 22 “Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), (O man)!”[84] Commandment 2Verse 23 “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” Verse 24 “And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.”[85] Commandment 3 Verse 26 “And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift .”[86] Commandment 4 Verse 29“And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.”[87] Commandment 5 Verse 31 “And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”[88]Commandment 6 Verse 32 “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse.”[89] Commandment 7 Verse 33 “And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause.”[90] Commandment 8 Verse 34 “And come not near to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength.”[91] Commandment 9 Verse 35 “And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight.”[92] Commandment 10 Verse 36“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).”[93]

:22-37[94]

Main points of interpretative difference

Sabbath day

Main articles: Sabbath in Christianity and Shabbat

Sabbath in Christianity is a weekly day of rest or religious observance, derived from the sabbath.[95] Non-Sabbatarianism is the principle of Christian liberty from being bound to physical sabbath observance. Most dictionaries provide both first-day and seventh-day definitions for “sabbath” and “Sabbatarian”, among other related uses.

Until the 2nd and 3rd century, Christians kept the Jewish Sabbath[citation needed], which occurs from Friday night to Saturday night each week. Observing the Sabbath on Sunday, the day of resurrection, gradually became the dominant Christian practice from the Jewish-Roman wars onward. Before then, Christianity was predominantly still a Jewish sect. The Church’s general repudiation of Jewish practices during this period is apparent in the Council of Laodicea (4th Century AD) where Canons 37–38 state: “It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them” and “It is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety”.[96]

Canon 29 of the Laodicean council specifically refers to the sabbath: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the [Jewish] Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema (excommunicated) from Christ.”[96]

Killing or murder

Main article: You shall not murder

The Sixth Commandment, as translated by the Book of Common Prayer (1549).
The image is from the altar screen of the Temple Church near the Law Courts in London.

Multiple translations exist of the fifth/sixth commandment; the Hebrew words לא תרצח (lo tirtzach) are variously translated as “thou shalt not kill” or “thou shalt not murder”.[97]

The imperative is against unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt.[98] The Hebrew Bible contains numerous prohibitions against unlawful killing, but also allows for justified killing in the context of warfare (1Kings 2:5–6), capital punishment(Leviticus 20:9–16) and self-defence (Exodus 22:2–3). The New Testament is in agreement that murder is a grave moral evil,[99] and maintains the Old Testament view of bloodguilt.[100]

You shall not steal

Main article: You shall not steal

Significant voices among academic theologians (such as German Old Testament scholar Albrecht Alt: Das Verbot des Diebstahls im Dekalog (1953)) suggest that commandment “you shall not steal” was originally intended against stealing people—against abductions and slavery, in agreement with the Talmudic interpretation of the statement as “you shall not kidnap” (Sanhedrin 86a).

Idolatry

In Christianity’s earliest centuries, some Christians had informally adorned their homes and places of worship with images of Christ and the saints, while some thought it inappropriate. No church council had ruled on whether such practices constituted idolatry. The controversy reached crisis level in the 8th century, during the period of iconoclasm: the smashing of icons.[101]

In 726, Emperor Leo III ordered all images removed from all churches; in 730, a council forbade veneration of images, citing the Second Commandment; in 787, theSeventh Ecumenical Council reversed the preceding rulings, condemning iconoclasm and sanctioning the veneration of images; in 815, Leo V called yet another council, which reinstated iconoclasm; in 843, Empress Theodora again reinstated veneration of icons.[101] This mostly settled the matter until the Protestant Reformation, when John Calvin declared that the ruling of the Seventh Ecumenical Council “emanated from Satan”.[101] Protestant iconoclasts at this time destroyed statues, pictures, stained glass, and artistic masterpieces.[101]

The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Theodora’s restoration of the icons every year on the First Sunday of Great Lent.[101] Eastern Orthodox tradition teaches that while images of God, the Father, remain prohibited, depictions of Jesus as the incarnation of God as a visible human are permissible. To emphasize the theological importance of the incarnation, the Orthodox Church encourages the use of icons in church and private devotions, but prefers a two-dimensional depiction[102] as a reminder of this theological aspect. Icons depict the spiritual dimension of their subject rather than attempting a naturalistic portrayal.[101] In modern use (usually as a result of Roman Catholic influence), more naturalistic images and images of the Father, however, also appear occasionally in Orthodox churches, but statues, i.e. three-dimensional depictions, continue to be banned.[102]

The Roman Catholic Church holds that one may build and use “likenesses”, as long as the object is not worshipped. Many Roman Catholic Churches and services feature images; some feature statues. For Roman Catholics, this practice is understood as fulfilling the Second Commandment, as they understand that these images are not being worshipped.[citation needed]

For Jews and Muslims, veneration violates the Second Commandment. Jews and Muslims read this commandment as prohibiting the use of idols and images in any way. For this reason, Jewish Temples and Islamic Mosques do not have pictures of God, saints or prophets.[citation needed]

Some Protestants will picture Jesus in his human form, while refusing to make any image of God or Jesus in Heaven.[citation needed]

Strict Amish people forbid any sort of image, such as photographs.[citation needed]

Adultery

Originally this commandment forbade male Israelites to have sexual intercourse with the wife of another Israelite, though Israelite men were not forbidden to have sexual intercourse with the slaves belonging to their own household. Sexual intercourse between an Israelite man, even if he was married, and an unmarried or unbetrothed woman was not considered as adultery.[103] This concept of adultery stems from the economic aspect of Israelite marriage, as adultery constituted a violation of the husband’s exclusive right to his wife, whereas the wife, as the husband’s possession, had no such right.[104]

Critical historical analysis

Early theories

Critical scholarship is divided over its interpretation of the ten commandment texts.

In Julius Wellhausen‘s classic documentary hypothesis of the formation of the Pentateuch (see JEDP), first published in 1878, Exodus 20-23 and 34 were composed by the J or Jahwist writer and “might be regarded as the document which formed the starting point of the religious history of Israel.”[105] Deuteronomy 5 then reflects King Josiah’s attempt to link the document produced by his court to the older Mosaic tradition.

In a 2002 analysis of the history of this position, Bernard M. Levinson argued that this reconstruction assumes a Christian perspective, and dates back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s polemic against Judaism, which asserted that religions evolve from the more ritualistic to the more ethical. Goethe thus argued that the Ten Commandments revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai would have emphasized rituals, and that the “ethical” Decalogue Christians recite in their own churches was composed at a later date, when Israelite prophets had begun to prophesy the coming of the messiah, Jesus Christ. Levinson points out that there is no evidence, internal to the Hebrew Bible or in external sources, to support this conjecture. He concludes that its vogue among later critical historians represents the persistence of this polemic that the supersession of Judaism by Christianity is part of a longer history of progress from the ritualistic to the ethical.[106]

By the 1930s, historians who accepted the basic premises of multiple authorship had come to reject the idea of an orderly evolution of Israelite religion. Critics instead began to suppose that law and ritual could be of equal importance, while taking different form, at different times. This means that there is no longer any a priori reason to believe that Exodus 20:2–17 and Exodus 34:10–28 were composed during different stages of Israelite history. For example, critical historian John Bright also dates the Jahwist texts to the tenth century BCE, but believes that they express a theology that “had already been normalized in the period of the Judges” (i.e., of the tribal alliance).[107] He concurs about the importance of the decalogue as “a central feature in the covenant that brought together Israel into being as a people”[108] but views the parallels between Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, along with other evidence, as reason to believe that it is relatively close to its original form and Mosaic in origin.[109]

Hittite treaties

According to John Bright, however, there is an important distinction between the Decalogue and the “book of the covenant” (Exodus 21-23 and 34:10–24). The Decalogue, he argues, was modeled on the suzerainty treaties of the Hittites (and other Mesopotamian Empires), that is, represents the relationship between God and Israel as a relationship between king and vassal, and enacts that bond.[110]

“The prologue of the Hittite treaty reminds his vassals of his benevolent acts.. (compare with Exodus 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”). The Hittite treaty also stipulated the obligations imposed by the ruler on his vassals, which included a prohibition of relations with peoples outside the empire, or enmity between those within.”[111] (Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me”). Viewed as a treaty rather than a law code, its purpose is not so much to regulate human affairs as to define the scope of the king’s power.[112]

Julius Morgenstern argued that Exodus 34 is distinct from the Jahwist document, identifying it with king Asa’s reforms in 899 BCE.[113] Bright, however, believes that like the Decalogue this text has its origins in the time of the tribal alliance. The book of the covenant, he notes, bears a greater similarity to Mesopotamian law codes (e.g. the Code of Hammurabi which was inscribed on a stone stele). He argues that the function of this “book” is to move from the realm of treaty to the realm of law: “The Book of the Covenant (Ex., chs. 21 to 23; cf. ch. 34), which is no official state law, but a description of normative Israelite judicial procedure in the days of the Judges, is the best example of this process.”[114] According to Bright, then, this body of law too predates the monarchy.[115]

Hilton J. Blik writes that the phrasing in the Decalogue’s instructions suggests that it was conceived in a mainly polytheistic milieu, evident especially in the formulation of “no-other-gods-before-me” commandment.[116]

Dating

If the Ten Commandments are based on Hittite forms that would date it somewhere between the 14th-12th century BCE.[117] Archaeologists Israel Finkelstein andNeil Asher Silberman argue that “the astonishing composition came together … in the seventh century BCE”.[118] Critical scholar Yehezkel Kaufmann (1960) dates the oral form of the covenant to the time of Josiah.[119] An even later date (after 586 BCE) is suggested by David H. Aaron.[120]

The Ritual Decalogue

Main article: Ritual Decalogue

Some proponents of the Documentary hypothesis have argued that the biblical text in Exodus 34:28[121] identifies a different list as the ten commandments, that of Exodus 34:11–27.[122] Since this passage does not prohibit murder, adultery, theft, etc., but instead deals with the proper worship of Yahweh, some scholars call it the “Ritual Decalogue“, and disambiguate the ten commandments of traditional understanding as the “Ethical Decalogue”.[123][124][125][126]

According to these scholars the Bible includes multiple versions of events. On the basis of many points of analysis including linguistic it is shown as a patchwork of sources sometimes with bridging comments by the editor (Redactor) but otherwise left intact from the original, frequently side by side.[127]

Richard Elliott Friedman argues that the Ten Commandments at Exodus 20:1–17 “does not appear to belong to any of the major sources. It is likely to be an independent document, which was inserted here by the Redactor.”[128] In his view, the Covenant Code follows that version of the Ten Commandments in the northern Israel E narrative. In the J narrative in Exodus 34 the editor of the combined story known as the Redactor (or RJE), adds in an explanation that these are a replacement for the earlier tablets which were shattered. “In the combined JE text, it would be awkward to picture God just commanding Moses to make some tablets, as if there were no history to this matter, so RJE adds the explanation that these are a replacement for the earlier tablets that were shattered.”[129]

He writes that Exodus 34:14–26 is the J text of the Ten Commandments: “The first two commandments and the sabbath commandment have parallels in the other versions of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5). … The other seven commandments here are completely different.”[130] He suggests that differences in the J and E versions of the Ten Commandments story are a result of power struggles in the priesthood. The writer has Moses smash the tablets “because this raised doubts about the Judah’s central religious shrine”.[131]

According to Kaufmann, the Decalogue and the book of the covenant represent two ways of manifesting God’s presence in Israel: the Ten Commandments taking the archaic and material form of stone tablets kept in the ark of the covenant, while the book of the covenant took oral form to be recited to the people.[119]

United States debate over display on public property

Picture of a large stone monument displaying the ten commandments with the Texas State Capitol in Austin in the background. The picture was part of a news release Wednesday, March second, 2005, by then Attorney General Abbott.

Ten Commandments display at theTexas State Capitol in Austin.

European Protestants replaced some visual art in their churches with plaques of the Ten Commandments after the Reformation. In England, such “Decalogue boards” also represented the English monarch’s emphasis on rule of royal law within the churches. In the United States, images of Moses and the tablets of the Decalogue also claim biblical roots to U.S. law (as on the pediment of the Supreme Court building in Washington). Images of the Ten Commandments, then, have long been contested symbols for the relationship of religion to national law.[132]

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Fraternal Order of Eagles placed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses and school rooms, including many stone monuments on courthouse property.[133] Because displaying the commandments can reflect a sectarian position if they are numbered (see above), the Eagles developed an ecumenical version that omitted the numbers, as on the monument at the Texas capitol (shown here). Hundreds of monuments were also placed by director Cecil B. DeMille as a publicity stunt to promote his 1956 film The Ten Commandments.[134] Placing the plaques and monuments to the Ten Commandments in and around government buildings was another expression of mid-twentieth century U.S. civil religion, along with adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.[132]

By the beginning of the twenty-first century in the U.S., however, Decalogue monuments and plaques in government spaces had become a legal battleground between religious as well as political liberals and conservatives. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State launched lawsuits challenging the posting of the ten commandments in public buildings. The ACLU has been supported by a number of religious groups (such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),[135] and the American Jewish Congress[136]), both because they do not want government to be issuing religious doctrine and because they feel strongly that the commandments are inherently religious. Many commentators see this issue as part of a widerculture war between liberal and conservative elements in American society. In response to the perceived attacks on traditional society, other legal organizations, such as the Liberty Counsel, have risen to advocate the conservative interpretation. Many Christian conservatives have taken the banning of officially sanctioned prayer from public schools by the U.S. Supreme Court as a threat to the expression of religion in public life. In response, they have successfully lobbied many state and local governments to display the ten commandments in public buildings.

