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(The New York Times)   The myth of America as the land of opportunity is busted by some Nobel winner   (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com) divider line 368
    More: Sad, Nobel Laureates, Ayn Rand, equality of opportunity, environmental hazards, second inaugural address, Alan Krueger, achievement gap, Stiglitz  
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8199 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Feb 2013 at 3:31 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-18 01:59:25 PM
The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.
 
2013-02-18 02:10:14 PM

Nadie_AZ: The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


50% of people have an IQ below 100. People vote against their own best interests. People vote for religion and hate. People vote for bigotry.
FFS W was elected twice. He was the least intelligent president ever.

But ensuring equality of opportunity does not mean the same thing to everyone. Dems think of that as providing aid to people at the bottom. GOPs think of that as cutting taxes so government is out of their way (which would otherwise prevent opportunity)

The fact that you dont "believe" a poll is proof that most people dont even understand how polls work.
 
2013-02-18 02:12:15 PM
I realized it was a myth by my second year of college
 
2013-02-18 02:18:57 PM
Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.
 
2013-02-18 02:20:58 PM

namatad: The fact that you dont "believe" a poll is proof that most people dont even understand how polls work.


I can admit that.
 
2013-02-18 02:22:24 PM

Nadie_AZ: namatad: The fact that you dont "believe" a poll is proof that most people dont even understand how polls work.

I can admit that.


To be fair, you could have been questioning the very premise of the question, or how they phrased it. Phrased a different way, you could get a more conservative perspective as an answer.
 
2013-02-18 02:23:36 PM
Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.
 
2013-02-18 02:25:14 PM
 
2013-02-18 02:26:39 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support
 
2013-02-18 02:30:32 PM

Aar1012: What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support



It a really really long shot. It was a really really long shot to begin with. But it was and is possible. The dream doesn't come with a guarantee
 
2013-02-18 02:33:43 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age
 
2013-02-18 02:40:19 PM

zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age


And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.
 
2013-02-18 02:41:34 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Aar1012: What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support


It a really really long shot. It was a really really long shot to begin with. But it was and is possible. The dream doesn't come with a guarantee


A Family Affair: Intergenerational Social Mobility across OECD Countries - PDF

The US has the third lowest upward mobility index behind Italy and Great Britain

Ignore the dream of being break out rich or even two cars in the garage and a chicken in every pot. The real American dream has always been if you play it straight your children will have more opportunity then you had. With 20 somethings and younger today we are seeing the dream evaporate. The cost of education has shot up, the job market has crashed. We (Gen Y) were told go to college, get good grades, and you will be alright. Instead you have JDs waiting tables and people with solid degrees doing jobs they could have done out of high school. Don't give me the crap about oh if you went into STEM, thanks to outsourcing, H1As, loss of grants, etc... those fields aren't that much more secure these days.

We are looking at a lost decade and a lost generation unless we decide that we need to do something about it instead of attempting austerity. The life time earnings of Gen Y are going to be significantly less just because of how late we are getting into actual jobs.
 
2013-02-18 02:49:52 PM

slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.


Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

cdn.theatlantic.com
Source
 
2013-02-18 02:51:52 PM

zedster: I keep harping it but I feel the 1912 Wisconsin Idea, which formed much of the philosophical backing of the New Deal, covers a lot of this.

Why not take by taxation some of that wealth acquired by Force? Why allow idle sons and daughters to waste this wealth; why not tax them by graduated income, inheritance and increment taxes, so that they bear a burden proportionate to their strength, in order that the burden of maintaining the state shall not fall so heavily on the poor? Will this be permitted? Will not that same dreaded Force terrorize our legislators? They are but human, with business interests and families to support.

Why not make public the affairs of monopolies, so that they cannot buy the votes of electors or legislators? Why not limit the power of wealth in elections? It cannot buy the whole people, can it? If not, why not make our legislators directly responsible to us so that we may watch them? Why not simplify the whole machinery of nomination and election so that we are certain to elect the men we want--men of honesty and strength?


this would solve 98% of the problems in the US (and the world).
this would also impact 2% of the population and only to a minor degree.
(owning 10% (or 20% or even 50%) less houses and planes and cars and islands is a minor inconvenience for the 2%, not the end of the world as we know it. Poor little rich kids.
 
2013-02-18 02:54:24 PM

zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source


this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind
 
2013-02-18 03:30:45 PM
People still believe that crap?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Look!!  A single anecdote that proves anyone from anywhere has an equal chance of achieving anything as everyone else!!
 
2013-02-18 03:34:18 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


Do you know how we all know you didn't RTFA?
 
2013-02-18 03:35:51 PM

namatad: 50% of people have an IQ below 100.


How far do we expect half the population to go on the road to success?
 
2013-02-18 03:36:03 PM

slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.


Citation Needed.
 
2013-02-18 03:37:32 PM

zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source


Outsourcing labor to countries where you can pay someone the American equvlant of 2$ a day? Automation?
 
2013-02-18 03:38:45 PM

namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind


How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?
 
2013-02-18 03:38:49 PM

zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source


Water florination or the removal of lead from gasoline.
 
2013-02-18 03:39:48 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Citation Needed.


The opportunities were plentiful to all those 10 years working in coal mines. They could grow up to be a destitute 25 year old dying of black lung or a destitute 32 year old dying of black lung. The possibilities were limitless.
 
2013-02-18 03:39:58 PM
According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category

I was actually surprised the number was that high... and I'm trying to figure out what being surprised by that says about me.
 
2013-02-18 03:42:22 PM
I won't believe this is truly a land of equal opportunity until we elect a person of color President.
 
2013-02-18 03:42:34 PM

slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.


I think you're thinking of the 1950's. The era of the Robber Barons was closer to the 1850's.
 
2013-02-18 03:42:51 PM
Equality of opportunity and equality of results are two very different things.
 
2013-02-18 03:43:14 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Christ... after the DNC and Michelle Obama's speech, the right-wing spent weeks telling us how farking priviledged Obama's background was.
 
2013-02-18 03:43:52 PM
Higher education isn't the problem.  The problem is that our culture seems to value education of any kind less and less with each generation.  That problem isn't so easy to fix with public funding, so we ignore it.
 
2013-02-18 03:44:00 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


But you're not a republican, right?

/Fark Independent, apparently.
 
2013-02-18 03:45:26 PM

GoldSpider: Higher education isn't the problem.  The problem is that our culture seems to value education of any kind less and less with each generation.  That problem isn't so easy to fix with public funding, so we ignore it.


Yeah pretty much this.

Although I do think that bumping up Pell grants a little wouldn't hurt.
 
2013-02-18 03:45:51 PM

Nadie_AZ: I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


You presume that politicians are responsive to voters rather than monied interests.
 
2013-02-18 03:47:04 PM
The Pew Research Center has found that 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

And the problem is the government is listening.
 
2013-02-18 03:49:14 PM

Giltric: How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


Remember those questions next time there is a thread about pensions for unionized public employees.
 
2013-02-18 03:49:28 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


His maternal grandparents were not exactly living under a bridge...
 
2013-02-18 03:49:37 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


It snowed today, global warming is bunk.

/different set of words, same dumb argument
 
2013-02-18 03:49:55 PM
<i>It's not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only <b>58 percent</b> of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, </i>

When only the majority can get out of abject poverty in one generation, the dream is truly dead.
 
2013-02-18 03:51:20 PM

MugzyBrown: The Pew Research Center has found that 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

And the problem is the government is listening.


wut?
 
2013-02-18 03:52:57 PM

Giltric: Outsourcing labor to countries where you can pay someone the American equvlant of 2$ a day? Automation?


And importing cheap labor.

Fact is it is harder to become middle class these days. Graduating from high school and getting a job in a factory isn't the middle class path it once was.
 
2013-02-18 03:53:32 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.
 
2013-02-18 03:53:33 PM

Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


Why not pay taxes commensurate with your means?
 
2013-02-18 03:54:07 PM
They never specified *equal* opportunity. We built this country on the back of slavery and indentured servants, up until WW1 and 2 made that system impractical.
 
2013-02-18 03:54:20 PM

Aar1012: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support


Would Cory Booker not count because his parents were the ones who were trailblazers in their fields?
 
2013-02-18 03:54:58 PM
Of course America is still the land of opportunity. There are dozens of chains of big box stores for people to choose from for employment after 30 years of conservative voodoo economics.
 
2013-02-18 03:55:04 PM

slayer199: people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.


2.bp.blogspot.com

/"We used to live in t' shoebox in t' middle of t' motorway."
 
2013-02-18 03:55:20 PM
How much time did they waster making this for the article?


graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2013-02-18 03:55:49 PM

MontanaDave: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.


Maybe he meant to list Governor instead of state and federal congress.
 
2013-02-18 03:55:59 PM

Lost Thought 00: We built this country on the back of slavery and indentured servants, up until WW1 and 2 made that system impractical.


Your timeline is just a tad off.
 
2013-02-18 03:56:23 PM
a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com
 
2013-02-18 03:56:56 PM

Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Look!!  A single anecdote that proves anyone from anywhere has an equal chance of achieving anything as everyone else!!


Yes, it demonstrates that it is possible to succeed. You are pathetic if you believe that that is the only success story. Herman Cain laughs at you.
 
2013-02-18 03:57:29 PM

Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?

12349876: It snowed today, global warming is bunk.

/different set of words, same dumb argument


please believe that! please. and if you have any children that will listen to you teach that to them as well. it's all hopeless don't even think of trying.
 
2013-02-18 03:58:26 PM

Nadie_AZ: The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


There's not really a disconnect here. Most Americans believe in equality of opportunity. Most Republicans will tell you they don't believe in equality of outcomes and that it's an important distinction. This is, of course, foolish. Most democrats don't believe in equality of outcome, we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly. The problem is, many Republicans believe we already do have equality of opportunity, despite the fact we do not. The key is not to deride them as heartless monsters that want the poor to fail, the key is to gently educate them to the fact what they were told about opportunity in America is wrong. This is very hard to do, as I'm sure there's a number of them in this very thread insisting we already have it, and hard work is all it takes, and the poor are poor because they suck, and yada yada yada.
 
2013-02-18 03:59:47 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Look!!  A single anecdote that proves anyone from anywhere has an equal chance of achieving anything as everyone else!!

Yes, it demonstrates that it is possible to succeed. You are pathetic if you believe that that is the only success story. Herman Cain laughs at you.


So why aren't you a millionaire?
 
2013-02-18 04:00:00 PM
According to from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top.

So you're telling me that you studied people from 1947 to 2013 and found that 40% of the people born in poverty and ready to retire today experienced no income mobility whatsoever?  Nice way to lie with statistics.  SOMEONE has to make up that bottom quintile, regardless of where wages, quality of life, life expectancy and advancements in technology have increased dramatically.

How do we explain this? Some of it has to do with persistent discrimination. Latinos and African-Americans still get paid less than whites, and women still get paid less than men, even though they in the number of advanced degrees they obtain. Though gender disparities in the workplace are less than they once were, there is still a: women are sorely underrepresented in top corporate positions and constitute a minuscule fraction of C.E.O.'s.

Could it be that many latinos find themselves on the lower end of the wage scale because a large percentage are first-generation immigrant, are ESOL, or have not had generations of access to public school and higher education systems?  Could it also be that Blacks are one or two generations removed from Southern Democrats forbidding them to go to school?  Doesn't matter that since Brown Vs. Board, Income for blacks has doubled, adjusted for inflation.  The Irish, Italians, Jews, Chinese and Japanese were each at their own time the poorest immigrant groups in the country and among the lowest wage earners and were discriminated against just as much as blacks were.  You dont see any Opinion pieces on the plight of the Irish immigrant anymore.

Where men overtake women is around age 30-35 and on to executive level - the obvious answer being that women voluntarily leave the workforce for a time to raise children and then re-enter the workforce some time later on, usually with 3-10 years less experience than their male counterparts.   In the aggregate, it appears as though 'Men make more than women' but only due to executive-level salaries which tend to drag the curve towards men.  Comparing women and men 18-32 reveals that women are more educated than men and make more - as it seems as though it should be.
 
2013-02-18 04:00:09 PM

Nadie_AZ: The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


People are all for doing  something about inequality of opportunity, in the abstract.  They're just not in favor of doing anything specific about it.
 
2013-02-18 04:01:14 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?
12349876: It snowed today, global warming is bunk.

/different set of words, same dumb argument

please believe that! please. and if you have any children that will listen to you teach that to them as well. it's all hopeless don't even think of trying.


That's not the point.  The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be.  One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.
 
2013-02-18 04:01:34 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?
12349876: It snowed today, global warming is bunk.

/different set of words, same dumb argument

please believe that! please. and if you have any children that will listen to you teach that to them as well. it's all hopeless don't even think of trying.


Wow.  This is how you interpreted what I said?

What a horrible world you must live in.
 
2013-02-18 04:02:21 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Look!!  A single anecdote that proves anyone from anywhere has an equal chance of achieving anything as everyone else!!

Yes, it demonstrates that it is possible to succeed. You are pathetic if you believe that that is the only success story. Herman Cain laughs at you.


I thought you had me on ignore.

Please put me back on.
 
2013-02-18 04:02:48 PM

DrewCurtisJr: Fact is it is harder to become middle class these days. Graduating from high school and getting a job in a factory isn't the middle class path it once was.


No, but nor does it require a college degree either.  Continuing to insist our kids put themselves into debt pursuing a degree of dubious worth is a measurable disservice.
 
2013-02-18 04:02:50 PM
Poor people earning over 180,000 bucks a year.
disclaimer: this graphic is from some douche who wants you to think that the black folk on it don't pay taxes.


i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-18 04:02:50 PM

MontanaDave: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.


i50.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-18 04:04:11 PM

sheep snorter: Poor people earning over 180,000 bucks a year.
disclaimer: this graphic is from some douche who wants you to think that the black folk on it don't pay taxes.


[i.imgur.com image 614x408]


That graphic is a fascinating view into what Republicans think is a cross-section of modern America.
 
2013-02-18 04:05:27 PM
I love it when the liberals bring this argument forward.  Any time someone claims this, the immediate response is "La, la, la!" followed by "I can't hear you."  You repeat this until the Democrats have been shamed and acknowledge the error of their ways.  You repeat this until the Democrats realize they have wasted their time trying to argue with you.
 
2013-02-18 04:06:24 PM

Mike_LowELL: I love it when the liberals bring this argument forward.  Any time someone claims this, the immediate response is "La, la, la!" followed by "I can't hear you."  You repeat this until the Democrats have been shamed and acknowledge the error of their ways.  You repeat this until the Democrats realize they have wasted their time trying to argue with you.


You're a monster, Mike. A MOOOOOONNNSTTTEEERRRRRRRR!
 
2013-02-18 04:07:10 PM
fta President Obama's second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America's commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity

5th grade english is now "soaring"?
 
2013-02-18 04:07:36 PM

o5iiawah: According to from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top.

So you're telling me that you studied people from 1947 to 2013 and found that 40% of the people born in poverty and ready to retire today experienced no income mobility whatsoever?  Nice way to lie with statistics.  SOMEONE has to make up that bottom quintile, regardless of where wages, quality of life, life expectancy and advancements in technology have increased dramatically.


Word. Poor people be rich. I hear they got fridges and everything.
 
2013-02-18 04:08:14 PM

Notabunny: 5th grade english is now "soaring"?


To our public, yes.

Sad, isn't it?
 
2013-02-18 04:08:56 PM

Wendy's Chili: Word. Poor people be rich. I hear they got fridges and everything.


So people dont enjoy a remarkably higher standard of living as opposed to what they may have been born into 65 years ago?
 
2013-02-18 04:09:24 PM

sheep snorter: Poor people earning over 180,000 bucks a year.
disclaimer: this graphic is from some douche who wants you to think that the black folk on it don't pay taxes.


[i.imgur.com image 614x408]


Let's see:
Single parent making $250,000 -- 1.2% more income in taxes
Single person making $230,000 -- 1.2% more
Family making $650,000 -- 3.3% more

Yeah.  Sucks to be them.
 
2013-02-18 04:10:33 PM
Just to be clear, this is what tenpoundsofcheese and The Stealth Hippopotamus are defending, and I am calling BS:

"We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."~ Barack Obama

I just think it's hilarious that those guys are defending 0bama.

Now, I shall bold the parts I don't agree with:

"We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."

Can
a little girl born into the bleakest poverty become enormously successful?  Hell yes!

Does she have "the same chance" as little Georgie Bush?  F*CK NO.
 
2013-02-18 04:10:57 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


The outlier is not the rule.
 
2013-02-18 04:13:23 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Just to be clear, this is what tenpoundsofcheese and The Stealth Hippopotamus are defending, and I am calling BS:

"We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."~ Barack Obama

I just think it's hilarious that those guys are defending 0bama.

Now, I shall bold the parts I don't agree with:

"We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."

Can a little girl born into the bleakest poverty become enormously successful?  Hell yes!

Does she have "the same chance" as little Georgie Bush?  F*CK NO.


To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."
 
2013-02-18 04:13:27 PM

12349876: That's not the point. The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be. One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.


That is exactly the point, that is the tip of the point. If we don't believe it it can never be. Have you ever heard of a self fulfilling proficiency?! Yeah I know we have someone on the biggest and loudest soap box in the country telling you you cant do it. I know that. But if there ever was an example of someone beating long odds it's him! (And yes I messed up, it was Harvard Law Review.). You can do it. Your kids can do it. Everyone can do it. You may or may not become the super wealthy but you can improve your station and push your family up the ladder. Maybe you are shooting for more of a change than is realistic? Going from emigrate to midclass is a huge jump but it can be done by one family push one kid into a good school. Now mid class to millionaire is a hard jump. But the sure way not to do it is to be negative and never try.
 
2013-02-18 04:14:15 PM

o5iiawah: Wendy's Chili: Word. Poor people be rich. I hear they got fridges and everything.

So people dont enjoy a remarkably higher standard of living as opposed to what they may have been born into 65 years ago?


Are you saying that income inequality is only an issue when the lower classes reach a standard of living that was defined over half a century ago?
 
2013-02-18 04:15:02 PM
FTFA: Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity....there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center (PDF) has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

i.imgur.com


BUT I WAS COMPLETELY ASSURED BY A RICH FATASS
ELITIST THAT THIS WAS ALL JUST GIVEAWAYS TO THE POOR!!

 
2013-02-18 04:16:03 PM

Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?



Well ... everyone still wants to believe that crap.

When you give the Obama quote in tfa a more careful reading than subby apparently did -- ""We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own" -- the point he's making is that since upward mobility's so difficult these days, we're obviously not being true to our ideals and the challenge is to fix the problem. It's a more diplomatic turn of phrase than "WTF, you stupid Republicans, how can you claim that America's so farking great when your tax cutting and austerity, your cheapskate attitude to funding education from pre-kindergarten on up through post-graduate, are all turning this into a third world country??!?", which would be a satisfying thing to hear from him one of these days...
 
2013-02-18 04:16:30 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 12349876: That's not the point. The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be. One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.

That is exactly the point, that is the tip of the point. If we don't believe it it can never be. Have you ever heard of a self fulfilling proficiency?! Yeah I know we have someone on the biggest and loudest soap box in the country telling you you cant do it. I know that. But if there ever was an example of someone beating long odds it's him! (And yes I messed up, it was Harvard Law Review.). You can do it. Your kids can do it. Everyone can do it. You may or may not become the super wealthy but you can improve your station and push your family up the ladder. Maybe you are shooting for more of a change than is realistic? Going from emigrate to midclass is a huge jump but it can be done by one family push one kid into a good school. Now mid class to millionaire is a hard jump. But the sure way not to do it is to be negative and never try.


So we should ignore reality, pretend there are no problems and tell ourselves happy stories rather than trying to improve things?
 
2013-02-18 04:16:59 PM

Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."


Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure
 
2013-02-18 04:17:13 PM
According to the criteria set by the author, no president for the last century has remembered or followed their oath.  Yes, including the Republican ones.  Yes, including your beloved Regan.  Where's your anger for them?  Why suddenly have a narrow constitutional-libertarian view now?  What's different about today than the rest of your adult life?

Oh, that's right - you don't like this guy.  Crawl back in a hole, you disingenuous fark.
 
2013-02-18 04:18:18 PM

Heresiarch: Are you saying that income inequality is only an issue when the lower classes reach a standard of living that was defined over half a century ago?


i.imgur.com

You can have my vacuum tube AM radio when you pry it from my cold, dead, ass-poor Jap-bloodstained hands.
 
2013-02-18 04:19:08 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."

Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure


He doesn't speak the King's, but that doesn't diminish the quality or content of what he has to say. That's why he's a millionaire. Your English may be flawless, but believe me, it isn't doing you a damn bit of good.
 
2013-02-18 04:21:27 PM

Khellendros: According to the criteria set by the author, no president for the last century has remembered or followed their oath.  Yes, including the Republican ones.  Yes, including your beloved Regan.  Where's your anger for them?


Anger for them will do nothing except distract people who can fix the problems.

There is only one person in the White House now who can do something about it.

We learned this from the "Buck Stops There President" whose policies to fix the economy boil down to "Blame Bush", "Oh those meany House GOP members".
 
2013-02-18 04:21:33 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."

Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure


So why aren't you a multimillionaire already?
 
2013-02-18 04:25:47 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Does she have "the same chance" as little Georgie Bush? F*CK NO.


does she have the same chance to become President as a Bush? No. You're right about that. But she does have an equal chance of success. There has never been nor will there ever be a society were everyone is completely likely to gain access to the halls of power. But one persons definition of success isn't the same as the other. Not everyone is working become the POTUS.

And if we do fill her head with dreams what's the worst case scenario? She only goes to a good college and not an Ivy League?! She only make the state congress and not the federal?!
 
2013-02-18 04:25:48 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."

Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure


Racist
 
2013-02-18 04:25:57 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Rock can't no speak English good


Pricipal . Caught sayof comic that has stoped releventing " See, told ya so" Is Rock millionaire or not. 10lbsofcheese Says yes. NY Times Looking for Horatio Alger -OR- "hello, I am  single to salute Pew Research Center and wait for American Dream again"
 
2013-02-18 04:27:05 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 12349876: That's not the point. The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be. One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.

That is exactly the point, that is the tip of the point. If we don't believe it it can never be. Have you ever heard of a self fulfilling proficiency?! Yeah I know we have someone on the biggest and loudest soap box in the country telling you you cant do it. I know that. But if there ever was an example of someone beating long odds it's him! (And yes I messed up, it was Harvard Law Review.). You can do it. Your kids can do it. Everyone can do it. You may or may not become the super wealthy but you can improve your station and push your family up the ladder. Maybe you are shooting for more of a change than is realistic? Going from emigrate to midclass is a huge jump but it can be done by one family push one kid into a good school. Now mid class to millionaire is a hard jump. But the sure way not to do it is to be negative and never try.


