What SC needs is a good UnParty think tank

Speaking of “conservative, conservative, conservative,” repeated as a mind-numbing mantra…

This came in today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ellen Weaver – 803-708-0673press@palmettopolicy.org


JIM DEMINT ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF NEW S C THINK TANK
Palmetto Policy Forum to serve a vital role in policy research, innovation and collaboration

Columbia, SC – Today, former U.S. Senator and Heritage Foundation President-elect Jim DeMint announced the launch of the Palmetto Policy Forum, an independent, South Carolina-based think tank.

DeMint, who is investing a portion of his remaining campaign funds to help establish the group, will also serve as its Founding Chairman.

Joining him on the Founding Board is a roster of prominent South Carolina leaders including C. Dan Adams, President and CEO of The Capital Corporation; J. Gresham Barrett, Stewardship Director of NewSpring Church; Michael R. Brenan, Group/State President of BB&T; Michael H. McBride, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HMR Veterans Services, Inc.; and Stu Rodman, Founder and Vice-Chairman of the Board.

The organization will be led by newly-appointed President & CEO, Ellen Weaver, a seasoned veteran of policy, communications and politics.  Weaver has worked with DeMint in both Washington, DC and South Carolina, most recently serving as his State Director.  She will assume full-time duties with Palmetto Policy Forum on March 4, to allow for the completion of an orderly transition between the former DeMint office and that of newly-appointed U.S. Senator Tim Scott.

 

Dr. Oran Smith, a trusted advocate for conservative policy during his many years of service in South Carolina, will join the staff as Senior Fellow, applying sharp analytical skills to legislative research and policy innovation.

Kate Middleton Maroney, who worked on Capitol Hill in the office of U.S. Representative Trent Franks, will join the staff as Executive Assistant and oversee management of new media outreach.

“While Washington is stuck in an endless cycle of debt, “cliffs” and crisis, a growing number of states are seizing the initiative to implement bold policy innovation that will expand opportunity and economic prosperity for all of their citizens. Conservative success at the state level will be the catalyst that saves our country,” said DeMint.

He continued, “I am pleased to have this opportunity to invest in Palmetto Policy Forum and the future success of the state I love.  I believe South Carolina can lead the nation with the most principled, powerful and effective conservative advocates in America. The Forum will play a key role in cultivating the bold and visionary ideas that we know form the ladder of opportunity for every American.  In my new role at The Heritage Foundation, I look forward to working with Palmetto Policy Forum and like-minded groups all around the country to lead an opportunity renaissance that speaks to the dreams and aspirations of every American.”

“South Carolina needs an organization that will develop a broad spectrum of well-researched policies, rooted in conservative principles and promoted in a positive, coalition-building way.  There is no reason why South Carolina cannot lead the nation in passing market-based policies that we know form the foundation of long-term economic and social success.  On behalf of the Board, we look forward to the work ahead,” said Founding Board Member, Mike Brenan.

 

Forum Senior Fellow, Dr. Oran Smith said, “An opportunity like Palmetto Policy comes along once in a lifetime. I am honored to add a portfolio at The Forum to my duties as President of Palmetto Family. Positive, conservative but winsome policy entrepreneurship is what South Carolina needs, and that is what Jim DeMint and The Forum represent.”

 

In closing, Forum President Ellen Weaver stated, “Our challenge – and opportunity – is to develop principle-based policies and to promote them in a way that connects back to the shared values of people all over South Carolina.  By promoting best-practice conservative ideas from around our state and nation, we can show the way forward to increased opportunity for all. It has been an honor to serve in the DeMint office for the past 12 years and I am humbled to have now been asked to oversee this exciting new venture.  I look forward to the chance to work with our board, staff and South Carolina leaders to launch positive policy solutions for the future of our state and those willing to follow South Carolina’s lead.”

 

###

Really? Somebody looked at South Carolina, with its SC Policy Council and its SC Club for Growth, and its Nikki Haley and its GOP controlled Legislature, its two Republican senators, and its congressional delegation with one token Democrat, its ranks purged of anyone not pleasing to the Tea Party, and decided that what this state really needed was another entity to advocate for the currently fashionable definition of “conservatism?”

