Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday in the Fall--Marxist Football Day!

It's a gorgeous-looking September morning and if it stays this way, it will be a perfect afternoon for that great American tradition -- college football.

But I imagine the crowds at the stadiums of the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and so on, will be much smaller this year. What with President Obama now in office and everything related to government suddenly becoming marxist and socialist and all.

I don't expect any of those tea baggers will be sitting in those stadiums cheering the teams from the "government schools."

Guess we'll have to cheer for Notre Dame and Northwestern from now on.


kevins said...

Well, I suppose you think you are clever. But you only show how mis-informed you are. Your premise is not true. Critics of Obamacare, stimulus, etc. are not saying that everything associated with government is socialist, Marxist, etc. They are saying that they fear the huge spending associated with all of the above, plus the bailouts. I agree with some of their arguments and disagree with others, particularly those fueled by false and ridiculous claims...not unlike your silly claim in this post.

But even if your premise were correct, you are wrong and uninformed. College football programs, particularly the big-time ones such as Michigan and Ohio State, are not government-subsidized. Rather they are profit-making ventures that underwrite the costs of the other so-called non-revenue sports (tennis, cross country, softball, just about all the rest). University athletic departments operate under separate budgets. Their revenue comes mostly from football through ticket sales, donations, parking, apparel sales, licensing agreements and the sale of TV/radio rights. The best thrive; others struggle. It's very much a non-Marxist set-up.

Enjoy your weekend. Maybe you can spend some time looking up some facts.

Communications guru said...

Her premise is 100 percent correct, brett. I saw this same thing when I retired and returned to Michigan in 1994. The militia, anti-government movement was strong then, and we’re seeing some of the same things now at these fake, Astroturf “tea parties.”

To make the claim that college football programs are not subsisted by public money is ridiculous. Take an MSU game for example. All of the parking and tailgating, the stadium and training facilities are public property.

Jordan G said...

Of course they're not saying everything associated with government is socialist, since that would make people more keen on the idea. But that doesn't mean they're correct.

Are Public Universities, subsidized by the government, not a socialist idea? Of course they are, just like public transportation (roads), or consumer protection agencies. Capitalism would have private institutions cover these responsibilities.

The distinction between socialism and capitalism is the balance between government and business. If government is involved, it leans towards socialism. If private business is involved, that tips it towards capitalism.

Of course, there are many examples were it is a blend of the two. To say that the University of Michigan is only socialistic would be just as incorrect as saying that it is only capitalistic. But the important point is that the left doesn't point to capitalism as something evil, the way conservatives try to label socialism.

So when we point out the socialistic features of our society, it is not to say that it is complete socialism. But it is the socialistic half of the equation that needs to be recognized in order for us to live in a self-aware country. The right wants us to believe that socialism is to be avoided, and we simply try to show that it is already woven into the fabric of our nation in postive ways.

For conservatives to be so fervently anti-socialism, it is then fair to point out that their actions don't match their speech. If socialism was AS BAD as they say, then they shouldn't support anything that has ANY relation to socialism, including the sports teams of Universities that are publically funded.

kevins said...

Guru...are you stalking me? If so, save your energy. I'm way too old for you.

Communications guru said...

No, I’m member of the Livingston County Democratic Party. Are you?

kevins said...

I don't think it's fair for you to suggest that all Livingston County Democrats share your, um, proclivities.

kevins said...

Jordan...appreciate your thoughtful response. I would challenge, however, your assumption that the left doesn't point to capitalism as something evil. At the risk of generalization, I would say that many on the left do distrust and denigrate capitalism...although they are happy to tax the profits to pay for social programs. How often do you hear, "Oh, they are just in it for the profits?" or words to that effect? And I hope they are. We've seen what happens when businesses don't make profits. It's not pretty.

Consider the healthcare debate. From the left comes the belief that insurance companies are bad because they are making profits; therefore they must want to hold down claims. But as a consumer, I'm not sure I feel better if my money is drained by a for-profit company, or if I'm paying more taxes...either way, I have less money. And, I could suggest that while business has a motive to hold down costs, government doesn't, which could lead to unmonitored and wasteful spending.

