November 3, 2012

"Billionaire Thomas Peterffy's ‘socialist’ ads raise questions."

Headlines Politico, pointing its readers at a very effective ad that they might otherwise avoid:



The "questions" referred to in the headline are about who is helping Peterffy, a political neophyte, to make and place such ad. But there's nothing interesting there, and Peterffy comes across as an intelligent, persuasive independent:
Typically, such ads call for supporting or opposing specific candidates, but Peterffy’s ad is more vague because it doesn’t mention specific candidates — only an encouragement to vote Republican....

Peterffy said he supports Republican candidates because he sees the rhetoric of social justice and fairness from Democrats, including President Barack Obama, as a slippery slope. He also said Romney’s 47 percent comment reflected his own fears about the future of the country and was taken out of context.

“My understanding was that he said he had no ability to influence the 47 percent,” Peterffy said. “That’s the very logic I’m based on. I’m worried about when that 47 percent goes to 60 percent.”

110 comments:

madAsHell said...

It has been broadcast in the Pacific Northwest, but only the first 30 seconds. It makes better sense when you see the whole thing.

Original Mike said...

Peterffy nails it.

Original Mike said...

I've seen the ad several times in Wisconsin. The first time I saw it, I clapped.

Michael K said...

How could George Soros also come from Hungary and draw such different conclusions ? I think Soros, like Warren Buffet, has concluded that he can make money from what some call "crony capitalism" but which, to me, looks more like fascism.

At one time, Soros was a bit of a hero to me as he funded democracy movements in eastern Europe but he has changed and seems to prefer something other than a market economy, at least for those of us who are not in his circle.

I don't trust Soros or Buffet to be disinterested in self dealing.

Freeman Hunt said...

That's pretty great.

Bob Ellison said...

I've seen the ad, probably on FNC. Gee, so a billionaire could afford to hire someone to market his message. I'm shocked, shocked!

Also, anyone who wants to question the validity of whether Obama and the Democratic Party advocate socialism: please send your arguments to me. It seems that the mere terms "socialist" and "socialism" have become unspeakable, like the "n word". How could you say such a thing?! Yet it's true.

virgil xenophon said...

The entire ad has been running constantly in Louisiana..

bagoh20 said...

The article doesn't seem to have any case to make. It's just an attempt to mention boogie men like the Koch brothers without any real connection. And sadly, that crap works on some.

bagoh20 said...

That ad is everywhere leading into internet videos I've been watching. I've probably seen it 20 times this week just surfing around.

edutcher said...

First I've heard of these.

A little more Eastwooding, if you will.

Michael K said...

How could George Soros also come from Hungary and draw such different conclusions ?

Did Peterffy collaborate with the Nazis (or Communists)?

Lee Merrick said...

I saw this ad several times on CNN while watching Sandy coverage. It's terrific!

Cedarford said...

It is a very good ad.
Perhaps he should have made it more implicit. He fled socialism....

" NOW EUROPE is in worse shape than ever, EVEN WITH THE SOVIET FALL because they kept socialism.
Obama wants to take us down the European road...and trust me, as an emigre...you don't want to go where Obama is trying to take America."

Cedarford said...

It is a very good ad.
Perhaps he should have made it more implicit. He fled socialism....

" NOW EUROPE is in worse shape than ever, EVEN WITH THE SOVIET FALL because they kept socialism.
Obama wants to take us down the European road...and trust me, as an emigre...you don't want to go where Obama is trying to take America."

BDNYC said...

I just checked his Wikipedia entry. It seems the leftists are hard at work "fact-checking" the ad.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I was amazed and amused by the cretins commenting on the Politico article. I thought they had a better class of idiot over there.

Larry J said...

My wife and I visited Vietnam last year. While the government is communist, the people are the most capitalistic I've ever seen. Our guide said something very interesting. This is as close to an exact quote as I can manage:

"Following reunification, we were a socialist country. You know what socialism is? It's where if I work hard and you don't, we get the same thing. So no one worked hard. About 20 years ago, the government changed their policy. Now, if you work hard, you get more. Things are much better now."

Irene said...

The ad summarizes what my Parents had said since 1949.

Synova said...

Why would anyone assume that someone sharp enough to make himself a billionaire would need "help" putting out an excellent political ad?