Let's take your point as given: that it is currently possible for a single individual to move out of the income level(s) of their parent(s). As you admit in the post above, it's pretty long odds for the President to have come from a working-class background - especially from a society-level perspective. You obviously don't think that those odds constitute a problem. Given all of that, I'd like to pose a question for you.

At what point does it become a problem? If you take the poorest of the poor, and they have less than a 10% shot of being able to get to middle-class, is that a problem? Where would you define the thresholds of probability for inter-generational income mobility such that below those numbers, there might be an issue? Further, how would you go about solving that issue?
 
2013-02-18 04:27:18 PM
All those Chinese, Latinos, Black people who would have had so much more opportunity in America 100 years ago.

Those poor, poor bastards.
 
2013-02-18 04:27:46 PM

Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: tenpoundsofcheese: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."

Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure

He doesn't speak the King's, but that doesn't diminish the quality or content of what he has to say.


It does make him a crappy role model.
 
2013-02-18 04:28:44 PM

Somacandra: tenpoundsofcheese: Rock can't no speak English good

Pricipal . Caught sayof comic that has stoped releventing " See, told ya so" Is Rock millionaire or not. 10lbsofcheese Says yes. NY Times Looking for Horatio Alger -OR- "hello, I am  single to salute Pew Research Center and wait for American Dream again"


Funy!
 
2013-02-18 04:29:00 PM
If only there were massive government programs aimed at helping poor people and giving them an opportunity to succeed and build a better life. If something like that was put in place a generation ago we would have less disadvantaged now.
 
2013-02-18 04:29:00 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: And if we do fill her head with dreams what's the worst case scenario? She only goes to a good college and not an Ivy League?! She only make the state congress and not the federal?!


i.imgur.com

Hmmm. I think it would depend on which slave plantation your racist pal Rush Limbaugh said she was raised on.
 
2013-02-18 04:29:24 PM

Somacandra: tenpoundsofcheese: Rock can't no speak English good

Pricipal . Caught sayof comic that has stoped releventing " See, told ya so" Is Rock millionaire or not. 10lbsofcheese Says yes. NY Times Looking for Horatio Alger -OR- "hello, I am  single to salute Pew Research Center and wait for American Dream again"


Well-played, sir.
 
2013-02-18 04:30:57 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Lionel Mandrake: Does she have "the same chance" as little Georgie Bush? F*CK NO.

does she have the same chance to become President as a Bush? No. You're right about that. But she does have an equal chance of success. There has never been nor will there ever be a society were everyone is completely likely to gain access to the halls of power. But one persons definition of success isn't the same as the other. Not everyone is working become the POTUS.

And if we do fill her head with dreams what's the worst case scenario? She only goes to a good college and not an Ivy League?! She only make the state congress and not the federal?!


I'm glad you agree.

Apology accepted.
 
2013-02-18 04:32:00 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Khellendros: According to the criteria set by the author, no president for the last century has remembered or followed their oath.  Yes, including the Republican ones.  Yes, including your beloved Regan.  Where's your anger for them?

Anger for them will do nothing except distract people who can fix the problems.

There is only one person in the White House now who can do something about it.

We learned this from the "Buck Stops There President" whose policies to fix the economy boil down to "Blame Bush", "Oh those meany House GOP members".


No, the policies of this President to fix the major farks up of the last administration has been heavily thwarted by the GOP House Members. Blame for most of our current economic situation lies almost directly on the shoulders of the GOP, Bush the lesser included.

The old "the Democrats haven't fix our fark ups fast enough so vote for us" didn't work in the last November, you should try a new boogieman.
 
2013-02-18 04:32:07 PM

yelmrog: tenpoundsofcheese: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: To quothe the profit Rock:

"We're a nation of B and C students. But let's keep it real, a black C student can run no company, a black C student can't run no Burger King, meanwhile the white C student just happens to be The President of The United States of America."

Rock can't no speak English good and yet he is multimillionaire.  Go figure

So why aren't you a multimillionaire already?


Well he is most certainly a potatonaire.
 
2013-02-18 04:33:39 PM

max_pooper: tenpoundsofcheese: Khellendros: According to the criteria set by the author, no president for the last century has remembered or followed their oath.  Yes, including the Republican ones.  Yes, including your beloved Regan.  Where's your anger for them?

Anger for them will do nothing except distract people who can fix the problems.

There is only one person in the White House now who can do something about it.

We learned this from the "Buck Stops There President" whose policies to fix the economy boil down to "Blame Bush", "Oh those meany House GOP members".

No, the policies of this President to fix the major farks up of the last administration has been heavily thwarted by the GOP House Members. Blame for most of our current economic situation lies almost directly on the shoulders of the GOP, Bush the lesser included.

The old "the Democrats haven't fix our fark ups fast enough so vote for us" didn't work in the last November, you should try a new boogieman.


He's apparently convinced himself that Obama is Emperor or something.
 
2013-02-18 04:34:55 PM

ManRay: If only there were massive government programs aimed at helping poor people and giving them an opportunity to succeed and build a better life. If something like that was put in place a generation ago we would have less disadvantaged now.


In some ways, things indeed were getting better after WWII and the postwar boom into the Great Society era until the 1980's and the economic squander/blowback from the Vietnam War. Not for most black families without any inherited capital to build on, but for some.

i.imgur.com

Then the income differential really hit. You can't expect some compensatory programs to replace the job of actually governing well.
 
2013-02-18 04:35:24 PM

Somacandra: The Stealth Hippopotamus: And if we do fill her head with dreams what's the worst case scenario? She only goes to a good college and not an Ivy League?! She only make the state congress and not the federal?!

[i.imgur.com image 598x104]


Do you know what Rush was responding to when he said that?

/regardless of the context it was still a stupid thing to say
 
2013-02-18 04:35:47 PM

GoldSpider: Well-played, sir.


Ahh, thank you. Haven't seen you around in awhile. Nice to see you back. :-)
 
2013-02-18 04:36:20 PM
This is America, becoming a Millionaire is as easy as winning America Idol (or at least making it to the finals), being a pretty girl who can sing & posting your voice on the youtube (we sure like song), choosing the right case on a game show or inheriting it!  and if you think it's more difficult than that you're just a naysayer!

disregard every thing you see every day, going to and from work, your first job to your second, pay no attention to the thousands of people on the same freeway stuck in traffic, never you mention the neighborhoods divided by property values & incomes, this is one great country where anything can happen and more than likely will (to your advantage, never disadvantage), so please, stay focused on your success & never give up, there's 24 hours in a day and between work & school & sleep & eating, all you need to do is get in the millionaire line.

/foreigners need not apply, our unlimited success is limited to Americans only!
 
2013-02-18 04:37:17 PM

Giltric: How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


For one, all that tax revenue could do amazing things like fix our ailing school system, repair our terrible infrastructure, invest in renewal energy so we can stop sending oil money to nations that hate us, provide health care to each and every American, and reinvest in our universities.

For two, it would put that money back into hte economy instead of letting it sit in off shore accounts or the stock market. HINT: investing in the stock market doesn't actually create jobs. If it did, our near-record DJIA would mean our 7.8% unemployment rate would be around 3%.

For three, it would mean all those rich assholes who can afford to spend $300 million to defeat a president would have fewer money to devote to defeating a president. Since the tax rates on our upperclass counterparts are so low, they've amassed so much wealth that they now run our government. We are a plutocracy. That's why Monsanto can sue farmers whose organic crops have been tainted by Monsanto seeds and pollen. That's why Dick Cheney's company got all those sweet, sweet no-bid contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. That's why a college student can owe $173,000 for illegally downloading 17 songs from the internet but Glee can literally steal Jonathan Coulton's song. That's why the banks and Wall Street got bailed out and all those foreclosed homeowners got kicked out of their homes. That's why unemployment is still at nearly 8% but the stock market is at near record highs.

So yes, the upper class needs to be torn down a few notches, and with that tearing down we can shore up the rest of us.
 
2013-02-18 04:38:32 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: The Stealth Hippopotamus: 12349876: That's not the point. The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be. One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.

That is exactly the point, that is the tip of the point. If we don't believe it it can never be. Have you ever heard of a self fulfilling proficiency?! Yeah I know we have someone on the biggest and loudest soap box in the country telling you you cant do it. I know that. But if there ever was an example of someone beating long odds it's him! (And yes I messed up, it was Harvard Law Review.). You can do it. Your kids can do it. Everyone can do it. You may or may not become the super wealthy but you can improve your station and push your family up the ladder. Maybe you are shooting for more of a change than is realistic? Going from emigrate to midclass is a huge jump but it can be done by one family push one kid into a good school. Now mid class to millionaire is a hard jump. But the sure way not to do it is to be negative and never try.

So we should ignore reality, pretend there are no problems and tell ourselves happy stories rather than trying to improve things?


Because "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" worked out so well for this lady:

altrapoint.com

All you conservative types asking why we should take more from the rich, why we should take what they earned, the answer is very simple:

Concentration of wealth into the hands of a tiny percentage of the population is how you create an aristocracy. The defining characteristics aren't the fancy titles. It's the social power and privilege passed down through inheritance. It's great that you get people like Obama and Buffet making it big.

But when the wealthy set up social barriers to entry into their class that ensure that most of their wealth will end up in the hands of themselves, their peers and their children, whether directly through inheritance of privately owned wealth or indirectly through the inherited control of legal entities like foundations and businesses and through privileged access to education and opportunity, then you have a huge farking problem for any nation that dares to imagine itself as some form of representative democracy or republic.

And no matter how many anecdotes you trot out about specific individuals making it big, it remains that the plural of anecdote is not data, and the general social trends are towards increasing inequality of opportunity and social stratification based on wealth. You are building yourselves an aristocracy of wealth and privilege and your poor conservative base is cheering it on.
 
2013-02-18 04:39:34 PM
Giltric:

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


They took from me first.  From my tax dollars going to support Walmart's employees (health care, food etc.), to Wall Street taking money to fix their bad bets, and to the low taxes paid on Capitol gains while I still pay a 1/4 of my income to pay for all of this Corporate maleficence.
Oh, lets talk about  the blood and gold my country has spent for the wars used to get earth from countries that profit "Shareholders"  and not me.
I pay and pay and pay. From not having enough money to fix our decaying streets to less of everything from police, to healthcare, to fire departments, to school my city is being bled to death.
Everything that touches my life is less and less and less and I'm told that even less is in my future. While at the same time I see report after report of money being held on the "sidelines" because of some reason or another.

Does taking from them benefit me? Only in so much as them taking from me has benefited them.
Bringing them down to mere citizens of this country, I'm cool with that, having banker kings hasn't worked so well for most of us as far as I can see.
 
2013-02-18 04:41:59 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Khellendros: According to the criteria set by the author, no president for the last century has remembered or followed their oath.  Yes, including the Republican ones.  Yes, including your beloved Regan.  Where's your anger for them?

Anger for them will do nothing except distract people who can fix the problems.

There is only one person in the White House now who can do something about it.

We learned this from the "Buck Stops There President" whose policies to fix the economy boil down to "Blame Bush", "Oh those meany House GOP members".


There's nothing to do anything about.  The current president is not violating the Constitution, nor pressing beyond his given powers any more than other presidents in the last century.  Precedent has been set for decades, and is now an institutional requirement to be effective in the position, as it has been since the first World War.  Congress and the judiciary can exercise the same checks on him that they have on every other president.  Notice that none of them - including those that disagree with him - have done anything.  That's because there's no merit to the attempt.

In short - deal.  The 4,500 word document that discusses our government's framework is not sufficient to govern in the modern world.  Big farking surprise.  We use it as a foundation, and build from it.  Much like every moral/ethical/political/religious guide ever written, it's only complete in its time, and must be grown and adapted as time goes on.
 
2013-02-18 04:45:20 PM
socialist utopias have no need of opportunity.

all is provided.

obama ahkbar!
 
2013-02-18 04:46:08 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Do you know what Rush was responding to when he said that?


Of course. Its all over the web, Rush always prefaces his comments of this nature the same way, like most marginally intelligent racists. People like Rush couch their comments as an out-of-context reductio ad absurdum of what his opponent is saying (easy if you're Rep. Lee). And if you take his comments at face value then you're the real racist for even thinking about this. Its called race-baiting. And its a very common tactic--employed mostly by reactionary commentators. That's why Obama can make a statement about America living up to its ideals when it promotes equality of opportunity (like in TFA) while Limbaugh calls Obama "uppity" and comparing him to Hitler and all that. Yes, we're all aware of how this happens, thanks.
 
2013-02-18 04:47:13 PM

Heresiarch: At what point does it become a problem? If you take the poorest of the poor, and they have less than a 10% shot of being able to get to middle-class, is that a problem? Where would you define the thresholds of probability for inter-generational income mobility such that below those numbers, there might be an issue? Further, how would you go about solving that issue?


Less than a 10 chance of moving up the next rug of the latter? I'm not sure how much of a chance I had when I started this life. So I wouldn't know. I would know if that was more or less than a chance then I had.
As far what I would do to solve it I'm not sure it needs solving! Like
Nonrepeating Rotating Binary said "All those Chinese, Latinos, Black people who would have had so much more opportunity in America 100 years ago. Those poor, poor bastards."

We've made great strides in a short amount of time. We've only been a country for less than 300 years. How fast do you think we can go?! From being thought of as property to being on the Supreme Court in 3-4 generations?! I'm not saying the work is done. But maybe the ground work is already laid.

Lionel Mandrake: I'm glad you agree.

Apology accepted.


LOL WUT?!

Yes I admit that not every single person in America has an equal chance of being the president. That was a strawman i built myself. Sometimes I build my own strawman by accident silly I know but I do that sometimes. But "that crap" as you so eloquently put it is true. Everyone has a chance to improve on their station. Everyone.
 
2013-02-18 04:48:28 PM

Saiga410: MontanaDave: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.

Maybe he meant to list Governor instead of state and federal congress.


Bubba sees what you did there.
 
2013-02-18 04:49:17 PM

Somacandra: ManRay: If only there were massive government programs aimed at helping poor people and giving them an opportunity to succeed and build a better life. If something like that was put in place a generation ago we would have less disadvantaged now.

In some ways, things indeed were getting better after WWII and the postwar boom into the Great Society era until the 1980's and the economic squander/blowback from the Vietnam War. Not for most black families without any inherited capital to build on, but for some.

[i.imgur.com image 300x548]

Then the income differential really hit. You can't expect some compensatory programs to replace the job of actually governing well.


Looking at income growth over the years, middleclass and below income flatlined in the mid 70's.  Charts cherrypicked to show the split at 79 just glosses over the data and point to what is probably not the problem.
 
2013-02-18 04:49:27 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Yes, it demonstrates that it is possible to succeed. You are pathetic if you believe that that is the only success story. Herman Cain laughs at you.


Cain went to Moorhouse and Purdue, but refuses to release his college records.

What is he hiding?
 
2013-02-18 04:50:53 PM

GoldSpider: Higher education isn't the problem.  The problem is that our culture seems to value education of any kind less and less with each generation.  That problem isn't so easy to fix with public funding, so we ignore it.


Academic inflation. Unfortunately, by making it easier for people to get into college, you make the degree worth less and less.
 
2013-02-18 04:52:50 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes I admit that not every single person in America has an equal chance of being the president. That was a strawman i built myself. Sometimes I build my own strawman by accident silly I know but I do that sometimes. But "that crap" as you so eloquently put it is true. Everyone has a chance to improve on their station. Everyone.


I never said otherwise.

I said people do not have "the same chance to succeed." 

And you agreed.
 
2013-02-18 04:53:55 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 12349876: That's not the point. The point is the hope is a lot less than it used to be. One person can do it, one person has always been able to do it, but one person's experience has nothing to do with what's going on at the societal level.

That is exactly the point, that is the tip of the point. If we don't believe it it can never be. Have you ever heard of a self fulfilling proficiency?! Yeah I know we have someone on the biggest and loudest soap box in the country telling you you cant do it. I know that. But if there ever was an example of someone beating long odds it's him! (And yes I messed up, it was Harvard Law Review.). You can do it. Your kids can do it. Everyone can do it. You may or may not become the super wealthy but you can improve your station and push your family up the ladder. Maybe you are shooting for more of a change than is realistic? Going from emigrate to midclass is a huge jump but it can be done by one family push one kid into a good school. Now mid class to millionaire is a hard jump. But the sure way not to do it is to be negative and never try.


What does that have to do with the article?  I thought it was about how America is now one of the worst counties in the western world to be upwardly mobile in, that doesn't mean nobody can do it.

Why does America have less than half the upward mobility of Canada and 1/3 the upward mobility of Denmark? Instead of saying 'you can do it' why don't you look at why you aren't doing it and try to fix it, isn't that better than walking around with blinders on?
 
2013-02-18 04:54:01 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: We've made great strides in a short amount of time. We've only been a country for less than 300 years. How fast do you think we can go?! From being thought of as property to being on the Supreme Court in 3-4 generations?! I'm not saying the work is done. But maybe the ground work is already laid.


That work was done NOT because American is inherently exceptional. Not because we told ourselves lovely stories about an "American Dream".

Not that progress was made because people have agitated, protested, scraped and clawed for every tiny bit of progress. It isn't due to people like you who want us only to celebrate how wonderful everything is. No, it is due to those how have refused to accept the status quo.
 
2013-02-18 04:54:52 PM

KiltedBastich: But when the wealthy set up social barriers to entry into their class that ensure that most of their wealth will end up in the hands of themselves, their peers and their children, whether directly through inheritance of privately owned wealth or indirectly through the inherited control of legal entities like foundations and businesses and through privileged access to education and opportunity, then you have a huge farking problem for any nation that dares to imagine itself as some form of representative democracy or republic.


The wealthy can only do that if they ingratiate themselves with government.  your beef, Occupy's beef, the Progressive agenda....

All of it should be directed towards Washington, DC.

Thanks to the tax code they write, GE and facebook pays no taxes and GETS billions back whilst a schlub earning $50,000 in a factory probably pays $14,000 and is just happy to get a couple hundred bucks back in middle February.  Thanks to the laws they write, companies escape prosecution when they commit fraud.  Thanks to government, it is easier to get rich investing in congressmen and lobbying than in R&D for a product.  Who needs the market to buy your products when you can convince government to do it? What is easier, making a product that 309,000,000 people might want or making a product that a few people in Washington can order 309,000,000 people to pay for?

Heresiarch: Are you saying that income inequality is only an issue when the lower classes reach a standard of living that was defined over half a century ago?


I'm saying that the only reason income inequality exists is because the US continues to experience in-migration of largely low-wage, low-skill individuals who stick largely to labor, and agriculture based jobs.  A similar trend existed for Irish, Italian, German and Jewish immigrants yet nobody is talking about an Italian wage gap or the Irish vs. Chinese income gap.

There is income mobility in this country, it is just an affront to the people at the NY Times and HuffPo that a first-generation Guatemalan immigrant isn't going to earn as much as some kid who grew up in Sun Valley, ID, went to Stanford and works for Sun Microsystems.   real wealth and prosperity is accumulated through generations of earning, education, home ownership and transfer of property from one generation to another - the very thing progressives like to attack.

I'd say that having a 60% chance of moving out of poverty and into the middle class while living in a country where nobody starves to death, nobody is denied the best medical treatment in the world, just about everyone has a cellphone with access to the internet is pretty damn good.

That must be why so many Americans are packing up and moving to Juarez.
 
2013-02-18 04:55:04 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


You forgot the part where he was born in Kenya.

/runs away!
 
2013-02-18 04:56:52 PM

o5iiawah: I'd say that having a 60% chance of moving out of poverty and into the middle class while living in a country where nobody starves to death, nobody is denied the best medical treatment in the world, just about everyone has a cellphone with access to the internet is pretty damn good.


What country is that?
 
2013-02-18 04:58:37 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: I'd say that having a 60% chance of moving out of poverty and into the middle class while living in a country where nobody starves to death, nobody is denied the best medical treatment in the world, just about everyone has a cellphone with access to the internet is pretty damn good.

What country is that?


Where the country that is ranked 38th in the world for medical care is  'the best medical treatment in the world'.
 
2013-02-18 04:59:09 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Aar1012: What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support


It a really really long shot. It was a really really long shot to begin with. But it was and is possible. The dream doesn't come with a guarantee


I calculate that the current odds to be 1 in 315,091,138 at the very best.
 
2013-02-18 04:59:21 PM

Saiga410: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

Water florination or the removal of lead from gasoline.


GET OUT OF MY HEAD
 
2013-02-18 05:00:02 PM

Lionel Mandrake: I never said otherwise.

I said people do not have "the same chance to succeed."

And you agreed.



If your crap comment was an answer to my post I would think it would be after the quote of my post. I thought was a reply to the headline about the American Dream...

Looking at the replies it was a common misunderstanding. If you believe that anyone can be a success in American than you're right, we are in agreement.
 
2013-02-18 05:01:02 PM

Mike Chewbacca: So yes, the upper class needs to be torn down a few notches, and with that tearing down we can shore up the rest of us.


Sooo much Palin word salad. Poe?
 
2013-02-18 05:03:14 PM
Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.
 
2013-02-18 05:04:15 PM
Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.

The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.

Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.
 
2013-02-18 05:04:29 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


More like globalization. The 1%ers saw an opportunity to undercut the American workforce by having their assembly done in third world countries. Same revenue with lower costs = higher profits. That's fine and all, but part of the increase profits need to be seized and given back to the people who lost their jobs. You can't cheat around the fact that everyone in this country needs to eat, and damn near everyone is willing to work to do it.
 
2013-02-18 05:04:56 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


That poor black kid was raised by his two,white grand parents. He want to a predominantly white school in Hawaii, excelled in basketball and graduated with academic honors. Since the age of ten Obama lived in a stable home and was loved. He was exceptionally talented and intelligent. He didn't have a learning disability, a physical disability, a mental illness or live in extreme poverty in an unstable home. Obama had many God given abilities and a lot of breaks that most people don't get. Obama went to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard. Pat of his education was paid for by scholarships. Not everyone is smart enough or fortunate enough to get that kind of education.  Hell, many people of every color dream of the kind of support, talent and opportunity that Barack Obama has had and it's only a dream.


Spare me the "poor black kid" bull.
 
2013-02-18 05:05:56 PM
Do you know what the number one predictor of income is in the United States? Education level, right? IQ? Or maybe it's number of hours worked per week? No. It's your father's income. Too many people are faced with the bitter reality that no matter how hard they work or how smart they are, they will never make as much money as a moron with rich, well-connected parents.
 
2013-02-18 05:06:00 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: If your crap comment was an answer to my post I would think it would be after the quote of my post. I thought was a reply to the headline about the American Dream...


It was a reaction to the article's headline: Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth, and the opening quote from Obama

"That crap" meaning (the myth of) Equal Opportunity

"American Dream" is not in TFA's headline or subby's headline.
 