I’ll tell you what SC needs — a forum for ideas that aren’t handcuffed to ideologies, a force that advocates for practical policies that help move this state forward to where we’re no longer last where we want to be first, and first where we want to be last. Which, by the way, is what multiple generations of leaders who conformed to their day’s definition of “conservatism” got us. In antebellum times, we had the most conservative form of government in the nation (powerful legislature, weak executive). Our “conservatism,” our passionate defense of the status quo, led us to secede from the union. After that ended in disaster, forces of reaction in our state managed to restore the same form of government that had served the slaveholders before 1860, although now it served no one in SC. Generation after generation since then has worn its avowed “conservatism” like a glorious crown. And now we are afflicted by a generation that thinks it invented conservatism, and that all that went before it was rabid socialism.

As one who wants the best for my native state, this is discouraging in the extreme.

I’ll be glad to help run such an UnParty think tank, if somebody will put up the money. Ah, there’s the rub! For in South Carolina, there are always millions to be found for bumper-sticker ideology, but not a thin dime for reason and pragmatism.

57 thoughts on “What SC needs is a good UnParty think tank

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Actually, no, it isn’t. It’s for accountable, effective, transparent government. It looks “big government” to the more extreme libertarians because it’s always having to argue with the people who, contrary to any reasonable perception of reality, believe that the problem in South Carolina, of all places, is too much government. Which continues to floor me, there’s so little justification for such a viewpoint…

        Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And Kathryn is right; The State’s editorial board was the closest thing SC had to a pragmatic, nonpartisan think tank that advocated for practical policies that were not defined or limited by ideology.

      But the business model failed. Cindi and Warren still tend the flame, but it’s become fairly obvious that that is not the way to pay for such an entity any more.

      Unfortunately, the model used by the parties and other ideologues — the bumper-sticker simplicity, the demonization of those who disagree, keeping people stirred up with nonsense so that they’ll keep giving — is the only one that’s worked in these parts.

      Reply
  1. Andrew

    It’s basically Demint’s Senate office / permanent campaign, that doesn’t have to deal with voters, only donors. It’s a way he can park his contributors cash, and still have a thumb in SC politics.

    It’s an extra governmental Senate office.

    Reply
  2. bud

    In that short piece the word “conservative” was mentioned 7 times. Seriously folks how can we have an honest debate in this country when one group worships a particular word as though it was God. Besides conservative can mean very different things. Rush Limbaugh has no problem declaring his conservatism while he advocates for extremely large spending on the military. Others, perhaps Jim DeMint would fall in this category, believe the military is too large. So what is a “conservative” in todays political environment? Seems to me it’s not particularly useful to just advocate for “conservatism” when the meaning of the term is so blurred and overused.

    Reply
  3. Doug Ross

    “I’ll be glad to help run such an UnParty think tank, if somebody will put up the money. ”

    The motto of the UnParty : “Our ideas, your money”.

    If the ideas are sound, why would it be so difficult to find funding to promote them?

    Reply
    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Because the people to whom such ideas appeal do not have a lot of money, and that includes me and Brad and…..

      We cannot compete with the unbridled Capitalistas!

      Reply
  4. bud

    “Conservative success at the state level will be the catalyst that saves our country,”
    -Jim DeMint

    How does “conservative” success differ from regular success? If the success is not “conservative” is it a failure? If a strategy works should we just reject it because it doesn’t meet some litmus test for being “conservative”? If something that does meet the “conservative” test is tried and it clearly doesn’t work do we continue with it anyway?

    This constant nattering mantra of “conservative” this and “conservative” that is just so offputting. My idea of a think tank is to come up with ideas and even if those ideas are brilliant in theory the promoter of the idea must absolutely be open to the possibility that if it is tested and the empirical data demonstrates it is flawed then they must reconsider that idea. This rigid line of thinking on the part of the so-called “conservative” movement is part and parcel of what continues to make us fail so badly as a state. Until folks see that then we are bound to languish at the bottom.

    Reply
  5. Doug Ross

    “if it is tested and the empirical data demonstrates it is flawed then they must reconsider that idea. ”

    Well, that would eliminate Social Security. So I’m all for that.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      If Social Security is successful why is there constant tinkering required? If it works, we wouldn’t have seen the rates increased over the years. It’s presented as a retirement plan but it’s really a “keep old people dependent on the government” plan. It’s a “take from the rich to give to the poor” plan. It’s a “you aren’t smart enough to manage your own money” plan.

      Reply
      1. Scout

        It was a keep old people out of poverty plan and compared to the situation before it was implemented, it has worked to that end.

        Reply
    2. Doug Ross

      @bud
      http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/taxRates.html

      Social Security tax has increased 22 times from initially 1% of income to 6.2% in 1990. That’s a six fold increase. A self-employed worker like myself pays 15.3 cents of every dollar earned up to $110K for Social Security and Medicare. That’s BEFORE all the other Federal, State, and local Property taxes kick in.