Could it be his accent?

(Yes, of course he *hired* people who were very good at what they do... that's what "millionaires and billionaires" do. They *hire* people.)

Mitchell the Bat said...

People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs.

That happened to me a long time ago.

Maybe I should switch over and start voting for the Democrats.

dreams said...

I don't live in a swing state but I see that ad all the time on CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg. Thomas Peterffy personifies what America is and has always been about which is the land of opportunity.

rcommal said...

pointing its readers at a very effective ad that they might otherwise avoid

Heh!

jdniner said...

Romney ad calls for love of country.

Methadras said...

I applauded this video like Orsen Wells in Citizen Kane.

wyo sis said...

I haven't seen it before. It's very good. It's a good idea to listen to people who've experienced life under socialism and the totalitarianism it brings with it.

AEH said...

I was recently having a discussion with a friend from France here in Quebec. I said that it seems that many Americans feel that Europe is doing things correctly and that we should be more like European countries. Guilliaume responded in his thick French accent, "No. Europe is a shit hole. I want to live in America." He's pretty pumped because his company wants to transfer him to NYC this winter.

AEH said...

*We were discussing social government policies. Not plumbing.

YoungHegelian said...

This ad strikes me as just incredibly anodyne. Every immigrant who comes here comes with a story of how they fucked things up in the old country and how (s)he can see it's coming down the pike here in the USA.

I don't say this to demean the ad, nor the immigrant experience. Rather, it is, as the ad says, how we should learn from history.

If one really believes in multicultural pluralism, one needs to listen to folks from other cultures who call into question one's most cherished assumptions. Otherwise, you're not a multi-culti --- you're just bored with white people.

YoungHegelian said...

This ad strikes me as just incredibly anodyne. Every immigrant who comes here comes with a story of how they fucked things up in the old country and how (s)he can see it's coming down the pike here in the USA.

I don't say this to demean the ad, nor the immigrant experience. Rather, it is, as the ad says, how we should learn from history.

If one really believes in multicultural pluralism, one needs to listen to folks from other cultures who call into question one's most cherished assumptions. Otherwise, you're not a multi-culti --- you're just bored with white people.

Hagar said...

There are not many socialists around anymore; they are a dying, not say dead, breed. But wrongheaded as they were, they were serious people and could, and would, do math and other hard stuff. Todays' "progressives" are not serious people.

And I question whether Obama belongs in either camp. "Critical race theory" is foolish, but it is not socialism nor really "progressive." If it were to succeed in this country, many "progressives" would be chagrined to wake up and find they were not included with the favored classes.

ricpic said...

This ad leads off a lot of totally apolitical videos on YouTube. Smart placement.

dreams said...

I've read that most Europeans prefer security over opportunity. I hope Romney is elected and he/we can stop Obama's transformation of our country into a socialist welfare state like Europe.

bagoh20 said...

I would really like to be a billionaire, to have $8 million to spend on an ad. I would need to have at least a billion before I would blow money like that, but that would be fun. 1000 million dollars! The stuff you could do with that.

PatCA said...

I've been seeing anti-Obama ads on tv in California!

I hope they know something I don't.

Cedarford said...

One of the big problems is that worker wages, in real constant dollar value, have been stagnant since 1980 - under both Republican and Democrat Administrations. While wealth further concentrates in the hands of a few.

The result is great cynicism about claims that working hard means you will see your income rise, job security rise, and your standard of living increase.

Many, not incorrectly, IMO, see the game rigged for the politically connected and the richest 1%.

The big money comes not from working hard, but house-flipping, knowing Denny Hastert or Franklin Raines and getting in on the 88 million dollar land deal or the telecomm licenses.
From being in a Hedge Fund inner circle and getting what millions you make taxed at only 15%.
From the well paid lobbyists that steer Dubya Bush's billions in defense and "heroes of counterterror" contracts to the "right people", or Obama's "right people" that are getting the Green Jobs money and still make out like bandits even if their project fails and no jobs are created.

Both Parties making IOUs to Bank of China to pay for new prescription drug or ObamaPhone entitlements. Or "free neocon wars of adventure" costing 2 trillion. Or bailing out the bankers, 100 cents on the dollar while screwing little lowly citizens who invested in those banks.