2013-02-18 05:06:21 PM

Giltric: How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?



The top bracket makes their money not from hard work but from an unbalanced playing field based on laws that work to lock money in. One of the bigger problems we have is deflation, there is not enough money moving in the economy and it's locked in the upper echelons. They have no incentive to move it because of the laws. If you are making 50% of the income in the nation, shouldn't you be taxed accordingly? These people are wealthy because the system protects them and benefits them. Isn't it only fair they pay their fair share based on the utility of the system to them?
 
2013-02-18 05:06:40 PM
stevenrushing: Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am. fark you, I got mine.

FTFY
 
2013-02-18 05:07:13 PM

stevenrushing: Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.


Translation: I got mine, Fark you!
 
2013-02-18 05:07:51 PM
120 comments...click thread:

45.

FARK is getting ridiculous these days. Farking right-wing blowhard trolls.
 
2013-02-18 05:10:21 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Yeah, but he was an immigrant.
 
2013-02-18 05:10:44 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: Not that progress was made because people have agitated, protested, scraped and clawed for every tiny bit of progress. It isn't due to people like you who want us only to celebrate how wonderful everything is. No, it is due to those how have refused to accept the status quo.


p>


And people were able to scrape and claw for progress because of our system. Our system was set up so that people could petition the government and demand address of grievous. I believe that we have everything in place to allow the evidential evolution to a state of equality for all people. You can not force the human heart.
 
2013-02-18 05:12:00 PM

Russky: Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: I'd say that having a 60% chance of moving out of poverty and into the middle class while living in a country where nobody starves to death, nobody is denied the best medical treatment in the world, just about everyone has a cellphone with access to the internet is pretty damn good.

What country is that?

Where the country that is ranked 38th in the world for medical care is  'the best medical treatment in the world'.


Ah yes, the WHO study.

WHO's assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system's financial burden within the population (who pays the costs).

None of those metrics measure the actual quality of care that you get when you walk in the door, or the amount of money spent on researching new procedures, or the availability of the average joe to access the best procedures in the world.
 
2013-02-18 05:13:09 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: Not that progress was made because people have agitated, protested, scraped and clawed for every tiny bit of progress. It isn't due to people like you who want us only to celebrate how wonderful everything is. No, it is due to those how have refused to accept the status quo.

p>


And people were able to scrape and claw for progress because of our system. Our system was set up so that people could petition the government and demand address of grievous. I believe that we have everything in place to allow the evidential evolution to a state of equality for all people. You can not force the human heart.


So the time has come to stop agitating, clawing a scraping and just pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves what a perfect country we are? Fark that. We have long, long way to go.
 
2013-02-18 05:13:52 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!


Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"
 
2013-02-18 05:14:08 PM

Mija: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

That poor black kid was raised by his two,white grand parents. He want to a predominantly white school in Hawaii, excelled in basketball and graduated with academic honors. Since the age of ten Obama lived in a stable home and was loved. He was exceptionally talented and intelligent. He didn't have a learning disability, a physical disability, a mental illness or live in extreme poverty in an unstable home. Obama had many God given abilities and a lot of breaks that most people don't get. Obama went to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard. Pat of his education was paid for by scholarships. Not everyone is smart enough or fortunate enough to get that kind of education.  Hell, many people of every color dream of the kind of support, talent and opportunity that Barack Obama has had and it's only a dream.


Spare me the "poor black kid" bull.


Would you accept the assention of Nathan R Johnson as an example of a poor black kid making good?
 
2013-02-18 05:14:21 PM
"We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."

This is the propaganda neoliberals spew to make us think capitalism works. Read that quote and ask yourself which side Obama is on.
 
2013-02-18 05:14:35 PM

Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


Taking from the top 1% who are hoarding resources and giving it to the bottom 99% who are starving usually builds the 99% up by way of much-needed calories.
 
2013-02-18 05:15:27 PM

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Yeah, but he was an immigrant.


...and he didn't go to Yale
 
2013-02-18 05:16:09 PM

o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"


I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?
 
2013-02-18 05:16:54 PM
If I ended up at a job that would pay me about 40k a year, I'd be happy.

Escatic, even.
 
2013-02-18 05:18:27 PM

Lionel Mandrake: People still believe that crap?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Look!!  A single anecdote that proves anyone from anywhere has an equal chance of achieving anything as everyone else!!


Ostensibly Stealth could not properly read the article. This sort of statistical aberration was included by the author as inconsequential. Stealth's poor comprehension skill-set is likely the result of the institutionalized bias of our educational system. Unwittingly (of course) Stealth makes a better argument that the dream is indeed dead.
 
2013-02-18 05:18:44 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?


And I'll just bet you he out-competed third-world workers on the price for his valuable labor.
 
2013-02-18 05:18:53 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?


Oh I am sure he had some assistance from the govt but it is the same assistance that the govt gives to everyone.
 
2013-02-18 05:20:17 PM

Saiga410: Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?

Oh I am sure he had some assistance from the govt but it is the same assistance that the govt gives to everyone.


Yep, the very same assistance he was biatching about.
 
2013-02-18 05:22:46 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: Saiga410: Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?

Oh I am sure he had some assistance from the govt but it is the same assistance that the govt gives to everyone.

Yep, the very same assistance he was biatching about.


My reading, he was complaining about adjusting the status quo away from his favor now that he has climbed up a rung.
 
2013-02-18 05:23:27 PM

Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


Seriously?

Do you not understand how governments work? Lower taxes on the people who can't pay, raise taxes on the people who can, and tada no more deficit.
 
2013-02-18 05:24:48 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?


Did government single him out and build special roads bridges and schools just for him?
 
2013-02-18 05:26:53 PM

Saiga410: Mike Chewbacca: So yes, the upper class needs to be torn down a few notches, and with that tearing down we can shore up the rest of us.

Sooo much Palin word salad. Poe?


Did I miss all those Sarah Palin speeches in which she discussed the virtues of taxing the shiat out of the wealthy?
 
2013-02-18 05:27:04 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: We have long, long way to go.


I have to know. What does the finish line look like? When do you sit back and say "we have reached the promised land"?

Lionel Mandrake: "That crap" meaning (the myth of) Equal Opportunity


warning: here comes a politician's apology.

If you mean "Equal Opportunity" as someone has to have equal opportunity to every single job and position in this country than you're absolutely right. It is crap. If however you mean that it is crap that everyone has an equal opportunity for success then I think you're wrong.

If your definition is the first one than I am sorry for taking up your time. I thought you were saying that it was crap that people could become a success in America. Please forgive me for this good natured mistake.
 
2013-02-18 05:27:13 PM
I haven't looked at the prices in a while but when my son was first starting college, I tried to get him to move to Norway. There was no tuition to go to the universities there (I think there's still a 300 and up to something like 700 NOK semester fee - which I think is $50 something for 300 NOK to $100 something USD for the higher amount - but still no tuition) no matter what country you're from originally. That semester fee pays for itself in discounts on public transportation and a student health clinic if you have medical issues, among a host of other things. I do know you aren't eligible for cash aid from the gubermint if you're one of those poors (like me), so you'll still need to be able to prove you're able to pay your rent and feed yourself. (Everyone in my family except for the five of us are in Norway, so he'd not have to worry about that, either. He could have stayed with relatives.) Luckily though, there are scholarships you're eligible for no matter in which country you were born. The rest of Scandinavia charges a little bit, but only for foreign students. If you're from an EU country (or Switzerland) or are an exchange student, there's still no charge.

Why oh why can't people in the US realize this kind of thing would benefit all of us in the long run? Bite the bullet, so to speak, make higher education an attainable, cheap goal and for those we know aren't college material, do just as Obama said at the end of his SOTU speech - make sure they're trained and ready to work when they finish high school. Some of us have been saying that for years now and pointing out that's a common strategy throughout Europe. How incredibly shortsighted is it to not focus more on REAL skills, especially marketable skills, and make sure the little darlings are employable right out of the gate, whether they're going on for higher learning or not?

Why can't we put more money into education here, even if it does mean a tax increase? I don't understand this slow suicide the US seems hell bent on committing. I'd be highly uncomfortable relying completely on this generation to care for me long term if something were to happen to me or I somehow, miraculously, make it to a ripe old age and there is no family that can care for me, necessitating my placement in a care facility. We should be putting more money into our own country's infrastructure, including education. After all, if your house is falling apart, you repair it and repairs cost money. You've got to pay that money, even if you don't want to do so, if you want that house to be there for you in the future.

At the rate we're going as a nation, we're not going to have much of a house left. We have a lot of problems in the US, ranging from a crumbling infrastructure to poor education, lack of decent, affordable health care and all points in between, it seems. Nearly everyone I've heard talking about this sort of thing says they want these problems fixed, but no one wants to help pay for it or otherwise make it happen. It's a little scary to me to even imagine how much further we're going to have to fall before attitudes change. Growing up, I kept hearing how the US was the Richie-richiest and bestest country EVAR, so of course I never thought we'd allow our country to fall this far for the benefit of the few. Man, was I ever wrong.
Great, now I haz a sad. Well, the old lay-deez are gone so I guess I can drown my sorrows in a couple snaps of akvavit and a chocolate chip cookie or two. Anyone else want some? It's Aalborg akvavit and I used Alton Brown's "Big Softie" recipe for the cookies...
 
2013-02-18 05:27:24 PM
i48.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-18 05:27:51 PM

o5iiawah: The wealthy can only do that if they ingratiate themselves with government. your beef, Occupy's beef, the Progressive agenda....

All of it should be directed towards Washington, DC.

Thanks to the tax code they write, GE and facebook pays no taxes and GETS billions back whilst a schlub earning $50,000 in a factory probably pays $14,000 and is just happy to get a couple hundred bucks back in middle February. Thanks to the laws they write, companies escape prosecution when they commit fraud. Thanks to government, it is easier to get rich investing in congressmen and lobbying than in R&D for a product. Who needs the market to buy your products when you can convince government to do it? What is easier, making a product that 309,000,000 people might want or making a product that a few people in Washington can order 309,000,000 people to pay for?


Wealth is social power. It has always been power. It will always be power. The rich will always attempt to extract privilege for themselves, because that is what humans do with power. Yes, there will be far-seeing individuals who do otherwise, but they will never be the majority as long as humans remain humans. The only way to oppose power is with power. At the most basic levels, what other forms of power are there?

There are two options: violence or law. The club or the gavel. Either the people who object to this self-serving behaviour kill the wealthy to curb their excesses, or they make rules to curb their excesses and force them to comply by threat of sanction of some kind.

The former happens when people rise up and say enough, and kill the wealthy and take what they have. All other things being equal, that's bad. It's the worst possible solution. It is brutal and unjust and leads to misery and poverty and atrocities done to one and all, because it is rarely if ever applied in any kind of controlled or rational fashion once it gets started. The French Revolution is the classic example, but hardly the only one.

Law is when the member of society agree together that a certain behaviour will be allowed or not, and variations on that idea with greater and greater complexity. The other word for it is government. The whole point of a representative system of government is that the people are the ones who are ultimately supposed to hold the power. The actual government actors are supposed to be their representatives, in that they represent the will of the collective of individuals who make up the nation.

And the government is not beholden to wealth - at least in theory. Continued of government does not directly depend on solvency, although obviously the lack thereof is a big problem.

Now, the wealthy in general do not get wealthy by being stupid or complacent. They generally understand that government is the only social actor that can seriously challenge their acquisition of further wealth and power. And so they seek to co-opt the representatives of government and the mechanisms of government to their own use, which is what you are complaining about. And that's true - but it is also incomplete. Because it still remains that government is the only powerful social actor that is directly beholden to the people, and which has the power to oppose the natural human tendency of the wealthy to seek power and privilege for them and theirs.

Because they will also seek to disenfranchise the population by alienating them from government. By presenting the government as other and untrustworthy, ruled by elites and unresponsive to the common man. They will tell you that the government is the problem. This is only true to the extent that the wealthy have made it so by co-opting it and disrupting the political will of the general population. Because the people can always take back the government - IF they are informed. IF they understand what the real issues are. IF they can coordinate their individual social actions into a collective political action.

So when you say government is the problem, instead of enjoining governement actors to remember who they are actually supposed to be beholden to and take action, you are part of the problem. When you encourage isolationist individualism, you are part of the problem. When you cheer corporate America and distrust government, you are part of the problem. Make no mistake, the Tea Party had the support of powerful right wing corporate backers precisely because it was perfect for defusing and redirecting the social anger over inequality of opportunity into something that they could use to further strengthen their position at the expense of society at large. Conversely, OWS faced the conundrum that the very disorganized nature that made it impossible to coopt also made it nearly impossible to transform into effective political action, and easy to slander and parody in the corporate press.

It never fails to boggle my mind why so many conservatives would prefer to let corporations whose only goal is increasing the wealth of their shareholders run free to do as they please in the name of maximum possible profit rather than seeing them leashed and limited by the actions of a governement that in the end is supposed to be "by the people, for the people". Do they really think those corporations will be good corporate citizens just because?
 
2013-02-18 05:28:21 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Lionel Mandrake: Does she have "the same chance" as little Georgie Bush? F*CK NO.

does she have the same chance to become President as a Bush? No. You're right about that. But she does have an equal chance of success. There has never been nor will there ever be a society were everyone is completely likely to gain access to the halls of power. But one persons definition of success isn't the same as the other. Not everyone is working become the POTUS.

And if we do fill her head with dreams what's the worst case scenario? She only goes to a good college and not an Ivy League?! She only make the state congress and not the federal?!


How 'bout we fill her mind with ease using decent healthcare.

If people could just afford health and dental, that's 99% of worries off the table.
 
2013-02-18 05:30:19 PM

doglover: How 'bout we fill her mind with ease using decent healthcare.

If people could just afford health and dental, that's 99% of worries off the table.



You don't think that food and shelter add up to more than 1%?
 
2013-02-18 05:30:23 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: We have long, long way to go.

I have to know. What does the finish line look like? When do you sit back and say "we have reached the promised land"?


There isn't a finish line. Humans are imperfect. We always find a way to fark others over. The battle against that is eternal.

Are you honestly saying that you believe we have reached the finish line and are sitting in the promised land?
 
2013-02-18 05:32:08 PM

o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"


Translation: I need to blame my failures on Obama
 
2013-02-18 05:33:48 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: If we don't believe it it can never be.


So let's just believe and ignore making societal changes that improve the odds.
 
2013-02-18 05:34:13 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

Translation: I need to blame my failures on Obama


Well the party of personal responsibility can't start actually being personally responsible for things... That would be hard.
 
2013-02-18 05:35:46 PM

MontanaDave: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.


That poor black chile is Mr. Slick Wille Clinton.
 
2013-02-18 05:38:04 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Translation: I need to blame my failures on Obama


Also:
 
2013-02-18 05:39:12 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

Translation: I need to blame my failures on Obama

Well the party of personal responsibility can't start actually being personally responsible for things... That would be hard.


And all their failures are because of how their message is perceived, not the message.
 
2013-02-18 05:39:53 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Translation: I need to blame my failures on Obama

Also:


Gif fail.. *commits seppuku in shame*
 
2013-02-18 05:42:58 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus:  If we don't believe it it can never be.


Just believing isn't enough - we have to clap our hands!

Or, you know...enact policies that bring down some barriers and throw out the policies that put other barriers in place.
 
2013-02-18 05:44:39 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


I really doubt that could happen in other western nations. Not in the UK and certainly not in Australia where the media are constantly prattling on about the 'unique' Australian attributes of 'a fair go for all', 'mateship'  (that's loyalty to one's friends) and egalitarianism. Australia has a female Prime Minister but I can't see a member of racial minority being elected as Prime Minister anytime soon.

An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.
 
2013-02-18 05:46:11 PM

KiltedBastich: There are two options: violence or law. The club or the gavel. Either the people who object to this self-serving behaviour kill the wealthy to curb their excesses, or they make rules to curb their excesses and force them to comply by threat of sanction of some kind.


The rich seem to be hell bent on getting themselves strung up. The class war we aren't supposed to talk about has been raging for more than thirty years. Guess which side is winning.
 
2013-02-18 05:46:20 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


Can you explain this further? How do these things perpetuate inequality?
 
2013-02-18 05:46:24 PM

kg2095: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

I really doubt that could happen in other western nations. Not in the UK and certainly not in Australia where the media are constantly prattling on about the 'unique' Australian attributes of 'a fair go for all', 'mateship'  (that's loyalty to one's friends) and egalitarianism. Australia has a female Prime Minister but I can't see a member of racial minority being elected as Prime Minister anytime soon.

An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.


i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2013-02-18 05:46:44 PM

KiltedBastich: They generally understand that government is the only social actor that can seriously challenge their acquisition of further wealth and power. And so they seek to co-opt the representatives of government and the mechanisms of government to their own use, which is what you are complaining about.


That is not what I am complaining about.  Re-read everything I have written.

The market can seriously challenge the acquisition of further wealth and power so they will use government, acting outside of its authority, to protect it.  The market though, is the aggregate of hundreds of millions of people acting in their own best interests.  They are a lot harder to placate than a few dozen people on a banking committee.

KiltedBastich: Because it still remains that government is the only powerful social actor that is directly beholden to the people, and which has the power to oppose the natural human tendency of the wealthy to seek power and privilege for them and theirs.


And again, we have a government which was established to protect individual rights, establish a system of uniform commerce among the states, protect property, mediate contracts and settle bankruptcies.  You and I arent arguing on this point but for the fact that government DOESN'T DO IT.

KiltedBastich: So when you say government is the problem


Again, I havent.  Just government overreaching or neglecting its enumerated authority.

KiltedBastich: It never fails to boggle my mind why so many conservatives would prefer to let corporations whose only goal is increasing the wealth of their shareholders run free to do as they please in the name of maximum possible profit rather than seeing them leashed and limited by the actions of a governement that in the end is supposed to be "by the people, for the people". Do they really think those corporations will be good corporate citizens just because?


The whole reason we have government to begin with is to protect what we have and ensure that a few bad actors dont ruin things for everyone.  We need rules for individuals, so we make local laws.  We hold those who administer those laws accountable.  We have state laws and elect people to execute those laws with means of holding them accountable.  We have federal laws and elect people to execute laws, placing limits on their authority and holding them accountable.  There's anaccountability mechanism in place for every element of government because government owns an exclusive monopoly on force.

Wal-Mart cannot kick your door in at 4am.  Wal-Mart will never judge your fate in court.  Wal-Mart will never be able to send you to war.  Only government can and so there's a reason we hold them extra accountable. I can choose not to shop at Wal-Mart. I can choose not to work for Wal-Mart.   Wal-Mart has personally done nothing to me and never can unless I willingly on my own accord choose to enter their business and if an agent of Wal-Mart harms me in any way, we have government to settle the dispute.

Nobody can hurt you (without penalty) rich or poor unless the government allows it.
 
2013-02-18 05:48:42 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: There isn't a finish line. Humans are imperfect. We always find a way to fark others over. The battle against that is eternal.

Are you honestly saying that you believe we have reached the finish line and are sitting in the promised land?




No! Never said we were there! Never. I said we have the systems in place to get there. We have laws protecting everyone no matter their sex, race or sexual preferences. We have systems in place that grant access to school based on the special circumstances that an individual faces. And we have enough of any given ethnicity in the upper income brackets to insure they could give back to their community. All and all we are well on the path and only need people to catch up and the bigots to die off.

By admitting you don't have an endgame in mind you can not tell me that we have "a long long long" way to go. You have no idea how far we have to go. I say it's right around the corner! 3 to 4 generations at the most. Look how far we have come in just two!
 
2013-02-18 05:49:47 PM
To be fair, any kind of American (not just African-) is unlikely to be elected to preside in another country.
 
2013-02-18 05:50:02 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


St. Reagan voted for FDR all four times...which might explain why he increased spending way beyond anything FDR could have imagined.

http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1082
 
2013-02-18 05:52:41 PM

Bonzo_1116: MontanaDave: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Obama attended: Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Yale was not part of his educational background.

That poor black chile is Mr. Slick Wille Clinton.


I guess Clinton is so slick no one knew about his state and federal legislative career.
 
2013-02-18 05:53:28 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: Lost Thought 00: We built this country on the back of slavery and indentured servants, up until WW1 and 2 made that system impractical.

Your timeline is just a tad off.


The last company towns shut down in 1920. That was just the loophole corporations found in the abolishment of slavery
 
2013-02-18 05:53:56 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: We have laws protecting everyone no matter their sex, race or sexual preferences.


No we don't. You might have heard of a Law called DOMA, for one example.

The Stealth Hippopotamus:
By admitting you don't have an endgame in mind you can not tell me that we have "a long long long" way to go. You have no idea how far we have to go. I say it's right around the corner! 3 to 4 generations at the most. Look how far we have come in just two!

I'm sorry that is just pathetically naive. But even if we accept that, do you think that sitting back and congratulating ourselves is going to bring about utopia in a few generations? Is your complacency doing anything to improve the lives of others? Is your hubris not an actual impediment to progress?
 
2013-02-18 05:54:05 PM

rufus-t-firefly: Or, you know...enact policies that bring down some barriers and throw out the policies that put other barriers in place.


And policies would you enact and what policies would get the axe from President rufus-t-firely?
 
2013-02-18 05:55:07 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Look how far we have come in just two!


I think the two most recent generations of adults, having taken the recession on the chin, think we still have quite a ways to go. They're the ones being told to work harder, longer, and for less by the generations before who didn't have to.
 
2013-02-18 05:55:29 PM

kg2095: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

I really doubt that could happen in other western nations. Not in the UK and certainly not in Australia where the media are constantly prattling on about the 'unique' Australian attributes of 'a fair go for all', 'mateship'  (that's loyalty to one's friends) and egalitarianism. Australia has a female Prime Minister but I can't see a member of racial minority being elected as Prime Minister anytime soon.

An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.


And yet we can't even put a woman in as VP, much less president, a mere 90 years after women received the right to vote. And despite a record number of women in Congress, we still only have 101 female congresspeople, out of 535. That's less than 19%, in a country with 50.8% females.
 
2013-02-18 05:55:29 PM

Nadie_AZ: The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


...they would be, if 90% mattered more than 1%.
 
2013-02-18 05:57:12 PM

Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly.



At what point does a person f*ck up enough where you say "enough is enough"?

Do you really want a consequence-free utopia?
 
2013-02-18 05:57:12 PM
Reading this right now:

2.bp.blogspot.com

Getting a kick, etc.
 
2013-02-18 05:59:48 PM

The_Sponge: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly.


At what point does a person f*ck up enough where you say "enough is enough"?

Do you really want a consequence-free utopia?


At what point should we let your children starve to death?
 
2013-02-18 06:02:19 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: rufus-t-firefly: Or, you know...enact policies that bring down some barriers and throw out the policies that put other barriers in place.

And policies would you enact and what policies would get the axe from President rufus-t-firely?