Those who oppose the posting of the ten commandments on public property argue that it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In contrast, groups like the Fraternal Order of Eagles who support the public display of the ten commandments claim that the commandments are not necessarily religious but represent the moral and legal foundation of society, and are appropriate to be displayed as a historical source of present-day legal codes. Also, some argue like Judge Roy Moore that prohibiting the public practice of religion is a violation of the first amendment’s guarantee offreedom of religion.[132]

The Ten Commandments by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the townhall ofWittenberg, (detail)

U.S. courts have often ruled against displays of the Ten Commandments on government property. They conclude that the ten commandments are derived from Judeo-Christian religions, to the exclusion of others: the statement “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” excludes non-monotheistic religions like Hinduism, for example. Whether the Constitution prohibits the posting of the commandments or not, there are additional political and civil rights issues regarding the posting of what is construed as religious doctrine. Excluding religions that have not accepted the ten commandments creates the appearance of impropriety. The courts have been more accepting, however, of displays that place the Ten Commandments in a broader historical context of the development of law.

One result of these legal cases has been that proponents of displaying the Ten Commandments have sometimes surrounded them with other historical texts to portray them as historical, rather than religious. Another result has been that other religious organizations have tried to put monuments to their laws on public lands. For example, an organization calledSummum has won court cases against municipalities in Utah for refusing to allow the group to erect a monument of Summum aphorisms next to the ten commandments. The cases were won on the grounds that Summum’s right to freedom of speech was denied and the governments had engaged in discrimination. Instead of allowing Summum to erect its monument, the local governments chose to remove their ten commandments.

Cultural references

Two famous films of this name were directed by Cecil B. DeMille: a silent movie released in 1923 starring Theodore Roberts as Moses and a colour VistaVisionversion of 1956, starring Charlton Heston as Moses.

Both The Decalogue, a 1989 Polish film series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, and The Ten, a 2007 American film, use the ten commandments as a structure for 10 smaller stories.[137]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

The Communist Manifesto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Communist Manifesto
Communist-manifesto.png

First edition, in German
Author Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Country United Kingdom
Language German (translated into several world languages)
Genre Manifesto
Publication date
21 February 1848

The Communist Manifesto (originally Manifesto of the Communist Party) is an 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London (in the German language as Manifest der kommunistischen Partei) just as the revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.

The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels’ theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then finally communism.

Synopsis

A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism.

— Opening sentence

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto is divided into a preamble and four sections, the last of these a short conclusion.

Preamble

The introduction begins by proclaiming “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre”. Pointing out that parties everywhere—including those in government and those in the opposition—have flung the “branding reproach of communism” at each other, the authors infer from this that the powers-that-be acknowledge communism to be a power in itself. Subsequently, the introduction exhorts Communists to openly publish their views and aims, to “meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself”.

Bourgeois and Proletarians

The first section of the Manifesto, “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, elucidates the materialist conception of history, that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Societies have always taken the form of an oppressed majority living under the thumb of an oppressive minority. In capitalism, the industrial working class, or proletariat, engage in class struggle against the owners of the means of production, thebourgeoisie. As before, this struggle will end in a revolution that restructures society, or the “common ruin of the contending classes”. The bourgeoisie, through the “constant revolutionising of production [and] uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions” have emerged as the supreme class in society, displacing all the old powers of feudalism. The bourgeoisie constantly exploits the proletariat for its labour power, creating profit for themselves accumulating capital. However, by doing so the bourgeoisie “are its own grave-diggers”; the proletariat inevitably will become conscious of their own potential and rise to power through revolution, overthrowing the bourgeoisie.

Proletarians and Communists

“Proletarians and Communists”, the second section, starts by stating the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class. The communists’ party will not oppose other working-class parties, but unlike them, it will express the general will and defend the common interests of the world’s proletariat as a whole, independent of all nationalities. The section goes on to defend communism from various objections, such as the claim that communists advocate “free love“, and the claim that people will not perform labour in a communist society because they have no incentive to work. The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands—among them a progressive income tax; abolition of inheritances; free public education etc.—the implementation of which would be a precursor to a stateless and classless society.
List of short-term demands, also known as the ten planks:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[1]

Socialists and Communist Literature

The third section, “Socialist and Communist Literature”, distinguishes communism from other socialist doctrines prevalent at the time—these being broadly categorised as Reactionary Socialism; Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism; and Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism. While the degree of reproach toward rival perspectives varies, all are dismissed for advocating reformism and failing to recognise the pre-eminent revolutionary role of the working class. “Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Opposition Parties”, the concluding section of the Manifesto, briefly discusses the communist position on struggles in specific countries in the mid-nineteenth century such as France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany, this last being “on the eve of a bourgeois revolution”, and predicts that a world revolution will soon follow. It ends by declaring an alliance with the social democrats, boldly supporting other communist revolutions, and calling for united international proletarian action.

Writing

Only surviving page from the first draft of the Manifesto, handwritten by Marx

Friedrich Engels has often been credited with composing the first drafts which led to the Communist Manifesto. In July 1847, Engels was elected into the Communist League, where he was assigned to draw up a catechism. This became the Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith. It contained almost two dozen questions that expressed the ideas of both Engels and Karl Marx at the time. In October 1847, Engels composed his second draft for the League, The Principles of Communism (which went unpublished until 1914). Once commissioned by the Communist League, Marx combined these drafts with Engels’ 1844 work The Condition of the Working Class in England to write the Communist Manifesto.[2]

Although the names of both Engels and Marx appear on the title page alongside the “persistent assumption of joint-authorship”, Engels, in the preface to the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto, said it was “essentially Marx’s work” and that “the basic thought… belongs solely and exclusively to Marx.”[3] Engels wrote after Marx’s death:

I cannot deny that both before and during my forty years’ collaboration with Marx I had a certain independent share in laying the foundations of the theory, but the greater part of its leading basic principles belongs to Marx … Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented. Without him the theory would not be by far what it is today. It therefore rightly bears his name.[4]

Despite Engels’s modesty in this quotation, he made major contributions to the Manifesto, starting with the suggestion to abandon “the form of a catechism and entitle it the Communist Manifesto.” Moreover, Engels joined Marx in Brussels for the writing of the Manifesto. There is no evidence of what his contributions to the final writing were, but the Manifesto bears the stamp of Marx’s more rhetorical writing style. Nevertheless, it seems clear that Engels’s contributions justify his name’s appearance on the title page after Marx’s.[5]

Publication

Initial publication and obscurity, 1848–72

A scene from the German March Revolution in Berlin, 1848

In late February 1848, the Manifesto was anonymously published by the Workers’ Educational Association (Communistischer Arbeiterbildungsverein) at 46 Liverpool Street in the City of London. Written in German, the 23-page pamphlet was titled Manifest der kommunistischen Partei and had a dark-green cover. It was reprinted thrice and serialised in the Deutsche Londoner Zeitung, a newspaper for German émigrés. On 4 March, one day after the serialisation in theZeitung began, Marx was expelled by Belgian police. Two weeks later, around 20 March, a thousand copies of the Manifestoreached Paris, and from there to Germany in early April. In April–May the text was corrected for printing and punctuation mistakes; Marx and Engels would use this 30-page version as the basis for future editions of the Manifesto.

Although the Manifesto‍ ’​s prelude announced that it was “to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages”, the initial printings were only in German. Polish and Danish translations soon followed the German original in London, and by the end of 1848, a Swedish translation was published with a new title—The Voice of Communism: Declaration of the Communist Party. In June–November 1850 the Manifesto of the Communist Party was published in English for the first time when George Julian Harney serialised Helen Macfarlane‘s translation in his Chartist magazine The Red Republican. (“A frightful hobgoblin stalks throughout Europe”, her version begins, “We are haunted by a ghost, the ghost of Communism…”[6]) For her translation, the Lancashire-based Macfarlane probably consulted Engels, whose own English translation had been abandoned half way. Harney’s introduction revealed the Manifesto‍ ’​s hitherto-anonymous authors’ identities for the first time.

Immediately after the Cologne Communist Trial of late 1852, the Communist League disbanded itself.

Soon after the Manifesto was published, Paris erupted in revolution to overthrow King Louis Philippe. The Manifesto played no role in this; a French translation was not published in Paris until just before the working-class June Days Uprising was crushed. Its influence in the Europe-wide revolutions of 1848 was restricted to Germany, where the Cologne-based Communist League and its newspaper Neue Rheinische Zeitung, edited by Marx, played an important role. Within a year of its establishment, in May 1849, the Zeitung was suppressed; Marx was expelled from Germany and had to seek lifelong refuge in London. In 1851, members of the Communist League’s central board were arrested by the Prussian police. At theirtrial in Cologne 18 months later in late 1852 they were sentenced to 3–6 years’ imprisonment. For Engels, the revolution was “forced into the background by the reaction that began with the defeat of the Paris workers in June 1848, and was finally excommunicated ‘by law’ in the conviction of the Cologne Communists in November 1852”.

After the defeat of the 1848 revolutions the Manifesto fell into obscurity, where it remained throughout the 1850s and 1860s. Hobsbawm says that by November 1850 the Manifesto “had become sufficiently scarce for Marx to think it worth reprinting section III … in the last issue of his [short-lived] London magazine”. Over the next two decades only a few new editions were published; these include a Russian translation by Mikhail Bakunin in Geneva c. 1863 and a 1866 edition in Berlin—the first time the Manifesto was published in Germany. According to Hobsbawm, “By the middle 1860s virtually nothing that Marx had written in the past was any longer in print.”

Rise, 1872–1917

In the early 1870s, the Manifesto and its authors experienced a revival in fortunes. Hobsbawm identifies three reasons for this. The first is the leadership role Marx played in the International Workingmen’s Association (aka the First International). Secondly, Marx also came into much prominence among socialists—and equal notoriety among the authorities—for his support of the Paris Commune of 1871, elucidated in The Civil War in France. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly in the popularisation of the Manifesto, was the treason trial of German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaders. During the trial prosecutors read the Manifesto out loud as evidence; this meant that the pamphlet could legally be published in Germany. Thus in 1872 Marx and Engels rushed out a new German-language edition, writing a preface that identified that several portions that became outdated in the quarter century since its original publication. This edition was also the first time the title was shortened to The Communist Manifesto (Das Kommunistische Manifest), and it became the bedrock the authors based future editions upon. Between 1871 and 1873, the Manifesto was published in over nine editions in six languages; in 1872 it was published in the United States for the first time, serialised in Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly of New York City. However, by the mid 1870s the Communist Manifesto remained Marx and Engels’ only work to be even moderately well-known.

Over the next forty years, as social-democratic parties rose across Europe and parts of the world, so did the publication of the Manifesto alongside them, in hundreds of editions in thirty languages. Marx and Engels wrote a new preface for the 1882 Russian edition, translated by Georgi Plekhanov in Geneva (but later attributed to “the heroic Vera Zasulich” by Engels). In it they wondered if Russia could directly become a communist society, or if she would become capitalist first like other European countries. After Marx’s death in 1883, Engels alone provided the prefaces for five editions between 1888 and 1893. Among these is the 1888 English edition, translated by Samuel Moore and approved by Engels, who also provided notes throughout the text. It has been the standard English-language edition ever since.

The principle region of its influence, in terms of editions published, was in the “central belt of Europe”, from Russia in the east to France in the west. In comparison, the pamphlet had little impact on politics in southwest and southeast Europe, and moderate presence in the north. Outside Europe, Chinese and Japanese translations were published, as were Spanish editions in Latin America. This uneven geographical spread in the Manifesto‍ ’​s popularity reflected the development of socialist movements in a particular region as well as the popularity of Marxist variety of socialism there. There wasn’t always a strong correlation between a social-democratic party’s strength and the Manifesto‍ ’​s popularity in that country. For instance, the German SPD printed only a few thousand copies of the Communist Manifesto every year, but a few hundred thousand copies of the Erfurt Programme. Further, the mass-based social-democratic parties of the Second Internationaldid not require their rank and file to be well-versed in theory; Marxist works such as the Manifesto or Capital were read primarily by party theoreticians. On the other hand, small, dedicated militant parties and Marxist sects in the West took pride in knowing the theory; Hobsbawm says “This was the milieu in which ‘the clearness of a comrade could be gauged invariably from the number of earmarks on his Manifesto'”.

Ubiquity, 1917–present

The Bolshevik (1920) by Boris Kustodiev.Following the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of Russia Marx/Engels classics like theCommunist Manifesto were distributed far and wide.

Following the October Revolution of 1917 that swept the Vladimir Lenin-led Bolsheviks to power in Russia, the world’s firstsocialist state was founded explicitly along Marxist lines. The Soviet Union, which Bolshevik Russia would become a part of, was a single-party state under the rule of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Unlike their mass-based counterparts of the Second International, the CPSU and other Leninist parties like it in the Third International expected their members to know the classic works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Further, party leaders were expected to base their policy decisions on Marxist-Leninist ideology. Therefore works such as the Manifesto were required reading for the party rank-and-file.

Therefore the widespread dissemination of Marx and Engels’ works became an important policy objective; backed by a sovereign state, the CPSU had relatively inexhaustible resources for this purpose. Works by Marx, Engels and Lenin were published on a very large scale, and cheap editions of their works were available in several languages across the world. These publications were either shorter writings or they were compendia such as the various editions of Marx and Engels’Selected Works, or their Collected Works. This affected the destiny of the Manifesto in several ways. Firstly, in terms of circulation; in 1932 the American and British Communist Parties printed several hundred thousand copies of a cheap edition for “probably the largest mass edition ever issued in English”. Secondly the work entered political-science syllabi in universities, which would only expand after the Second World War. For its centenary in 1948, its publication was no longer the exclusive domain of Marxists and academicians; general publishers too printed theManifesto in large numbers. “In short, it was no longer only a classic Marxist document,” Hobsbawm noted, “it had become a political classic tout court.”