We should vote for Romney though, because he looks to be less corrupt or tolerate corrupt people around him bleeding America in their sly little deals....than Gore, Dubya, DeLay, Feinstein, Obama did.

Steve said...

Have seen it several times in central Ohio.

clint said...

It's on all the time here -- the Boston market gets all the good ads because of New Hampshire. Plus the Warren-Brown ad frenzy. And the Tisei-Tierney ads, even though I'm outside their district, because they're getting all the national party support.

(Starting to feel like the Bronco Bama kid...)

AEH said...

His comment of, “My understanding was that he said he had no ability to influence the 47 percent,” Peterffy said. “That’s the very logic I’m based on. I’m worried about when that 47 percent goes to 60 percent.” fascinates me. I was not offended by Romney's 47% shtick, but I couldn't figure out why. I grew up in a family where it was shameful to ask for monetary help, unless you paid it back. My dad grew up very poor because his parents worked hard and saved their money for their two sons's educations, even if it meant not having the quality of living that other people had.

If somebody is comfortable taking help and has no desire to pay the money back or try to individually support his or herself as quickly as possible, it is a "slippery slope." I don't know what causes this shame from not being able to provide for your own well-being, but if people are losing that, we will have a nation of dependents.

Jake Diamond said...

Wow! It was quite an accomplishment to squeeze so many logical fallacies into such a short ad. The only people who will be impressed by that ad are the morons who ignorantly screech "Obama is the most liberal president... EVAR!"

I've seen the ad several times in Wisconsin. The first time I saw it, I clapped.

Case in point.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"One of the big problems is that worker wages, in real constant dollar value, have been stagnant since 1980..."

Two alternatives: 1) Wages continue to rise to infinity - unrealistic. 2) They drop - not good.

What is important to remember is that the number of people moving up into those wages is exploding worldwide, even if it reduces the rise in wages for limited groups that formerly benefited from the limited supply of those capabilities. The unstoppable trend is that those capabilities and the wages that go with them are far more mobile than ever due simply to technology. It cannot be contained, and it's a foolish dream that somehow it will be. The important thing to be working on is creating and nurturing upward mobility for those with the drive for it. Regardless of whether or not "average wages" stay steady, what we can and should do is make it as common as possible for people to enter that range and move past it on their way to being higher earners. It's just silly to think that everybody can be above average or that average can always continue to be a richer and richer situation.

The problem that's abundantly clear to me as an employer who is always trying to find good people is that far fewer of our people are equipped by our culture and education system to even move into the middle earning range. Education is no longer designed in the interests of the students or the society, and the culture is diseased with ideas of class warfare and entitlement. Central to that is the idea that not performing is someone elses fault - the Chinese, the politicians, the rich, the other guy. It's a fatal idea to the individual or a society.

Illuninati said...

Jack Diamond said:
"Wow! It was quite an accomplishment to squeeze so many logical fallacies into such a short ad."

Your statement is rather vague. Why don't you describe the points which you think are illogical and provide us with verifiable information to refute those points?

hombre said...

Here's Jake, representing Obot's, perhaps the least contemplative group "EVAR" (sic.), asserting, without specifying, that there are "logical fallacies" in the billionaire's ad.

Well. God knows, everything Jake opines is "what's so."

AEH said...

Jake- the ad does have many generalized conclusions about why soviet eastern Europe was the way it was. There, of couse, were probably fairly successful people in these situations and their basic needs may have been met by the government.

What specifically do you discredit as a logical fallacy and why? Do you believe he is lying about his testimony? I don't know anything about Original Mike, since I cannot view his profile, but what if he (for argument's sake) had a similar background to the man in this commercial, had a similar experiences and drew these conclusions *on his own*, and was happy coming to the land of opportunity to make his living becoming a manager of a hardware store? (Totally hypothetical). Would you discredit his thoughts? Do you not like that he is successful and using his money to make his voice heard even if you don't agree with it?

But tell me, what are your thoughts, other than we are stupid anti-liberals?

rhhardin said...

Concern about behavior goes with questions raised, usually.

kcom said...

When it comes to socialism, I'm willing to grant Thomas Peterffy absolute moral authority.

Eric said...