The last man nearly ruined this place, he didn't know what to do with it/If you think this country's bad off now, just wait 'til rufus gets through with it."
 
2013-02-18 06:04:04 PM

Saiga410: Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?

Oh I am sure he had some assistance from the govt but it is the same assistance that the govt gives to everyone.


So many people purposely miss this point.
"But, but, but his business never would have been successful without roads!"
"ehhh, other people have roads going to their failing businesses"
 
2013-02-18 06:04:12 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: At what point should we let your children starve to death?


After they're born, duh.

/I keed
 
2013-02-18 06:08:39 PM

The_Sponge: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly.


At what point does a person f*ck up enough where you say "enough is enough"?

Do you really want a consequence-free utopia?


When they begin reducing other people's arguments down to something they can manage to easily defeat by declaring them slippery slopes into hell. That's when I say enough is enough. Get in the box.
 
2013-02-18 06:08:46 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: "But, but, but his business never would have been successful without roads!"


Or tax credits for their particular business.

Government didn't help those businesses one bit!
 
2013-02-18 06:08:48 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: So many people purposely miss this point.
"But, but, but his business never would have been successful without roads!"
"ehhh, other people have roads going to their failing businesses"


How many businesses would there be with no roads at all?
 
2013-02-18 06:09:12 PM

Heresiarch: At what point does it become a problem? If you take the poorest of the poor, and they have less than a 10% shot of being able to get to middle-class, is that a problem? Where would you define the thresholds of probability for inter-generational income mobility such that below those numbers, there might be an issue? Further, how would you go about solving that issue?


Tax cuts for job creators and banning abortion.
 
2013-02-18 06:10:08 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: No we don't. You might have heard of a Law called DOMA, for one example.


you've never heard of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws? the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Americans with Disability Act of 1990? Older Workers Benefit Protection Act? Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994)? Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994? I could go on but I think I've proven my point.

Philip Francis Queeg: I'm sorry that is just pathetically naive. But even if we accept that, do you think that sitting back and congratulating ourselves is going to bring about utopia in a few generations?


Silly. You cant sit back. You have to enforce the laws on the books. You have to police the systems. and when the time comes you have to remove some of the systems. It's work. It's hard work. But getting the system in place was the harder work. It was the blood and guts, the water cannon and police dogs work. It was the get beaten to death for specking up work. The system is on rails now. We just have to keep it on the tracks.

Philip Francis Queeg: Is your complacency doing anything to improve the lives of others?


Would forcing unnecessary rules and regulations improve anyone lives? You can take it too far and make people believe that the systems are unfairly stacked in the other direction. Would that help? Create another generation that sees our differences first and the person second? Would that help?

Philip Francis Queeg: Is your hubris not an actual impediment to progress?


I think I've answered that but let me put it another way. The hard work was done by better men than we. They've laid the ground work that we just need to follow.
 
2013-02-18 06:11:01 PM

The_Sponge: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly.


At what point does a person f*ck up enough where you say "enough is enough"?

Do you really want a consequence-free utopia?


No just starvation free.
 
2013-02-18 06:11:44 PM

kg2095: An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.


He is half Kenyan - half Caucasian. Not that is really matters. What he isn't is a child of the African American slave experience.
 
2013-02-18 06:15:44 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: The_Sponge: Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: we just don't think that people should starve because they've made mistakes, had bad luck, or acted stupidly.


At what point does a person f*ck up enough where you say "enough is enough"?

Do you really want a consequence-free utopia?

At what point should we let your children starve to death?


If you get to them before they get too thin, they will make for better pie filling.  Skinny children need to be stewed longer.  Better you should take that burden from him now.
 
2013-02-18 06:16:14 PM

Harry_Seldon: kg2095: An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.

He is half Kenyan - half Caucasian. Not that is really matters. What he isn't is a child of the African American slave experience.


Yes, I know many people certainly make that distinction before they do/say something racist.
 
2013-02-18 06:16:22 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Someone wins the Powerball jackpot more often than your example of "opportunity" occurs.
 
2013-02-18 06:16:27 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: No we don't. You might have heard of a Law called DOMA, for one example.

you've never heard of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws? the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Americans with Disability Act of 1990? Older Workers Benefit Protection Act? Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994)? Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994? I could go on but I think I've proven my point.



So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: The hard work was done by better men than we.


Better men than you. There is still much hard work to do. It's clear that you simply are not up to helping. Perhaps we are better off if you just sit on the sidelines in a self congratulatory haze while others continue the labor improving the world your children, grandchildren, and future generation will live in.
 
2013-02-18 06:17:09 PM

Somacandra: GoldSpider: Well-played, sir.

Ahh, thank you. Haven't seen you around in awhile. Nice to see you back. :-)


Oh I'm around!  Just not as much during the day at the new job.
 
2013-02-18 06:21:51 PM
I don't understand why so many people respond to tenpoundsofderp and Hungry Ugly Hippos.

They both are so completely predictable that most of us could answer for them and be pretty close to exactly what they would say. I have never seen either of them offer anything new to any discussion, just the standard talking point and then repeat.
 
2013-02-18 06:23:09 PM

jst3p: I don't understand why so many people respond to tenpoundsofderp and Hungry Ugly Hippos.

They both are so completely predictable that most of us could answer for them and be pretty close to exactly what they would say. I have never seen either of them offer anything new to any discussion, just the standard talking point and then repeat.


It makes me feel smart
 
2013-02-18 06:24:13 PM
Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.
 
2013-02-18 06:26:24 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?



That's getting fixed if you haven't noticed. I haven't seen the police dogs released lately.


Philip Francis Queeg: Better men than you.


ego much?! You're comparing yourself with a black soldier that kicked off his chains and picked up a rifle to defend the union?! You're comparing yourself to couple that watch their house burned because they had the guts to love someone of a different skin color. You're comparing yourself to someone who had their flesh ripped off their bodies by a water hose because they wanted to eat a lunch counter.

You're so full of yourself it is actually stunning. It's not often that I'm speechless but damn you've done it.
 
2013-02-18 06:27:11 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Would forcing unnecessary rules and regulations improve anyone lives?


Yes, because history teaches us that it did improve the lives of many.
After the Depression of the 1930s we learned how important it was to protect society from the self-interest of capitalism.
Not only did we make rules we enforced them.
And our society flourished during a period of stringent rules/regulations.
 
2013-02-18 06:29:37 PM

Flargan: Yes, because history teaches us that it did improve the lives of many.
After the Depression of the 1930s we learned how important it was to protect society from the self-interest of capitalism.
Not only did we make rules we enforced them.
And our society flourished during a period of stringent rules/regulations.



Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?
 
2013-02-18 06:30:38 PM
I know a guy who buys medical centers, then rents them out to doctors/dentists etc...
He truly believes everyone has equal opportunity, if only people were just as bootstrapy and smart and hard working as he is.
The fact that his parents gave him millions, interest free, in order to buy medical centers, to then rent them out to practitioners and sit back and watch the cash flow in each month?
Irrelevant.
/he votes republican
 
2013-02-18 06:31:40 PM

sheep snorter: Poor people earning over 180,000 bucks a year.
disclaimer: this graphic is from some douche who wants you to think that the black folk on it don't pay taxes.


[i.imgur.com image 614x408]


Everyone in this graph looks sad. If I made as much money as these people, I'd have a permanent shiateating grin on my face..
 
2013-02-18 06:32:16 PM

moefuggenbrew: I know a guy who buys medical centers, then rents them out to doctors/dentists etc...
He truly believes everyone has equal opportunity, if only people were just as bootstrapy and smart and hard working as he is.
The fact that his parents gave him millions, interest free, in order to buy medical centers, to then rent them out to practitioners and sit back and watch the cash flow in each month?
Irrelevant.
/he votes republican


Those born on third base often believe they hit a triple.
 
2013-02-18 06:33:44 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?


That's getting fixed if you haven't noticed. I haven't seen the police dogs released lately.


Philip Francis Queeg: Better men than you.

ego much?! You're comparing yourself with a black soldier that kicked off his chains and picked up a rifle to defend the union?! You're comparing yourself to couple that watch their house burned because they had the guts to love someone of a different skin color. You're comparing yourself to someone who had their flesh ripped off their bodies by a water hose because they wanted to eat a lunch counter.

You're so full of yourself it is actually stunning. It's not often that I'm speechless but damn you've done it.


static3.businessinsider.com i.i.com.com
All better people than you.
 
2013-02-18 06:33:45 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?


More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.
 
2013-02-18 06:34:46 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Flargan: Yes, because history teaches us that it did improve the lives of many.
After the Depression of the 1930s we learned how important it was to protect society from the self-interest of capitalism.
Not only did we make rules we enforced them.
And our society flourished during a period of stringent rules/regulations.


Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?


Yes, we CAN overregulate something. But that's not what the problem is today. Funny how the world's economy was crashed by investment bankers meddling with the mortgage market less than ten years after the repeal of Glass-Steagal made that possible. Funny.
 
2013-02-18 06:39:38 PM

KiltedBastich: Because "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" worked out so well for this lady:


She never said it.
 
2013-02-18 06:42:06 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Won't you admit that you can over regulate something?


Germany has far more regulations than the US does and just looking at the numbers, things are better for people there than in the US.
 
2013-02-18 06:47:27 PM
o5iiawah (farkied: Right-wing wharrgarbler with a wharrgarbl name): Could it be that many latinos find themselves on the lower end of the wage scale because a large percentage are first-generation immigrant, are ESOL, or have not had generations of access to public school and higher education systems?

Hey waitafugginminute.  Public schools are evul gubmint programs full of Union Thugs zOMG SOOOOCIALISM!
 
2013-02-18 06:51:24 PM
So, can we please go kill the rich now?
 
2013-02-18 06:53:12 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


That was before Reagan became President. No chance in Hell for any other kid in poverty to have a hope of improvement now.
 
2013-02-18 06:54:38 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Flargan: Yes, because history teaches us that it did improve the lives of many.
After the Depression of the 1930s we learned how important it was to protect society from the self-interest of capitalism.
Not only did we make rules we enforced them.
And our society flourished during a period of stringent rules/regulations.


Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?


Glass-Steagall would like a word with you.
 
2013-02-18 06:56:28 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?


That's getting fixed if you haven't noticed. I haven't seen the police dogs released lately.


Philip Francis Queeg: Better men than you.

ego much?! You're comparing yourself with a black soldier that kicked off his chains and picked up a rifle to defend the union?! You're comparing yourself to couple that watch their house burned because they had the guts to love someone of a different skin color. You're comparing yourself to someone who had their flesh ripped off their bodies by a water hose because they wanted to eat a lunch counter.

You're so full of yourself it is actually stunning. It's not often that I'm speechless but damn you've done it.

 
All better people than you.


So you're trying to prove my point now? White people beating on white people. Like I said before, progress. I've said, we are not there yet.

So you're standing by the idea you're the equal of the persons I listed?!
 
2013-02-18 07:03:26 PM

Saiga410: zedster: slayer199: zedster: . The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

Water florination or the removal of lead from gasoline.


Disco? Could it be Disco?
 
2013-02-18 07:11:09 PM

Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.


Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.


Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.
 
2013-02-18 07:11:15 PM

o5iiawah: Nobody can hurt you (without penalty) rich or poor unless the government allows it.


Really just interested in discussion here (yea I know this is Fark but what the hey, give it a go neh?)

I have some thoughts on your ideas about Government having a monopoly on force, I have some thoughts and I'd like to see what you think.

There are multiple examples of private security throughout our history, Wackenhutt, The Pinkertons, The De Beers army/ navy, Blackwater, and many, many others. Often they have operated outside of the law acting as thugish agents for those that could pay.

Also,"The Ford Service" a private police force of 3,500 that would not only beat strikers but go to workers homes to make sure the workers were living a sober and American life with the wages they were paid.
 
While they do not go into your home at the present moment, it seems to me that none of these organizations had/have popular checks and balances (voting) placed upon them.  While it could be argued that these organizations, operate under the auspices of government, and violations of the law are punishable by the government, internally they are no different than any other business, yet they wield force.

If the government is corrupt (bought) enough to allow violations of the law by these organizations to abuse power unchecked, who is to blame? The one wielding the nightstick or the one who stands by and watches?  What of the unbridled rise in private security and the declines of the police force we've seen recently?  What if the government is bought enough that it will actually use force on behalf of those who bought it rather than the checks you mention.  What if the government busts down your door on behalf of Walmart at 4 A.M.?
 
2013-02-18 07:12:13 PM
FTA:Finally, it is unconscionable that a rich country like the United States has made access to higher education so difficult for those at the bottom and middle.

We have a surplus of college grads already, we have a surplus of workers in general. The problem is we need more good jobs, not who is getting the jobs.
 
2013-02-18 07:12:39 PM

Real Women Drink Akvavit: Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.

Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.

Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.


I almost brought that up, myself. I lived through those bullshiat rolling blackouts. They were total bullshiat.
 
2013-02-18 07:15:54 PM

Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.


Quoted you earlier and forgot to mention, I'd never heard of the Stiglitz dude before today. Just put one of his books on my wishlist so I remember to buy it next week when I have some spending $$$. I get so many smarty-head book recommendations on Fark! Awesome.
 
2013-02-18 07:18:06 PM
Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink.And increasingly even a college degree isn't enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships. Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don't. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder.Government should help to level the playing field.

Where the fark does that last sentence come from? I agree until he gets there.

(1) The govt wasn't founded for social engineering projects

(2) The govt's track record of "helping" is way less than stellar
 
2013-02-18 07:20:02 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?


That's getting fixed if you haven't noticed. I haven't seen the police dogs released lately.


Philip Francis Queeg: Better men than you.

ego much?! You're comparing yourself with a black soldier that kicked off his chains and picked up a rifle to defend the union?! You're comparing yourself to couple that watch their house burned because they had the guts to love someone of a different skin color. You're comparing yourself to someone who had their flesh ripped off their bodies by a water hose because they wanted to eat a lunch counter.

You're so full of yourself it is actually stunning. It's not often that I'm speechless but damn you've done it.

 
All better people than you.

So you're trying to prove my point now? White people beating on white people. Like I said before, progress. I've said, we are not there yet.

So you're standing by the idea you're the equal of the persons I listed?!


The equal of them? Probably not. Better than you? Most certainly. You don't deserve the benefits of their sacrifices if you are unwilling to lift a finger to conmtinue to fight injustice. Complacency is as much the enemy of priogress as oppression.
 
2013-02-18 07:20:08 PM

iawai: Where the fark does that last sentence come from? I agree until he gets there.


What is your better solution?
 
2013-02-18 07:20:35 PM

Zombie Butler: If the government is corrupt (bought) enough to allow violations of the law by these organizations to abuse power unchecked, who is to blame? The one wielding the nightstick or the one who stands by and watches?  What of the unbridled rise in private security and the declines of the police force we've seen recently?  What if the government is bought enough that it will actually use force on behalf of those who bought it rather than the checks you mention.  What if the government busts down your door on behalf of Walmart at 4 A.M.?


The media will ignore it, he'll get called names by lots of "freedom-loving" types for daring to stand in Wal-Mart's way, and he'll end up rotting in prison, with a big stack of legal bills to pay or both, just like has happened to so many other people that have gotten the business end of this particular stick already...

Of course, in Dan-O's case here he'd probably say he deserved it because the capitalists are perfect beings of light.
 
2013-02-18 07:22:37 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: iawai: Where the fark does that last sentence come from? I agree until he gets there.

What is your better solution?


I'm guessing it's that everyone who isn't rich can eat shiat, but the government should continue to provide police and road work and all of those other things rich people need, so they can have caviar instead.
 
2013-02-18 07:23:53 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


q couple of things. his home was not unstable. his mother (PhD) and father were  college graduates. His father also went to Harvard. And while his father wasn't around he didn't come from illiterate ghetto crackheads or alcoholic hillbillies. he went to private prep schools. he traveled the world. he was tutored by his mother. He started college  in the pre-Reagan days. before the conservative movement gutted the middle class and made it harder for upward mobility.
 
2013-02-18 07:24:05 PM

WhyteRaven74: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Won't you admit that you can over regulate something?

Germany has far more regulations than the US does and just looking at the numbers, things are better for people there than in the US.


well, they work harder, so they can have nice things
 
2013-02-18 07:25:11 PM

DrewCurtisJr: FTA:Finally, it is unconscionable that a rich country like the United States has made access to higher education so difficult for those at the bottom and middle.

We have a surplus of college grads already, we have a surplus of workers in general. The problem is we need more good jobs, not who is getting the jobs.


That's not what he meant. University is now significantly more expensive than it was even ten years ago. This means kids leaving college at 22 years old are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they even get their lives started. University should be cheaper so our young people don't start off already in the hole.
 
2013-02-18 07:25:39 PM

Mike Chewbacca: Real Women Drink Akvavit: Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.

Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.

Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.

I almost brought that up, myself. I lived through those bullshiat rolling blackouts. They were total bullshiat.


Tell me about it, if you want to angry up your blood go watch this documentary Enron-the smartest guys in the room my favorite part was when they were laughing about jacking up our rates.
 
2013-02-18 07:26:56 PM

theknuckler_33: According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category

I was actually surprised the number was that high... and I'm trying to figure out what being surprised by that says about me.


Moving into the second fifth means you're still poor. Mobility doesn't mean much if the curve is flat. One of the ways economists look at mobility is by analyzing the correlation in incomes between generations. Some studies have suggested that as much as 80% of a random person's income is explained by the income of his parents. That's an absurdly high number, but it leaves a lot of room for movement around the underclass. Just not so much room for movement out of the underclass, which is really the point of opportunity.
 
2013-02-18 07:30:00 PM

Zombie Butler: Mike Chewbacca: Real Women Drink Akvavit: Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.

Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.

Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.

I almost brought that up, myself. I lived through those bullshiat rolling blackouts. They were total bullshiat.

Tell me about it, if you want to angry up your blood go watch this documentary Enron-the smartest guys in the room my favorite part was when they were laughing about jacking up our rates.


I have avoided that documentary because I don't want to get pissed off.
 
2013-02-18 07:34:09 PM

Mike Chewbacca: Zombie Butler: Mike Chewbacca: Real Women Drink Akvavit: Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.

Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.

Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.

I almost brought that up, myself. I lived through those bullshiat rolling blackouts. They were total bullshiat.

Tell me about it, if you want to angry up your blood go watch this documentary Enron-the smartest guys in the room my favorite part was when they were laughing about jacking up our rates.

I have avoided that documentary because I don't want to get pissed off.


I mean more pissed off than I already am.
 
2013-02-18 07:35:18 PM
There's just as much opportunity as there was 40 years ago, but 3 times as many people pursuing it.
 
2013-02-18 07:36:15 PM
www.reputation.com
 
2013-02-18 07:42:00 PM

Mike Chewbacca: Mike Chewbacca: Zombie Butler:
Tell me about it, if you want to angry up your blood go watch this documentary Enron-the smartest guys in the room my favorite part was when they were laughing about jacking up our rates.

I have avoided that documentary because I don't want to get pissed off.

I mean more pissed off than I already am.


Yea, good point.  Seriously made me want to find them and do things that might get me put in one of Wackenhuts prisons.

/my commentary and unfortunately this society have now come full circle, gads what a mess.
 
2013-02-18 07:44:09 PM

Mike Chewbacca: Zombie Butler: Mike Chewbacca: Real Women Drink Akvavit: Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.

Sergeant Grumbles: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?

More regulations are the answer when deregulation was the problem.

Yikes, I can't begin to reiterate how true that is just by pointing to California's rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices after deregulation.

I almost brought that up, myself. I lived through those bullshiat rolling blackouts. They were total bullshiat.

Tell me about it, if you want to angry up your blood go watch this documentary Enron-the smartest guys in the room my favorite part was when they were laughing about jacking up our rates.

I have avoided that documentary because I don't want to get pissed off.


I think I saw that documentary (there are a few about their shenanigans and their impact) and got incredibly ticked, had to turn it off. To this day I get a twinge of apprehension about riding the light rail. I, along with hundreds of others, was trapped on one during a rolling blackout, during evening rush hour, in 106 weather. Luckily we were somewhere we could just use the emergency handles to open the doors and get out of the trains before anyone fell out. If we had been on the bridge going out of Alkalai Flats toward I-80, it would have been much worse. Still took us probably close to ten minutes before we realized the power wasn't coming back on and we had to get out of there before we cooked to death. I'm sure that elderly lady blowin' chunks from the heat helped motivate us, too.

/that mini-mart half a block away sold out of every cold beverage as fast as they could ring us up
 
2013-02-18 07:44:48 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Philip Francis Queeg: So it's ok, to deny same sex couples the equal protections of the law since those laws exist? Is that your point? We can ign
ore all other legal inequalities since we have addressed some?


That's getting fixed if you haven't noticed. I haven't seen the police dogs released lately.


Philip Francis Queeg: Better men than you.

ego much?! You're comparing yourself with a black soldier that kicked off his chains and picked up a rifle to defend the union?! You're comparing yourself to couple that watch their house burned because they had the guts to love someone of a different skin color. You're comparing yourself to someone who had their flesh ripped off their bodies by a water hose because they wanted to eat a lunch counter.

You're so full of yourself it is actually stunning. It's not often that I'm speechless but damn you've done it.

 
All better people than you.

So you're trying to prove my point now? White people beating on white people. Like I said before, progress. I've said, we are not there yet.

So you're standing by the idea you're the equal of the persons I listed?!

The equal of them? Probably not. Better than you? Most certainly. You don't deserve the benefits of their sacrifices if you are unwilling to lift a finger to conmtinue to fight injustice. Complacency is as much the enemy of priogress as oppression.


Wow you're a vicious little thing. Maybe you're right! Maybe we'll never get there. When someone can believe that they are a better human being than some else for the simple fact they disagree about how to best enact social change. We simple disagree about the distance travel and what tools are needed to bring about that change. We agree that change is needed!!

I'm a positive person so I believe that people will come together natural. Given that little outburst I'm thinking you're not a positive person. But you can't force people to get along that is not something the government can do.

I will still be working within the system to do what I think is right. If you think that's nothing I can live with that.

Have a good night. I hope you can let go of some of that anger, that can't be good for you.
 
2013-02-18 07:47:42 PM

moefuggenbrew: I know a guy who buys medical centers, then rents them out to doctors/dentists etc...
He truly believes everyone has equal opportunity, if only people were just as bootstrapy and smart and hard working as he is.
The fact that his parents gave him millions, interest free, in order to buy medical centers, to then rent them out to practitioners and sit back and watch the cash flow in each month?
Irrelevant.
/he votes republican


Up against the wall.
 
2013-02-18 07:49:29 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


FDR passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? The trend towards regulation started in the late 19th century with the rise of Carnegie and Rockefeller.