Even after the collapse of Marxism-Leninism in the 1990s, the Communist Manifesto remains ubiquitous; Hobsbawm says that “In states without censorship, almost certainly anyone within reach of a good bookshop, and certainly anyone within reach of a good library, not to mention the internet, can have access to it.” The 150th anniversary once again brought a deluge of attention in the press and the academia, as well as new editions of the book fronted by introductions to the text by academics. One of these, The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition by Verso, was touted by a critic in the London Review of Books as being a “stylish red-ribboned edition of the work. It is designed as a sweet keepsake, an exquisite collector’s item. In Manhattan, a prominent Fifth Avenue store put copies of this choice new edition in the hands of shop-window mannequins, displayed in come-hither poses and fashionable décolletage.”

Influence

Soviet Union stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Manifesto

A number of 21st-century writers have commented on the Communist Manifesto‍ ’​s continuing relevance. Academic John Raines in 2002 noted that “In our day this Capitalist Revolution has reached the farthest corners of the earth. The tool of money has produced the miracle of the new global market and the ubiquitous shopping mall. Read The Communist Manifesto, written more than one hundred and fifty years ago, and you will discover that Marx foresaw it all.”[7] In 2003, the English Marxist Chris Harman stated:

There is still a compulsive quality to its prose as it provides insight after insight into the society in which we live, where it comes from and where its going to. It is still able to explain, as mainstream economists and sociologists cannot, today’s world of recurrent wars and repeated economic crisis, of hunger for hundreds of millions on the one hand and ‘overproduction’ on the other. There are passages that could have come from the most recent writings on globalisation.[8]

The continued relevance of the Marxist theories found within the text has also been supported by Alex Callinicos, editor ofInternational Socialism, who stated that “This is indeed a manifesto for the 21st century.”[9] Writing in The London Evening Standardin 2012, Andrew Neather cited Verso Books‘ 2012 re-edition of The Communist Manifesto, with an introduction by Eric Hobsbawm, as part of a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas which includes the publication of Owen Jones‘ best-selling Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, and Jason Barker‘s documentary Marx Reloaded.[10]

However, not all scholars have praised it. Revisionist Marxist and reformist socialist Eduard Bernstein distinguished between “immature” early Marxism—as exemplified by the Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels in their youth—that he opposed for its violent Blanquist tendencies, and later “mature” Marxism that he supported.[11] This latter form refers to Marx in his later life acknowledging that socialism could be achieved through peaceful means through legislative reform in democratic societies.[12] Bernstein declared that the massive and homogeneous working-class claimed in the Communist Manifesto did not exist, and that contrary to claims of a proletarian majority emerging, the middle-class was growing under capitalism and not disappearing as Marx had claimed. Bernstein noted that the working-class was not homogeneous but heterogeneous, with divisions and factions within it, including socialist and non-socialist trade unions. Marx himself, later in his life, acknowledged that the middle-class was not disappearing, in his work Theories of Surplus Value (1863). The obscurity of the later work means that Marx’s acknowledgement of this error is not well known.[13]

George Boyer described the Manifesto as “very much a period piece, a document of what was called the ‘hungry’ 1840s.”[14]

Many have drawn attention to the passage in the Manifesto that seems to sneer at the stupidity of the rustic: “The bourgeoisie … draws all nations … into civilisation … It has created enormous cities … and thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy [sic!] of rural life”.[15] As Eric Hobsbawm noted, however:

[W]hile there is no doubt that Marx at this time shared the usual townsman’s contempt for, as well as ignorance of, the peasant milieu, the actual and analytically more interesting German phrase (“dem Idiotismus des Landlebens entrissen”) referred not to “stupidity” but to “the narrow horizons”, or “the isolation from the wider society” in which people in the countryside lived. It echoed the original meaning of the Greek term idiotes from which the current meaning of “idiot” or “idiocy” is derived, namely “a person concerned only with his own private affairs and not with those of the wider community”. In the course of the decades since the 1840s, and in movements whose members, unlike Marx, were not classically educated, the original sense was lost and was misread.[16]

End matter

Source text

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

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Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

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Story 1: Is Pope Francis The First Watermelon Pope? – Green On The Outside, Red On The Inside — Trying To Convert Catholics To The Religion of Anti-Scientists Alarmist Socialists — Skeptical Capitalist Heretics Unite — Pope Francis Wrong On Science, Wrong On Economics, Not An Authority — Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Videos

Galileo – “Faith can never conflict with reason” –

~Pope John Paul II – November 4, 1992

climatefactorsCO2andTemp600millionyrstopresentgeocraftDansgaard-Temperature2hansen-1988-a-b-c-scenariosclimate change failco2_800kclimate-reconstructions-1-million-yearsicecore_recordsgreenlandice_fig5

Pope Francis: “Bold Cultural Revolution” Needed to Save Planet from Climate Change & Consumerism

Did Pope Francis go too far on global warming?

Pope Francis’ stand on climate change

Cardinal Suggests Rush Limbaugh Doesn’t Understand What Pope Is Saying On Environment

60 Minutes on Pope Francis (Why the Pope is unlike any pontiff of modern times)

Socialism vs Capitalism: Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman – Is Capitalism Humane? (Lecture)

Murray Rothbard: Free Markets Again?

Pope Francis Gets Owned by Alex Jones

Pope Francis Now The New Face of Climate Change

Rush Limbaugh, Fox Host Attack The Pope

Global Warming: A Religion of Anti-Science – Journalist James Delingpole

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

Climate Change in 12 Minutes The Skeptic s Case By Dr. David M.W. Evans

Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson on the Global Warming Hysteria April, 2015

Freeman Dyson: A Global Warming Heretic & Denier

“…Professor Fred Singer presents the Report “Nature, not Human Activity, Rules the Climate by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change”‘(NIPCC) at CFACT’s International Climate Eco-Summit (I.C.E.), held on December 11, 2009 at the Center for Political Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark. …”

Richard Lindzen

Interview with Professor Richard Lindzen

The experts explain the global warming myth: Richard Lindzen

Richard Lindzen at International Conference on Climate Change

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. Lecture Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria (High Quality Version)

Roy Spencer

Global Warming / Climate Change Hoax – Dr. Roy Spencer (1)

Why Climate Models Are Wrong

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 1 of 6

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 2 of 6

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 3 of 6

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 4 of 6

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 5 of 6

Dr Roy Spencer on Global Warming Part 6 of 6

Fred Singer

Global Warming Debate – Dr. Fred Singer (1 of 2)

Global Warming Debate – Dr. Fred Singer (2 of 2)

Professor Fred Singer on Climate Change pt 1

Professor Fred Singer on Climate Change pt 2

Unstoppable Solar Cycles

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (1 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (2 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (3 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (4 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (5 of 5)

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Climategate: What They Aren’t Telling You!

The 97% Consensus? Global Warming Unmasked!

And yet it moves.

~Galileo Galilei

Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens 1

Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens 2

Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens 12

Nova Galileo’s Battle For The Heavens

The Current Pope’s Advisor On Climate Change (Really?)

Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Climate change: state of play

UC San Diego Professor Advises Pope on Climate Change

How climate-change doubters lost a papal fight

By Anthony Faiola and Chris Mooney

Pope Francis was about to take a major step backing the science behind ­human-driven global warming, and Philippe de Larminat was determined to change his mind.

A French doubter who authored a book arguing that solar activity — not greenhouse gases — was driving global warming, de Larminat sought a spot at a climate summit in April sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Nobel laureates would be there. So would U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs and others calling for dramatic steps to curb carbon emissions.

After securing a high-level meeting at the Vatican, he was told that, space permitting, he could join. He bought a plane ticket from Paris to Rome. But five days before the April 28 summit, de Larminat said, he received an e-mail saying there was no space left. It came after other scientists — as well as the powerful Vatican bureaucrat in charge of the academy — insisted he had no business being there.

“They did not want to hear an off note,” de Larminat said.

The incident highlights how climate-change doubters tried and failed to alter the landmark papal document unveiled last week — one that saw the leader of 1 billion Catholics fuse faith and reason and come to the conclusion that “denial” is wrong.

It marked the latest blow for those seeking to stop the reform-minded train that has become Francis’s papacy. It is one that has reinvigorated liberal Catholics even as it has sowed the seeds of resentment and dissent inside and outside the Vatican’s ancient walls.

Yet the battle lost over climate change also suggests how hard it may be for critics to blunt the power of a man who has become something of a juggernaut in an institution where change tends to unfold over decades, even centuries. More than anything, to those who doubt the human impact of global warming, the position staked out by Francis in his papal document, known as an encyclical, means a major defeat.

“This was their Waterloo,” said Kert Davies, executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, who has been tracking ­climate-change deniers for years. “They wanted the encyclical not to happen. And it happened.”

Growth in the Internet of Things promises to transform life, work and industry.READ MORE

Papal advisers say Francis signaled his intent to draft a major document on the environment soon after assuming the throne of St. Peter in March 2013. His interest in the topic dates to his days as a bishop in Buenos Aires, where Francis, officials say, was struck by the effects of floods and unsanitary conditions on Argentine shantytowns known as “misery villages.”

In January, Francis officially announced his goal of drafting the encyclical — saying after an official visit to the Philippines that he wanted to make a “contribution” to the debate ahead of a major U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December.

But several efforts by those skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change to influence the document appear to have come considerably later — in April — and, maybe, too late.

In late April, the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a free-market group that serves as a hub of skepticism regarding the science of human-caused global warming, sent a delegation to the Vatican. As a Heartland news release put it, they hoped “to inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science: There is no global warming crisis!”

It was meant to coincide with the same April meeting that de Larminat was trying to attend. Heartland’s activists were not part of the invited contingent, either, Heartland communications director Jim Lakely said.

“It was a side event,” he said. “We were outside the walls of the Vatican. We were at a hotel — literally, I could throw a football into St. Peter’s Square.”

Seven scientists and other experts gave speeches at the Heartland event, raising doubts about various aspects of the scientific consensus on climate change, even as several also urged the pope not to take sides in the debate. It’s impossible to know how that influenced those in the Vatican working on the pope’s document — which one Vatican official said was at “an advanced stage.” But Lakely said his group did not see much of its argument reflected in the final document.

“We all want the poor to live better lives, but we just don’t think the solution to that is to restrict the use of fossil fuels, because we don’t think CO2 is causing a climate crisis,” Lakely said. “So if that’s our message in a sentence, that message was not reflected in the encyclical, so there you go.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-climate-change-doubters-lost-a-papal-fight/2015/06/20/86af3182-15ce-11e5-8457-4b431bf7ed4c_story.html

Read Pope Francis’s full document on Climate Change

n the 192-page paper released Thursday, the pope lays out the argument for a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change — a position bringing him immediately into conflict with skeptics, whom he chides for their “denial.” And you can also read 10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/18/read-pope-franciss-full-document-on-climate-change/

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

In his encyclical, read by a nun at the Vatican on Thursday, Francis focused on the harm climate change poses to the poor. CreditMax Rossi/Reuters

Francis has made it clear that he hopes the encyclical will influence energy and economic policy and stir a global movement. He calls on ordinary people to press politicians for change. Catholic bishops and priests around the world are expected to discuss the encyclical in services on Sunday. But Francis is also reaching for a wider audience, asking in the document “to address every person living on this planet.”

Even before the encyclical, the pope’s stance against environmental destruction and his demand for global action had already thrilled many scientists. Advocates of policies to combat climate change have said they hoped that Francis could lend a “moral dimension” to the debate.

“Within the scientific community, there is almost a code of honor that you will never transgress the red line between pure analysis and moral issues,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and chairman of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “But we are now in a situation where we have to think about the consequences of our insight for society.”

Francis has been sharply criticized by those who question or deny the established science of human-caused climate change, and also by some conservative Roman Catholics, who see the encyclical as an attack on capitalism and as political meddling.

Graphic: On Planet in Distress, a Papal Call to Action

Governments are now developing domestic climate-change plans to prepare for aUnited Nations summit meeting on the issue in Paris in December. The meeting’s goal is to achieve a sweeping accord in which every nation would commit to new policies to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. Many governments have yet to present plans, including major emitters like Brazil, which has a large Catholic population. The encyclical is seen as an unsubtle nudge for action.

“It gives a lot of cover to political and economic leaders in those countries, as they make decisions on climate change policy,” said Timothy Wirth, vice chairman of the United Nations Foundation.

Catholic theologians say the overarching theme of the encyclical is “integral ecology,” which links care for the environment with a notion already well developed in Catholic teaching: that economic development, to be morally good and just, must take into account people’s need for things like freedom, education and meaningful work.

“The basic idea is, in order to love God, you have to love your fellow human beings, and you have to love and care for the rest of creation,” said Vincent Miller, who holds a chair in Catholic theology and culture at the University of Dayton, a Catholic college in Ohio. “It gives Francis a very traditional basis to argue for the inclusion of environmental concern at the center of Christian faith.”

Photo

Metropolitan of Pergamon John Zizioulas, left, and Cardinal Peter Turkson presented the 184-page papal encyclical on Thursday.CreditAndrew Medichini/Associated Press

He added: “Critics will say the church can’t teach policy, the church can’t teach politics. And Francis is saying, ‘No, these things are at the core of the church’s teaching.’ ”

Francis tapped a wide variety of sources in his encyclical, partly to underscore the universality of his message. He cites passages from his two papal predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and draws prominently from a religious ally, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He also cites a ninth-century Sufi mystic, Ali al-Khawas.

“This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church,” Francis writes. The Bible teaches human beings to “till and keep” the garden of the world, he says. “ ‘Tilling’ refers to cultivating, plowing or working, while ‘keeping’ means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving.”