There are not many socialists around anymore; they are a dying, not say dead, breed. But wrongheaded as they were, they were serious people and could, and would, do math and other hard stuff. Todays' "progressives" are not serious people.

I agree with this. I remember running into actual socialists in college. They were much more interested in the system they wanted to create without engaging in the never ending content-free temper-tantrum we see from the OWS types.

bagoh20 said...

Think about it. We have advanced so far so fast that you have to ask the question: how much can we really improve the lifestyle of the average middle class person in the U.S. with more income? In general they can't buy a longer life. There is little functional difference between the middle priced and the expensive in cars, health care, homes, leisure, or much else. There are of course differences but they are not substantial to the enjoyment of a life unless you have delusions of grandeur. The one thing most people could do effectively with more money is give themselves more freedom, more time to do what they want. It will take advances in technology and productivity to increase that for the large group in the middle - science and time, plain and simple. Trying to do it through social policy is a kind of faith in a perpetual motion machine as many in Europe are finding out. The great thing we all know is that no individual has to wait for the average wage to improve. Go get yours, if that's what you want.

rick said...

When the 47% hits 60%, you can kiss the 40% goodbye. They are gone, along with their capital, job creating resources, and intellect.

Jake Diamond said...

I realize that most Americans haven't lived in another country and therefore they may hold ignorant views about other systems of government. But when someone says something that sounds preposterous, it probably is preposterous.

For example, "I grew up in a socialist country... There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement." Well, unlike Peterffy, I've lived in more than one socialist country. I've seen that the terms and conditions of socialism vary from country to country and government to government. Based on firsthand experience I know that Peterffy's claim is absolute nonsense. Just as in the United States, the people I observed, met and knew in socialist countries had hope, freedom and pride in achievement. So Peterffy's ad begins with the absurd extrapolation fallacy and becomes increasingly more ridiculous.

Engaging your critical thinking abilities is not a bad thing. If you examine the claims in the ad, you'll see that Peterffy's ad is full of nonsense.



Jake Diamond said...

Would you discredit his thoughts?

Yup. I discredit any thoughts based on logical fallacies.

AJ Lynch said...

This a great ad and I have seen it many times here in PA and also when I was in NV for vacation. This man comes off as highly intelligent, well informed and genuinely concerned about America's future.

rick said...

Well Jake, we are on the slippery slope. More regulations are the MO for BO. A cabinet dept for business Don't we have a commerce secretary?

More regs = less freedom. To agree otherwise is silly. I value my freedom more than anything else.

Since Bronco Bama signed Bambicare, my monthly health insurance premiums have increased $500/ month (from $800/month to $1300). That's $6000 year I could be putting into my retirement which I fund myself.

Chip S. said...

Thomas Peterffy presents an empirical argument based on time-series evidence. Jake Diamond rebuts it with an empirical argument based on cross-sectional evidence.

The only logical fallacy here is the one committed by Jake Diamond.

fivewheels said...

I haven't watched the ad because I can't play it where I am now, but as someone who is an American because my family fled communism, I can pretty much imagine what's in it. (Maybe I'm wrong. Won't know for a few hours.)

I'm not much of a Republican, generally, but this issue/collection of issues is the reason I will never be able to abide the Democratic left, which still hasn't faced up to being 100 percent butt-wrong on every single aspect of the most important geopolitical issue of the 20th Century. They still speak in the same smug, self-superior tone they used to ridicule those of us who believed the Cold War mattered and that the U.S. wasn't the villain of it.

Just remember who those people are: the ones who said we were the imperialist aggressors, who said the Balkans were not subjugated states but happy members of the Soviet family, that the Berlin Wall was there to keep Westerners from flooding the workers' paradise, that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were innocent frame-up victims.

These people are real sure Peterffy's an idiot.

leslyn said...

"People lose interest in working hard and creating jobs." That's a bunch of crap. Americans, including the ones I know, are strivers and want to work and create and innovate. This is yet another old white guy complaining that the old days were better.

@Mitchell the Bat: if you've lost interest, get off your ass and stop complaining.

Matt said...

Jake is right. As everyone knows, the Berlin Wall was constructed to keep people who had lost hope in the Western way of doing things from fleeing into the Communist state where all are cared for.

