Come out of your closet and take your licks. How can you back an explicitly pro-religion party that thinks women are second-class citizens, chattels of their husbands and The State, and who favors widening the gap between the rich and non-rich even more?

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*groan* Have I fallen into Xanth?

Did you know that when Piers Anthony wrote those books, he had no clue that the title (pronounced, "Zanth") was included in his own name: "PierZANTHony --?

I call myself a quasi-libertarian. I believe in maximizing freedom but not in throwing citizens under the bus at the altar of liberty. I'm at the liberal end of the libertarian spectrum.

"...stupid after careful consideration..." :) I like it, I'm stealing it for my lexicon. Thanks.

Arcus says:

"...income and wealth are certainly good..."

Which reminded me of another quote,

"...greed is good..."

I smiled that sad smile of surrender and wondered how much more "good" this little world of ours can take before all the "good" is gone.

Which essentially tells me that you are psychologically primed to cast anyone which defends income and wealth into a sociopathic Gordon Gekko, even though my statement and your misquote aren't even related.  

Which reminds me, do you still disagree with the quote in its fuller version?

"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind(..)"

And what is the definition of "more than one needs or deserves"?

Arcus, I really don't have a horse in this race, having as I do, exactly what I need and deserve, but the question would indicate a naivete I know you don't possess.

How many yachts does a person need? How many luxury cars? How many homes? How many thousand-dollar suits? How much cash do you need to stockpile, in order to live comfortably for the rest of your life? But for lack of inclination, I could fill this page with similar questions.

I think the point is that it is anyway not up to you or I to say how much other people need or deserve, nor to make value judgments of others decision lest we wish them to do the same to us. The only possible thing we can agree on is some least common denominator of what people need, of which I think enough food, shelter, heat, (un)employment security, health care access, and so forth would probably be where the discussion should be at.

What people deserve I think can be placed at whatever they are able to get without breaking laws and, at least preferably, ethics. 

Don't you know? They need as much as they can get. The more they get, supposedly, the more crumbs the middle and lower class will find under their table (this is the so-called "trickle down theory" of economics).

The big problem with the idea that the more money the rich have the more jobs there will be is that there is NO guarantee that the jobs will be in the U.S. Money stored in a Cayman or Swiss bank is a lot more likely to result in jobs outside the United States than within it.

Maybe we need to ask Romney to consult with his offshore banks and give an accounting of how many jobs his money has created and how many of those jobs have been in the United States.

I don't believe in desert (not dessert) as an abstraction. Much as I feel about rights, that there are only two kinds of rights, legislated and imaginary, I think what one deserves can only be defended on the basis of a contract or law. Other than that, desert is imaginary.

I just figure that money is an abstract tool, one that allows a approximation to compensation during the creation and maintenance of human relationships, that involve the exchange of materials, supplies, tools, and services. It could be assumed that the more $$ one has the more materials and services could be exchange for, but how much is enough?   

My physical ability to do work, my 24/7 limits to time, and even my non-infinite degree of interest in 'everything', holds me back from an obsessive interest in money, 'as a life style'.

I spent about ten years deeply interested in 'securities', 'commodities', and managing 'risk'. When I was younger, I could feel the charm of checking my 'portfolio' and buying and selling to optimise my profit or minimise my losses.

Many times over that period, I would talk with folks at stock holders meetings, brokers in their offices, and business owners/investors looking for that next 'big thing'. I even saw a fraud unfold a few times and watched how the SEC checked in.

One time, during an office conversation, the brokers were promoting the trade in South Africa gold. This was at the time when the boycotts of South African goods was beginning. I asked the brokers, 'What about the boycotts, do you care about the people is South Africa?' They said, 'that is politics, this is business!' The brokers were members of a local church.

Over time, I lost interest. It felt like the best in me was not being feed. I was beginning to feel that pull to power, but also the lose of freedom as a direct result of 'management' issues, and the single minded focus upon accumulation. I wanted my life back!   

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