      It’s a terrible deal as a retirement program. It’s purely a wealth distribution mechanism. A worker making just $40K per year for 45 years could have had a bank account with $225,000 in it even if there was no interest paid. Even at a paltry 1.5% interest rate, he’d have nearly half a million dollars. And it would be there no matter what – when he dies, his heirs get the balance. But we can’t do that. Better to load up the government coffers and dole (emphasis on dole) the money back out to retirees.

      Reply
  6. Steven Davis II

    The military is preparing for budget cuts starting March 1st and responding appropriately. What are the social programs doing to prepare for these same cuts? Or will it come up as a big surprise March 1st when the funding stops? This is a prime example of two groups of people… those who do and those who don’t.

    Reply
  7. bud

    Doug, if capitalism works why do we have huge oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, companies like ENRON that steal people blind and a banking industry that just can’t seem to be honest with its investors? By your standard we should trash capitalism and go back to the days of fuedalism.

    Seriously Doug surely you must know dozens of people who benefit from social security. I know several that rely on it for half or more of their income. And these are not deadbeats but simply folks who worked hard but had issues that prevented them from investing in a pension. (Many had illnesses that our crappy healthcare system swallowed up savings.) After 80 fantastically successful years isn’t it about time to put this nonsense about social security to rest?

    As for all this “tinkering” that is a ridiculous charge. The last time anything of significance was done to SS was in the 1980s. How many restaraunts can you name in Columbia that are still in business after 30 years. SS continues to pay nice benefits to 10s of millions of Americans in an orderly, consistent and efficient manner. And the system is solvent without any “tinkering” for another 20 years or so.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      @bud

      What part of your daily existence DOESN’T rely on the benefits that capitalism has given you?

      You confuse capitalism with unethical behavior. They are not the same thing. You can be a corrupt capitalist, socialist, communist. It’s the people who are unpure not the system.

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Bud and Doug, y’all are a complementary pair. Bud tends to see capitalism as inherently evil (or at least often sounds like he does) and Doug tends to see government that way (or, again, often sounds like he does).

        Me, I just think people are people, whether you find them in the private or public sectors. Neither environment is inherently good or bad. It just depends on what the people in them do in a given situation.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          The difference, Brad, is that bad businesses fail in capitalism while bad government programs rarely are killed off. Government programs are inefficient because they lack the incentive to perform better. In business, a company like K-Mart rises and falls on its ability to meet the needs of customers. In government, that doesn’t happen. Lillian McBrides exist all throughout the government buildings in Columbia.

          Reply
  8. Lynn

    Brookings, Rand, Heritage, Cato and a dozen other “think tanks” based in Washington, DC provide a basic and important function, to proved thoughtful research on a variety of policy topics and do this from a specific and identified acknowledged viewpoint. This work supplement the research done by the GAO and CBO. They depend on highly educated and experience scholars who conduct rigorous research albeit from a particular perspective. The importance is rigorous research that is designed and conducted with accepted and respected methods. There are few places in SC outside of USC, Clemson, or MUSC that provide this rigorous level of research. SC’s think tanks simply produce propaganda based on sloppy research methods. I call it jeopardy research. Give me the answer and I’ll design the question and method to get that answer.
    Beside when has SC every let fact affect it’s public decisions.

    Reply
  9. Kathryn Fenner

    I don’t think capitalism is inherently evil. It is morally neutral. It is great at maximizing wealth, terrible at fair distribution. The concentration of wealth that results from it, without government intervention, makes it possible for successful capitalists to have a much larger speech budget and a larger think tank funding resource.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Define “fair”. Whoever takes the risk deserves the greatest reward. If you want to be a worker-bee, you don’t deserve the sweetest honey.

      Nearly every one of us has the opportunity to take a chance, create a business, and reap the rewards. Some choose to, others chooser the safer route.

      Reply
  10. Herb

    What would be nice is if people would analyze situations based on the data, grappling with the complex streams that often make up, or at least significantly influence any particular issue. Cindy Scoppe is an excellent example of the that here locally; people like Nicolas Kristof is an example on the international scene.

    Alas, what we get too much of are the false prophets of the easy solutions and blame-game theorists who do more pandering than anything else.