His most stinging rebuke is a broad critique of profit-seeking and the undue influence of technology on society. He praises achievements in medicine, science and engineering, but says that “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

Central to Francis’ theme is the link between poverty and the planet’s fragility. The pope rejects the belief that technology and “current economics” will solve environmental problems, or “that the problems of global hunger and poverty will be resolved simply by market growth.”

“A huge indictment I see in this encyclical is that people have lost their sense of ultimate and proper goals of technology and economics,” said Christiana Z. Peppard, an assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University in New York. “We are focused on short-term, consumerist patterns.”

Encyclicals are letters to the clergy and laity of the church that are considered authoritative. Catholics are expected to try to sincerely embrace their teachings. But more specific assertions in them can be categorized as “prudential judgments,” a phrase that some critics have invoked to reject Francis’ positions on issues like climate change or economic inequality.

Many conservatives will be pleased with the encyclical’s strong criticism of abortion, and its dismissal of arguments that population control can be an answer to poverty. However, Francis sharply criticizes the trading of carbon credits — a market-based system central to the European Union’s climate policy — and says it “may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”

Above all, Francis frames the encyclical as a call to action. He praises young people for being ready for change, and said “enforceable international agreements are urgently needed.” He cites Benedict in saying that advanced societies “must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency.”

“All is not lost,” he writes. “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?_r=0

The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis

The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.

By ILLIAM M BRIGGS Published on June 22, 2015

1.4K432641
William M Briggs

St. Francis of Assisi’s hymn Laudato Si’ spoke of “Brothers” Sun and Fire and “Sisters” Moon and Water, using these colorful phrases figuratively, as a way of praising God’s creation. These sentimental words so touched Pope Francis that he named his encyclical after this canticle (repeated in paragraph 87 of the Holy Father’s letter).

Neither Pope Francis nor St. Francis took the words literally, of course. Neither believed that fire was alive and could be talked to or reasoned with or, worse, worshiped. Strange, then, that a self-professed atheist and scientific advisor to the Vatican named Hans Schellnhuber appears to believe in a Mother Earth.

Gaia

The Gaia Principle, first advanced by chemist James Lovelock (who has lately had second thoughts) and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, says that all life interacts with the Earth, and the Earth with all life, to form a giant self-regulating, living system.

This goes far beyond the fact that the Earth’s climate system has feedbacks, which are at the very center of the debate over climate change. In the Gaia Principle, Mother Earth is alive, and even, some think, aware in some ill-defined, mystical way. The Earth knows man and his activities and, frankly, isn’t too happy with him.

This is what we might call “scientific pantheism,” a kind that appeals to atheistic scientists. It is an updated version of the pagan belief that the universe itself is God, that the Earth is at least semi-divine — a real Brother Sun and Sister Water! Mother Earth is immanent in creation and not transcendent, like the Christian God.

What’s this have to do with Schellnhuber? In the 1999 Nature paper “‘Earth system’ analysis and the second Copernican revolution,” he said:

Ecosphere science is therefore coming of age, lending respectability to its romantic companion, Gaia theory, as pioneered by Lovelock and Margulis. This hotly debated ‘geophysiological’ approach to Earth-system analysis argues that the biosphere contributes in an almost cognizant way to self-regulating feedback mechanisms that have kept the Earth’s surface environment stable and habitable for life.

Geo-physiological, in case you missed it. Cognizant, in black and white. So dedicated is Schellnhuber to this belief that he says “the Gaia approach may even include the influence of biospheric activities on the Earth’s plate-tectonic processes.”  Not the other way around, mind you, where continental drift and earthquakes effects life, but where life effects earthquakes.

He elaborates:

Although effects such as the glaciations may still be interpreted as over-reactions to small disturbances — a kind of cathartic geophysiological fever — the main events, resulting in accelerated maturation by shock treatment, indicate that Gaia faces a powerful antagonist. Rampino has proposed personifying this opposition as Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

Mother Earth gets the flu and instead of white blood cells and a rise in temperature to fend off the infection, it sends white ice and a decrease in temperatures. How? Geophysiologically! I remind the reader that our author, writing in one of the world’s most prominent science journals, does not use these propositions metaphorically. He proposes them as actual mechanisms.

Schellnhuber echoes the theme of a cognizant, i.e. self-aware, planet in another (co-authored) 2004 paper in Nature 2004, “Climbing the co-evolution ladder,” suggesting again that mankind is an infection, saying that mankind “perturbs … the global ‘metabolism’” of the planet.

Tipping Points

Schellnhuber, a one-time quantum physicist who turned his attention to Mother Earth late in his career, was also co-author of a 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper “Imprecise probability assessment of tipping points in the climate system,” which asked select scientists their gut assessment about the arrival of various “tipping points.” Tipping points are a theme of Schellnhuber’s research (see inter alia this and this).

Tipping points are supposed moments when some doom which might have been avoided if some action had been taken, is no longer possible to avoid and will arrive no matter what. Tipping points have come and gone in climate forecasts for decades now. The promised dooms never arrive but the false prophets never quit.  Their intent is less to forecast than to induce something short of panic in order to plead for political intervention. When the old tipping point is past, theorists just change the date, issue new warnings and hope no one will notice.

One of the tipping points Schellnhuber asked about was the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, depending on what the temperature did. All of the selected experts (who answered the questions in 2004 and 2005) gave moderate (~15-25%) to quite high probabilities (50-80%) for this event to have occurred by 2015. The ice did not melt.

Schellnhuber Michelangelo Gaia

Schellnhuber presented more tipping points to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2014 in the co-authored paper, “Climate-System Tipping Points and Extreme Weather Events.” In that paper, Schellnhuber has a “scientific” graph with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Adam “flicking” a planet earth over a methane tipping point, such that the earth would roll down into a fiery pit labeled the “Warming Abyss.” Hell on earth.

The Problem of People

Schellnhuber is most famous for predicting that the “carrying capacity” of the earth is “below” 1 billion people. When confronted with this, he called those who quoted him “liars.” But he then repeated the same claim, saying, “All I said was that if we had unlimited global warming of eight degrees warming, maybe the carrying capacity of the earth would go down to just 1 billion, and then the discussion would be settled.”  And he has often said that this temperature tipping point would be reached — unless “actions” were taken.

The man is suspicious of people. In that same interview he said, “If you want to reduce human population, there are wonderful means: Improve the education of girls and young women.” Since young women already know where babies come from, and since this knowledge tends neither to increase nor decrease population, the “education” he has in mind must be facts about how to avoid the consequences of sex. Austin Ruse discovered a 2009 talk in which Schellnhuber said the earth “will explode” due to resource depletion once the population reaches 9 billion, a number that the UN projects in 2050. Presumably he wants earth to avoid that fate, so he mustsupport the population control that Pope Francis so clearly repudiated in his encyclical.

Bad Religion

Confirmation bias happens when a scientist manipulates an experiment so that he gets the outcome he hoped he would get. When Schellnhuber invites only believers in tipping-points-of-doom to characterize their guesses of this doom, his view that the doom is real will be confirmed. And when he publishes a paper that says, “Scientists say world is doomed” the public and politicians believe it. Scientists skeptical of the doom are dismissed because they are skeptics. This isn’t good science. It’s really bad religion, and a pagan one at that.

Global warming research is characterized by an insider’s club. If you believe, you’re in. If you doubt, you’re out. This is also so at the Pontifical Academies of Science where Schellnhuber was appointed by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The bishop locked scientists with contrary views out of the process, scientists he has repeatedly dismissed as “funded by the oil industry.” Given this, how likely is it that the Holy Father was fully aware of the views of the chief scientist who advised him?

https://stream.org/scientific-pantheist-who-advises-pope-francis/

Background Articles and Videos

An Honest IPCC Scientist Tackles ‘ClimateGate’

Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

“…On June 2, as Congress debated global warming legislation that would raise energy costs to consumers by hundreds of billions of dollars, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released an 880-page book challenging the scientific basis of concerns that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects.

In “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals.

The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.

The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC’s self-imposed deadline of May 2006.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). …”

http://www.climatechangereconsidered.org/

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President Barack Obama’s Role Model–President Franklin D. Roosevelt–The Worse President For The U.S. and World Economies and The American People–With The Same Results–High Unemployment Rates–Over 25 Million American Citizens Seeking Full Time Jobs Today–Worse Than The Over 13 Million Seeking Jobs During The Worse of The Great Depression!

Progressives

Progressive Radical Socialist Health Care Plan Written In Prison By Convicted Felon Richard Creamer!

Obamanomics–New Deal Progressive Radical Socialist Interventionism

Eugenics, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, and Designer Babies–Videos

The Great Depression and the Current Recession–Robert Higgs–Videos

The Obama Depression: Lessons Learned–Deja Vu!

Lord Christopher Monckton–Climate Change–Treaty–Videos

Progressive Radical Socialist Canned Criticism of American People: Danger, Profits, and Wrong Thinking

The Battle For The World Economy–Videos

Broom Budget Busting Bums: Replace The Entire Congress–Tea Party Express and Patriots–United We Stand!

Obama’s Civilian National Security Force–Youth Corp Wave–Friendly Fascism Faces–Cons–Crooks–Communists–Communities–Corps!

Obama’s Hidden Agenda and Covert Cadre of Marxists, Communists, Progressives, Radicals, Socialists–Far Left Democrats Destroying Capitalism and The American Republic

Yuri Bezmenov On KGB Soviet Propaganda and Subversion–Videos

The Bloody History of Communism–Videos

Obama Youth–Civilian National Security Force–National Socialism–Hitler Youth–Brownshirts– Redux?–Collectivism!

American Progressive Liberal Fascism–The Wave of The Future Or Back To Past Mistakes?

Today’s Progressives–Obama’s Radical Socialist Democratic Party

President Obama–Killer of The American Dream and Market Capitalism–Stop The Radical Socialists Before They Kill You!

The Progressive Radical Socialist Family Tree–ACORN & AmeriCorps–Time To Chop It Down

It Is Official–America On The Obama Road To Fascism–Thomas Sowell!

President Obama and His Keynesian Spending Cult of The Fascist Democrat Radicals–FDRs

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American People’s Crisis of Confidence in Big Government And Out of Control Spending and Taxes — Abandoning Both Political Parties — The Coming Of A Third Independent Party — Toppling Two Party Tyranny — The Wealth Creators Will Lead The American Renaissance — Videos

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Story 1: American People’s Crisis of Confidence in Big Government And Out of Control Spending and Taxes — Abandoning Both Political Parties — The Coming Of A Third Independent Party — Toppling Two Party Tyranny — The Wealth Creators Will Lead The American Renaissance — Videos

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confidence in institutions

Free Market Revolution -The Solution to what Ails America Today

The mission of the Financial Policy Council Inc. (FPC), a research think tank and educational institution, is to formulate and promote sound public policy based on the principles of free enterprise and wealth creation as envisioned by the ideals of the American Founding Fathers.

Our goal is to ensure that America, the land of opportunity where freedom and prosperity have flourished, is not derailed by poorly formulated and reactive economic, fiscal and tax policy. In addition, our goal is to retain and reclaim America’s leading role in the global economic community.

Dr. Yaron Brook | Why Be Selfish? | Full Length HD

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

Confidence In Institutions – GBTV

Matt Welch Tackles Two Party Tyranny on Stossel

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Milton Friedman on Classical Liberalism

Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Capitalism Humane?

Milton Friedman Speaks –

Myths That Conceal Reality

  • Americans’ confidence in presidency up four points, at 33%
  • Thirty-two percent have confidence in the Supreme Court
  • Congress retains the least confidence, at 8%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in each of the three branches of the U.S. government remains low, with confidence in Congress and the Supreme Court near their all-time lows reached last year. Currently, 33% of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the presidency, 32% are this confident in the Supreme Court, and Congress is still well behind, at 8%.

Trend: Americans' Level of Confidence in the Three Branches of Government

While Congress has consistently received the lowest confidence rating of the three branches of government, the Supreme Court and the presidency usually track each other closely. This is apart from times when the incumbent president has been extremely popular, as in 1991 and 2002, or exceptionally unpopular, as in 2007 and 2008.

Gallup’s June 2-7 poll found confidence in the presidency rising slightly to 33% from 29% last year, which in turn was just four percentage points above the historical low of 25% in 2007. The uptick in confidence in the presidency this year is consistent with Americans’ higher job approval ratings of President Barack Obama since last fall.

Meanwhile, ratings of the Supreme Court and Congress, which had dropped to record lows in 2014, have barely moved.

Confidence in the Presidency in Obama’s Seventh Year Exceeds Bush’s

The president in office is not mentioned by name in the confidence in the presidency question, but Americans’ evaluations of the sitting president at the time are strongly related to how much confidence Americans place in the presidency as an institution.

Confidence in the presidency as an institution during each year of Obama’s presidency has generally been lower than the comparable year in the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. An exception is Obama’s first year, when Americans had greater confidence in the institution than in the first years of either Bush or Clinton. Also, in Obama’s current year in office, his seventh, confidence in the presidency is higher than the 25% found in Bush’s seventh year — the record low — but lower than the 49% in Clinton’s seventh year.

Americans' Level of Confidence in the U.S. Presidency, by Term Year

The highest confidence rating the presidency has ever received is 72%, in March 1991 during the administration of George H.W. Bush shortly after he had succeeded in pushing Iraq out of Kuwait in the Gulf War. However, by October of that same year, after the Gulf War was over, confidence in the presidency had dropped to 50%.

Average Confidence in the Three Branches Is Low, but Has Been Lower

The average confidence rating for the three branches of government combined is 24%, lower than most previous averages since 1991 and well below the high of 50% that year.