Those living in East Germany were filled with hope and freedom, thus, the wall was necessary to stop the flood of refugees from the West who wanted a piece of the socialist pie. Duh.

And now that Jake has proven your foolishness, you should all really listen to the other really smart things he says.

rick said...

Leslyn:"People lose interest in working hard and creating jobs." That's a bunch of crap. Americans, including the ones I know, are strivers and want to work and create and innovate.

It is not a bunch of crap. I am a 61 years old and a small business owner. I am done.

Chip S. said...

Are Americans just harder-working SOBs than those layabouts in Europe? Although I must admit that I'm about to cite an analysis
made by an old white guy, at least he's an OWG with a Nobel Prize in economics:

According to [Edward] Prescott, the reason for these large differences in labor supply is not culture. "French, Japanese, and U.S. workers all have similar preferences," he writes. "The French are not better at enjoying leisure. The Japanese are not compulsive savers." The reason for the wide range in working hours is, in a word, taxes. Europeans supply less labor because there's a much larger wedge in most European countries between what a worker is paid and what that worker actually gets to keep after taxes are taken out.

Illuninati said...

Jack Diamond said:

"I realize that most Americans haven't lived in another country and therefore they may hold ignorant views about other systems of government."

I've also lived in several countries, and roomed with people from still other countries. My take on socialism is different from yours. Different experiences do not equal logical fallacies or "absolute nonsense".

Based on his description, I suspect that Peterffy grew up in a Marxist society. If you have lived in a Marxist society and still claim that peterffy is speaking nonsense, I'd question the validity of your reported experience.

A society, like Sweden, which at one time was relatively homogenous, like a big extended family, can do quite well with socialism, for a time. The system does sap their initiative, their wealth does not grow as fast without the incentives of unfettered capitalism, but if they started out with a high standard of living, they can stagnate in comfort. Countries, like Sweden, run into problems when outsiders, who have no intention of integrating, come into the country to live off the benefits but do not make a comparable contributin to the society. Then everyone suffers a declining standard of living. The Swedes are paying for their own colonization.

The United States is a large multicultural society, which takes in desperately poor immigrants, and tries to raise their standard of living. The only way this can happen, without lowering everone's standard of living, is if there is a rapidly growing GDP. Capitalism has worked very well to lift millions out of poverty, socialism, not so well.

fivewheels said...

Should I even try to explain this to Leslyn, or is it a lost cause?

No one says the U.S. is a fully socialist wreck TODAY. They fear what will happen if we go in that direction in the future. The essential American concepts of hard work and innovation and reward, which some but not all of us love, do still exist. For now. Got it?

fivewheels said...

Also, Peterffy is an old white guy saying his old days were worse. A lot worse.

Also, I'm not (that) old, and not at all white. So according to you, that automatically makes my opinion way more important, right? Sorry to pull the race card out of your deck.

rick said...

My earlier comment should read: To "argue" otherwise is silly.

Bob Ellison said...

Jake Diamond said "Well, unlike Peterffy, I've lived in more than one socialist country."

Which?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Let me attempt to explain this in a few paras. My late father-in-law was a Hungarian who walked and crawled 200 miles to his freedom in the rains and snows of late 1956. To his dying day he displayed the worn shoes in which he walked to his freedom.

Those who came with him in '56, along with smaller numbers from 1948 have always born immense hatred for socialism and anything which resembles it.

There has, however, always been a minority of Hungarians who believe(d) socialism is the answer. Soros is one. To say the two sides detest each other is an understatement.

The is also, to this day, a strong undercurrent of Jew hatred in Hungary because in the chaos following the 1918 collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire Hungary was taken over by socialists, Communists, Marxists, and Leninist ... nearly every one of whom was Jew. Nearly a century later the distrust remains.

Soros is part of that socialist stream, though I'm not aware he comes from its Jewish roots.

Peterffy, BTW is an anglicised form of Petöfi, a family producing the great mid-19th-century libertarian poet, Petöfi Sandor (last names are first in Hungary, and S is pronounced SH).

This guy comes by it honestly. His love of freedom is in his blood, bones, and genes.

leslyn said...

@rick: if you're old and tired, don't blame other people.

fivewheels: you remind me of the little red hen.

leslyn said...