You know, every time laws get passed that restrict or regulate something, it's usually because a small percentage of the targeted group acted like selfish jerks. I might not be so supportive of, say, public smoking bans, if not for all the times that a jackass smoker responded to my polite request to hold their cigarette a little further away by blowing smoke in my face and saying "fark you, I'll do what I want."

The greedy robber barons have no one to blame but themselves.
 
2013-02-18 07:57:09 PM

ImpendingCynic: FDR passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? The trend towards regulation started in the late 19th century with the rise of Carnegie and Rockefeller.


I would say the regulation of industry started, oddly enough, with the growth of massive industry. It's not like we had massive, titanic industries existing for centuries and just randomly decided at one point to start regulating them. Rather, in the second half of the 19th century, some truly monstrously large industries become monopolized and we basically had no choice but to regulate them due to completely lack of competition.
 
2013-02-18 08:02:08 PM

DamnYankees: I would say the regulation of industry started, oddly enough, with the growth of massive industry


Regulations happen when certain people demonstrate themselves either unwilling or incapable of behaving in a way that doesn't screw society at large. At least most do, some happen because certain people realize they can avoid certain things by making things harder for others eg the regulations in various cities restricting food trucks that were put into place because brick and mortar restaurant owners want to dodge as much competition as they can.
 
2013-02-18 08:06:33 PM

Zombie Butler: Also,"The Ford Service" a private police force of 3,500 that would not only beat strikers but go to workers homes to make sure the workers were living a sober and American life with the wages they were paid.

While they do not go into your home at the present moment, it seems to me that none of these organizations had/have popular checks and balances (voting) placed upon them.  While it could be argued that these organizations, operate under the auspices of government, and violations of the law are punishable by the government, internally they are no different than any other business, yet they wield force.

If the government is corrupt (bought) enough to allow violations of the law by these organizations to abuse power unchecked, who is to blame? The one wielding the nightstick or the one who stands by and watches?  What of the unbridled rise in private security and the declines of the police force we've seen recently?  What if the government is bought enough that it will actually use force on behalf of those who bought it rather than the checks you mention.  What if the government busts down your door on behalf of Walmart at 4 A.M.?


Assuming you no longer have the courts on your side, thats why you have the 2nd amendment.  When the government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

Also, government changes, it is just the Federal government which changes the slowest and wields the most power.  Saying that the small-government, free market system fails because a lower city council can be bought off is to suggest that a federal government can be bought off, which affects a hell of a lot more people.  I'll take the local yokels that I can vote out over the 6-term senate lifers that you cant get rid of.
 
2013-02-18 08:07:07 PM
career opportunities...the ones that never knock
 
2013-02-18 08:15:13 PM

KiltedBastich: Conversely, OWS faced the conundrum that the very disorganized nature that made it impossible to coopt also made it nearly impossible to transform into effective political action, and easy to slander and parody in the corporate press.


OWS actually succeeded to a certain extent. Reagan drops the '47 percent' comment and it gets ranked up there alongside 'There you go again' and 'Tear down this wall.'  Romney drops it and its his campaign's epitaph. And now we've got Senator Warren to boot. The message is getting out there.
 
2013-02-18 08:21:33 PM

moefuggenbrew: I know a guy who buys medical centers, then rents them out to doctors/dentists etc...
He truly believes everyone has equal opportunity, if only people were just as bootstrapy and smart and hard working as he is.
The fact that his parents gave him millions, interest free, in order to buy medical centers, to then rent them out to practitioners and sit back and watch the cash flow in each month?
Irrelevant.
/he votes republican


Of course he votes Republican, him and Romney could be chums with that sort of background.
 
2013-02-18 08:25:54 PM

AcneVulgaris: There's just as much opportunity as there was 40 years ago, but 3 times as many people pursuing it.


stop making babies, for your kids' sakes.
 
2013-02-18 08:26:16 PM

ImpendingCynic: FDR passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? The trend towards regulation started in the late 19th century with the rise of Carnegie and Rockefeller.


You mean that robber baron Carnegie who built free libraries all over the country?

Unfortunately, everything the author suggests is already being done.

We still offer a free high school education to those who care to avail themselves of it.  We will even feed you breakfast and lunch so you can focus on your studies.

And if you are poor or a minority and want to go to college, there are literally billions waiting to make it happen for you.  Billions from taxpayers like me, and billions from the robber barons all the way from the Rockefellers to that Waltons.

The thing that was missing from the article was the call for family unity, sacrifice and commitment.  Any mention of teacher unions and voucher programs was also strangely absent.

Almost as if he advocates doing more of what he is certain isn't working.
 
2013-02-18 08:32:28 PM

stevenrushing: Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.


on Fark? Now I has a sad for you...

/oh shiat... i'm here too
 
2013-02-18 08:32:38 PM
Someone should tell all of the people risking their lives to come here and work from other countries that this is not the land of opportunity. I am sure they will self deport themselves. I would hate for them to waste their time and effort.
 
2013-02-18 08:35:22 PM

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?

Taking from the top 1% who are hoarding resources and giving it to the bottom 99% who are starving usually builds the 99% up by way of much-needed calories.


you sound fat
 
2013-02-18 08:36:19 PM

cchris_39: We still offer a free high school education to those who care to avail themselves of it. We will even feed you breakfast and lunch so you can focus on your studies.


There are countries that provide free college. Of those that have tuition, it's a lot less than what Americans pay. And also many countries provide breakfast and lunch for all students, not just those who are poor. And sorry Carnegie building some libraries doesn't offset the harm he did to society at large with how he ran his company. Though it did eventually dawn on him he hadn't done things entirely right, he didn't exactly do anything to make up for it.
 
2013-02-18 08:37:46 PM

doglover: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?

Seriously?

Do you not understand how governments work? Lower taxes on the people who can't pay, raise taxes on the people who can, and tada no more deficit.


well, also I think they should stop buying $30k toilet seats and studying turtle farts, oh and when the buy planes, make sure they work first.
 
2013-02-18 08:40:10 PM
Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink.

...So, apparently when I posted almost exactly this, even saying catch-22, I was dead on the money. Wow. I love my brain.
 
2013-02-18 08:40:47 PM

ManRay: Someone should tell all of the people risking their lives to come here and work from other countries that this is not the land of opportunity. I am sure they will self deport themselves. I would hate for them to waste their time and effort.


uh, the mexicans are going back. like those cartoons where the boats catch on fire on the docks and all the smart rats climb down the ropes back to shore.
 
2013-02-18 08:46:29 PM

Mike Chewbacca: That's not what he meant. University is now significantly more expensive than it was even ten years ago. This means kids leaving college at 22 years old are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they even get their lives started. University should be cheaper so our young people don't start off already in the hole.


Yes it is what he meant. He wants poor and middle class kids to have better access to higher education, which is fine, but that doesn't mean there will be jobs waiting for all or even most of them.
 
2013-02-18 08:47:38 PM
Well duh. High School means shiat. College isn't affordable, but the only way you'll have a future as long as you don't mind going into serious debt if you don't have someone you can borrow some serious money from. Then even if you do get one college degree, it isn't enough. So have to go into more debt. Meanwhile the best you can do with a high school degree is not much. So lets assume you've done that much at least, then what? Well, hopefully you're smart and save up at least a million for retirement. The land of opportunity indeed.
 
2013-02-18 08:50:25 PM

o5iiawah: That is not what I am complaining about. Re-read everything I have written.

The market can seriously challenge the acquisition of further wealth and power so they will use government, acting outside of its authority, to protect it. The market though, is the aggregate of hundreds of millions of people acting in their own best interests. They are a lot harder to placate than a few dozen people on a banking committee.


Nonsense. Without the existence of law to define and control the action of the socially powerful, there is no market, because the unchecked actions of social power by those who experience early success means that they are able to create monopolistic protectionist conditions that are self-serving. That's how you got things like aristocracy and later guilds in the first place: because in the absence of some social force preventing it, the powerful will always act to promote their own interests over that of society at large. For examples, see most of human bloody history. Markets are good for driving economic growth, and so certain governments have created and protected them from the wealthy and powerful in order to increase the general economic growth of the nation instead of a privileged few, but make no mistake, they did not come into existence by themselves.

Seriously, have you never even heard of the tragedy of the commons, or game theory? Market systems are inherently unstable. They exist only when there are powerful social forces acting to protect or create them. They are not some kind of all powerful magic force that can prevent the abuse of power by the wealthy. In fact currently it is by using the markets to their own advantage that the wealthy maintain and perpetuate their position.

o5iiawah: And again, we have a government which was established to protect individual rights, establish a system of uniform commerce among the states, protect property, mediate contracts and settle bankruptcies. You and I arent arguing on this point but for the fact that government DOESN'T DO IT.


It doesn't do it because it has been co-opted by the wealthy and powerful, and as long as the only things government does is that short laundry list, that was and is inevitable, because humans live to game systems. We will always seek to find loopholes and exploits in any system of rules or laws, and as no system of rules or laws created by humans is perfect, there will always be such loopholes. Government must therefore be able to grow and change to remain equal to the new ways it will be challenged and exploited by the wealthy or powerful, else it will grow to be irrelevant and useless. I submit to you that the idea that large government is always bad and small government is always better is an ideological position that is not borne out by facts, but which admirably suits the purposes of the wealthy and powerful in curtailing the ability of government to limit their ability to maximize their own personal benefits and those of their classs.

The goal should not be small government, or large government, but effective government; that is, government that most effectively exercises the social actions that it must in order to promote and maintain the goals of an egalitarian representative democracy that endeavors to promote the general welfare of the nation it represents, whatsoever nation that may be - I do not limit that argument to just the USA, mind you. If reducing it's size will remove redundancy and bureaucratic inertia and result in more responsiveness without curtailing effectiveness, then shrink it appropriately. Likewise, if changing conditions and exploitative behaviour on the part of private enterprise (cfe. Wall street et al. in the last couple of decades) require an expansion of government in order to more closely monitor and regulate their activity, then grow the government to do so.

The goal and methods of government should be dictated by pragmatic requirements, not by ideological sloganeering.

o5iiawah: Again, I havent. Just government overreaching or neglecting its enumerated authority.


In other words, government is the problem when it doesn't adhere to your narrowly defined ideological position. I hold such unrealistic positions as having very little value, if any.

The appropriate reach of government is determined by the necessities of governance of the society and time in which it finds itself, and the challenges posed by same. To argue otherwise is to play into the hands of those who would undermine government in order to exploit the people for their own gain and the gain of their close others, be they peers or relations.

You can't have it both ways. Tie the hands of government, render it unable to act in a given social arena, and you do not render that arena free by some magic. You simply allow other social actors with the means to do so an unfettered arena in which to pursue their own agenda, none of which are beholden to the people of the nation as is the government.

o5iiawah: The whole reason we have government to begin with is to protect what we have and ensure that a few bad actors dont ruin things for everyone. We need rules for individuals, so we make local laws. We hold those who administer those laws accountable. We have state laws and elect people to execute those laws with means of holding them accountable. We have federal laws and elect people to execute laws, placing limits on their authority and holding them accountable. There's anaccountability mechanism in place for every element of government because government owns an exclusive monopoly on force.

Wal-Mart cannot kick your door in at 4am. Wal-Mart will never judge your fate in court. Wal-Mart will never be able to send you to war. Only government can and so there's a reason we hold them extra accountable. I can choose not to shop at Wal-Mart. I can choose not to work for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has personally done nothing to me and never can unless I willingly on my own accord choose to enter their business and if an agent of Wal-Mart harms me in any way, we have government to settle the dispute.

Nobody can hurt you (without penalty) rich or poor unless the government allows it.


Wal-Mart can't kick down your door - but they can arrange with their cronies to have a monopoly in an area so you can't shop elsewhere because certain goods cannot be found elsewhere. Likewise, they can undercut the wages so that you can't find a comparable job for better pay in an area, and so prevent you from bettering yourself economically. If you do not think Wal-Mart and other large corporations are doing exactly that right now, you have not been paying attention to what is going on with the growing inequality of your nation.

What you fail to grasp is that this is not Wal-Mart being a bad actor. This is Wal-Mart being a corporation. The fundamental structures of corporate economics mean that all other things being equal, maximum possible profit is the goal. All actions will be pursued based on that calculation - because if they don't they will lose out to a competitor who does follow that rule. Corporations acting as corporations will always be bad actors when viewed from the persepective of an ethical human being because that's how the capitalist economic system is set up.

Meanwhile, you worry about a police state. Guess who has an incentive to create that police state? Guess who it is that benefits from a world where the little guy cannot stand up for himself, cannot fight back, must fear the government? The wealthy and the powerful.

Cui bono is the age old question. Who benefits? When you have a democratic system of government, who benefits from police state powers? Generally speaking not the actual politicians; an autocracy of some sort is the way to go if you want to become wealthy and powerful as a politician. Look at Assad in Syria, or the Saudis, or all the banana republic Central American dictators of the 20th century. Heck, look at Stalin for that matter.

No, not the politicians, their place on the stage is designed to be transient, and that's ingrained deeply enough to be nearly unchangeable. No, it is their wealthy backers who benefit. The corporations, the lobbyists. They don't change when the politicians do. The system of government was designed to be responsive to the common man, but has been subverted to large extent by the wealthy and powerful because it suits them for it to be so.

And none of this changes a single fundamantal point: Only government is powerful enough to seriously oppose wealth in the social arena, all else, religion, journalism, even academia, has all already been subverted for the most part, and that can only change if government is first taken back. The market is the fiction they sell to you, conveniently failing to mention how it is defined and supported by the government they already have subverted. Thus every attempt to strengthen "the market" actually strengthens the wealthy. That's the great lie of trickle-down economics. Competitive markets exist when the governement acts to restrain the activities of corporations that would otherwise use their existing social power to ruthlessly enshrine and protect their own sources of wealth and power. They are already doing so. Do the words "too big to fail" sound familiar?

And finally, police-state shenanigans are rare. They attract a lot of very negative attention when they happen, and they are not conducive to the long-term health of any given regime. Use them too often and sooner or later you get that mob violence response I mentioned before. Meanwhile, corporate economic shenanigans are endemic to the system. Corporations engage in them frequently, because they can and because it's usually profitable to do so - even if they eventually get caught and punished. After all, do you really think the cost to Wall Street in terms of both fines and actual losses as a result of the latest financial fiascos is anything close to the wealth they extracted from it before their house of cards collapsed on them?

In short, your fear of a rare event is causing you to be complacent about a constant problem. That's an irrational response no matter how you slice it.

WhyteRaven74: KiltedBastich: Because "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" worked out so well for this lady:

She never said it.


I am aware; it was more of a summation of her attitude and the attitude of the court at the time than a direct quote, but the narrative isn't as compelling when presented that way. She's still the iconic example of the perils of the rich and powerful ignoring the plight of the poor and downtrodden.
 
2013-02-18 08:53:01 PM

slayer199: Of course, nobody wants to point the finger where it belongs...the massive growth of government from taxation, regulation, and redistribution of wealth...beginning with FDR.


Or you could point a much smarter finger at the way the government has become a mechanism for transferring wealth from the have-nots to the have-alls.
 
2013-02-18 08:54:50 PM

Jim_Tressel's_O-Face: OWS actually succeeded to a certain extent. Reagan drops the '47 percent' comment and it gets ranked up there alongside 'There you go again' and 'Tear down this wall.' Romney drops it and its his campaign's epitaph. And now we've got Senator Warren to boot. The message is getting out there.


The message is getting out there, but there's little or no direct political action arising as a result. Warren was already championing that message long before OWS appeared on the scene, and I would wager that she would still be doing so had it never appeared. Ultimately, for any social movement to enact significant change, there must be some kind of transition from social action in general to political action in specific. Without that, all the messaging and cosciousness-raising in the world will eventually come to naught. The opposition to your message will always be more than ready to use those specific tools against you, as they have done and continue to do.
 
2013-02-18 08:58:12 PM

KiltedBastich: it was more of a summation of her attitude


The attitude she's accused of having, she never had. Nor did her husband. The attitude she's described as having is a fiction created in part during the French Revolution and added to a few decades later. As for Louis, he wanted to do the right thing, but he was in so far over his head that between not having a lick of authoritarianism to him and having incompetent ministers, it wasn't going to happen.
 
2013-02-18 09:03:54 PM

Harry_Seldon: kg2095: An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.

He is half Kenyan - half Caucasian. Not that is really matters. What he isn't is a child of the African American slave experience.


He's still subject to the same attitudes from society that children of the African American experience are. Racists don't necessarily know nor care if a dark skinned person is half white.
 
2013-02-18 09:08:59 PM

Mike Chewbacca: kg2095: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

I really doubt that could happen in other western nations. Not in the UK and certainly not in Australia where the media are constantly prattling on about the 'unique' Australian attributes of 'a fair go for all', 'mateship'  (that's loyalty to one's friends) and egalitarianism. Australia has a female Prime Minister but I can't see a member of racial minority being elected as Prime Minister anytime soon.

An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.

And yet we can't even put a woman in as VP, much less president, a mere 90 years after women received the right to vote. And despite a record number of women in Congress, we still only have 101 female congresspeople, out of 535. That's less than 19%, in a country with 50.8% females.


I think the US will have a woman as president within the next few presidents, maybe even the next one.

29% of Australian federal politicians are female. I assume the other 71% are male.  A little over half the population of Australia are female.
 
2013-02-18 09:11:10 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded age

And forget that people had more upward mobility back then as opposed to now.

Maybe, but you are skipping some data points here, let's skip the 1800s and move to post-WWII. The middle class grew during the 1950s and continued into the 70s, then it started to crash down a bit. Why?

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 615x447]
Source

this is all about the reagan royalty revolution. Until we undo that, we will continue to wallow.
bring back the death taxes. bring back cap gain taxes. bring back (implement) wealth taxes. reinstate glass-steagall.

these efforts would have little to zero impact on 99%

oh wait, the 1% decide what will happen.
nevermind

How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?

Taking from the top 1% who are hoarding resources and giving it to the bottom 99% who are starving usually builds the 99% up by way of much-needed calories.

you sound fat


Not cool, man. My dog has Prader-Willi.
 
2013-02-18 09:15:02 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: kg2095: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

I really doubt that could happen in other western nations. Not in the UK and certainly not in Australia where the media are constantly prattling on about the 'unique' Australian attributes of 'a fair go for all', 'mateship'  (that's loyalty to one's friends) and egalitarianism. Australia has a female Prime Minister but I can't see a member of racial minority being elected as Prime Minister anytime soon.

An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x387]


South Africa is a country that has a 91% black population. The only reason there was ever a white government there was due to the brutal nature and superior firepower of the Europeans.
 
2013-02-18 09:16:35 PM
rufus-t-firefly
i48.photobucket.com

he may have been a slave-owner but at least he wasn't a cannibal


KiltedBastich
Law is when the member of society agree together that a certain behaviour will be allowed or not, and variations on that idea with greater and greater complexity. The other word for it is government.

Government implies a bureaucracy. Many societies have had laws but no formal government.

it still remains that government is the only powerful social actor that is directly beholden to the people,

Democrats. Republicans. These are the options. Going to stand by that statement?

the people can always take back the government - IF they are informed

Tried it. Lost. Need a new plan.

governement actors to remember who they are actually supposed to be beholden to and take action

They are beholden to their paycheck, future employment by the corporations they're supposed to be regulating, and/or campaign donations from the corporations they're supposed to be keeping in check. Periodically an irate citizen complains and needs to be given the run-around for a while before they get exhausted and give up.

OWS faced the conundrum that the very disorganized nature that made it impossible to coopt also made it nearly impossible to transform into effective political action,

Of course it was impossible to transform into politics. That was by design. The problem is not which politicians have power, but the fact that any politicians have power.

and easy to slander and parody in the corporate press.

Sure, because a genuine pro-democracy movement that seeks to curb corporate power will ever get good press in the corporate media.
Remember the excuse the police used to raid the camps? That they were unsanitary. It was complete horsecrap. Inspections repeatedly showed that the camps were clean and safe. Kitchens were sanitary. Crime was actually lower in the vicinity of the camps. None of this mattered, because the media spewed lies about rapes and tuberculosis, and the cities used it as an excuse to send in the pigs.
When it's hard to slander, they'll just make shiat up.


kg2095
An African American being elected president of the USA just 4 decades after the end of segregation sets the US apart from other nations.

Yes, it is far more advanced in the art of Recuperation.


Evil High Priest
The class war we aren't supposed to talk about has been raging for more than thirty three hundred years

depending on when you want to start counting. the contemporary era of it probably started in the 1860s


o5iiawah
Wal-Mart cannot kick your door in at 4am. Wal-Mart will never judge your fate in court. Wal-Mart will never be able to send you to war. Only government can and so there's a reason we hold them extra accountable. I can choose not to shop at Wal-Mart. I can choose not to work for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has personally done nothing to me and never can unless I willingly on my own accord choose to enter their business and if an agent of Wal-Mart harms me in any way, we have government to settle the dispute.

Nobody can hurt you (without penalty) rich or poor unless the government allows it.


The government routinely does those things for the benefit of Wal-Mart.
Government is the means by which the capitalist class exerts force.


DrewCurtisJr
We have a surplus of college grads already, we have a surplus of workers in general. The problem is we need more good jobs, not who is getting the jobs.

Why do you work, for eight hours or more?
There'd be jobs for us both, if you'd only work four.
 
2013-02-18 09:21:28 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: tenpoundsofcheese: So many people purposely miss this point.
"But, but, but his business never would have been successful without roads!"
"ehhh, other people have roads going to their failing businesses"

How many businesses would there be with no roads at all?


I'm guessing that would be a great opportunity to start a road-building business...
 
2013-02-18 09:22:09 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Philip Francis Queeg: Translation: I got mine, Fark you!

Translation: " I started with nothing, and have some now why cant you do the same and get yours"

I'm sure he did it all on his own, with no assistance from any government entity, right?



It depends on what you mean by government assistance or entity.  If you mean direct welfare, then yes, I did it without government welfare of any sort (unless you count child tax credits which for several years resulted in my receiving a larger refund than I paid in taxes, I am not sure how I feel about such welfare, and that is what it is, but I was a recipient of it).

I did join the military, and received education through it (which I earned).  Most people have this particular avenue.
 
2013-02-18 09:23:39 PM

Snarfangel: Not that anyone cares, but I rather like Stiglitz. If he had a daily column in the Times and Krugman the occasional guest column, I wouldn't complain.


Stiglitz is incredibly smart, and unlike Krugman he's able to write a whole column without throwing in "and by the way, those who disagree with me are idiots and liars."
 
2013-02-18 09:25:56 PM

Nadie_AZ: The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

I read this, and I am not sure I can believe it. If it were true, then the GOP would be a far more progressive party than it is. Same with the Dems.


I go further. A lot of people believe that "certain groups" are inherently incapable of capitalizing on opportunity, and that as a result, we take opportunity away from the "deserving" and give it to the wicked, who loll about with luxuries like refrigerators that should be reserved for their betters.
 
