From one of my favorite columnists...
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From one of my favorite columnists...

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    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Default From one of my favorite columnists...



    By: Thomas Sowell


    New Heroes vs. Old


    When I mention that my family used kerosene lamps when I was a small child in the South during the 1930s, that is usually taken as a sign of our poverty, though I never thought of us as poor at the time.

    What is ironic is that kerosene lamps were a luxury of the rich in the 19th century, before John D. Rockefeller came along. At the high price of kerosene at that time, an ordinary working man could not afford to stay up at night, burning this expensive fuel for hours at a time.

    Rockefeller did not begin his life as rich, by any means. He made a fortune by revolutionizing the petroleum industry. Although we still measure petroleum in barrels, it is actually shipped in railroad tank cars, in ocean-going tankers and in tanker trucks.

    That is a legacy of John D. Rockefeller, who saw that shipping oil in barrels was not as economical as shipping whole railroad tank cars full of oil, eliminating all the labor that had to go into shipping the same amount of oil in numerous individual barrels.

    That was just one of his cost-cutting innovations. If there was a better way to extract, process and ship petroleum products— or more products that could be made from petroleum— Rockefeller was on top of it.

    Before he came along, gasoline was considered a useless by-product that petroleum refineries often simply dumped into the nearest river. But Rockefeller decided to use it as a fuel in the refining process, which made it valuable, even before automobiles came along.

    Today, we tend to think of John D. Rockefeller as just one of those famous rich people. But Rockefeller didn't just "happen to have money." How he got rich is the real story— and it is a story whose implications reach far beyond that one particular individual.

    Before Rockefeller's innovations reduced the price of kerosene to a fraction of what it had once been, there wasn't a lot for poor people to do when nightfall came, other than go to bed. But the advent of cheap kerosene added hours of light and activity to each day for people with low or moderate incomes.

    It was much the same story with the advent of the automobile, which gave millions of people more range in space, as kerosene (and, later, electricity) gave them more range in terms of hours of daily activity.

    Here again, automobiles and electric lights were truly luxuries of the rich when they began.


    Only after ways were developed to cut their costs drastically were such things brought within the reach of ordinary Americans.

    Henry Ford's mass production methods cut in half the cost of producing the famous Model T Ford in just five years. People who had once lived their entire lives within a narrow radius of a relatively few miles could now go see places they never knew about before. The automobile expanded their horizons.

    People today who complain about the automobile's pollution have no idea how much more pollution there was before the automobile came along. In New York City, for example, the 40,000 horses that were the backbone of the city's transportation, before the automobile, produced 400 tons of manure per working day, along with 20,000 gallons of urine.

    At one time, people like Rockefeller, Edison, Ford and the Wright brothers were regarded as heroes, for having opened vast new possibilities for other human beings. The fact that they got rich doing it was an incidental part of the story.

    We still have people revolutionizing our lives. Just think of the computer and the pharmaceutical drugs that have not only lengthened our lives but made them more healthful, so that being 80 years old today is like being 60 years old in times past.

    But today we seldom even know the names of those who have made these monumental contributions to human well-being. All we know is that some people have gotten "rich" and that this is to be regarded as some sort of grievance.

    Many of the people we honor today are people who are skilled in the rhetoric of grievances and promises of new "rights" at someone else's expense. But is that what is going to make a better America?
    Last edited by 2manymustangs; 02-07-2011 at 10:08 AM.
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

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    Good article. I'm sure the jist of it will be lost with the local lefties. I'm also sure that Henry Ford, Rockefeller, Edison et:al did not set out to "Get Rich" by doing whatever it is they did. They did what they did because they had a better idea or a more efficent way of doing something and got rich in the process. Lefties see it the other way around. I'm also sure Zombie will chime in on the evils of corporations especially those mention above and their mere existence is the downfall of this nation. The one thing I do see is when lefties criticize anything they do not offer any solutions, just criticism. That makes them part of the problem, not part of the solution.
    Within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved. "Good grief you're an irritating blowhard...." [Tex 6/16/11]

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    Quote Originally Posted by 058 View Post
    Good article. I'm sure the jist of it will be lost with the local lefties. I'm also sure that Henry Ford, Rockefeller, Edison et:al did not set out to "Get Rich" by doing whatever it is they did. They did what they did because they had a better idea or a more efficent way of doing something and got rich in the process. Lefties see it the other way around. I'm also sure Zombie will chime in on the evils of corporations especially those mention above and their mere existence is the downfall of this nation. The one thing I do see is when lefties criticize anything they do not offer any solutions, just criticism. That makes them part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...