But the average of confidence ratings for the three branches of government has been lower — including in 2008 (23%) and 2014 (22%).

Trend: Average of Americans' Confidence Ratings of the Three Branches of Government

Bottom Line

Americans’ confidence in two of the three institutions that make up the U.S. government — Congress and the Supreme Court — remains near their all-time lows reached in 2014, while confidence in the presidency, although low, is up marginally compared with last year.

For Congress, low confidence in the institution is nothing new to members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, who have also seen low job approval ratings in recent years. Individual members likely aren’t as interested in Americans’ collective opinions as they are in the views of the voters they must appeal to back home. But the public’s extremely low confidence no doubt weighs on Congress at some level.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is not directly accountable to the public — and often defies public opinion completely. Although its unelected members serve indefinite terms, confidence in the court is not unsusceptible to a drop in confidence in government as a whole.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 2-7, 2015, with a random sample of 1,527 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/183605/confidence-branches-government-remains-low.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles

Americans Have Lost Confidence … in Everything

It’s not just Congress and the economy that have Americans concerned these days.

Stock image of the U.S. Capitol on the back of a U.S. $20 bill.

Americans expressed a lack of confidence in banks and Congress, among other institutions.

By June 17, 2015 | 7:20 a.m. EDT+ More

Americans have little confidence in most of their major institutions including Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, banks and organized religion, according to the latest Gallup poll.

“Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one,” a Gallup spokesman said in a news release. Only the military, in which 72 percent of Americans express confidence, up from a historical average of 68 percent, and small business, with 67 percent confidence, up from 63, are currently rated higher than their historical norms. This is based on the percentage expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in these institutions, the Gallup spokesman said.

Only 8 percent have confidence in Congress, down by 16 points from a long-term average of 24 percent – the lowest of all institutions rated. The rating is about the same as last year’s 7 percent, the lowest Gallup has ever measured for any institution.

Kanishka Berashk currently lives in Kabul. His U.S. citizen wife asked the Supreme Court to force greater explanation for his visa denial.

Thirty-three percent have confidence in the presidency, a drop from a historical average of 43 percent.

Thirty-two percent have confidence in the Supreme Court, down from 44.

All in all, it’s a picture of a nation discouraged about its present and worried about its future, and highly doubtful that its institutions can pull America out of its trough. In a political context, the findings indicate that the growing number of presidential candidates for 2016 will have a difficult time instilling confidence in a skeptical electorate that they have the answers to the country’s problems.

“Americans’ confidence in most major institutions has been down for many years as the nation has dealt with prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a major recession and sluggish economic improvement, and partisan gridlock in Washington,” the Gallup spokesman said. “In fact, 2004 was the last year most institutions were at or above their historical average levels of confidence. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2004 was also the last year Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States averaged better than 40 percent. Currently, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation.”

The Gallup spokesman added: “From a broad perspective, Americans’ confidence in all institutions over the last two years has been the lowest since Gallup began systematic updates of a larger set of institutions in 1993.”

Twenty-eight percent have confidence in banks, down from 40 percent.

Twenty-one percent have confidence in big business, down from 24 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in organized labor, down from 26.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in newspapers, down from 32 percent. Twenty-one percent have confidence in television news, down from 30 percent.

The police also have experienced a drop in public esteem, with 52 percent of Americans saying they are confident in the police compared with 57 percent who have been confident in the police historically. Police have been widely criticized in recent months for abusive tactics toward African-Americans, which resulted in the deaths of several black men.

Forty-two percent express confidence in organized religion, down from 55.

“Americans continue to show lower levels of confidence in most of the major institutions central to U.S. society, with only the military and small business getting ratings in 2015 that are above their historical averages,” the Gallup spokesman said. “That speaks to the broader dissatisfaction Americans have with the state of the nation more generally over the past decade as the U.S. has faced serious economic, international and political challenges. Americans have tended to be more confident in U.S. institutions when the economy has been strong, such as in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s and early 2000s. Although Americans are now more upbeat about the economy than they were in 2008-2013, they are not yet convinced that the economy is good, given that their assessments of national economic conditions remain more negative than positive.”

AMERICANS LOSE CONFIDENCE IN EVERYTHING

Poll shows views turning negative on banks, government, religion, police, media

An explosive new Gallup poll shows Americans have lost confidence in almost every major institution – from the U.S. presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court to banks and organized religion.

“Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one,” a Gallup spokesman said.

Only the military (72 percent) and small business (67 percent) have Americans’ increasing confidence, both of which are now rated 4 percentage points higher than their historical norms, according to the poll.

Congress – which plunged 16 points from its average of 24 points – is the lowest ranking institution at just 8 percent.

Just as numerous presidential candidates attempt to convince America that they have the answers to the nation’s problems, the poll shows only one-third, or 33 percent, of Americans have confidence in the presidency, a nosedive from the historical average of 43 percent.

Likewise, just 32 percent said they have confidence in the Supreme Court, which is down from an average of 44 just before the court announces its decisions on landmark issues such as same-sex marriage and Obamacare subsidies to states without insurance-exchange websites.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/06/gallup_2015.jpg

gallup_2015

“Americans’ confidence in most major institutions has been down for many years as the nation has dealt with prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a major recession and sluggish economic improvement, and partisan gridlock in Washington,” a Gallup spokesman said. “In fact, 2004 was the last year most institutions were at or above their historical average levels of confidence. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2004 was also the last year Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States averaged better than 40 percent. Currently, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation.”

In 2004, President George W. Bush was re-elected and the U.S. transferred sovereignty and control of Iraq back to the Iraqi people.

At the beginning of 2004, the U.S. economy was booming. Four middle-class tax cuts were extended, including a $1,000-per-couple child tax credit, expansion of the lowest (10 percent) tax bracket, exceptions for the alternative minimum tax, and relief from the “marriage penalty” for two-income families. Another $140 billion in tax relief was granted to U.S. business. Unemployment dropped from 5.7 percent to 5.4 percent.

Regarding the latest poll numbers, the Gallup spokesman added, “From a broad perspective, Americans’ confidence in all institutions over the last two years has been the lowest since Gallup began systematic updates of a larger set of institutions in 1993.”

In the last two years, Americans have seen President Obama begin his second term of office. Amid an explosion of legalized same-sex marriage in numerous U.S. states, the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Americans witnessed the debt-ceiling crisis in October 2013, which resulted in the shutdown of the federal government and furlough of federal workers.

By 2014, the Obama administration had announced its plan to shrink the military budget to $522 billion and slash the Army to a size unseen since before World War II. The nation also saw Americans impacted by a West African Ebola outbreak and revelations that the Veterans Administration had covered up exceedingly long wait times for veterans seeking medical attention.

The year 2014 also saw the rise of terrorist group ISIS and racial riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and St. Louis after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in August. By 2015, riots had broken out in Baltimore, Maryland, over the shooting of Freddie Gray.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/06/Gallup_2015b.jpg

Gallup_2015b

According to the Gallup poll, 28 percent of Americans now have confidence in banks, compared to the historical average of 40 percent.

Twenty-one percent said they have confidence in big business, down from 24 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in organized labor, down from 26 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in newspapers, down from 32 percent.

Twenty-one percent have confidence in TV news, down from 30 percent.

Fifty-two percent have confidence in police, down from 57 percent.

Forty-two percent have confidence in organized religion, down from 55.

“Americans continue to show lower levels of confidence in most of the major institutions central to U.S. society, with only the military and small business getting ratings in 2015 that are above their historical averages,” the Gallup spokesman said.

“That speaks to the broader dissatisfaction Americans have with the state of the nation more generally over the past decade as the U.S. has faced serious economic, international and political challenges. Americans have tended to be more confident in U.S. institutions when the economy has been strong, such as in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s and early 2000s.”

While Americans are more confident in the economy than they were from 2008 to 2013, the Gallup spokesman said, “[T]hey are not yet convinced that the economy is good, given that their assessments of national economic conditions remain more negative than positive.”

http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/poll-americans-lose-confidence-in-everything/

List of political parties in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of political parties in the United States, both past and present.

Parties with federal representation

Current United States Congressional seats

Political Parties House of Representatives Senate
Republican Party 245 54
Democratic Party 188 44
Independent 0 2
Vacant 2 0

Congressional leadership of the House of Representatives

Position Representative
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R)
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R)
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D)

Congressional leadership of the Senate

Position Senator
President of the Senate Joe Biden (D)
President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R)
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D)

The Vice President of the United States has the additional duty of President of the Senate. Because the number of seats in the United States Senate is an even number (two senators per state), it is the Vice President’s duty as President of the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event that “they be equally divided”—an equal number of Senators voting both for and against a motion.

Parties with state representation

Political Parties State Lower Chamber Seats State Upper Chamber Seats
Republican Party 3,044 1,134
Democratic Party 2,344 832
Vermont Progressive Party 6 3
Working Families Party 1 1
Conservative Party of New York State 1 0
Independence Party of New York 1 0
Independent 13 3
Vacant 4 3
Total 5,411 1,972

Major political parties

A party that has “an independent state organization… in a majority of the states”[1] is listed as a major party. An “independent state organization” is not to be confused with the organization of an Independent Democrat or Independent Republican.

Political Party States* Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
Democratic Party 50 + DC 1828 Progressive Alliance[2]
Republican Party 50 + DC 1854 International Democrat Union
Libertarian Party 48 + DC[3] 1971 Interlibertarians[4]
Green Party 36 + DC[5] 1991 Global Greens
Constitution Party 26[5] 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party

Minor political parties

This listing of minor parties does not include independents.

Political Party Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
America First Party 2002
American Conservative Party 2008
American Freedom Party 2010 American Third Position Party
American Populist Party 2009
America’s Party 2008 America’s Independent Party
Christian Liberty Party* 1996 American Heritage Party
Citizens Party of the United States 2004 New American Independent Party
Communist Party USA 1919 International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
Freedom Socialist Party 1966
Independent American Party 1998
Justice Party 2011
Modern Whig Party 2008
National Socialist Movement 1974 National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement World Union of National Socialists
Objectivist Party 2008
Party for Socialism and Liberation 2004
Peace and Freedom Party 1967
Pirate Party 2006 Pirate Party International (observer)
Prohibition Party 1869
Reform Party of the United States of America 1995 United We Stand America
Socialist Action 1983 Fourth International
Socialist Alternative 1986 Labor Militant Committee for a Workers’ International
Socialist Equality Party 1966 Workers League International Committee of the Fourth International
Socialist Party USA 1973
Socialist Workers Party 1938 Pathfinder tendency (unofficial)
United States Marijuana Party 2002
United States Pacifist Party 1983
Unity Party of America 2004
Workers World Party 1959

Regional parties

These parties are based only in states or certain regions and rarely, if ever, offer candidates for national offices. These are all parties that are unaffiliated with national parties. Each state has official state chapters of the major parties as well as some of the minor parties.

Alaska

Connecticut

Delaware

Hawaii

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Ohio

Oregon

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

U.S. Virgin Islands

Vermont

Wisconsin

Historical parties

The following parties are no longer functioning; they are listed in order of founding.

Non-electoral organizations

These organizations do not nominate candidates for election but otherwise function similarly to political parties. Some of them have nominated candidates in the past.

Political Party Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
American Falangist Party 1985
American Nazi Party 1959 World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists
American Reform Party 1997
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 1991 Committees of Correspondence
Communist Voice Organization 1995
Democratic Socialists of America 1982 Socialist International
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (freedomroad.org group) 1985
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (frso.org group) 1985 International Communist Seminar
Fourth International Caucus(faction of Solidarity) 1995 Fourth International (USFI)
Greens/Green Party USA 1991
International Socialist Organization 1977
Internationalism 1970 International Communist Current
Internationalist Group 1996 League for the Fourth International
Internationalist Workers’ Group 2002 International Communist Tendency
League for the Revolutionary Party 1976 Communist Organization for the Fourth International
League of Revolutionaries for a New America 1993
News and Letters Committees 1955
Progressive Labor Party 1961 Progressive Labor Movement *
Refoundation and Revolution(faction of Solidarity) 2002 Trotskyist League Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA 1975 Revolutionary Union
Revolutionary Organization of Labor 1961 Ray O. Light International Communist Seminar, International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (International Newsletter), International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations
Social Democrats, USA 1972
Socialist Organizer 1991 Fourth International (International Center of Reconstruction)
Socialist Workers Organization 2001
Solidarity 1986
Spartacist League 1966 International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)
The Spark 1971 International Communist Union
U.S. Marxist–Leninist Organization 1981
Workers Party 2003
World Socialist Party of the United States 1916 Socialist Party of the UnitedStatesSocialist Educational SocietyWorkers’ Socialist Party World Socialist Movement

See also

References

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States

Ambassador Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim

Since its inception in 1995, the Index of Economic Freedom has chronicled hundreds of examples of government policy changes that have enhanced economic freedom, thereby promoting human progress and greater prosperity. As the Index has catalogued, nations with higher degrees of economic freedom prosper because they capitalize more fully on the ability of the free-market system not only to generate, but also to reinforce dynamic growth through efficient resource allocation, value creation, and innovation. Policies that promote freedom, whether through improvements in the rule of law, the promotion of competition and openness, or suitable restraints on the size and economic reach of government, turn out in practice to offer and advance practical solutions to a wide range of economic and social challenges that face the world’s societies.

The findings of the 2015 Index once again demonstrate the strongly positive linkages between economic freedom and various dimensions of human development. Many of the linkages are straightforward: Higher taxes, for example, reduce investment and hurt job growth. Others, such as the impact on economic growth from the promotion of property rights or the maintenance of a stable monetary system, are more intricate, multidimensional, and nonlinear.