"... the chaos following the 1918 collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire Hungary was taken over by socialists, Communists, Marxists, and Leninist ... nearly every one of whom was Jew. "

Your slip is showing.

bagoh20 said...

" I've lived in more than one socialist country."

Why the move?

leslyn said...

fivewheels. Democrats: "Just remember who those people are: the ones who said we were the imperialist aggressors, who said the Balkans were not subjugated states but happy members of the Soviet family, that the Berlin Wall was there to keep Westerners from flooding the workers' paradise, that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were innocent frame-up victims."

If you're not already enjoying yourself in the asylum, you should go there.

rick said...

leslyn I do not know you or your background. I suspect you have not owned a business. Government regulations strangle businesses. I love the competition, it's the feds that tire me.

PS I still play power volleyball.

leslyn said...

I've had my own business twice, 5 years each time. I got other jobs because I wanted to do something else.

If you don't want regulation, go to a place where there is little civilization.

rick said...

There must be balance leslyn. Bronco Bama governing style has no balance; To wit: bankrupting coal fired power plants by edict, taking over the haelthcare industry, shoveling stimulus money to Solydra type companies, suspending drilling permits in the gulf and on it goes.

Go where there is little civilization? You mean FEMA managed Staten Island?

kcom said...

So you're saying there was little civilization in the US fifteen or twenty years ago before the latest tens of thousands of pages of regulations were created? Really?

Bob Ellison said...

I was once a medium/minor God. The waves and earth yielded to my whims. And I choose Obama. If you do otherwise, I will smite you.

EMD said...

If you don't want regulation, go to a place where there is little civilization.

Great reasoning.

rick said...

Leslyn, Did you read that Bronco Bama suspended the clean air regs for gasoline sales to the flood ravaged areas? Why did he do that? Let me you why. He did it to get gasoline to the marketplace expeditiously. Hypocrite.

Did you read that FEMA ran out of bottled water yesterday. Apparently this storm surprised them.

In light of the bottled water shortage, do you think Mayor Nanny Doomberg (Idiot-NY) will suspend the regs for selling 20 oz. cokes?






EMD said...

This is yet another old white guy complaining that the old days were better.

Leslyn has never lived in a place where the tanks rolled in to town.

exiledonmainst said...

"This is yet another old white guy complaining that the old days were better."

Didn't even bother to watch the ad, did you, leslyn?

The "old white guy" was talking about the "old days" in Eastern Europe. You know, the era from 1945-1989. Which was, despite the lies of the left, very decidedly "not better."

Duh.

You ran businesses? I doubt you could run a lemonade stand.

exiledonmainst said...

"I got other jobs because I wanted to do something else"

Translation: my businesses went belly up.

Damn capitalism.

Nonapod said...

f you don't want regulation, go to a place where there is little civilization.

Civilization does not require regulation on businesses. Civilization requires rule of law, individual morality, and property rights

leslyn said...

Watched the ad; stand by my comments. Guess what you like about my business acumen.

So regs were suspended for emergency transportation. You say "hypocrite;" I say having it both ways. What, you have a moral ground you want the President to stand on and deny supplies?

rick said...

Drudge headlines for FEMA controlled NY:

Anarchy in Queens;

Residents arm up with ball bats, machetes, shotguns;

FEMA out of water 'til Monday;

Carter style gas rationing;

Obama refuses to answer questions about storm victims frustrations.

Heck of a job, Brownie.






wyo sis said...

Selling things is a business.

Mr. D said...

This ad has been running in Minnesota for about two weeks now. Very effective, I think.

rick said...

"What, you have a moral ground you want the President to stand on and deny supplies?"

Do you realize what you just said? You saying it is OK to dispense with regs for citizen's health and welfare. I think that is exactly what you are saying.

So .... can we dispense with regs so coal miners can feed their families? Dispense with regs so golf drilling rig workers can send their kid to college?

You are a bigger hypocrite than Bronco himself.

leslyn said...

"Brownie"? Perhaps you'd rather compare him to Bushie and Katrina. In any case, why are you complaining? FEMA will be abolished. There won't be any government intrusion in disasters. You CAN go to Walmart, as someone mentioned above. People will be self-sufficient and not dependent on government aid. So why are you complaining that there isn't ENOUGH?