    Reply
  11. bud

    Bud tends to see capitalism as inherently evil ..
    -Brad

    No, I was just trying to make a point. As an article of faith Doug routinely rails against social security as a failure. I was using a bit of sarcasm to make a point by using 3 examples of capitalist ventures that clearly did not serve the public good and extrapolating those isolated events to proclaim in a general way that capitalism is a failure. Sometimes sarcasm can be so subtle that it fails to achieve it’s intended goal.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      @bud

      You didn’t offer examples of capitalism failing, you offered examples of illegal activity.

      I offered evidence directly from the Social Security website showing how the original program has increased its rate from 1% to 6.2% over the years as the model has proven unsustainable.

      We are going to see the same thing with Obamacare. There are stories coming out every day now of miscalculations on the costs – they are NEVER underestimated are they? Just saw a story yesterday that a typical healthy young male is going to see his insurance cost raised by 190%. We’re just at the true starting point for Obamacare (conveniently pushed out after the election). It’s going to become a drag on the economy.

      Reply
  12. Doug Ross

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2012/11/27/young-people-under-obamacare-cash-cow-for-older-workers/

    “The newly announced rules limit insurers to charge their oldest customers no more than three times as much as younger ones. As shown in the following chart based on estimates by international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, the rule will force insurers to hike rates for 18- to 24-year-olds by 45 percent even as rates for those 60 and older drop by 13 percent in most states.[2] That means a 22-year-old waitress paying $2,068 for her health insurance will have to fork over $3,000 when Obamacare takes effect.[3] And these figures even underestimate the actual impact.

    Analysts based these estimates on average premiums for 5-year age groups (i.e. 55-59, 60-64, etc.). However, the new rules say that the restriction must apply to 1-year age groups (i.e. 25, 26, 27, etc.). Since health spending rises steadily by age—about 3.5 percent per year between 25 to 64—expected spending for 64 year-olds is higher than for the 60-64 year-old age group as a whole. That means insurance companies will have to charge 18-year-olds at least 10 percent more using the 1-year age groups to ensure their premiums fall within the mandated range of those of 64 year-olds.

    The real-world consequence of this regulatory misjudgment is that young people will have an even greater economic incentive to simply pay the $695 annual penalty for not having coverage and wait until they are sick before they purchase it. [4] In short, it is now even more likely that Obamacare will amplify the perverse incentives for “free-riding” that it was intended to counter.”

    Reply
  13. Kathryn Fenner

    Fair is compensating labor sufficiently that worker bees can afford to live, including affording decent health care and post-secondary educational opportunities. It is a rising tide that floats all boats, not just yachts.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      @Kathryn

      What would you set the minimum wage to in order to meet your fair wage standard? $20.00/hr? $40?

      Fair is everyone has an equal opportunity to maximize his income every day. It doesn’t require post-secondary education. It requires effort. You’ll never be able to come up with a system that doesn’t reward the smartest people, the hardest workers, the risk takers with the greatest share of the pie.

      The kid who works at McDonalds who I see texting on his phone while on the job isn’t going anywhere in life. The other kid who smiles at customers even though he’s getting $7.50 an hour, who volunteers for extra shifts, who buys into the manager’s goals of keeping the restaurant clean, and who reads the newspaper instead of Twitter during his lunch break will get somewhere.

      Fairness comes to those who work for it.

      Reply
      1. Steven Davis II

        You mean they have to get a job? It’s much easier if Uncle Sam just sends you a check or refills your EBT card.

        Reply
    2. Steven Davis II

      It doesn’t matter what the hourly wage is, I read an article yesterday where small businesses aren’t hiring full-time anymore because they then have to provide medical insurance coverage. Under Obamacare they are flat out telling applicants that this position is part-time, and why they aren’t hiring full-time employees.

      Reply
  14. Kathryn Fenner

    Doug,
    Everyone doesn’t have the makings of an entrepreneur. We need more Indians than we need chiefs. I think the chief can get the bigger piece of pie, but the Indians deserve more than crumbs. I’m not sure this is a minimum wage issue. The middle class has been losing real income ground over the past several decades, while the CEO class gains hugely. The working class has lost even more, proportionately. There have been several ideas on how to redress this, and I don’t particularly think any one I’ve heard will work, but I think we need to figure out something.

    Reply
  15. bud

    You didn’t offer examples of capitalism failing, you offered examples of illegal activity.
    -Doug

    Seirously??? Are you kidding me??? How do you even begin to have a sensible discussion about anything when someone offers such a complete non-sequetor piece of nonsense. Doug, Doug, Doug you are so completely in rapture of the unfailing nature of capitalism you simply can’t even acknowledge any, ANY failings on the part of capitalism. I could offer hundreds of examples of capitalism failing even though it was done legally but that wouldn’t satisfy the question. You’d dodge and weave and say something idiotic like, “the government failed to do it’s job”.