2013-02-18 09:37:29 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Nothing to add here.
 
2013-02-18 09:57:37 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Yes we have those in place. Won't you admit that you can over regulate something? Or are more regulations always the answer?


1. We don't have all of them in place since many were removed or weakened.

2. Yes, over regulation is possible but that is in no way the problem we face today.

3. You can't believe that "Regulations stifle business!" and also believe that "We must increase enforcement of current laws!".
Those two stances run counter to each other and you are forced to pick one.
It just happens that most of the time people like you are inclined to drop enforcement.

4. If the current regulations have been weakened or companies have learned to avoid them then enforcing them is a moot point.
 
2013-02-18 09:59:40 PM
o5iiawah:
Assuming you no longer have the courts on your side, thats why you have the 2nd amendment.  When the government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

Yeah, good luck with that Jimmy. 2nd amendment might have worked that way when wars were fought by armies meeting in a field and lobbing a few volleys of musket fire at each other before charging in and hacking the survivors to little pieces. Not gonna be so helpful against the modern military might of the United States. A revolution won't be won by a asymmetric warfare against this hypothetical future fascist government of the United States. Asymmetric works great against a foreign occupying force, especially one that has to fight against public opinion not only back home but with trading partners around the world. Even in the 60s the United States had the military might to simply go in and kill every last person in Vietnam but that wouldn't have accomplished their goal of securing a friendly trading partner and would have had global consequences. History has shown that for the most part nations don't really care what governments do to their own people as long as they contain it inside their own borders. There may be embargoes and strongly worded letters, but a government that is facing its own extinction at the hands of a revolting populace will do everything in its power to preserve itself even if that means ultimately a scorched earth policy.

Besides, as I've stated many times before when Fascism 2.0 takes over the United States most of the population will love it, live comfortably under it, and not even recognize it. One of the ways Fascism 2.0 will keep itself hidden is by loosening gun restrictions not making them stronger. People continually spread the myth that Hitler "took away all the guns" when in fact he actually lifted most gun restrictions. Since Hitler is seen as the Fascist of all Fascists people will believe they can't possibly be living under fascism since they're allowed to buy the most expensive firearms that Guns Inc. has to sell them. They'll be lulled into complacency by the 2nd amendment.

They'll have far too many creature comforts to want to take up arms and revolt when Food Corp. monopolizes the food supply and makes competition impossible. They'll be to opiated to care that Energy Inc. now controls all the power. They'll just do whatever job the corporation that runs their city determines they're suitable for and be glad to be free. There will probably be no real hunger, or poverty, or want. You wont be able to go swimming in clean water but you'll be free to buy the most expensive bottled water you can afford. And that's what they'll think freedom is, being able to buy whatever you can afford. They'll be glad to be told where to live and what function to perform and those poor unfortunate souls who just don't fit into this system will be institutionalized in either Mental Corps fine hospitals or Prison Corps excellent prisons.

Fascism 2.0 won't be goose steps and jackboots. It will be rampant consumerism and reality TV shows. Less Mien Kamph and more my comfy chair. It'll be the fascism as seen in the original Rollerball movies. Gun nuts will love it.
 
2013-02-18 10:00:27 PM

Giltric: How will taking from them build you up?
Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?


dont worry
you wont be taken down, not being part of the 1%
and you wont be able to figure out how to build up people who actually need help.
 
2013-02-18 10:06:27 PM
DamnYankees
I would say the regulation of industry started, oddly enough, with the growth of massive industry. It's not like we had massive, titanic industries existing for centuries and just randomly decided at one point to start regulating them. Rather, in the second half of the 19th century, some truly monstrously large industries become monopolized and we basically had no choice but to regulate them due to completely lack of competition.

The East India Company might want a word with you.


o5iiawah
Assuming you no longer have the courts on your side, thats why you have the 2nd amendment. When the government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

That requires organization. Don't forget that feudalism lasted for over a thousand years.


KiltedBastich
Government ... will grow to be irrelevant and useless.

Suppose this has already happened. Then what?

Only government is powerful enough to seriously oppose wealth in the social arena

That is not a rallying cry to save the government, but an indictment of our ability to organize.

for any social movement to enact significant change, there must be some kind of transition from social action in general to political action in specific.

Nonsense. There is also economic action. We don't need the government to change its policies if we can simply take what we need. That's why the longest-lasting Occupy chapters are those that focused on actions like foreclosure resistance through direct action (i.e. 50 people show up and force the entire sheriff's department to drag them away).
 
2013-02-18 10:08:27 PM

stevenrushing: I did join the military, and received education through it (which I earned).


Really....
Really.......
REALLY.......?

Just tell me, did you fight? You may have actually earned something if you fought. If not, I've got a few picture of Craig T. Nelson that need posting.
I thought about the military before college. Then I remembered we were fighting two wars in a desert shiathole, one based on lies and the other ignored.
 
2013-02-18 10:14:16 PM

iawai: Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink.And increasingly even a college degree isn't enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships. Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don't. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder.Government should help to level the playing field.

Where the fark does that last sentence come from? I agree until he gets there.

(1) The govt wasn't founded for social engineering projects

(2) The govt's track record of "helping" is way less than stellar


Well I don't think anyone else wants to help the down-trodden. There's no profit to be made.

Anyway, your point is demonstrably incorrect. The much maligned Lyndon Johnson did a great deal to help underprivileged children gain better access to better education, and later, as President went on play an key role in getting civil rights legislation passed.
 
2013-02-18 10:17:50 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.


Who you talking about?  Are you talking about the kid who was born to the hippie daughter of a wealthy Hawaiian woman who paid to send him to to the best private college prep school in the state?

Condoleezza Rice or Hermain Cain are much better examples of rags to riches than Obama.
 
2013-02-18 10:23:02 PM

RanDomino: Why do you work, for eight hours or more?
There'd be jobs for us both, if you'd only work four.


So the answer to creating more good jobs is taking full time jobs with benefits and turning them into part time positions?
 
2013-02-18 10:27:49 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: WhyteRaven74: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Won't you admit that you can over regulate something?

Germany has far more regulations than the US does and just looking at the numbers, things are better for people there than in the US.

well, they work harder, so they can have nice things


They don't work harder - they have shorter working weeks and longer annual vacations than US workers. And US per capita incomes are higher than those in Germany but the key difference is they are more unevenly distributed in the US.

And that distribution has little to do with how hard one works. Many of the poorest in society are those who work the hardest. Many (not all) of the wealthiest have never done a decent day's work in their lives, unless you consider telling other people what to do as working - Dammit Jeeves, put a bit more shine on those Bentleys you lazy, shiftless prole.
 
2013-02-18 10:29:14 PM
Getting ahead in the world not only means going to your regular job to pay the bills, but it also entails working your ass off each night instead of coming home and watching television or Netflix.

Get off your ass America, it's your own fault.

/and while you're at it, get off my lawn!
 
2013-02-18 10:33:01 PM

o5iiawah: Zombie Butler: Also,"The Ford Service" a private police force of 3,500 that would not only beat strikers but go to workers homes to make sure the workers were living a sober and American life with the wages they were paid.

While they do not go into your home at the present moment, it seems to me that none of these organizations had/have popular checks and balances (voting) placed upon them.  While it could be argued that these organizations, operate under the auspices of government, and violations of the law are punishable by the government, internally they are no different than any other business, yet they wield force.

If the government is corrupt (bought) enough to allow violations of the law by these organizations to abuse power unchecked, who is to blame? The one wielding the nightstick or the one who stands by and watches?  What of the unbridled rise in private security and the declines of the police force we've seen recently?  What if the government is bought enough that it will actually use force on behalf of those who bought it rather than the checks you mention.  What if the government busts down your door on behalf of Walmart at 4 A.M.?

Assuming you no longer have the courts on your side, thats why you have the 2nd amendment.  When the government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

Also, government changes, it is just the Federal government which changes the slowest and wields the most power.  Saying that the small-government, free market system fails because a lower city council can be bought off is to suggest that a federal government can be bought off, which affects a hell of a lot more people.  I'll take the local yokels that I can vote out over the 6-term senate lifers that you cant get rid of.


I would argue that the courts are already subverted.  The seventh amendment is a joke.  When a class-action suit is dismissed because it has too many folks as the plaintiff, I see something wrong.  When a sector of our economy becomes "too big to jail". . . well I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

I was more interested in your ideas of government monopoly on force.  I have a lot of Libertarian friends and I've never heard that before, so I was just curious on the take.

As to states rights vs federal rights- smaller governments are certainly easier to manipulate by citizens and by large corporations. Considering the global power corporations hold, I doubt the individual citizen would win.

Anywhoo enough Farking, got a work week to get ready for.
 
2013-02-18 10:39:01 PM

Mr. Eugenides: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Who you talking about?  Are you talking about the kid who was born to the hippie daughter of a wealthy Hawaiian woman who paid to send him to to the best private college prep school in the state?

Condoleezza Rice or Hermain Cain are much better examples of rags to riches than Obama.


Yes they are better examples. But neither one of them is on record saying that you can't do it.

I was going for proving my point and pointing out hypocricy all at the same time. Yeah I over reached and crashed and burned. I'll admit that. Still a wonderful made in America story. How I'm the pointing out just shows how far you have to burry your head in the sand to believe the cant do spirt pouring out of the White House.
 
2013-02-18 10:46:44 PM

ManRay: Someone should tell all of the people risking their lives to come here and work from other countries that this is not the land of opportunity. I am sure they will self deport themselves. I would hate for them to waste their time and effort.


The US still has the most dynamic economy in the world, so it is in fact the land of opportunity. It's just that it's skewed not just against minorities but also against the unexceptional, which is most of us.

Immigrants often do very well in the US because it takes a special type of person to abandon their home and all that is familiar to move to an uncertain future on the other side of the world. They are the bootstrappy types that arrogant conservatives like to hold up as an example to ordinary people. They have a fortunate mix of talent and determination to succeed, so for them it really is a land of opportunity. But not for most of the poor who do not possess any special talent and are generally demotivated or even clinically depressed.
 
2013-02-18 10:47:03 PM
Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere.

Stopped reading there.
 
2013-02-18 10:48:12 PM

Xexi: Getting ahead in the world not only means going to your regular job to pay the bills, but it also entails working your ass off each night instead of coming home and watching television or Netflix.

Get off your ass America, it's your own fault.

/and while you're at it, get off my lawn!


Yes, that's the problem clearly. American's don't work hard enough. American's work plenty hard enough, some people work two jobs or maybe three just to keep their head above water. These people may or may not be able to afford health care, may or may not have sick days, in most cases not. You can work plenty hard and get nowhere. Working smarter is better than working harder. Myself, I think life is too short to toil away. I don't say that as a lazy person, I am not lazy. I have no problem working hard when it is necessary, but the idea that working hard by it self will get you anywhere towards a life of happiness is farking ridiculous.
 
2013-02-18 10:51:56 PM

Mr. Eugenides: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Poor black kid from a unstable home grows up to graduate Yale get elected to state congress than federal and then becomes a two term President.

Yeah the dream is dead.

Who you talking about?  Are you talking about the kid who was born to the hippie daughter of a wealthy Hawaiian woman who paid to send him to to the best private college prep school in the state?

Condoleezza Rice or Hermain Cain are much better examples of rags to riches than Obama.


I still can't figure out how Herman Cain became such a success in the business world. During the Republican primaries he was the stupidest of a truly stupid bunch.
 
2013-02-18 10:52:02 PM

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere.

Stopped reading there.


Why? is it not true that the rest of the world has caught up with us? Or can you honestly say you believe we have the best healthcare, best education system, best access to internet/information than anyone else? We have more guns and warships than everyone else at least. That's something eh?
 
2013-02-18 10:52:55 PM

DrewCurtisJr: RanDomino: Why do you work, for eight hours or more?
There'd be jobs for us both, if you'd only work four.

So the answer to creating more good jobs is taking full time jobs with benefits and turning them into part time positions?


the capitalist answer recently has been to cut hours to avoid benefits, NOT hire a second person, and fire 2 more as a cost saver while making the first person do the work of the missing 3. Record profits, sad and tired employees who have to get two more jobs to make ends meet.

Employers, especially major corporations, will never hire more workers when they make one person do kore work for less money. It kind of makes me want to steal shiat at whatever shiat job I get.
 
2013-02-18 11:02:01 PM
o5iiawah-

You have a strangely limited view of power/force/coercion. There are plenty of ways to exercise power over someone without violence or the threat of violence.

There is a huge asymmetry in power between a large corporation like Wal-Mart and one of their cashiers. Few people have the resources to quit a job and if they do the chances the next job is better are low. It's certainly not advice that the population at large can utilize. When one side is worried about rent and food but the other can plug in a replacement who is also worried about rent and food then the two sides aren't equal. Wal-Mart isn't pointing a gun at their employees' heads, they don't have to.
 
2013-02-18 11:03:53 PM

KiltedBastich: Government must therefore be able to grow and change to remain equal to the new ways it will be challenged and exploited by the wealthy or powerful,


Wait.  You just said that people are constantly in a game, seeking to maximize their own best interests (to which I agree) yet you say government must be able to transform itself to combat the wealthy and powerful.  Government is simply made up of people, who are also seeking to maximize their own self interest and that usually means some sort of financial gain.  Some contract for their brother in law. Some big fat make-work project for their district that keeps the citizens placated.  The original intent of  Government was to strip away the power and glamour and make it so that nobody but those with the best of intentions wanted to do it and would usually be done with it after a term or two.  Rick Scott in FL spent a few hundred million of his own money to win an office which pays a few hundred thousand dollars per year.  What is the logic in that?

RanDomino: The government routinely does those things for the benefit of Wal-Mart.
Government is the means by which the capitalist class exerts force.


Which is why we have (or should have) a limited government.  There's no point in Wal-Mart sending lobbyists to Washington if there's no gain in doing so.

KiltedBastich: Likewise, if changing conditions and exploitative behaviour on the part of private enterprise (cfe. Wall street et al. in the last couple of decades) require an expansion of government in order to more closely monitor and regulate their activity, then grow the government to do so.


There's no reason to respond to "Wall street et al" if laws werent written to benefit them in the first place.  If Countrywide wrote a bad mortgage contract with someone, we have government to mediate the contract and determine if there is fault - not to shoulder the public treasury with the bad asset.  When GM went tits up, the role of government was to liquidate the business in court with the bondholders at the front of the line.  Thanks to too-big to fail and a bunch of senators and reps who would get their teeth kicked in by their constituents, we got a bailout and a transfer of legally acquired private property.  GM is now losing money, run by bureaucrats and its once profitable and popular brands, which would have been snatched up in a heartbeat are no more and never will be.

KiltedBastich: Meanwhile, you worry about a police state. Guess who has an incentive to create that police state? Guess who it is that benefits from a world where the little guy cannot stand up for himself, cannot fight back, must fear the government? The wealthy and the powerful.


And guess what?  The only person capable of stopping big business is government but when government sees more of a benefit in partnering with business than serving their constituencies, that is what you will get.

KiltedBastich: They are already doing so. Do the words "too big to fail" sound familiar?


Unfortunately yes.  GM should have gone to the bondholders and all of the toxic mortgage assets should have been auctioned off to credit unions and local banks who wanted to take a flyer on the debt.  All of this was decided by government, approved by government and made legal by government.

KiltedBastich: Seriously, have you never even heard of the tragedy of the commons, or game theory? Market systems are inherently unstable.


because the market is ever moving.  it is a dynamic system of prices and exchange which currently 7+BN people are engaging in at any given time.  The smartest man in the world cannot harness it.  The most up to date and knowledgeable bureaucracy cannot understand it.  Human history is wrought with examples of benevolent, autocratic governments trying to decide who does what and if they didnt succeed in butchering/starving/freezing a good bit of their population, they were lapped by those governments who set up a fair system of rules, enforced them, and allowed people to exchange freely with one another.

The end result of the Tragedy of the commons, or the solution to the game if you will, is private property.  No bureaucrat can manage the needs of a forest or the market demand for lumber but 5 lumber companies, each with a lease or a parcel that they own, has an incentive to be wise with his land since his trees are protected and there is government to enforce and punish those who might intrude and cut down a competitor's tree  If you let 5 loggers loose in a completely public forest with no penalty for over-logging, you'd end up with a parking lot.


Ghastly: Yeah, good luck with that Jimmy. 2nd amendment might have worked that way when wars were fought by armies meeting in a field and lobbing a few volleys of musket fire at each other before charging in and hacking the survivors to little pieces. Not gonna be so helpful against the modern military might of the United States.


the USSR, Libya and currently Syria were taken down or pestered to bankruptcy largely as a result of a tireless, armed insurgency who knew the layout of the terrain and who eventually got on-the-fence locals to come over to their cause. That is another thread altogether but there's plenty of examples in the last 50 years of human history of established, regular armies getting harassed to no end by an angry band of locals.
 
2013-02-18 11:10:10 PM
natazha
Nothing to add here.

It happened for one person, therefore every other person for whom it doesn't happen is lazy.


Ghastly
Besides, as I've stated many times before when Fascism 2.0 takes over the United States most of the population will love it, live comfortably under it, and not even recognize it.

If someone was going to turn the US fascist, first they'd section off all the land into small units and assign a loyal member of the ruling party to oversee each one. All productive enterprises (or at least the vast majority of them, including all major industry) would be run by members of the ruling party. Everyone else would be given just enough rudimentary education to make them a functional worker, with a healthy dose of nationalist and ideological propaganda. The ones that seem promising would be given a chance to prove their loyalty in higher education, after which they would be allowed to join the ruling party. The rest would be surveilled and kept disoriented with a massive and arbitrary system of demerits and punishments that would get them locked into an intractable bureaucracy, even those that aren't imprisoned (which would be a large number- maybe 1% of the population at any given time). Periodically there would be a high-profile arrest of a terrorist cell, to keep the populace convinced of the need for the police state- naturally, practically all of these plots would be concocted by the government.

Even those who manage to stay clear of that would be kept under control through the constant pressure of having to justify their existence by working, because it would take a certain amount of work-credits to have a house or apartment; those who do not would be forced out and pursued like animals, even if there was an excess of housing- in fact, armed guards would often be posted at empty housing, just to make sure nobody tried to get in. Work, naturally, would mean at least several hours per day of effective enslavement, since the taskmasters would be well aware that the workers' very existence depended on getting those work-credits. The number of work-credits required to have housing would gradually increase over time. Most perversely, it would be incumbent upon the workers to find places at which to sell themselves. Having a large number of desperate people would also make it easier to force those currently working to work harder without complaining, since there are so many potential replacements.

The government, of course, would be mainly a way of funneling wealth to well-connected members of the ruling party, with a bare modicum of public services to keep things from completely falling apart. There would be a major internal debate among the ruling party as to whether even that was too much.

The media would be the pinnacle of spectacle, full of Id-stroking garbage like sports, celebrities, and completely irrelevant minor tragedies given the attention appropriate for a major humanitarian crisis- anything to take the mind off the stress of the day. But this is the most devious part: Other media would not be banned, because that would be too blatant. Hardly anything would be explicitly banned. Instead, people would be constantly told how free they are, even though trying to actually exercise those freedoms would often be impossible due to bureaucracy. There would be no mandatory military draft; instead schools and the media would be saturated with propaganda extolling the virtues of joining, saying it would be a path to escape- even though the rates of homelessness, substance abuse, depression, suicide, etc, would all be worse for veterans than for the general population. That complicated system of demerits and punishments would all be blamed on specific missteps of the individual. The stress and desperation of trying to find work would be presented as a 'choice'. You could also trade in work-credits for minor amenities and amusements (as one might trade in tickets from an arcade), but nothing offered would really be any use; instead, there would be a constant barrage of propaganda about how fulfillment comes from acquiring these things- the act of acquisition itself would become a goal, a way of measuring whether or not a person is properly justifying their existence. From time to time the people would even be allowed to cast a ballot for one section or another of the ruling party (with policy differences being almost entirely cosmetic), and that would be used as a way of dismissing any complaints- if you don't like how things are under the Blues, vote for the Reds; if you don't like how things are under the Reds, vote for the Blues; and if you don't vote then you can't complain, because you didn't even bother doing your part.

It's a good thing America today is nothing like that.
 
2013-02-18 11:17:10 PM

Zombie Butler: I was more interested in your ideas of government monopoly on force.  I have a lot of Libertarian friends and I've never heard that before, so I was just curious on the take.


In a society that functions well, only government can force you to pay taxes to support programs or products.  Only government can (with a warrant) kick your door in.  Lately though, with consent of the courts and a completely oblivious, 30-second news cycle electorate, corporations, acting in their own self-interest are using government, also acting in their own self interest to do their dirty work.  Monsanto is using government to pass laws, which then impose force on individual farmers.  GE uses government to write a favorable tax code so that instead of offering the market products that people will willingly purchase, they use government to force people via taxation to contribute to GE in the form of tax credits and taxpayer-subsidized projects that benefit GE.  See also: Banks, GM, etc.

It all goes back to the idea of living in a republic and having a degree of liberty means you're going to have to exercise some bit of it at some point.  That means placing limits on those who wield force and being cognizant of what they are doing with it.  Unfortunately politicians seem to have struck a good balance between first screwing people out of their own money and giving it back to them slowly and straight up lining the pockets of companies who would rather invest in congresscritters than making good products.
 
2013-02-18 11:22:28 PM

RanDomino: Government implies a bureaucracy. Many societies have had laws but no formal government.


No, the governing of complex modern societies with the intricate and large scope problems they face implies a bureacracy. Bureaucracies are not limited to governments. Any large and complex social system develops them. The only question is whether their authority is formalized in the government or not.

RanDomino: Democrats. Republicans. These are the options. Going to stand by that statement?


Yes, because even with a system that is as corrupted by money and power as yours currently is (Note, not an American myself) there are still political actors that attempt to do the right thing when they can. Change is possible. It will be slow and extremely difficult, and the wealthy and powerful will fight you the whole way, but no one ever promised change for the better was going to be easy or quick.

Social pressure for change in the face of inequality builds up over time. Remember that making it appear hopeless and that you shouldn't bother is what the wealthy powers that be want; that reaction favors them and lets them keep milking the system that much longer.

RanDomino: They are beholden to their paycheck, future employment by the corporations they're supposed to be regulating, and/or campaign donations from the corporations they're supposed to be keeping in check. Periodically an irate citizen complains and needs to be given the run-around for a while before they get exhausted and give up.


Which they are not supposed to be, and which is how the wealthy have co-opted your system. That's one of the things that must change if you want to take back your political system. As long as they are reliant on the wealthy for reelection, the wealthy will call the shots. Remove that limitation, and a great many things change.

RanDomino: Of course it was impossible to transform into politics. That was by design. The problem is not which politicians have power, but the fact that any politicians have power.