Rusty said...

leslyn said...
I've had my own business twice, 5 years each time. I got other jobs because I wanted to do something else.

If you don't want regulation, go to a place where there is little civilization.

And yet you learned nothing.

Popville said...

Absolutely love this Ad! Shown on CNBC all the time.

Working in Silicon Valley I remember hearing this sentiment from older Eastern European co-workers, more than a few who were recovered lefty fundamentalists. Of course Silicon Valley is American opportunity on steroids times 10, so freedom to succeed and/or fail on one's own merits without undue interference is THE 1ST COMMANDMENT. I expect the groundswell against software patents (patenting the obvious & despite prior art if one spent an hour investigating) will reach the rebellion stage within 2 years. Lawyers, meh!; tho some of them make fantastic bloggers :)

exiledonmainst said...

"Watched the ad; stand by my comments"

In other words, you double down on stupid.

Well, that's par for the course with you.

Peter Hoh said...

Back when he was in a socialist country, dreaming of life in the United States, what was the tax rate on upper-income earners?

fivewheels said...

In Hungary?

rick said...

Mr. Hoh, he was born during a Russian air raid. I suspect he emigrated from Hungary because he wanted to be free. Like we all do ..... well most of us.

He started work in the US as a draftsman. I am guessing, but I think tax rates were not on the top of his list when he landed on US soil.

EMD said...

FEMA will be abolished. There won't be any government intrusion in disasters.

Would you like some fries with that hyperbole?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Leslyn said: (quoting me)"... the chaos following the 1918 collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire Hungary was taken over by socialists, Communists, Marxists, and Leninist ... nearly every one of whom was Jew. "

Your slip is showing.
-------

And just what "slip" might that be? Every Pesach I chant the kiddush for my family, in Hebrew.

Number 1: read your history before mouthing off on something you don't understand.

Number 2: you could do better if you didn't stumble past appropriate opportunities to keep your mouth shut. See also Number 1. Again.

Jamie said...

Leslyn, your name is unusual. I don't want to trespass on your privacy, but the only other time I've encountered it was that it was Robert Heinlein's second wife's name. Curiously, she seems to have shared your ideological convictions, from what I read of her and you.

More relevant: I'm not sure what you meant about the "asylum." It's a matter of record that a whooole lot of people considered Hiss and the Rosenbergs innocent victims rather than the spies they have definitively been shown to be, for instance. (Heck, I remember learning that there was doubt about it when I was in junior high, about 30 years ago.) Or was it some other unquestioned Truth of the Left that you thought should have put fivewheels into an asylum?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

@ AEH Where in Quebec are you? For thirteen years I lived south of Quebec City, in the region called 'Beauce'.

sane_voter said...

Great ad. I haven't seen it on Fox News. maybe he is running it on channels with a more lefist bent?

AEH said...

Bart Hall- I live in Montreal. I am doing graduate work at McGill University.

Alex said...

One of the big problems is that worker wages, in real constant dollar value, have been stagnant since 1980 - under both Republican and Democrat Administrations. While wealth further concentrates in the hands of a few.

Why should certain jobs be guaranteed forever?

Why should their wages be guaranteed to go up and up forever?

Think about that for a minute.

We live in an information economy now.

Eventually AI robots will replace software engineers too.

Think about that.

chrisnavin.com said...

Leslyn's argument is one that many who share her worldview make: With civilization comes a larger State, the safety and security it brings, and progress toward greater equality.

I respectfully disagree. We needn't follow this path at all, but many agree with her, and the message is powerful.

fivewheels said...

So leslyn compared me to the Little Red Hen above. I didn't remember the story, but I've now looked it up. Do you know the tale? Is that supposed to be an insult?

Long story short, the other animals decline to help the hen plant the seeds, water and harvest the grain, mill the flour and bake the bread, but then they want to help eat the bread. The hen says, "Um, I don't think so." This teaches the lazy animals to help with the next loaf, and then and only then do they all share.

It's so telling. Is the Little Red Hen now considered the villain of the story? An evil 1-percenter who unfairly abuses the other animals by ... thinking ahead and working hard? Is that Occupy mindset so ingrained in some people that a very simple children's story with an obvious moral now is interpreted in the opposite way from what was intended?