Even in these cases, however, the evidence is strong that adherence to the principles of economic freedom is an unmatched strategy for promoting solutions to human problems and advancing overall well-being. No alternative systems—and many have been tried—come close to the record of free-market capitalism in promoting growth and improving the human condition.

Economic Freedom: Advancing Opportunity

Today’s successful economies are not necessarily geographically large or richly blessed with natural resources. Many economies have managed to expand opportunities for their citizens by enhancing their economic dynamism. In general, the overarching objective of economic policies must be to create an environment that provides the most opportunity for the widest range of activities that can lead to increased prosperity.

The Index results have shown that sustaining such economic dynamism is achievable only when governments adopt economic policies that empower individuals and firms with more choices, encouraging greater entrepreneurship.

It is noteworthy that despite recent policy missteps by many countries in responding to the global economic slowdown, which amounted to a political assault on capitalism in some places, the free-market system is not on the verge of breakdown. In fact, as the negative impact of regulatory and spending mistakes has become apparent, a greater number of people around the world seem to be realizing that the economic damage inflicted by the heavy hand of government—subpar growth, deteriorating entrepreneurial environments, and lower employment growth—is not inevitable, but rather the result of bad policy choices.

Even as the free market has been under challenge in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Russia, and even the United States, many other governments around the world have acknowledged its superiority. Decades of evidence, some presented in the pages of this Index, are hard for even the most ideological governments to ignore. Not only does the free-market system remain viable, but many of its core features, such as private property rights, openness to trade and investment, and fiscal discipline, have entrenched themselves as the policy standard, any deviation from which requires strong justification.

Economic Freedom: Promoting Prosperity

In many respects, economic freedom is merely shorthand for an openness to entrepreneurial activity that increases opportunity for individuals to succeed in their endeavors. Chart 1 shows the close correspondence between economic freedom and entrepreneurial opportunity as measured by the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-index of the Legatum Prosperity Index, which “measures a country’s entrepreneurial environment, its promotion of innovative activity, and the evenness ofopportunity.”

Given such a strong relationship, it should be apparent that a government’s most effective stimulus activity will not be to increase its own spending or increase layers of regulation, both of which reduce economic freedom. The best results are likely to be achieved instead through policy reforms that improve the incentives that drive entrepreneurial activity, creating more opportunities for greater economicdynamism.

Equally notable are the fundamental benefits that stem from the strong positive relationship between economic freedom and levels of per capita income. For countries achieving scores in the Index that reflect even moderate levels of economic freedom (60 or above), the relationship between economic freedom and per capita GDP is highly significant.

As indicated in Chart 2, countries moving up the economic freedom scale show increasingly high levels of average income. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” in the 2015 Index enjoy incomes that are over twice the average levels in all other countries and more than five times higher than the incomes of “repressed” economies.

Economic Freedom: Antidote to Poverty

By a great many measures, the past two decades during which the Index has been charting the advance of economic freedom have been the most prosperous in the history of humankind. Those countries that have adopted some version of free-market capitalism, with economies supported by efficient regulations and open to the free flow of goods, services, and capital, have participated in an era of globalization and economic integration in which solutions to many of the world’s development problems have taken hold and generated real improvements in living standards.

The free-market system that is rooted in the principles of economic freedom has fueled unprecedented economic growth around the world. As Chart 3 illustrates, as the global economy has moved toward greater economic freedom over the past two decades, real world GDP has increased by about 70 percent, and the global poverty rate has been cut in half, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Greater economic freedom has had a positive impact not just on the number of people in poverty, but also on the intensity of the poverty still experienced by some. Poverty intensity as measured by the United Nations Development Programme’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, which assesses the nature and intensity of deprivation at the individual level in education, health outcomes, and standard of living, is much lower on average in countries with higher levels of economic freedom. Chart 5 shows that the intensity of poverty in countries whose economies are considered mostly free or moderately free is only about one-fourth the level in countries that are rated less free.

The key driver of poverty reduction is dynamic and resilient economic growth that creates jobs. Not surprisingly, one of the most important goals of economic policy in almost every country in the world has thus been to increase the rate of economic growth.

As Chart 4 demonstrates, there is a robust relationship between improving economic freedom and achieving higher per capita economic growth. Whether long-term (20 years), medium-term (10 years), or short-term (five years), the relationship between changes in economic freedom and changes in economic growth is consistently positive.

Undeniably, countries moving toward greater economic freedom tend to achieve higher rates of per capita GDP growth over time. Whether in the short term or over the long run, the average annual per capita economic growth rates of countries that have grown economic freedom the most are at least 50 percent higher than those of countries where freedom has stagnated or slowed.

Economic Freedom: Societal Development and Democratic Progress

Growing economic freedom is unequivocally about more than financial success. Achieving greater overall prosperity that goes beyond materialistic and monetary dimensions of well-being is equally important. The societal benefits of economic freedom extend far beyond higher incomes or reductions in poverty. Countries with higher levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of overall human development as measured by the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, literacy, education, and the standard of living in countries worldwide. As Chart 6 shows, governments that choose policies that increase economic freedom are placing their societies on the pathway to more education opportunities, better health care, and higher standards of living for their citizens.

In some countries, government policies and actions concerning the environment have become more intrusive and economically distortionary. Many governments have pushed programs to tax carbon emissions and increase taxes on gasoline, organized non-transparent and sometimes corrupt exchanges for the buying and selling of carbon emissions, and provided subsidies for “clean” energy to politically favored firms. Such policies impose a huge direct cost on society, and they also retard economic growth—and all for uncertain environmental benefits.

Interestingly, the same free-market principles that have proven to be the key to economic success have also proven to deliver environmental success. Around the world, economic freedom has been shown to increase countries’ capacity for innovation and thus to improve overall environmental performance.

The positive link between economic freedom and higher levels of innovation ensures greater economic dynamism in coping with various developmental challenges, and the most remarkable improvements in clean energy use and energy efficiency over the past decades have occurred not as a result of government regulation, but rather because of advances in technology and trade. A virtuous cycle of investment, innovation (including in greener technologies), and dynamic economic growth has flourished where governments have trusted market forces and competition to spur efficiency. (See Chart 7.)

Greater economic freedom can also provide more fertile ground for effective and democratic governance. Debate over the direction of causality between economic freedom and democracy has become more controversial in recent years because of the multifaceted interaction between the two. Undoubtedly, achieving greater political freedom through well-functioning democracy is a messy and often excruciatingprocess.

However, the positive relationship between economic freedom and democratic governance is undeniable. (See Chart 8.) By empowering people to exercise greater control of their daily lives, economic freedom ultimately nurtures political reform by making it possible for individuals to gain the economic resources necessary to challenge entrenched interests and compete for political power, thereby encouraging the creation of more pluralistic societies.

Pursuit of greater economic freedom is thus an important stepping-stone to democracy. It empowers the poor and builds the middle class. It is a philosophy that encourages entrepreneurship and disperses economic power and decision-making throughout society.

Economic Freedom: The Key to Upward Mobility and Greater Social Progress

The massive improvements in global indicators of income and quality of life largely reflect a paradigm shift in the debate over how societies should be structured to achieve the most optimal outcome. Over the past two decades, this debate has largely been won by capitalism. However, fears that the immediate benefits of capitalism are fading has brought to the forefront concerns about economic mobility and economicfreedom.

At the heart of ensuring upward economic mobility is the task of advancing economic freedom so that dynamic and inclusive growth can meaningfully occur for ordinary people in a free society. Milton and Rose Friedman made a keen observation on the critically intertwined relationship between freedom andmobility:

[S]o long as freedom is maintained, it prevents … positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized. Freedom means diversity, but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrow’s privileged and, in the process enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.1

Economic freedom is critical to generating the broader-based economic growth that brings more opportunities for a greater number of people to work, produce, and save. In other words, ensuring greater economic freedom is directly related to preserving and enhancing dynamic upward mobility.

Also notable is that although some naysayers claim that economic and social progress has been limited in recent years as incomes in some countries have become more unequal as a result of economic freedom, the evidence does not support this contention. Instead, societies based on economic freedom are the ones that have demonstrated the strongest social progress.

As shown in Chart 9, countries that largely embrace economic freedom provide the environments that are most conducive to social progress.2 Countries that improve their competitiveness and open their societies to new ideas, products, and innovations have largely achieved the high levels of social progress that their citizens demand. It is not massive redistributions of wealth or government dictates on income levels that produce the most positive social outcomes. Instead, mobility and progress require lower barriers to entry, freedom to engage with the world, and less government intrusion.

Staying on Course

The 21st edition of the Index of Economic Freedom shows economic freedom once again on the rise, reaching the highest point in the Index’s 21-year history. Behind this record are stories of human progress and the achievements of countries and their citizens—literally billions of people around the world whose lives have measurably improved.

It is no coincidence that the increase of economic liberty over the past decades has coincided with a massive reduction in worldwide poverty, disease, and hunger. The link between economic freedom and development is clear and strong. People in economically free societies live longer. They have better health. They are able to be better stewards of the environment, and they push forward the frontiers of human achievement in science and technology through greater innovation.

A recurring theme of human history has been resilience and revival. The country profiles in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom include many examples of countries that have accelerated their economic and social progress in the face of difficult challenges and a sometimes harsh international environment. Their successes can be emulated by others. The Index of Economic Freedom charts not just one path to development, but as many as the ingenuity of humans can produce when they are free to experiment andinnovate.

The principles of economic freedom are a sure guide, but only a guide. What truly will matter are the creative solutions to pressing world problems that are certain to flow from people who are, in the words of Milton and Rose Friedman, “free to choose.”

1. Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979).

2. The Social Progress Index defines social progress as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.

http://www.heritage.org/index/book/chapter-2

Country Rankings

Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
1 Hong Kong 89.6 -0.5 4 Australia 81.4 -0.6
2 Singapore 89.4 0.0 5 Switzerland 80.5 -1.1
3 New Zealand 82.1 +0.9

Mostly Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
6 Canada 79.1 -1.1 21 Luxembourg 73.2 -1.0
7 Chile 78.5 -0.2 22 Georgia 73.0 +0.4
8 Estonia 76.8 +0.9 23 Sweden 72.7 -0.4
9 Ireland 76.6 +0.4 24 Czech Republic 72.5 +0.3
10 Mauritius 76.4 -0.1 25 United Arab Emirates 72.4 +1.0
11 Denmark 76.3 +0.2 26 Iceland 72.0 -0.4
12 United States 76.2 +0.7 27 Norway 71.8 +0.9
13 United Kingdom 75.8 +0.9 28 Colombia 71.7 +1.0
14 Taiwan 75.1 +1.2 29 South Korea 71.5 +0.3
15 Lithuania 74.7 +1.7 30 Austria 71.2 -1.2
16 Germany 73.8 +0.4 31 Malaysia 70.8 +1.2
17 The Netherlands 73.7 -0.5 32 Qatar 70.8 -0.4
18 Bahrain 73.4 -1.7 33 Israel 70.5 +2.1
19 Finland 73.4 0.0 34 Macau 70.3 -1.0
20 Japan 73.3 +0.9 35 Saint Lucia 70.2 -0.5

Moderately Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
36 Botswana 69.8 -2.2 64 Portugal 65.3 +1.8
37 Latvia 69.7 +1.0 65 Rwanda 64.8 +0.1
38 Jordan 69.3 +0.1 66 Montenegro 64.7 +1.1
39 Brunei Darussalam 68.9 -0.1 67 Trinidad and Tobago 64.1 +1.4
40 Belgium 68.8 -1.1 68 Panama 64.1 +0.7
41 The Bahamas 68.7 -1.1 69 Kazakhstan 63.3 -0.4
42 Poland 68.6 +1.6 70 Turkey 63.2 -1.7
43 Uruguay 68.6 -0.7 71 Ghana 63.0 -1.2
44 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 68.0 +1.0 72 South Africa 62.6 +0.1
45 Cyprus 67.9 +0.3 73 France 62.5 -1.0
46 Barbados 67.9 -0.4 74 Kuwait 62.5 +0.2
47 Peru 67.7 +0.3 75 Thailand 62.4 -0.9
48 Jamaica 67.7 +1.0 76 Philippines 62.2 +2.1
49 Spain 67.6 +0.4 77 Saudi Arabia 62.1 -0.1
50 Slovakia 67.2 +0.8 78 Samoa 61.9 +0.8
51 Costa Rica 67.2 +0.3 79 Madagascar 61.7 0.0
52 Armenia 67.1 -1.8 80 Italy 61.7 +0.8
53 Macedonia 67.1 -1.5 81 Croatia 61.5 +1.1
54 Hungary 66.8 -0.2 82 Kyrgyz Republic 61.3 +0.2
55 Bulgaria 66.8 +1.1 83 Paraguay 61.1 -0.9
56 Oman 66.7 -0.7 84 Vanuatu 61.1 +1.6
57 Romania 66.6 +1.1 85 Azerbaijan 61.0 -0.3
58 Malta 66.5 +0.1 86 Dominican Republic 61.0 -0.3
59 Mexico 66.4 -0.4 87 Guatemala 60.4 -0.8
60 Cabo Verde 66.4 +0.3 88 Slovenia 60.3 -2.4
61 Dominica 66.1 +0.9 89 Morocco 60.1 +1.8
62 El Salvador 65.7 -0.5 90 Serbia 60.0 +0.6
63 Albania 65.7 -1.2