That is a counterproductive attitude. Every human society that advances beyond the tribal level has politics, pretending otherwise is just willful blindness. Those who enter politics become politicians by definition. What you advocate is anarchy, and contrary to what certain ideologies would have you believe, the wealthy love anarchy, because those are exactly the situations where they can leverage their wealth into power and control most easily.

Politics is going to happen. So it behooves you to choose the best people to engage in it, not make pointless ideological protests that there shouldn't be any politicians at all.

RanDomino: Sure, because a genuine pro-democracy movement that seeks to curb corporate power will ever get good press in the corporate media.
Remember the excuse the police used to raid the camps? That they were unsanitary. It was complete horsecrap. Inspections repeatedly showed that the camps were clean and safe. Kitchens were sanitary. Crime was actually lower in the vicinity of the camps. None of this mattered, because the media spewed lies about rapes and tuberculosis, and the cities used it as an excuse to send in the pigs.
When it's hard to slander, they'll just make shiat up.


Never said it was, but OWS made it just that much easier. No spokespeople ment that anyone is a spokesperson, and there's no way to disprove the more ridiculous and outlandish claims. This is the world we live in. You want to change it, I want to change it. But we still have to deal with it the way it is now in order to enact that change. Acting based on how you think the world should be instead of on how it currently is, is a predictable path to failure to achieve your goals.

RanDomino: Suppose this has already happened. Then what?


Then you take it back. Social organizations are not fixed in stone. They are always in flux, by their very nature. This is how things are now. That means there is work to be done to change things, not that nothing can be done.

RanDomino: That is not a rallying cry to save the government, but an indictment of our ability to organize.


No. Any organisation with a lot of social power will nonetheless operate by petitioning the government, or else it will have grown so large and have garnered so much support as to be the government. Because the government is literally no more and no less than the legitimate will of the nation which it serves. If you are now the ones enacting laws, you are the government, and you've either already supplanted the old one, or you're going to about to do so - possibly via a revolution in progress.

Essentially, those who make the laws accepted by the nation at large are the government, not the other way around. When the current regime loses that legitimacy, you either get an election or a revolution, depending on the context.

RanDomino: Nonsense. There is also economic action. We don't need the government to change its policies if we can simply take what we need. That's why the longest-lasting Occupy chapters are those that focused on actions like foreclosure resistance through direct action (i.e. 50 people show up and force the entire sheriff's department to drag them away).


Economic action requires economic power commensurate to the scope of the problems to be addressed. As the problem is specifically the enormously unequal distribution of wealth and income and the way it allows a small minority to call the shots for your nation, I am deeply skeptical of your claimed economic action. All of those examples you cite are ultimately going to result in only short-term localized victories that do not significantly change the larger situation, and will continue to remain so unless systemic change is enacted. That requires either the political action which you claim to eschew, revolution or else you becoming the wealthy and powerful calling the shots. Superficial victories do not impress me if you have not in any way substantially affected the underlying social systems that produced the problems in the first place.
 
2013-02-18 11:26:13 PM
DrewCurtisJr
So the answer to creating more good jobs is taking full time jobs with benefits and turning them into part time positions?

We don't need more jobs. There's already plenty of wealth. The productivity gains of the past few decades have just been taken by the 1%. If we took 'em back, we could turn the full-time jobs with benefits into two part-time jobs with the same pay and benefits. That's the 'peace dividend' of the Class War.


Jaws_Victim
Employers, especially major corporations, will never hire more workers when they make one person do kore work for less money. It kind of makes me want to steal shiat at whatever shiat job I get.

huasipungo.com


o5iiawah
The end result of the Tragedy of the commons, or the solution to the game if you will, is private property.

Bzzt

It should have been called "tragedy of the unmanaged commons".
 
2013-02-18 11:41:13 PM
KiltedBastich
No, the governing of complex modern societies with the intricate and large scope problems they face implies a bureacracy. Bureaucracies are not limited to governments. Any large and complex social system develops them. The only question is whether their authority is formalized in the government or not.

You can have bureaucracy but not a government, sure (a private corporation, I guess?). You can have laws but not a government (many indigenous societies). You can't have government without both laws and a bureaucracy.

Yes, because even with a system that is as corrupted by money and power as yours currently is (Note, not an American myself) there are still political actors that attempt to do the right thing when they can. Change is possible. It will be slow and extremely difficult, and the wealthy and powerful will fight you the whole way, but no one ever promised change for the better was going to be easy or quick.

Duh. But what you propose is pushing back directly linearly against the prevailing force. Like standing in front of a freight train and trying to stop it by shoving it.

Remove that limitation

Oh, well, it's that easy. And who exactly will "remove that limitation"? The very same politicians who are currently doing so well by it?

That is a counterproductive attitude. Every human society that advances beyond the tribal level has politics, pretending otherwise is just willful blindness.

That depends on what you mean by "politics". Let me remind you that "representative politics" is a subset of politics, not the only kind.

What you advocate is anarchy, and contrary to what certain ideologies would have you believe, the wealthy love anarchy, because those are exactly the situations where they can leverage their wealth into power and control most easily.

Don't presume to lecture me on that. You don't have any clue what you're talking about.

No spokespeople ment that anyone is a spokesperson, and there's no way to disprove the more ridiculous and outlandish claims.

There is actually a process for selecting spokespeople, but do you seriously think the media would have respected Occupy's chosen delegates? Actually, you don't even need to speculate, because many Occupy chapters issued officially consented-on statements, which were roundly ignored and/or mocked in the corporate media.

Then you take it back. Social organizations are not fixed in stone. They are always in flux, by their very nature. This is how things are now. That means there is work to be done to change things, not that nothing can be done.

Twaddle. That's not a plan, it's a wish.

it will have grown so large and have garnered so much support as to be the government.

If you want to call it that.

Because the government is literally no more and no less than the legitimate will of the nation which it serves.

In that case, don't call it a "government".

Economic action requires economic power commensurate to the scope of the problems to be addressed. As the problem is specifically the enormously unequal distribution of wealth and income and the way it allows a small minority to call the shots for your nation, I am deeply skeptical of your claimed economic action. All of those examples you cite are ultimately going to result in only short-term localized victories that do not significantly change the larger situation, and will continue to remain so unless systemic change is enacted. That requires either the political action which you claim to eschew, revolution or else you becoming the wealthy and powerful calling the shots. Superficial victories do not impress me if you have not in any way substantially affected the underlying social systems that produced the problems in the first place.

That's a fair challenge. Not only that, it's a plan rather than a wish.
 
2013-02-18 11:45:54 PM

o5iiawah: Unfortunately yes. GM should have gone to the bondholders and all of the toxic mortgage assets should have been auctioned off to credit unions and local banks who wanted to take a flyer on the debt. All of this was decided by government, approved by government and made legal by government.


And this is why nobody takes you seriously.
 
2013-02-19 12:11:04 AM

o5iiawah: Wait. You just said that people are constantly in a game, seeking to maximize their own best interests (to which I agree) yet you say government must be able to transform itself to combat the wealthy and powerful. Government is simply made up of people, who are also seeking to maximize their own self interest and that usually means some sort of financial gain. Some contract for their brother in law. Some big fat make-work project for their district that keeps the citizens placated. The original intent of Government was to strip away the power and glamour and make it so that nobody but those with the best of intentions wanted to do it and would usually be done with it after a term or two. Rick Scott in FL spent a few hundred million of his own money to win an office which pays a few hundred thousand dollars per year. What is the logic in that?


Because those who are not wealthy (usually the majority of the population) can see that not letting the wealthy run roughshod over their society is in their best interests. They can understand that acting in the good of the society as a whole can require acting in ways that do not allow every individual to maximize their own gains at the expense of everyone else. And they can recognize that only by acting in concert do they have the means to oppose the wealthy and powerful few, and thus protect and maximize their individual interests more effectively than by their own individually limited means. The tragedy of the commons is not a new problem, and people have been trying to solve it on a social level literally since civilization began.

Remember that those who form goverments in the first place are usually thinkers and political philosophers. The Founding Fathers of the USA certainly were, and so were the early politicians in many nations. They can be credited for having at least tried to set up a system that would be responsive to the people in general rather than to the wealthy few - even if their definition of who "The people" was was a bit narrower than the current one.

So yes, the intent of government has been subverted, but that's inevitable. You can't do without it, so you must reform and rebuild it - and accept that this is an ongoing process. Every new iteration will have its own exploitable flaws which profit seekers will seek to exploit. Those can then be identified and corrected, and the process repeats. Expecting any human social system to function other than by this cycle is foolish at best.

o5iiawah: Which is why we have (or should have) a limited government. There's no point in Wal-Mart sending lobbyists to Washington if there's no gain in doing so.


If government is arbitrarily limited, then the corporations will simply exploit the limitations, as they have done repeatedly in the past in many situations. That which is not regulated shall be exploited. This is as close to a fundamental truth of human activity as you will ever find. Government must be able to flexibly respond to the actions of the wealthy, or else you've lost the contest before you even begin. Lobbyists exist to abate, avoid or prevent the existence of regulations. When government is limited as you propose, groups like Wal-Mart don't send lobbyists not because there is no point to it, but because they don't need to. Nothing is stopping them from acting as they see fit anyhow.

o5iiawah: There's no reason to respond to "Wall street et al" if laws werent written to benefit them in the first place. If Countrywide wrote a bad mortgage contract with someone, we have government to mediate the contract and determine if there is fault - not to shoulder the public treasury with the bad asset. When GM went tits up, the role of government was to liquidate the business in court with the bondholders at the front of the line. Thanks to too-big to fail and a bunch of senators and reps who would get their teeth kicked in by their constituents, we got a bailout and a transfer of legally acquired private property. GM is now losing money, run by bureaucrats and its once profitable and popular brands, which would have been snatched up in a heartbeat are no more and never will be.


What you suggest would result in a few very wealthy individuals walking away with the fortunes they have already made, and a massive economic perturbation that would ruin the lives of many poor and middle class, not just those directly involved in those businesses. And that is exactly the sort of economic environment that the wealthy can then exploit further by purchasing depressed assets at pennies on the dollar.

No, the bailout was a good start, but it was only a half measure. What the government then should have done would be to use the leverage gained by the bailout to break up those too big to fail entities into smaller companies, institute laws that would prevent reamalgamation into corporate entities of the problematic size, and then let them go at it in a more competitive market situation. That would have protected the vulnerable poor and middle class, punished the wealthy who were responsible for the whole exploitative fiasco, encouraged competition and taken preventative action against a reoccurrence. Essentially, the Ma Bell answer.

o5iiawah: And guess what? The only person capable of stopping big business is government but when government sees more of a benefit in partnering with business than serving their constituencies, that is what you will get.

 
So take it back. Focus on the real issues, and avoid the distractions that the corporations will try to throw at you. Recognize that you need collective action, not individual bootstrappiness. Recognize that you need to harness the power of government to rein in the excesses that the wealthy and powerful will constantly try and engage in simply because they are humans acting as humans do. Recognize that so-called values issues are usually distracting side-shows used to divide and weaken the poor and middle class, keeping them from finding common ground to act on to challenge economic exploitation.


Social systems are not fixed in stone. What is now can be changed with sufficient effort and a pragmatic understanding of the issues, as opposed to ideological chest-thumping. The powers that be love ideologues. They are predictable and easy to manipulate into acting against their best interests simply by appealing to the weaknesses inherent to their ideologies.

o5iiawah: Unfortunately yes. GM should have gone to the bondholders and all of the toxic mortgage assets should have been auctioned off to credit unions and local banks who wanted to take a flyer on the debt. All of this was decided by government, approved by government and made legal by government.


Government does not mean bad. It does not mean other. It should mean "the will of the people". It always means social power that is not inherently beholden to money (although as I have said repeatedly, it can be made to be so by external coercion). It is right and appropriate that government take an interest in something which has the potential to harm the livelihoods of large numbers of its constituents. If a hurricane is going to put, say, 10000 people into insolvency by destroying their homes, the government takes action. Why then should it be required to stand aside if the problem is their livelihood failing due to bad corporate management?

Just because an ideology says "small government GOOD! big government BAD!" doesn't necessarily make it so. I object to incompetent or coopted governance. I have no issue with governance itself. The pragmatic requirements of the situation are what should dictate the actions and responses of governement, not ideological mantras that are easily exploited by the unscrupulous.

o5iiawah: because the market is ever moving. it is a dynamic system of prices and exchange which currently 7+BN people are engaging in at any given time. The smartest man in the world cannot harness it. The most up to date and knowledgeable bureaucracy cannot understand it. Human history is wrought with examples of benevolent, autocratic governments trying to decide who does what and if they didnt succeed in butchering/starving/freezing a good bit of their population, they were lapped by those governments who set up a fair system of rules, enforced them, and allowed people to exchange freely with one another.

The end result of the Tragedy of the commons, or the solution to the game if you will, is private property. No bureaucrat can manage the needs of a forest or the market demand for lumber but 5 lumber companies, each with a lease or a parcel that they own, has an incentive to be wise with his land since his trees are protected and there is government to enforce and punish those who might intrude and cut down a competitor's tree If you let 5 loggers loose in a completely public forest with no penalty for over-logging, you'd end up with a parking lot.



Oh please. Global markets as you speak of are very new, and they have been endlessly exploited by the wealthy already, by means of exploitative labor then shipping goods to be sold at inflated markups in western countries. That is only possible because the international trade laws allow it. Formerly, it would have been stopped in its tracks by protectionism in the form of trade tariffs.

And, no, private property is not the answer to the tragedy of the commons because it ignores the fact that there are many physical commons that cannot be privatized. Are you going to privatize the air? The seas? Every river that flows? Every forest? Every band in the radio spectrum? It also ignores that many of the commons are in fact intangibles, not even actual objects at all, things like the basic fact that sharing with the community means you get less for yourself, but the whole community including you benefits, whereas if you keep it all to yourself you gain, but all of society suffers - the free rider problem. Private property does nothing to address  that issue, because it is impossible for an individual to provide everything he or she needs by her own direct actions in a modern society. You can't make your own roads, you can't insure your own health against catastrophe or major illness, you can't regulate the quality of your own food and drink, you can't answer your own grievances in a personal court. All of these things are common goods that cannot be addressed through private property.

Furthermore, it does not address externalities which do not impact the private property owners, but does affect the society as a whole and the enviroment. Logging can cause soil erosion which causes dust storms and ruins water quality. It can change rain fall patterns. It can destroy populations of game animals or displace migratory birds into new areas causing damage to those new areas. Nearly any large scale private property ownership will have something similar. Do you think BP had planned for all the externalities created by the spill in the Gulf? Evidence suggest not.

There are all kinds of consequences that simply cannot be addressed by simple private property ownership that any kind of in depth analysis will reveal. And the only way to deal with those additional problems is through government. You can if you so choose debate what the responses to those problems should be, but denying that they exist in the first place is just willful ignorance.
 
2013-02-19 12:25:21 AM

o5iiawah: Zombie Butler: I was more interested in your ideas of government monopoly on force.  I have a lot of Libertarian friends and I've never heard that before, so I was just curious on the take.

In a society that functions well, only government can force you to pay taxes to support programs or products.  Only government can (with a warrant) kick your door in.  Lately though, with consent of the courts and a completely oblivious, 30-second news cycle electorate, corporations, acting in their own self-interest are using government, also acting in their own self interest to do their dirty work.  Monsanto is using government to pass laws, which then impose force on individual farmers.  GE uses government to write a favorable tax code so that instead of offering the market products that people will willingly purchase, they use government to force people via taxation to contribute to GE in the form of tax credits and taxpayer-subsidized projects that benefit GE.  See also: Banks, GM, etc.

It all goes back to the idea of living in a republic and having a degree of liberty means you're going to have to exercise some bit of it at some point.  That means placing limits on those who wield force and being cognizant of what they are doing with it.  Unfortunately politicians seem to have struck a good balance between first screwing people out of their own money and giving it back to them slowly and straight up lining the pockets of companies who would rather invest in congresscritters than making good products.


Ah, thank you. I see what you are driving at. No further comments, just chewing on the thought food.
 
2013-02-19 12:33:10 AM

RanDomino: You can have bureaucracy but not a government, sure (a private corporation, I guess?). You can have laws but not a government (many indigenous societies). You can't have government without both laws and a bureaucracy.


Indigenous societies generally do not have to deal with the complexities of the modern world. They are local and tribal and generally don't have the knowledge, wherewithal or need to deal with the complexities of administering a nation of millions, let alone hundreds of millions.

Hence, government and politics are a necessary evil, as is bureaucracy. Pretending otherwise is pointless.

RanDomino: Duh. But what you propose is pushing back directly linearly against the prevailing force. Like standing in front of a freight train and trying to stop it by shoving it.


Not so. More like Sisyphus's task of rolling a rock uphill, for it is difficult, arduous, and will need to be repeated endlessly - but can at least be accomplished for the moment. Revolutions, peaceful and otherwise, do happen. Social systems are not set in stone.

RanDomino: That depends on what you mean by "politics". Let me remind you that "representative politics" is a subset of politics, not the only kind.


Indeed, but unless you are going to tell me that the USA (and by extension, the rest of the democratic western world) is suddenly going to toss out it's entire political system, that is the subset we are talking about.

RanDomino: Don't presume to lecture me on that. You don't have any clue what you're talking about.


My degrees in sociology and psychology would say otherwise, as would the historical evidence of many examples of wealthy individuals buying up valuable property for pittances during times of economic distress. Learn your history. What I describe is not theory. It is historical fact.

Let me be VERY specific. I do not give the slightest of shiats what your ideological commitments are. Everyone has an ideology, and in the end what matters is what you do, far mroe than what you say or believe. The empirical evidence is what it is, and the behaviour of the wealthy in general in times of economic and social chaos when government is lacking is very well documented.

RanDomino: There is actually a process for selecting spokespeople, but do you seriously think the media would have respected Occupy's chosen delegates? Actually, you don't even need to speculate, because many Occupy chapters issued officially consented-on statements, which were roundly ignored and/or mocked in the corporate media.


Local chapters that did not build anything larger than those local voices. Greater levels of organization were necessary. And yes, the actions of the corporate owned media was entirely predictable, and should have been planned for. That's why political action is needed, not just social action. Note that I am not saying political action instead of social action. I am saying you need both, that the one without the other is insufficient. You need the social action to drive public motivation, and the political action to find and enact actual workable solutions.

RanDomino: Twaddle. That's not a plan, it's a wish.


No, it's a goal defined in abstract terms. How you go about achieving that goal in the specific depends entirely on the context and the available resources, so it's pointless to go any further than that without having some actual practical knowledge of specific situations. As I lack such, I will refrain from playing armchair general beyond saying that the evidence of history is that change is always possible if you are willing to work and sacrifice enough for it. Believing it is impossible and hopeless to attempt change is what the propagandists among the powers that be want you to think - because then you don't rock the boat.

RanDomino: it will have grown so large and have garnered so much support as to be the government.

If you want to call it that.

Because the government is literally no more and no less than the legitimate will of the nation which it serves.

In that case, don't call it a "government".


That's what the word means. That you want it to be otherwise is irrelevant. In a representative democracy, government governs by the will of the people. Absent that, the government loses legitimacy. If you have enough support that you supplant the government in action, you then become the government in fact. All that remains are the details, which may well be very bloody.

RanDomino: That's a fair challenge. Not only that, it's a plan rather than a wish.


It's a victory condition, actually, a criterion for empirical evidence of successful social action. I favor pragmatism over ideology in all cases. And yes, I am aware that this is also an ideological statement. I apply it recursively.
 
2013-02-19 12:49:15 AM

Zeno-25: Of course America is still the land of opportunity. There are dozens of chains of big box stores for people to choose from for employment after 30 years of conservative voodoo economics.


No, they also won't hire you.  But they'll let you shop there!

America is the land of opportunity because you have the opportunity to spend your money in so many ways!

Oh, you don't have any?

GTFO
 
2013-02-19 01:00:33 AM

o5iiawah: the USSR, Libya and currently Syria were taken down or pestered to bankruptcy largely as a result of a tireless, armed insurgency who knew the layout of the terrain and who eventually got on-the-fence locals to come over to their cause. That is another thread altogether but there's plenty of examples in the last 50 years of human history of established, regular armies getting harassed to no end by an angry band of locals.


The revolution will never have the support of the population. Fascism 2.0 will have the benefit of history at its side. It'll realize the Iron Fist is nowhere near as effective at controlling the population as the fluffy pillow. People will be kept comfortable, productive, and saturated with opiates of all kinds. Fascism 2.0 will be sold under the banner of freedom. "Government" will be almost non existence replaced instead by a coalition of large multinational corporate monopolies. There will be no El Presidente for Life, the President will just be a figure head elected by the people so they can feel they're part of the process. That's assuming the office even exists and hasn't been drowned in a bathtub in the name of freedom. The ones right now who love to talk about "2nd Amendment Solutions" will be the ones defending Fascism 2.0 the most.

The actual rebels who would be fighting it will not be the future George Washingtons, they'll be the future Osama Bin Ladens. They will not be engaging in straight up fire fights with the Armed Forces of the United States, because just like every other insurgents that have tried that they will lose those battles. They will instead be doing things like blowing up shopping malls, movie theatres, and office buildings. The closest they might get to an actual military target will be when they blow up a police station.

The new fascism will have the advantage of being able to study the whole history of human civilization. They will know how to keep the population happy enough not to revolt. They will make sure bellies are full and hands aren't idle. They will control population size enough so that there are enough people to fill every roll needed to make the world work. Everyone will have some function to perform, assigned to them by the corporations that control their district. Everyone will have a roof over their head, assigned to them by the corporation that assigned them their job.

The 2nd Amendment Solutions crowd seem to think that fascism is going to happen one day when Obama pulls off his rubber mask and reveals himself to be Hitler and goes BWAAAHAAAHAAAA and suddenly jackbooted stormtroopers will start repelling from black helicopters and take over the US.

Market research shows that kind of fascism historically doesn't work for very long. Dictatorships and boots on the throat tyranny doesn't tend to work very long. The New Fascism will be sold to you by advertising firms that will make the Nazi's Propaganda Machine look like a kid's lemonade stand. Guns won't do squat against that. Once it takes hold it's not going anywhere.

The only possible defence against it is to not vote it in in the first place. As long as people hold onto their fantasies that they're going to be the next George Washington in the glorious revolution they're pretty much laying the foundations for it to happen.
 
2013-02-19 01:04:54 AM

sendtodave: Zeno-25: Of course America is still the land of opportunity. There are dozens of chains of big box stores for people to choose from for employment after 30 years of conservative voodoo economics.

No, they also won't hire you.  But they'll let you shop there!

America is the land of opportunity because you have the opportunity to spend your money in so many ways!

Oh, you don't have any?

GTFO


We all have the same opportunity to grow up to work for the government for a fat paycheck, great benefits, and job security, regardless of our talents, drive, worth, or ability of the taxpayers to pay for it, so this land is as great as it ever was, just for a different type of person.
 