    Look, I regard capitalism as something of a necessary evil. It does a fairly descent job at efficiently bringing capital together to produce goods and services. The market does provide incentives through the profit motive and there are many instances where owners and workers alike thrive. But it is simply ridiculous nonsense to suggest capitalism cannot and does not fail at times. We have pollution and safety issues that cannot possibly be addressed in any other way but with government intervention. And that’s a form of socialism. It also seems clear that capitalism if left unchecked gives an undeserved bonus for just plain luck. And it also is a very poor method of distributing income on the basis of hard work and talent. It just is.

    What is happening today is a tragedy in the making as a result of capitalism run amok by stripping away the nations assets from the vast majority of Americans and distributing them to a tiny share of individuals who may have worked hard and were brillliant at one time but now simply rake in the wealth. Much of that wealth comes as a result of gaming the political system to their advantage. And some is the result of skulduggery. Either way the notion that there is a complete balance between all the virtues of work/talent and wealth is just so far removed from the reality of the world that it really shouldn’t even be up for debate anymore. But the myth persists. And the middle class shrinks.

    Reply
  16. Doug Ross

    Everyone has the capacity to work to their fullest and take advantage of whatever skills they have. That’s why I pay a plumber a lot of money to fix my sink.

    I recently commented to a very efficient Wal Mart cashier that she needed to slow down because she was making the rest of her co-workers look bad. She said “I’m from up north. This is how I work.”

    Reply
  17. Kathryn Fenner

    Sure, but do we pay CEOs of failing companies a bazillion dollars, and hardworking cashiers peanuts?

    And don’t talk about the market w/r/t CEO pay. Shareholder disenfranchisement happened in the 1980s. I worked on helping several companies do it. Now it is very hard to control executive compensation, and since everyone overpays, if you want to invest in the stock market, you’re unable to control. It.

    Reply
    1. Steven Davis II

      Is this the same problem I see with a friend’s law firm where profit per partner for 2012 was just under $2 million? All 2000+ partners? First year associates who are brought in at nearly $200,000 salaries?

      Reply
        1. Kathryn Fenner

          That is a sliver of the legal profession. I was in such a firm several times. I am a top graduate of a top law school. Most lawyers never have that kind of opportunity.

          I did not have the fortitude for such an environment, and I doubt that many, other than maybe Doug, here, would. Most lawyers make far far less.

          Reply
          1. Kathryn Fenner

            And those associates probably billed at least three times their salary. Nowadays, it is expected to be even more!

            Reply
    2. Steve Gordy

      WRT the mantra of “maximize shareholder value” which has gained popularity over the last 30 years, it’s easy to forget the the majority of shares in most of the S&P 500 are probably held by institutional investors. Such “shareholders” lack any emotional commitment to long-term value creation and are primarily interested in actively trading in and out of individual companies.

      Reply
  18. bud

    Everyone has the capacity to work to their fullest and take advantage of whatever skills they have.
    -Doug

    That’s absolutely true and both a plumber and cashier can do ok. Problem is over time those types of skills alone will not be sufficient to translate into a real, living wage. Of course a lazy person will be even more at a disadvantage. The day of reckoning will come once the wealth of the nation is so concentrated that even a very skilled plumber will be unable to earn a living. That’s the danger I fear.

    Reply
    1. Steven Davis II

      So what you’re implying is that once a plumber gets his apprenticeship and once a cashier learns how to use a cash register they’re stuck in that position for life. That there’s no chance for advancement or continued education.

      You fear a skilled plumber will not be able to make a living wage? All it’ll take is the water to be shut off, a serious leak, or a toilet severely clogged for that all to change for the plumber. It’s also a skilled position, a career which fewer and fewer young people want to lower themselves to enter into and you have the whole economic supply and demand thing to consider. I’m not worried about a licensed plumber going hungry any time soon.

      Reply
      1. Silence

        I’ll echo SDII’s sentiment. My wife and I both have graduate degrees and earn very comfortable livings – but the hours I use my plumber he earns more than either of us do. Same with the tree guy. Which is fine. I don’t need them very often, and I don’t want to replace my sewer line or climb up trees with a chainsaw. I consider their work skilled and specialized.
        A cashier? Not so much really.