Mostly Unfree

rank country overall change rank country overall change
91 Swaziland 59.9 -1.3 122 Kenya 55.6 -1.5
92 Uganda 59.7 -0.2 123 Guyana 55.5 -0.2
93 Namibia 59.6 +0.2 124 Egypt 55.2 +2.3
94 Lebanon 59.3 -0.1 125 Mozambique 54.8 -0.2
95 Tonga 59.3 +1.1 126 Malawi 54.8 -0.6
96 Mongolia 59.2 +0.3 127 Niger 54.6 -0.5
97 Bosnia and Herzegovina 59.0 +0.6 128 India 54.6 -1.1
98 Fiji 59.0 +0.3 129 Suriname 54.2 0.0
99 Benin 58.8 +1.7 130 Greece 54.0 -1.7
100 Zambia 58.7 -1.7 131 Bangladesh 53.9 -0.2
101 Sri Lanka 58.6 -1.4 132 Burundi 53.7 +2.3
102 Burkina Faso 58.6 -0.3 133 Yemen 53.7 -1.8
103 Côte d’Ivoire 58.5 +0.8 134 Maldives 53.4 +2.4
104 Gabon 58.3 +0.5 135 Mauritania 53.3 +0.1
105 Indonesia 58.1 -0.4 136 São Tomé and Príncipe 53.3 +4.5
106 Senegal 57.8 +2.4 137 Papua New Guinea 53.1 -0.8
107 Tunisia 57.7 +0.4 138 Togo 53.0 +3.1
108 Nicaragua 57.6 -0.8 139 China 52.7 +0.2
109 Tanzania 57.5 -0.3 140 Tajikistan 52.7 +0.7
110 Cambodia 57.5 +0.1 141 Liberia 52.7 +0.3
111 Moldova 57.5 +0.2 142 Comoros 52.1 +0.7
112 Djibouti 57.5 +1.6 143 Russia 52.1 +0.2
113 The Gambia 57.5 -2.0 144 Guinea 52.1 -1.4
114 Seychelles 57.5 +1.3 145 Guinea-Bissau 52.0 +0.7
115 Bhutan 57.4 +0.7 146 Cameroon 51.9 -0.7
116 Honduras 57.4 +0.3 147 Sierra Leone 51.7 +1.2
117 Belize 56.8 +0.1 148 Vietnam 51.7 +0.9
118 Brazil 56.6 -0.3 149 Ethiopia 51.5 +1.5
119 Mali 56.4 +0.9 150 Laos 51.4 +0.2
120 Nigeria 55.6 +1.3 151 Haiti 51.3 +2.4
121 Pakistan 55.6 +0.4 152 Nepal 51.3 +1.2

Repressed

rank country overall change rank country overall change
153 Belarus 49.8 -0.3 166 Central African Republic 45.9 -0.8
154 Micronesia 49.6 -0.2 167 Timor-Leste 45.5 +2.3
155 Lesotho 49.6 +0.1 168 Democratic Republic of Congo 45.0 +4.4
156 Ecuador 49.2 +1.2 169 Argentina 44.1 -0.5
157 Algeria 48.9 -1.9 170 Republic of Congo 42.7 -1.0
158 Angola 47.9 +0.2 171 Iran 41.8 +1.5
159 Solomon Islands 47.0 +0.8 172 Turkmenistan 41.4 -0.8
160 Uzbekistan 47.0 +0.5 173 Equatorial Guinea 40.4 -4.0
161 Burma 46.9 +0.4 174 Eritrea 38.9 +0.4
162 Ukraine 46.9 -2.4 175 Zimbabwe 37.6 +2.1
163 Bolivia 46.8 -1.6 176 Venezuela 34.3 -2.0
164 Kiribati 46.4 +0.1 177 Cuba 29.6 +0.9
165 Chad 45.9 +1.4 178 North Korea 1.3 +0.3

Not Ranked

rank country overall change rank country overall change
N/A Afghanistan N/A N/A N/A Liechtenstein N/A N/A
N/A Iraq N/A N/A N/A Somalia N/A N/A
N/A Kosovo N/A N/A N/A Sudan N/A N/A
N/A Libya N/A N/A N/A Syria N/A N/A

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

United States

overall score76.2
world rank12
RULE OF LAW

Property Rights80.0

Freedom From Corruption73.0

LIMITED GOVERNMENT

Government Spending51.8

Fiscal Freedom66.2

REGULATORY EFFICIENCY

Business Freedom88.8

Labor Freedom98.5

Monetary Freedom76.6

OPEN MARKETS

Trade Freedom87.0

Investment Freedom70.0

Financial Freedom70.0

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See how United States compares to another country using any of the measures in the Index.

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QUICK FACTS
  • Population:
    • 316.4 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $16.8 trillion
    • 1.9% growth
    • 1.2% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $53,101 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 7.5%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 1.5%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $187.5 billion

Embed This Data

The United States’ economic freedom score is 76.2, making its economy the 12th freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is 0.7 point higher than last year, with modest gains in six of the 10 economic freedoms, including control of government spending, outweighing a slight decline in business freedom.

Although the precipitous downward spiral in U.S. economic freedom since 2008 has come to a halt in the 2015 Index, a 1.6-point decline in overall economic freedom over the past five years reflects broad-based deteriorations in key policy areas, particularly those related to upholding the rule of law and limited government. Continuing to trail such comparable economies as Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Canada, America has been ranked “mostly free” since 2010.

The anemic post-recession recovery has been characterized by slow growth, high unemployment, a decrease in the number of Americans seeking work, and great uncertainty that has held back investment. Increased tax and regulatory burdens, aggravated by favoritism toward entrenched interests, have undercut America’s historically dynamic entrepreneurial growth.

BACKGROUND

President Barack Obama’s second-term efforts to expand government spending and regulation have been thwarted to some extent by Republican Party opposition in Congress. Economic policy leadership has devolved by default to the Federal Reserve, whose attempts to use monetary policy to stimulate economic activity have not restored robust growth. Implementation of the 2010 health care law, which has reduced competition in most health insurance markets, remains a drag on job creation and full-time employment. Overall, the U.S. economy continues to underperform, despite a private sector–led energy boom that has made the U.S. the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. The weak economic recovery and uncertain responses to foreign policy challenges, particularly in the Middle East, in Ukraine, and along the southern U.S. border, have contributed to a loss of support for the President and his party and Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress as a result of 2014 midterm elections.

RULE OF LAWVIEW METHODOLOGY

Corruption in government and the political process remains a concern. High levels of government spending and the expansion and complexity of the government’s regulatory agenda have increased opportunities for political favoritism and cronyism. The judiciary functions independently. Protection of property rights has been uneven, with instances of regulatory overreach by the executive branch requiring court adjudication.

LIMITED GOVERNMENTVIEW METHODOLOGY

The top individual income tax rate is 39.6 percent, and the top corporate tax rate remains among the world’s highest at 35 percent. Other taxes include a capital gains tax and excise taxes. Tax revenue is equal to 24.3 percent of gross domestic product, and government spending is well over one-third of GDP. Public debt exceeds the value of the economy’s annual production.

REGULATORY EFFICIENCYVIEW METHODOLOGY

The regulatory burden has been mounting. Since 2009, over 150 new major regulations have been imposed at an annual cost of more than $70 billion. As of 2014, 125 new regulations were in the pipeline. The labor market, primarily regulated at the state level, remains flexible. Subsidies for agriculture, health care, and renewable energy have bred economic distortions.

OPEN MARKETSVIEW METHODOLOGY

The average tariff rate is 1.5 percent. Tariffs on clothing are high, sugar imports face tariff-rate quotas, and petroleum and liquefied natural gas exports are restricted. Foreign investment in some sectors is capped. The financial market is well developed, but the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act has instituted more federal regulation, socializing the cost of financial risk-taking and increasing the likelihood of future financial crises and bailouts

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates

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Part 3 of 3: An American Renaissance, The Road To Peace and Prosperity: Faith, Family, Friends, and Freedom ~ First — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

 Story 1, Part 3 of 3: An American Renaissance, The Road To Peace and Prosperity: Faith, Family, Friends, and Freedom ~ First — Videos

Part 3

Controlling Leviathan: The Battle for Limited Government

Question and Answer Session: The Fight Against Big Government

Free Markets and Small Government Produce Prosperity

Visualizing the growth of federal regulation since 1950

Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth

Milton Friedman On John Maynard Keynes

Keynesian Economics Is Wrong: Bigger Gov’t Is Not Stimulus

Keynes the Man: Hero or Villain? | Murray N. Rothbard

There Are too Many Bureaucrats and They Are Paid too Much

government-employees-by-level-by-year2All-Employees-of-U.S.-GovernmentFederal-of-Workforce-1939-2013101207-federal-employees-chart

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Can We Eliminate the Department of Education? (Charles Murray)

Downsizing the Federal Government

Agriculture: Downsizing The Federal Government

Downsize the Department of Agriculture

Downsize the Department of Education

Downsize the Department of Energy

Downsize the Department of Health and Human Services

Downsize the Department of Labor

Ron Paul Lecture – “The Great Enabler: The Rise of the Federal Reserve and the Growth of Government”

“How the Federal Bureaucracy Undermines American Liberty”

Want Less Corruption? Shrink the Size of Government

Big Government Is Stifling The American Spirit- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Richard Epstein, The Classical Liberal Constitution

Milton Friedman – Whats wrong with welfare?

The Classical Liberal Constitution by Richard Epstein: Book Discussion

The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government
by Richard Epstein

The Classical Liberal Constitution: Panel 1: Constitutional Structure

The Classical Liberal Constitution: Panel 2: Individual Rights

The Classical Liberal Constitution: Panel 3: Constitutional Methodology

United States federal executive departments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all having been established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.

Federal executive departments are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but, with the United States being a presidential system, their heads otherwise equivalent to ministers, do not form a government (in a parliamentary sense) nor are they led by a head of government separate from the head of state. The heads of the federal executive departments, known as secretaries of their respective department, form the traditional Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that serves at the disposal of the president and normally act as an advisory body to the presidency.

Since 1792, by statutory specification, the cabinet constituted a line of succession to the presidency, after the Speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate, in the event of a vacancy in both the presidency and the vice presidency. The Constitution refers to these officials when it authorizes the President, in Article II, section 2, to “require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices.” In brief, they and their organizations are the administrative arms of the President.

Executive Departments of the present

All departments are listed by their present-day name and only departments with past or present cabinet-level status are listed. Order of succession has always included the Vice President (1) as the first in line; at times – including presently – the Speaker of the House (2) and the President pro tempore of the Senate (3) have also been included.

Department Creation Order of
succession
Notes 2009 Outlays
in billions
of dollars
Employees
State 1789[1] 4 Initially named “Department of Foreign Affairs”. 16.39 18,900
Treasury 1789[2] 5 19.56 115,897
Justice 1870[3] 7 Position of Attorney General created in 1789, but had no department until 1870 46.20 112,557
Interior 1849[4] 8 90.00 71,436
Agriculture 1862[5] 9 134.12 109,832
Commerce 1903[6] 10 Originally named Commerce and Labor; Labor later separated 15.77 43,880[7]
Labor 1913[8] 11 137.97 17,347
Defense 1947[9] 6 Initially named “National Military Establishment” 1947-49. Created as a subsuming—from executive to sub-executive status—of the Departments of The Navy and War (which split into the Departments of the Army and Air Force). 651.16 3,000,000
Health and Human Services 1953[8] 12 Originally named Health, Education, and Welfare; Education later separated 879.20 67,000
Housing and Urban Development 1965[10] 13 40.53 10,600
Transportation 1966[11] 14 73.20 58,622
Energy 1977[12] 15 24.10 109,094
Education 1980[13] 16 45.40 4,487
Veterans Affairs 1989[14] 17 Formerly an independent agency as the Veterans Administration 97.70 235,000
Homeland Security 2002[15] 18 40.00 208,000
Total outlays, employees:         $2,311.30B 4,193,144

Seals

Executive Departments of the past

Department Dates of Operation Notes
Department of War 1789–1947 Renamed Department of the Army in 1947
Post Office Department 1792–1971 Reorganized as quasi-independent agency, United States Postal Service
Department of Commerce and Labor 1903–1913 Divided between Department of Commerce and Department of Labor
Department of the Army 1947–1949 From 1947-1949, these departments were executive departments with non-cabinet level secretaries who reported to the civilian Secretary of Defense with cabinet rank but no department. From 1949 on, they were Military Departments within the Department of Defense[16]
Department of the Navy 1798–1949
Department of the Air Force 1947–1949
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 1953–1979 Divided between Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ “Office of the Historian – Milestones – 1776-1783 – Articles of Confederation”. History.state.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  2. Jump up^ “History”. Treasury.gov. 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  3. Jump up^ “USDOJ: About DOJ”. Justice.gov. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  4. Jump up^ “History of Interior”. Doi.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  5. Jump up^ http://www.usda.gov/documents/timeline.pdf
  6. Jump up^ “Secretaries | Department of Commerce”. Commerce.gov. Retrieved2012-12-29.
  7. Jump up^ “Department of Commerce FY 2009 Budget in Brief”. Osec.doc.gov. Retrieved2012-12-29.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b “The U.S. Department of Labor Historical Timeline – U.S. Department of Labor”. Dol.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  9. Jump up^ “About The Department of Defense (DOD)”. Defense.gov. Retrieved2012-12-29.
  10. Jump up^ “HUD History/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)”. Portal.hud.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  11. Jump up^ [1][dead link]
  12. Jump up^ “Department of Energy Organization Act” (PDF). U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved August 4, 1977. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. Jump up^ “Overview and Mission Statement | U.S. Department of Education”. .ed.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  14. Jump up^ Department of Veterans Affairs. “History – VA History – About VA”. Va.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  15. Jump up^ “Creation of the Department of Homeland Security | Homeland Security”. Dhs.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  16. Jump up^ Stewart, Richard W., ed. (2005). “Chapter 24: Peace Becomes Cold War, 1945-1950”. American Military History. Army Historical Series II. United States Army. pp. 531–533. Retrieved 2011-03-23.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_executive_departments

Part 2

US Debt Clock.org

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Ep. 12: AN ANIMATED FILM ON THE DEBT & THE DEFICIT | Marshall Curry

US Debt Crisis – Perfectly Explained

The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

George Carlin on the American Dream

chart

The bar chart comes directly from the Monthly Treasury Statement published by the U. S. Treasury Department..The “Debt Total” bar chart is generated from the Treasury Department’s “Debt Report” found on the Treasury Direct web site. It has links to search the debt for any given date range, and access to debt interest information. It is a direct source to government provided budget information.

