PostHeaderIcon Defining The Terms

For some time now, many have demanded term limitations. I want to demand term definitions.

We are having ongoing, vitally important discussions in the United States about the proper role of government, especially as regards government revenues and government spending. There are two terms in particular that are constantly used in this regard but whose meanings run from vague to totally unknown. The two terms I think MUST be clearly defined are:

What exactly constitutes a “fair share”? What is the process by which we can all know when we are giving or getting our “fair share”? For instance, we are often told that a small group of wealthy Americans (who already pay most of the income taxes) are still not giving their “fair share”. How do we know this when there is no agreed-upon definition or formula for the term?

The same is true in regard to receiving government largess. How do I know if I am getting my “fair share”? How can I understand whether to support or oppose business subsidies when I have no way to calculate each company’s “fair share”?

This is an especially confusing term. From a logical point of view, there is no obvious reason why a big entity should be any less failure prone that a small one. Indeed, when one uses “too big to fail” in regard to a business enterprise, it becomes downright irrational because we all know that a large enterprise is less able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances than a smaller enterprise. It seems to me that “too big not to fail” would be more aptly applied to many American business dinosaurs.

Or, could the term, as used in politics, actually mean “too big to be allowed to fail”? I suspect that is actually the case. If so, then would it not be rational for government to discourage the creation of business dinosaurs rather than allow them grow out of control then consume bail-out money looted from American taxpayers when they become to big to properly manage?

There are many more terms that need clarification but, I would be quite pleased if the powers-that-be would start by defining these two.

Troy L Robinson

3 Responses to “Defining The Terms”

  • Good start, Troy. We should start an anti-Orwellian dictionary. The two terms I would like the public to pay a little closer attention to, and understand the difference, are debt and deficit. I am uninterested in the government cutting the deficit by X amount over ten years. I demand that they cut it to zero this year, and start spending no more than they take in. It is the debt for which I want to hear the long term plan for its reduction.

    I.e. debt is what we already owe… deficit is what we plan on borrowing just to keep government going as budgeted.

  • Troy says:

    Dave, You are absolutely correct. Despite the phoney plans to reduce the deficit in some imaginary future, I have yet to hear a single proposal (even an imaginary one) that would start to pay down the accumulated debt. Until that happens, we will continue to pay billions each year in interest — billions that are otherwise totally unproductive for the US economy.

    The other mass confusion we currently face is the notion that the refusal to raise the debt ceiling means automatic default. And the media, including FOX, do nothing to clarify the issue. On this subject, is it just my imagination or is FOX News becoming more progressive by the day? (Not FOX Business which has a distinctly libertarian slant.) For instance, Bill O’Reilly is increasingly anti-conservative (and shouts down Brit Hume and Laura Ingraham on a regular basis), Shep Smith was always a liberal, Beck has been jettisoned…

    As noted in another rant, using data to confuse rather than to inform is the most insidious form of lying. And it has been raised to an art form in 21st century America.


  • Yes, I have been noticing the shift in Fox News. So has my old buddy Robert:

    I wish I could get Fox Business channel. With Beck gone, I don’t even bother to turn the TV on very often lately. Hmmm… I wonder if Megyn Kelly is back from maternity leave? She is the only must-watch star they have left. 🙂

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