Fascinating.

fivewheels said...

And I just want to acknowledge that I wrote "Balkan" above when of course I meant "Baltic."

Jake Diamond said...

Thomas Peterffy presents an empirical argument based on time-series evidence. Jake Diamond rebuts it with an empirical argument based on cross-sectional evidence.

This is the kind of idiocy that I encounter all too often at Althouse. No doubt Chippy thinks he's a clever fellow, but the problem here is that he's evidently not clever enough to understand the ideas being discussed.

Peterffy extrapolates from his personal experience in communist Hungary and reaches broad conclusions framed in absolute terms (e.g. "no hope, no freedom") about socialism in any and all forms. Because Peterffy speaks in absolutes, it requires only contradictory evidence to prove him wrong. That's what I've done with respect to the quote from the Peterffy ad.

Chippy's comment is a perfect example of how the Althouse lemmings reliably get things wrong--they're reluctant to examine ideas critically if the ideas fit conveniently into their worldview. In this case Chippy is desperate to believe that socialism is evil and that people who live in socialist countries live miserable lives without hope. That's why he feels compelled to defend Peterffy's illogical conclusions.

I come to Althouse specifically to see what people I generally disagree with have to say. Occasionally someone makes an interesting observation, more frequently someone will post something unintentionally humorous, but most of the time I see a repetition of dull and stupid comments borrowed from Limbaugh, Malkin, or one of the other right wing loudmouths. If I wanted to read or hear that kind of crap, I'd go straight to the source.

leslyn said...

Oops fivewheels, I got fowled. It was Chicken Little I was thinking of, not the Little Red Hen.

Synova said...

"Peterffy extrapolates from his personal experience in communist Hungary and reaches broad conclusions framed in absolute terms (e.g. "no hope, no freedom") about socialism in any and all forms. Because Peterffy speaks in absolutes, it requires only contradictory evidence to prove him wrong. That's what I've done with respect to the quote from the Peterffy ad."

Does Peterffy speak in absolutes or generalities?

I think you're guilty of a fallacy as great as any he made. Because he didn't say "most people" every other word all you need do is identify an exception?

If what I want to know is how the socialism he experienced impacts people's motivation to work hard and strive, finding an example of someone in that system who was a real go-getter in spite of it, disproves or proves nothing at all.

Because if those systems didn't do what he says they did, you don't need an example contrary to his, you need an alternate theory to explain why they sucked so bad.

If you don't have an alternate theory of why those economies tanked and resulted in so much misery you don't have anything at all.

Synova said...

All you can prove is that he used hyperbole.

Hyperbole isn't a logical fallacy.

Chip S. said...

For a self-styled logic expert, Jake Diamond resorts to the ad hominem fallacy pretty quickly when he feels stung by mean commenters. Althouse lemmings! Limbaugh! Maaaaalkin!!!

Jake can keep saying Peterffy's argument is illogical for as many days as he likes, but that still won't make it so.

Synova explains things pretty clearly, as did Illuminati @ 6:08 PM yesterday, so there's no need to add much. But I will add this: Peterffy's argument is that more socialism = reduced incentives. He uses his native Hungary as an example of socialism taken to its extreme. That's not illogical, and it's not the sole basis for Peterffy's argument. If JD thinks that he's more aware of the variety of socialist societies than Peterffy is, then JD is just an arrogant fool.

There's plenty of empirical evidence in support of Peterffy's general proposition. My comment@ 6:06 PM yesterday provided a link to some of that evidence. Nothing in Jake's personal experience refutes any of that evidence.

You see, Jake, the argument is that any particular country is less prosperous the more socialist it is. It does not mean that all countries that are socialist to any degree are all impoverished.

But I'll give Jake credit for one thing: He's not making the usual argument that Obama's agenda doesn't constitute a move toward socialism. So, there's that.

n.n said...

Respect individual dignity. How hard is that? Supposedly, that was the lesson taught by the civil and human rights movements.

Claudio Timbers said...

We expect to be born in a clean well equipped hospital, go to the best government funded schools. live in nice houses with good plumbing and climate control. plumber chino hills

Claudio Timbers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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