“Deficit” vs. “Debt”—Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a “budget deficit”. So you borrow (ie; use your credit card). The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, another deficit, you must borrow some more, and you’ll still have to pay the interest on your debt (now larger). If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don’t have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy.

“Reducing the deficit” is a meaningless soundbite. If theDEFICIT is any amount more than ZERO, we have to borrow more and the DEBT grows.

Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress’s appropriations. Here is a direct link to the Congressional Budget Office web site’s deficit analysis. We have to pay interest* on that huge, growing debt; and it dramatically cuts into our budget.

2016-budget-chart-spending-revenue-percent-of-gdp

 federal-government-spending-problem-680

where-did-your-tax-dollar-go-680budget-entitlement-programs-680 spending-cuts-680federal-spending-per-household-680 national-defense-spending-680 americas-deficit-federal-spending-680senate_budget_deficits social-security-benefit-payments-680

Sen Rand Paul on Baseline Budgeting

Ending Baseline Budgeting | House GOP Twitter Response

2014 U.S. Federal Budget: Taxes & Revenue

2014 U.S. Federal Budget: Budget Process

2014 U.S. Federal Budget: Social Insurance, Earned Benefits, & Entitlements

2014 U.S. Federal Budget: Debt and Deficit

US Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960

Baseline Budgeting

Rep. Louie Gohmert Applauds The Baseline Reform Act

Baseline Budgeting Explained

Underwhelming Spending Cuts from Congress and Obama

Understanding the National Debt and Budget Deficit

Part 1

fairtax

fair_tax_factst

FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

The FairTax: It’s Time

Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax

Dan Mitchell Discussing Federal Tax Burden on CNBC

Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth

Dan Mitchell Explaining How Government Screws Up Everything

What is the FairTax legislation?

Cato Institute Senior Fellow Daniel J. Mitchell

How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s?

What assumptions does the FairTax make about government spending?

How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s?

Is the FairTax truly progressive?

How does the “prebate” work?

Will the prebate create a massive new entitlement system?

Wouldn’t it be more fair to exempt food and medicine from the FairTax?

Is it fair for rich people to get the same prebate as poor people?

If people bring home their whole paychecks how can prices fall?

How does the FairTax impact the middle class?

Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax?

Is the FairTax rate really 23%?

Is consumption a reliable source of revenue?

How does the FairTax affect compliance costs?

Isn’t it a stretch to say the IRS will go away?

Can I pretend to be a business to avoid the sales tax?

How does the FairTax affect tax preparers and CPAs?

Are any significant economies funded by a sales tax?

How will the FairTax affect state sales tax systems?

Can’t Americans just cross the border to avoid the FairTax

How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?

Will the FairTax impact tax deferred retirement accounts like 401(k)s?

How will the FairTax® make the tax system fair for everyone?

What’s the difference between the FairTax® and the income tax?

How will the FairTax® help me save money?

Why Should Grandparents support FairTax®?

Congressman Woodall Discusses the FairTax

“The Case for the Fair Tax”

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

John Stossel speaks to the Fair Tax Rally

Sen. Moran Discusses FairTax Legislation on U.S. Senate Floor

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958

Robert Welch Speaks: In One Generation (1974)

comparison

GOP Taxonomy: The Flat Taxers and the Fair Taxers

by Aman Batheja

During his last run for president, Rick Perry often pulled a postcard out of his jacket pocket.

“The best representation of my plan is this postcard, which taxpayers will be able to fill out to file their taxes,” Perry said.

While Perry proposed an optional 20 percent flat tax on all income levels, the other Texan running that cycle, Ron Paul, wanted to get rid of the income tax altogether. The former Surfside congressman sometimes suggested replacing it and other federal taxes with a sales tax, a concept often described as the Fair Tax.

As the 2016 landscape begins taking shape, potential Republican candidates are suggesting an interest in being both flat and fair, embracing some version of Perry’s 2012 proposal as the first step toward reaching Paul’s ideal.

Take U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose talk on taxes has sounded strikingly similar to Perry’s at times.
“We should let taxes become so simple that they could be filled out on a postcard,” Cruz wrote in a column for USA Today in October.

Yet while Cruz has called for converting the country’s progressive income tax system to a flat tax, his office confirmed that the Fair Tax is his long-term goal.

“The senator supports a Fair Tax, ultimately,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said. “However, the most immediate, effective way to implement comprehensive tax reform is to pass a simple flat tax — so simple that Americans can file on a postcard. This should be the starting point for reform, and once it’s in place we should pursue a Fair Tax.”

Another presidential contender, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has also voiced support for a flat tax, but still prefers the vision of his libertarian father, Ron Paul.

“I’ve never said I don’t support a sales tax,” Rand Paul told The Texas Tribune recently while in Dallas. He explained that he viewed moving the federal tax system to a flat tax as “an easier concept to get through a legislature because you’re modifying the existing code.”

More broadly, Rand Paul said he was interested in stimulating economic growth by reducing the federal taxes overall.

“We’ve kind of lost that argument in recent years because many Republicans, including many in Washington, now simply argue for revenue neutral tax reform, which stimulates nothing,” Paul said.

For former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, those talking about the flat tax as a bridge to the Fair Tax are missing the point.
“Gov. Huckabee has said many times the Fair Tax is a flat tax, but it’s based on consumption rather than on punishing our productivity,” spokeswoman Alice Stewart said.

Another potential presidential contender, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, delivered a speech on taxes and income inequality this week in Detroit that reportedly included support for simplifying the tax code, but did not include specific policy proposals.

Critics of both flat tax and Fair Tax proposals dismiss them as regressive plans that would amount to tax cuts for higher-income households while increasing the tax burden on middle-class households. But conservatives argue that dramatically simplifying the tax code, or moving to a tax system focused more on consumption than earnings, would be more transparent, simpler and better for the economy in the long run.

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said discussion of flat taxes and consumption taxes works well politically with Republican voters, but described them as “pie-in-the-sky, no-way-in-hell” proposals that won’t ever muster enough support in Congress.

“When you talk about tax reform in an environment that is politically polarized as ours, it’s hard to see how you get majority support, let alone a bipartisan package that could be taken to the public by both parties,” Jillson said. “It’s a way of saying, ‘I have no sense of doing anything practical.’ ”

While Cruz and Rand Paul have already signaled their positions, Perry, who has been meeting with dozens of policy experts to prepare for a second White House run, may end up tweaking his earlier flat tax plan.

“He supports simplifying the tax code, lowering rates for working families, and closing loopholes,” spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. “Gov. Perry is continuing to work on policy proposals and will announce specific ideas at the appropriate time.”

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/02/08/flat-tax-fair-tax/

National Review: The FairTax Makes a Comeback

by: Ryan Lovelace

Republican senator David Perdue of Georgia sounds an awful lot like President Obama when he describes his plan to overhaul the tax code, which would repeal federal taxes and replace them with a consumption tax known as the “FairTax.”

“[The FairTax] really levels the playing field in that regardless of who you are, where you are, you’ll pay your fair share, and it will be the same amount,” Perdue tells NRO. “It will be equitable.”

Perdue couches his description of the FairTax in rhetorical terms — “levels the playing field,” “pay your fair share,” “equitable” — that could’ve come straight out of Obama’s State of the Union address, and that’s no accident. Whatever the political prospects of the proposal — it has failed over and over again when proposed in the past, and it is expected to meet a similar fate this time around — it could allow the GOP to seize the mantle of economic populism from the Democrats, and, in so doing, to “win” tax reform in the eyes of voters. That’s important, because tax-reform legislation is one of the few big, ostensibly bipartisan efforts the new Congress is expected to undertake, and the scramble to take credit for it ahead of the 2016 presidential election will be fierce.
The FairTax legislation put forward in the Senate by Perdue, his fellow Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson, and their colleague Jerry Moran (R., Kan.), was written with 2016 in mind. Perdue says that on Tuesday, before listening to Obama announce his desire to raise taxes once again, he and Isakson discussed the importance of their work in influencing the debate on tax reform. Perdue — the successful manager known for his ability to turn around businesses and revive brands – says he hopes to help move 2016 GOP presidential candidates in the direction of the FairTax.

The proposal itself is relatively simple: It would eliminate all federal income, payroll, gift, and estate taxes, and replace them with a 23 percent national sales tax. In addition to making the U.S. economy more competitive on a global scale and putting people back to work, the plan would strip the IRS of its ability to interfere in the lives of ordinary Americans, according to the conservative freshman from Georgia. Other longtime proponents of the idea agree, and argue that by replacing a system that taxes an individual’s earnings with one that exclusively taxes that same individual’s spending, it would allow each citizen the freedom to determine his own tax burden.

Perdue’s hopes for 2016 notwithstanding, the FairTax has not been a winning issue in past Republican presidential primaries. A number of GOP primary candidates, from Mike Huckabee in 2008 to Herman Cain in 2012, have failed to win the nomination while championing the proposal. And it will still be a loser come 2016, says Ryan Ellis, the  tax-policy director at Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. “If this thing [the FairTax] was going to catch on as the next great hot thing, it would have,” Ellis says. “It’s not a practical tax-reform plan for governing, it’s something that people wish, aspirationally, they could put out there.”

The tax-reform proposals with the best chance of succeeding in Congress — and helping Republican candidates win in 2016 — are those that move incrementally toward the FairTax’s goals without overhauling the system in one fell swoop, Ellis says. Such proposals would likely combine some of the FairTax’s reforms — such as repealing the death tax and capital-gains taxes — with measures aimed at broadening the tax base of higher-income individuals. The winning formula to achieve fundamental tax reform, according to Ellis, is a plan that is pro-growth, pro-family, and “paid for by, as much as you can, rich guys.”

But those who warn that the FairTax lacks political viability only give more motivation to Rob Woodall (R., Ga.), the lead sponsor of FairTax legislation in the House of Representatives.

“That’s what I love about this bill: Washington hates this bill,” Woodall says. “There are all sorts of forces in town that discourage this kind of giant reform, but it’s being marketed at a grassroots level.”

Woodall’s Georgia district has a history of electing FairTax proponents to Congress. Woodall’s seat was previously occupied by John Linder, a tireless champion who first introduced the FairTax bill in 1999, and reintroduced it in each new Congress until he retired in 2011. He never succeeded in changing the law, but he did quite a bit to build support in his home state.

As Americans for Fair Taxation president Steve Hayes tells it, Atlanta-based radio talk-show host Neal Boortz is largely responsible for getting the idea off the ground. Boortz wrote The FairTax Book with Linder and trumpeted his support for the reform to a southeastern audience who readily took to the idea. Hayes’s organization works to garner more support for the idea across the United States.

The “power base” of the FairTax proposal has moved out of the Southeast and into the Midwest, Woodall says. Moran’s support as a lead co-sponsor has helped the idea gain traction in Kansas. A top Moran aide who worked on the FairTax bill tells NRO that Moran began laying the groundwork to lead on this issue last year, as former Georgia senator Saxby Chambliss was preparing to retire. Chambliss was a staunch supporter of the FairTax, and the aide says the two offices worked behind the scenes to ensure that the push for tax reform would live on. Woodall thinks the geographical shift in support will help the idea flourish in California and the Northwest. Moreover, he wants to gather supporters in key 2016 Republican-primary states and grow grassroots support in order to influence the GOP’s agenda.

But the effort to sell the FairTax primarily to devoted conservatives has left others in the dark as to its possible benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, has studied the FairTax and thinks it is a more progressive proposal than people realize. Kotlikoff says lawmakers’ lack of experience in public finance has led to a misunderstanding of the FairTax. He adds that he thinks Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi might even come around to the idea, if she realized that it would help some of the people she purports to care about most: workers.

After years toiling under former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), some conservatives have grown excited by the Senate’s movement on this issue. The Moran staffer thinks a total of 10 or 11 senators may ultimately support the proposal, including new members and others who have changed their minds. The number of original co-sponsors of the FairTax in the House has increased during each of the last three Congresses, peaking this year with 57 total supporters.

Barring an unforeseen shift in Congress’s priorities, though, the FairTax appears doomed to fail yet again. Woodall knows the effort is ill-fated, and says he won’t look someone in the eye and tell them that a GOP-led Congress will put the FairTax on the president’s desk — or that the president would ever sign it. For the time being, his goal is more modest: He hopes to harness the relatively small but growing support for the proposal, and to take its message to voters across the country, showing his fellow Republicans that populist economic policies can win back the White House in 2016.

“This is a mission to change the way people think about the tax code,” he says. “It’s kind of a crazy idea until you look at it and you say, ‘Golly, why haven’t we done that already?’ Because we know that we can’t win Washington until we win the American voter across the country.” –

https://fairtax.org/articles/the-fairtax-makes-a-comeback

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More Political Speech Means More Money In Politics Not Less — Unlimited Campaign Contributions By Individuals and Privately Held Corporations — Repeal So-Called Campaign Finance Reform Laws — Promote Political Speech and Competition in Elections — Videos

Posted on April 17, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Economics, Family, Freedom, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Speech, Technology, Unemployment, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: Februa