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    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...
    that works for me but someone will figure out a way to exploit the 10K personal max... Lets drop it to 1K/yr...
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

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    "On the road again..." Old Texan's Avatar
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    I'll not defend billionaires but will agree that campaign financing needs to be addressed. However if we eliminate private money in order to try and elliminate influence, how can we be assured the "little" guy or "any" guy outside the "system" gets an opportunity to be heard and participate in the electoral process?

    The answer is simple, education of the public through communication. Whether the left wants to admit it or not, free speech and internet distribution are the only ways to get the little guys point of view to the masses. Big money can buy their exposure. Power brokers controlling the systme can expose their candidates and smother any others unless there is a free and able system of communication.

    Conservative/Right talk radio and internet are the way growing numbers of Americans are seeing the inner workings of DC and what is being done behind the scenes. In the past, DC could alomost do as they pleased until caught, and by then it was to late.

    So Z choose your poison, who do you hate the most: The Pundits of talk radio/internet, or the evil corporations? And then when the candidate with the most sense turns out to be a member of the Tea Party or like group, you'll decide if the media propaganda is legit. Can you ignore smear campaigns that focus on how someone looks or speaks or the educational background or their lack of a fluffed up resume????? Can you overlook someone's individual beliefs which may be differnet than your own?
    "Bottle by bottle, I'm clearing off that shelf...."

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    Senior Member steveone's Avatar
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    Nice thread thank you.
    November 4 2008 "a date which will live in infamy". Jesus Saves





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    Default Unions/pensions

    It seems to me that the same unions screaming for "pension" bailouts, are the same unions contributing millions to PACs to get their guy elected. I remember a group of union members complaining that they didn't want their union dues used in elections...What ever happened to that?...
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...
    No defense of billionaires here....I am in full agreement with your suggestions above with the exception of the contribution limits. Lets make it $1000. per individual annually and that has to be accounted for. Unlike the Keyan's mysterious "internet" contributions that are not traceable or can be accounted for. Lets go one step further, lets make contributions done with major credit cards only, no cash. nothing like a paper trail to keep things honest. We also make it mandantory that a IRS-form 1099 be issued as well. Absolutly no corporate, union, foreign/offshore, special interest group [Sierra Club, Earth First etc.] phantom contributors or lobby group's political donations. And no federal matching funds. Does that cover it?
    Within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved. "Good grief you're an irritating blowhard...." [Tex 6/16/11]

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    Senior Member AzMandella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...
    Add in "No Pensions for congresspeople except 401K type retirement.(No pay for life !)
    And when a congressperson either retires or get's beat in an election all remaining money in thier campaign accounts must be given to the charity of thier choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveone View Post
    Nice thread thank you.
    X26!!! That was a good read!!!
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life"

    - - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Interesting note by Sowell. The economy really took off about 100 yrs ago when transport costs were reduced.
    Recall the movie, There Will be Blood. The oil rig guy was mad at the railroads for charging too much to ship, so he built a pipeline.

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...
    If you had more posts like this, you might be taken seriously.
    Btw, you will recall that the Clintons beat the system handily by having a poor family of 6 each donate $10,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Texan View Post
    So Z choose your poison, who do you hate the most: The Pundits of talk radio/internet, or the evil corporations? And then when the candidate with the most sense turns out to be a member of the Tea Party or like group, you'll decide if the media propaganda is legit.?
    Good post.
    And Z, do you even vote? Have you voted in the past for the guy that took the least $?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brown View Post
    I'm still chuckling at being "poo-pooed" for straying off topic. Awesome.

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    Senior Member 500BBC's Avatar
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    He's just a RACIST damnit!!

    I mean...........errrrr...............ummm.......... .....duhhhhhhhhh.
    "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though" President Barack Obama.

    Liberals just chose to ignore relevant information about the world they live in, and then call themselves sophisticated for having chosen to be more stupid than God made them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    I have offered a solution to the out of balance power of who is actually running this nation.
    1. No more corporate / union / lobby group political donations any kind. Corporations/ unions/ lobby groups are not American citizens. As such they should not be able to pour millions in to the political system.
    2. Individuals can only donate $10,000 max per year for all political contributions.
    3. No foreign political contributions.

    These suggestions would allow regular American citizens to have a more level playing field in our political system.

    OK let hear someone here defend billionaires running the nation...
    This is where the Kenyan is waving his George Soros sign frantically to answer your question as to who thinks it's good.
    The best things in life aren't things!

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    Red Blooded American The Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveone View Post
    Nice thread thank you.
    Agreed! Very nice post!
    The best things in life aren't things!

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