I think those on the left are creating a straw dog argument. Basically they are saying that if you complain about ANY government spending or excess, then you must complain about ALL government spending. That's just not a fair argument. I can like a government program but still want it to be run efficiently. I can be a supporter of public schools and still be angry at the waste/corruption in Detroit Public Schools.

And you are not correct with your public university football analogy. At Michigan, anyway, it's not at all taxpayer supported. The parking lots were built with donations and parking fees on Saturdays make money for the athletic department. The football team turns a profit which supports other teams. There wouldn't be a college team without the college, true, but taxpayer dollars do not support it. You can look it up. But it doesn't matter. I have no problem with a public university. I think it is a good use of funds. But I have a problem with double-digit tuition increases. I think there is nothing wrong with asking taxpayer-supported entities to manage money -- including my money -- wisely.

kevins said...

I'm not sure what guru means when he says football programs are subsisted by public money. What does that mean?

I have been to some MSU games. Is the parking free? When I went, I parked at a high school parking lot, but I still had to pay to park. So I was paying my way.

The training facilities may be a public facility, but they were built and paid for by the athletic department, whose money came from ticket sales, donations, licensing fees, deals with TV and radio, etc. Like it or not, the football program is NOT funded by taxpayers.

But the argument is bogus anyway. Just because I or someone else doesn't like a particular government program -- or, more likely, because we worry about the growth of government -- that doesn't mean we have to be against all government programs. You created a false argument, likely because you can't stand up to a logical debate.

Apparently, then, we have to agree that every single dime we make has to go directly to the government...because we can't oppose any government spending unless we oppose all government spending. That's just stupid, but at least you are being consistent when you are stupid.

So there is no middle ground, then. You have to be an anarchist or a Marxist. How silly you are.

But since you hate capitalism so much, I guess you don't own a car, buy groceries, eat at restaurants, buy books, etc. You can get all these goods and services from the government, so you are a hypocrite if you don't.

Do you ever see how ridiculous you arguments are?

Communications guru said...

What proclivities are those, brett? Please enlighten us.

What I mean when I say football programs are subsisted by public money is that football programs are subsisted by public money. Not every public college and university’s football programs is 100 percent profitable, and even the big, Division 1A ones were not always 100 percent profitable, and they required taxpayer money to build stadiums and practice facilities. Plus, the average cost of a student attending a public university is more than $12,000 a year, and someone is paying for that.

There is a huge difference between someone not likening “a particular government program” and the anti-government rhetoric we’re seeing now. This is the same crap we saw back in the mid 1990s.

I don’t hate capitalism, and I have no where idea where you got that ridiculous notion. The fact is pure capitalism has never worked and never will work, just like a society with no private ownership has never worked and never will work.

Do you ever see how ridiculous you arguments are?

kevins said...

Guru doesn't mind being foolish in a public forum.

Somebody has to pay for the scholarship? Of course. And it's the Athletic Department that gets billed for them. And they get revenue from ticket sales, donations, licensing fees, souvenier sales, TV/radio contracts, etc. Big-time athletic departments are usually profitable...and those that aren't, cut costs. Some have axed sports because they can't afford them. They are not subsidized (or subsisted) with taxpayer dollars. You can say it a million times; it doesn't make it so.

These stadiums and practice facilities were paid for by bonds that were funded, again, through donations and other revenue sources...and not by taxpayers. It's a fact. Look it up.

You frequently express your disgust of people who make a lot of money. You've said some make more than you think they should, as if that should be your decision. You have said "rich" people don't like being told no...although you chickened out when asked to define "rich." You think it is horrible if private insurance companies make a profit, but you have no problem with taxes going up.

As a consumer and a taxpayer, I really don't see the difference. If I had a buck and I have to pay 10 cents to the insurance company or 10 cents to the government, I've still got 90 cents left. You consider it wrong to pay the private company but an act of God to pay higher taxes.

I asked you once to name a tax you thought was too high, or a tax hike that you opposed. I don't recall that you gave an answer.

kevins said...

Which proclivities do you think I am talking about? Are there some you are more proud of than others?

Jordan G said...

The problem here kevins is that you come off as more of a reasonable conservative. But your type is no longer included in the public debate. It has been replaced by the extreme conservatives.