        Reply
  19. Doug Ross

    I assume that the people who rant and rave about how awful capitalism is do not own stocks, mutual funds, have their checkin and savings accounts with large banks, and do not participate in pension plans that hold large positions in Fortune 500 companies. Because that would make those people exactly like the Tea Partiers they mock who want less government but get Social Security and Medicare. If you don’t like profit maximizing corporations, don’t complain when you reap the benefits of those same corporate profits.

    Reply
  20. Doug Ross

    Here are the top 10 holdings of the South Carolina State Pension system. Which of these companies would you like to see make LESS profit?

    Exxon Mobil Corp
    Chevron Corp
    Wells Fargo & Co
    JP Morgan Chase & Co
    SBA Communications Corp
    Pfizer Inc
    AT&T Inc
    Mednax Inc
    Genesee & Wyoming Inc
    Davita Inc

    Reply
    1. Silence

      Who the crap is stock picking for the SC Pension system, is what I’d like to know. SBA, Mednax, G&W and Davita are pretty small market cap companies to be among our top 10 holdings. XOM, CVX, WFC, JPM, PFE, T – OK, those are mega-caps, and I can understand those being the top holdings.

      Reply
  21. bud

    Doug, lets not put the cart before the horse. If I have no money it really doesn’t matter how much money the SC Retirement System makes in investments.

    Besides I’m not oppossed in general to free enterprise or companies making a profit. My view of the economy is much more complex than to say any type of system is the best. Rather what I’m saying is that in the real world of economics there are billions if not trillions of transactions that transpire in a given year. No command economy could possibly be flexible enough to manage all those transactions without the aid of profit motives. That’s the roll of capitalism. Yet it is crystal clear that government intervention is e needed whenever the profit motive fails the citizenry as a whole. That’s the socialism part of a healthy economy. Unfortunately government policies can and do have unintented consequences. Yet even with that it is often better to accept imperfection than to have unfettered capitalism destroy the entire economy. That is where laws and regulations come in.

    What’s happening today is a good example of how free-market forces are getting out of hand to the detriment of the citizens by allowing an astonishing concentration of wealth at the top. The economic pie is not growing nearly fast enough to compensate for this concentration and as a result many folks in the working and middle class are falling behind. One manifestation of this is the enormous growth in student loan debt that will prevent many young people from ever attaining a financially stable lifestyle. Someone is the beneficiary of this massive debt. And those folks are in effect gobbling up the pie before any of the rest of us can even get our forks out of the drawer.

    There is no easy answer to this problem. Some government effort to steer wealth distribution into a more equitable pattern is part of the solution. Perhaps some legislation to allow stock holders greater power in granting executive pay could be a part of this effort. After all stock holders are the owners why should they not have the power to pay what their employees at the top are really worth rather than skim huge salaries as the result of corporate cronysim .

    But as is well known government intervention works more like a meat cleaver than a scalpel and indeed unintended consequences will come to the fore. But that may be necessary to save the middle class.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      @bud

      I don’t understand the part of “if I don’t have money it really doesn’t matter how much money the SC Retirement System makes in investments. ”

      Aren’t you a state employee? Won’t you benefit from those investments when you retire?

      What happens if those companies tank and the pension fund can’t meet its obligations? You either cut the benefits or have to raise taxes.

      Nobody has ever called for “no government”. What I want is the least government possible that is able to provide for the basic needs and infrastructure of all people. That means not being involved in student loans, healthcare (other than as regulators), or education.

      Reply
    2. Steven Davis II

      ” Some government effort to steer wealth distribution into a more equitable pattern is part of the solution.”

      So you’re suggesting a Robin Hood approach, steal from the rich and give to the poor.

      “One manifestation of this is the enormous growth in student loan debt that will prevent many young people from ever attaining a financially stable lifestyle.”

      Life is tough, even tougher when you spend $100,000 in school getting a degree in General Studies. The last I heard, no one is forcing these kids to go to college. There are other options for paying for school… doing well in high school and getting scholarships, going through the military before college and getting the GI Bill, getting a degree in something useful that can be paid off through a loan forgiveness program, etc., going to a Jr. College that will allow you to transfer all of your credits to a larger school during your Jr and Sr years, WORKING your way through college, and the list goes on and on. Living off student loans for 4-5 years will put you in debt up to your eyeballs. Hopefully most are smart enough to realize this.

      Reply
  22. Kathryn Fenner

    I neither ranted nor raved about capitalism. It is, as I said, the best wealth maximizing system. It is a terrible wealth distribution system.

    Reply

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