Believe me, we (as liberals) would much rather have the discussion focus around logical debate. But the right does not appear to want that fight. You do, which is great, but the national discussion is more focused on the tea-party type people, who have exaggerated President Obama's philosophy so much that he has become a muslim marxist nazi born in Kenya.

So I have a question for you, if the roles were reversed (yes, I'm asking you to use empathy), and you had to choose between debating logical liberals, or extreme left truthers who think that Bush was maliciously trying to ruin our country for the benefit of a few, which would you choose?

I'm sure you would want a reasonable conversation. But if society as a whole began ignoring the moderates, and focused the 24-hour news on the wing-nuts, it would be difficult to avoid pointing out the lunacy.

So we make points to counter to fringe, as it is easy to do. We take their extreme statements/ideas, and turn them on their head. It is then possible for a moderate to point out flaws in our counter, but those flaws would apply to both sides. You can't dismiss our claim without dismissing the initial idea that we are countering.

It is a jump to say the football teams are related to socialism. But it is not any more of a jump than the wing-nuts are making by saying that President Obama is doing health-care reform in order to try and give more powers to unions (I heard it this morning). If the people we are debating are making the latter jump, it is fair for us to make the former jump.

kevins said...

Who are you calling a "reasonable conservative?" Thems fightin' words, mister!

Just kidding.

I see your point, understand it and probably subscribe to it. But it still bothers me. Because extremists on one side make ridiculous claims, does that justify similar actions on the other side? (You probably didn't say exactly that.) I'm not sure where we go with that philosophy other than to forfeit the argument to the extremes.

There are crazies at the Tea Parties. But there are reasonable person or in spirit...who are just scared. Their retirement fund was gutted, they or their kids lost their job or fear losing their job, they've seen people rob the system and those are the ones who get bailed out. Taxes haven't gone up, but people aren't idiots...massive spending sooner or later has to be paid for.

So, yes, there are ridiculous claims on the right. But then the claim is made that if you criticize government spending at all, then you have to forego ALL government spending. When I see arguments like that, I feel I have to choose between 2 ridiculous places...and that's a choice I'm not prepared to make.

A big issue, I think, is that many Tea Party people are actually supporting folks/policies that go against their self interest. It's the "What's Wrong with Kansas" theme, if you have ever read that book.

Since I criticize Judy and guru, you have come to the conclusion that I'm a conservative. But most of my criticism hasn't been partisan, it has attacked what I believe to be foolish inaccuracies and misleading claims. I use criticism of Democrats to contrast the Judy/Guru slams at Republicans. I suspect I am a conservative, though. My kids surely think I am. But I was against the Iraq War and the no-bid contracts to Halliburton; I am pro-choice; I voted for Obama; I worry about excessive government intrusion (from both parties) and spending (from both parties).

So what does that make me?

Jordan G said...

Well if you voted for Obama, that makes you alright in my book.

We have a decent system here. Judy posts something. You rebuke it. I come to Judy's defense. It's not a bad dialogue.

I will admit my first impression was that you were a troll, since it seemed every post of yours was just intended to stir up trouble. But I can better understand what you're doing, and I think it plays an important role to keep us in check.

I will say though that it is always easy to criticize. And there's two types of criticism: constructive or destructive. Constructive criticism leads to progress and compromise, destructive criticism sets us back and only further divides. If you stick with constructive criticism, I'll always be glad to participate.

kevins said...

Well, I'll admit that I originally was entertained by tweaking guru. I stumbled across his site when he lied about his claim that the county Republican party had broken a campaign law, and refused to back it up (which he can't) or retract it. So it was fun for awhile to call attention to his ridiculous posts. And there were many. But it has gotten boring...shooting fish in a barrel.

Now you come along and want to be civil and rationale. Heck, who knows? Maybe that will work.

Communications guru said...

Now that’s funny, brett. Like I have said many times, I have never lied, and I didn’t lie in this case of the county GOP violating the campaign finance law. Being the majority party here for so long has led them to be arrogant and not satisfied with controlling all of the partisan boards, so they think the rules don’t apply to them. Why would I retract something that is true? I don’t know how it could be called “shooting fish in a barrel” when you have never refuted a point I made on my blog. But, if you want to deceive yourself, no problem. It’s funny after the way you have falsely smeared me that you can claim to be civil or rational.