2013-02-19 01:05:17 AM
the worst part is we're not even getting to eat cake.
 
2013-02-19 01:14:36 AM

GoldSpider: Higher education isn't the problem.  The problem is that our culture seems to value education of any kind less and less with each generation.  That problem isn't so easy to fix with public funding, so we ignore it.


And why should they? "Teach the controversy" and all of the hullabaloo over the pledge pretty much gives kids the idea they're just there to be brainwashed (and those who are brainwashed in such schools just think they need Jesus not no edumacation) into converting to the favored death cult of the American Taliban and being indoctrinated into nationalism. The state's austerity measures continues to take away resources for a valuable education in a designed economic ploy to keep the lower classes enslaved to those at the top (austerity was never about fixing the problem, those who vote for it or support it may be mentally insane or stupid, but those who implement the policies know exactly what they're doing as it's always been a policy for class warfare and extraction/theft of resources from the bottom-up and was never supposed to be for its "intended purpose".)
High schools are increasingly prison like. And while a certain amount of standardization doesn't hurt, the way we go about it is designed to make loyal obedient wage slaves.
College is now pretty much impossible without debt for the non rich or non lucky (whether or not you pay it off or not in the end, you still rent yourself out as an indentured servant essentially) in a system pretty much designed to take all your money and ensure you're permanently indentured to paying off the loans. And it's increasingly coupled with a complementary form of indentured servitude known as unpaid internships. Degrees are not a job guarantee or even necessarily likely to get you a job and are increasingly meaningless compared to who you know, despite what high school counselors and college recruiters will tell you.

I'm not surprised "education" isn't valued because most people conflate education with the institutions around it. It's a bit like asking why certain people don't value "development" projects when the projects fark up their drinking water, destroy their villages, and the aid organizations just tell them "do it our way" making them reliable on the man with the fish than teaching them how to fish. And that what benefits do come from said projects are out of reach of the people they farked over and affected during the "development" (much like how even if you get through high school and the BS involved only to be told "good job, but that's pretty much worthless, you should go to college and cover yourself in debt to get a degree slightly less worthless" or people choose to abstain from higher education because they know how farked they'd be because of the debt and so choose not to take the "option" supposedly open to them that they can't really afford).
Granted these are generalizations of institutional education at large in America. There's just graduating high school and going into the workforce, trade school, technical and liberal arts institutions, experimental alternative schools and there are non-institutional options that are pretty farked up like religious indoctrination private schools or being brainwashed in a fundamentalist family through home schooling as well as scam online colleges and DeVry like institutions. There are scholarships and grants available (but Pell Grants can be difficult to get, I know someone who can't get one until they're 24 for whatever reason). But there's increasingly more "need" for debt or just being rich to get into higher education and increasingly less obviously practical reasons to get the degrees.
 
2013-02-19 01:18:52 AM
KiltedBastich
Indigenous societies generally do not have to deal with the complexities of the modern world. They are local and tribal and generally don't have the knowledge, wherewithal or need to deal with the complexities of administering a nation of millions, let alone hundreds of millions.

Hence, government and politics are a necessary evil, as is bureaucracy. Pretending otherwise is pointless.


Conjecture.

Indeed, but unless you are going to tell me that the USA (and by extension, the rest of the democratic western world) is suddenly going to toss out it's entire political system, that is the subset we are talking about.

You seem to like to wildly jump from announcing the impossibility of revolution to proposing it and back again.

economic and social chaos when government is lacking

To you, a tautology.

Greater levels of organization were necessary.

Which somehow translates to "get involved in politics"?

the actions of the corporate owned media was entirely predictable, and should have been planned for.

Weren't you just saying that it should have been engaged with?

the political action to find and enact actual workable solutions.

Sometimes you can work out a perfectly good solution without having to involve the government.

That's what the word means. That you want it to be otherwise is irrelevant. In a representative democracy, government governs by the will of the people. Absent that, the government loses legitimacy. If you have enough support that you supplant the government in action, you then become the government in fact. All that remains are the details, which may well be very bloody.

I like how you do this trick. First you say that all effective systems are government. Then you say that all governments are representative democracy. It follows that representative democracy is the only effective system. Do you think your degrees can help you see the exact point where the logic doesn't work?
 
2013-02-19 01:24:15 AM

pacified: the worst part is we're not even getting to eat cake.


Cake sucks. Pie all the way.

Apple pie.

America f*ck yeah.
 
2013-02-19 01:25:48 AM

bbfreak: Yes, that's the problem clearly. American's don't work hard enough. American's work plenty hard enough, some people work two jobs or maybe three just to keep their head above water. These people may or may not be able to afford health care, may or may not have sick days, in most cases not. You can work plenty hard and get nowhere. Working smarter is better than working harder. Myself, I think life is too short to toil away. I don't say that as a lazy person, I am not lazy. I have no problem working hard when it is necessary, but the idea that working hard by it self will get you anywhere towards a life of happiness is farking ridiculous.


a. Using a minute amount of the populace to back your thesis is half assed at best.

2. Semantics is at the root of your disagreement between the terms "working harder" and "working smarter."

d. If you are content working until your medicare and social security are enabled, then by all means, only work hard when it is necessary.
 
2013-02-19 01:32:59 AM

Lost Thought 00: They never specified *equal* opportunity. We built this country on the back of slavery and indentured servants, up until WW1 and 2 made that system impractical.


Well the system didn't ever become impractical, we just installed some updates.
Instead of chattel slavery we just have wage slavery, prison labor (and the War on Terrorism and War on Drugs to pull together all the labor for these private prison work camps), and criminalized migrants because "free trade" and "free market" means only free movement of capital don't you know. The education system provides the indentured servants. Profit, taxes, rent, interest, and other forms of non-labor income are still reaped by those who do the least to no labor and they maintain this hierarchy through corporate or government security infrastructure and physical force while doing their best to hide the violence through morality tales, lies, propaganda/newsspeak and monetary/economics illusions. Warfare is maintained because America is still an empire and we need to control the labor and resources of other countries through austerity and other forms of violence to keep the upper class in their comforts and keep the rest of the people comfortable enough to keep from revolting. We have this massive "debt" of "loans" from other countries and coincidentally just have a global military force policing everything but the two aren't connected no sirreee because tribute and empire are impolite words in this day and age. Welfare programs serve to keep those excluded comfortable with their position and away from radicalization. Warfare as the stick, welfare as the carrot.
So there are some updates to the program, but the basic premise and purpose of the program is the same as it's ever been.
 
2013-02-19 01:56:22 AM

RanDomino: Conjecture.


No, empirical conclusion. But, please, go ahead and prove me wrong. Tell me how you govern a modern society with all its complexities without recourse to a government. I'll wait, but I'm not holding my breath.

RanDomino: You seem to like to wildly jump from announcing the impossibility of revolution to proposing it and back again.


The powers that be throwing out democracy to institute some other system is not revolution in the sense we have been previously discussing, and revolution does not inherently mean warfare and violence, it can simply mean radical social change. In fact, pragmatically speaking, violent revolution is the worst option and the one most likely to not result in achieving the goals you are seeking to accomplish and most likely to cause collateral damage, because a violent revolution is also the kind that is the least predictable and most easily transformed into a random bloodbath. Again, the French Revolution is the most well known example, but look at what happened in the Iranian revolution, and various others around the world.

RanDomino: To you, a tautology.


No, a consequence. Social interaction always contains within it the possibility of exploitation. I already linked the free rider problem in this thread. In small communities, this is prevented by direct social pressures, but that fails in any group larger than roughly 300 people. So any social environment larger than that needs some form of formal governance, and lacking it you then get the opportunity for exploitation by the powerful and unscrupulous. This pattern has repeated over and over again throughout history, and is the major reason why failed states are considered to be extremely bad by all nearby.

Anarchy is not self-sustaining. It is a temporary condition that transitions to some form of social organisation. Unless someone is paying attention and trying to manage the transition, it is often autocratic despotism of a highly exploitative nature, and corporations can engage in this just as easily as anyone else.

RanDomino: Which somehow translates to "get involved in politics"?


If you want to take any meaningful action in the social milieu, yes, because politics is how shiat gets done in a complex society. You don't have to like it, but if you try and pretend otherwise, you're going to be notably ineffective at pursuing your goals, unless that goal is eliciting mockery.

RanDomino: Weren't you just saying that it should have been engaged with?


Of course I was, because you've got no choice in the matter. What I was saying is that this response from corporate media was predictable. You can't prevent it, all you can do is try to mitigate it, and seek other courses of action at the same time. You can't mitigate the effects without interacting with it, even if you fully expect they are going to do their best to twist your words anyways. Ignoring it or pretending it isn't a factor because you don't like how it does things is pointless and counterproductive, because then you give the corporate media free reign to do and say whatever they want about you, instead of trying to at least force them to edit your sound bites to their liking.

RanDomino: Sometimes you can work out a perfectly good solution without having to involve the government.


No, you can't. You can work out a perfectly feel-good and completely ineffective solution that doesn't have any hope of enacting significant social change but makes everyone involved feel empowered and good about themselves.

Such solutions I consider not worth the time wasted on them. They are a distraction that consume time and resources that could have been better spent on working on actual meaningful solutions. They are also exactly the kind of victory that the powers that be love to let their opponents have, because they abate social momentum without having any significant impact on their activity.

Say you want to boycott a corporation and put it out of business? That's nice. Suppose you even succeed. That's even nicer. Now, what are you doing to make the kind of abuses that triggered the boycott in the first place impossible? If the answer is "nothing", then all you are teaching the replacement is what they have to hide better. If the answer is anything other than "nothing", then you are talking about legislation and regulation, and that means you have invoked the agency of government.

I repeat. Social action is what raises the issue in public consciousness and makes change possible. Political action is what enacts real solutions that will last beyond the fickle swell of public interest. You need both. Without the former, there is no meaningful impetus to enact change. Without the latter, there is no way to make any changes lasting and meaningful.

RanDomino: I like how you do this trick. First you say that all effective systems are government. Then you say that all governments are representative democracy. It follows that representative democracy is the only effective system. Do you think your degrees can help you see the exact point where the logic doesn't work?


Are you unable to read? Did you miss the part where I pointed out we are talking about the subsection of political action called representative democracy? And have you not noticed that even in autocratic systems of government, the government is still ultimately answerable to the people if you rile them up enough? I don't like violent revolutions, I think they are destructive, wasteful and counterproductive, but they still sure screw things up for whoever is in charge at the time.

At no point did I say all governments are representative democracies. However, the government of the USA is, as is Canada, and the UK, and most of the rest of the western world, which is the scope in which we are having this conversation. If you want to start talking about the characteristics of theocracies in the middle east or the like, that would be a different conversation.

So let me clarify, again, your muddled thinking. All effective systems of laws in complex societies are government. In a representative democracy of some kind, like the USA or Canada, government gains its legitimacy from the will of the people. If that legitimacy is lost by the government, to the point that some other body has supplanted it as the source of law and social order, then that other body is then the government in fact, and what remains are the details, however bloody they may be.

For a specific example of this, look at what's happening in Syria, and how certain other nations (like Turkey) are starting to recognize the rebels as the legitimate government. Look at what happened in Libya for a similar transition. In both cases, it was messy, brutal and disorganized (still is in Syria) but other representative democracies recognized that when the current regime no longer was supported by the will of the people, that which the will of the people did support was now the de facto government.

Seriously now, it's not a hard concept to follow. Why are you having problems with this? The ability to enact law and act as a locus of social order with the consent of the people is a reasonable shorthand identifier for government in a representative democracy. The specific details of how this is accomplished, elections, governing bodies, legislation and so on, are the means of that government, not the government itself. The government is the embodiment of the consent of the people that are willing to be governed.
 
2013-02-19 02:16:06 AM
Seems that everybody except peasants and Americans know this.
 
2013-02-19 02:16:59 AM

o5iiawah: The wealthy can only do that if they ingratiate themselves with government.  your beef, Occupy's beef, the Progressive agenda....

All of it should be directed towards Washington, DC.

Thanks to the tax code they write, GE and facebook pays no taxes and GETS billions back whilst a schlub earning $50,000 in a factory probably pays $14,000 and is just happy to get a couple hundred bucks back in middle February.  Thanks to the laws they write, companies escape prosecution when they commit fraud.  Thanks to government, it is easier to get rich investing in congressmen and lobbying than in R&D for a product.  Who needs the market to buy your products when you can convince government to do it? What is easier, making a product that 309,000,000 people might want or making a product that a few people in Washington can order 309,000,000 people to pay for?


Good points. The market and the state aren't these opposing dichotomies, they're in a symbiotic process designed to steal from us as much as possible.

o5iiawah: There is income mobility in this country, it is just an affront to the people at the NY Times and HuffPo that a first-generation Guatemalan immigrant isn't going to earn as much as some kid who grew up in Sun Valley, ID, went to Stanford and works for Sun Microsystems.   real wealth and prosperity is accumulated through generations of earning, education, home ownership and transfer of property from one generation to another - the very thing progressives like to attack.

I'd say that having a 60% chance of moving out of poverty and into the middle class while living in a country where nobody starves to death, nobody is denied the best medical treatment in the world, just about everyone has a cellphone with access to the internet is pretty damn good.

That must be why so many Americans are packing up and moving to Juarez.


Your characterization of progressives is completely wrong.
1) They're fighting for higher wages so they value earning. Much more than the conservatives who want cheap labor and outright slavery for some. Now the problem is they're fighting for a "good guy" to be the monopoly on the pie and don't see the big picture of the monopoly being a problem in itself. In addition to thinking what they need is just a "good" leader to pass out the pieces of pie or just a bigger piece of pie instead of seizing the farking pie and giving it a horizontal distribution process.
2) Progressives value education and it is in fact one of the issues they're fighting the hardest for. Conservatives actively seek to stratify it even more among class boundaries and force their religious fundamentalism into schools to continue building the base for their American Taliban.
3) This is another issue progressives are fighting their hardest for. They were the ones who want to make home ownership easier and were likely to sympathize with people fighting the theft of their homes during foreclosure processes. Meanwhile conservatives could be seen on this site as well as anywhere generally cheering the violent eviction of a family from their home. Now from personal experience because of the current economic environment progressives are more likely to rent and avoid home ownership or debt when possible because they know they'll likely be screwed. On the flip side, on a personal level more conservatives seek home ownership because of the traditional sense of family values.

Nobody really starves except in extreme outlier situations but many people go hungry and the market leaves many excluded and in the hands of welfare programs with their own restrictions and hoops.
Plenty of people are denied basic medical treatment unless you think the emergency room covers everything and our healthcare pales in comparison to other industrialized countries so we're definitely not the best in the world. Even "Obamacare" was a thin veneer of helpful implementations to pretty up a bill basically designed to hand out moneybombs to private health insurance companies.
 
2013-02-19 02:17:11 AM

Forbidden Doughnut: sheep snorter: Poor people earning over 180,000 bucks a year.
disclaimer: this graphic is from some douche who wants you to think that the black folk on it don't pay taxes.


[i.imgur.com image 614x408]

Everyone in this graph looks sad. If I made as much money as these people, I'd have a permanent shiateating grin on my face..


That graphic appeared in the Wall St. Journal.
 
2013-02-19 02:22:34 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: And people were able to scrape and claw for progress because of our system. Our system was set up so that people could petition the government and demand address of grievous. I believe that we have everything in place to allow the evidential evolution to a state of equality for all people. You can not force the human heart.


Can I take a hit of whatever you just dropped?
 
2013-02-19 02:45:40 AM

o5iiawah: Wal-Mart cannot kick your door in at 4am.  Wal-Mart will never judge your fate in court.  Wal-Mart will never be able to send you to war.  Only government can and so there's a reason we hold them extra accountable. I can choose not to shop at Wal-Mart. I can choose not to work for Wal-Mart.   Wal-Mart has personally done nothing to me and never can unless I willingly on my own accord choose to enter their business and if an agent of Wal-Mart harms me in any way, we have government to settle the dispute.


And Wal-Mart (using your specific example, but in big picture terms: the wealthiest corporations in general) gives directions and runs the government, so good on spotting where the physical violence is coming from, but work on whose pulling the strings.
The problem is people are imagining a dichotomy. The market and the state are made for and by each other. A Representative republic or wage system isn't about democracy or equalization, it's just new and improved selling points and accommodations to certain classes to stave off revolt. The problem isn't bad apples or individuals, any crisis we're experiencing now are pretty much just outlier symptoms from what's been the norm for a while.
 
2013-02-19 03:03:13 AM

Zombie Butler: Really just interested in discussion here (yea I know this is Fark but what the hey, give it a go neh?)

I have some thoughts on your ideas about Government having a monopoly on force, I have some thoughts and I'd like to see what you think.

There are multiple examples of private security throughout our history, Wackenhutt, The Pinkertons, The De Beers army/ navy, Blackwater, and many, many others. Often they have operated outside of the law acting as thugish agents for those that could pay.

Also,"The Ford Service" a private police force of 3,500 that would not only beat strikers but go to workers homes to make sure the workers were living a sober and American life with the wages they were paid.
 
While they do not go into your home at the present moment, it seems to me that none of these organizations had/have popular checks and balances (voting) placed upon them.  While it could be argued that these organizations, operate under the auspices of government, and violations of the law are punishable by the government, internally they are no different than any other business, yet they wield force.

If the government is corrupt (bought) enough to allow violations of the law by these organizations to abuse power unchecked, who is to blame? The one wielding the nightstick or the one who stands by and watches?  What of the unbridled rise in private security and the declines of the police force we've seen recently?  What if the government is bought enough that it will actually use force on behalf of those who bought it rather than the checks you mention.  What if the government busts down your door on behalf of Walmart at 4 A.M.?


I would say whether it's public forces or private security, they ostensibly work on behalf of the ruling class anyway. A private corporation with its own security force is just a state. Granted, they'd be more like dictatorships or kingdoms given the nature of CEOs. Basically the only real competition between the public and private sphere is whether public bureaucrats who leech off of other people's labor or private capitalists who leech of other people's labor should get the bigger portion of the loot. State communism/the Soviet Union is an example of what happens when the bureaucratic class wins and the state functions as one homogenous corporation. Bureaucracies form your board of directors and the CEO is the dictator. The security forces stop pretending they don't work for the CEO, and markets are still kept around. The flip side is if the private capitalist faction wins you get fascism ala Nazi Germany or modern Greece and Italy where the government is handpicked by a bunch of private bankers while the people are robbed under austerity and the government acts almost completely as the extension of a few private companies. On the other hand, the private power players who own Greece use the EU, IMF, and ECB institutions to bleed it dry. Modern neoliberalism seems to have the factions on the same page but errs to the capitalist side in some cases. And reformist parties/social democrats err on the bureaucrat side.
 
2013-02-19 03:17:14 AM

KiltedBastich: Do they really think those corporations will be good corporate citizens just because?


Yes, they do.  Because they really, truly are...  Just.  That.  Stupid.

I've discussed this very aspect at length with very many conservatives, so I do not make this observation lightly.

They have rejected reason, and embraced propaganda. They'd rather have power handed to entities which publicly, proudly proclaim that their primary goal is to exploit you - rather than an entity which at least pays lip service to protecting you.

We live in a very sick culture.
 
2013-02-19 03:33:23 AM

DrewCurtisJr: So the answer to creating more good jobs is taking full time jobs with benefits and turning them into part time positions?


The answer is abolishing the concept of "work" and wage slavery as a whole.
Not a futurist or a primitivist. It's not about the level of tech, it's about the social relations in society.
The Abolition of Work by Bob Black would be a good place to start reading.
 
2013-02-19 04:25:26 AM

o5iiawah: Wal-Mart cannot kick your door in at 4am.


Not Wal-Mart but the RIAA has a habit of sending armed security guards carying semi-automatic military weapons and dressed in very official looking tactical gear with RIAA badges to conduct warrantless raids of shops they suspect are selling bootleg CDs. This is done almost exclusively on shops owned by immigrants who don't know 1) the RIAA is not a government agency and 2) they have no legal right to conduct such raids on private property.

It's basically a shakedown operation. Nice shop you got here Fong, it would be a shame if something happened to it. Give us a a couple thousand bucks and we won't confiscate your inventory.

If corporations had it their way their private security staff would have all the powers of a legitimate police force and that force would be used to crush any and all competition under the pretence of protecting intellectual property rights such as patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets. The corporation itself would be judge jury and executioner. Large players would merge rather than compete and small players would simply be strong armed out of the market.

It's basically government regulations, rule of law, and the legal system that prevent corporations from conducting their business the same way the Mafia does.
 
2013-02-19 04:36:37 AM

m2313: DrewCurtisJr: So the answer to creating more good jobs is taking full time jobs with benefits and turning them into part time positions?

The answer is abolishing the concept of "work" and wage slavery as a whole.
Not a futurist or a primitivist. It's not about the level of tech, it's about the social relations in society.
The Abolition of Work by Bob Black would be a good place to start reading.


When it comes down to it drudgery is the only thing that truly drives the economy. In order for modern civilization to function we require people to perform crappy jobs that nobody wants to perform. To do this artificial shortages are created, the wealthy with hold resources from the poor in order to force them to perform the shiatty jobs nobody wants to do.

Nobody WANTS to perform back breaking labour harvesting crops. But we need food to feed the population.
Nobody WANTS to flip burgers but large urban centres need restaurants to cook for a population too busy to cook for itself.
Nobody WANTS to dig ditches but we need sewage systems.

There are millions of shiatty jobs that people would quit in a second if they ever won the lottery. The vast majority of the population work at jobs that if money were not an object they would never work at.

Once technology has reached the level where it can end drudgery there really is no need for an economy based on withholding resources from the needy.
 
2013-02-19 05:31:28 AM

colon_pow: socialist utopias have no need of opportunity.

all is provided.

obama ahkbar!


The defense for never reaching for an improved society always invokes the word utopia. Its use is a false dilemma. Citing that the world will never be perfect isn't sufficent reason to settle for the status quo. It's defeatism, mixed with a myopic vanity that says we're the best we ever hope for, and conservatives would have you believe we need to regress because our best was in the past, which is pure historical fallacy.

As trite as the following may sound it's our daring to dream of a better world and implement those changes that can solve these problems we face, not regressing to a fictional past that was never as prosperous or kind as proponents like to pretend. It is after all that past that has led us here thus it must have been critically flawed from the start. As anything can be good for a small time I.e. a jump off the Empire State Building is delightful for the first few seconds, but it's the sustainability of a high mark that is the measure of greatness.
 
2013-02-19 05:59:00 AM
The American Dream was predicated on the idea of a "classless society", a meritocracy where what family you were born into didn't matter so much as what you could accomplish with your own skill and hard work. No ruling classes of nobility like in the old countries they came from. America was a fresh start for all.

To have gone from those heady optimistic times to today where upward mobility has slowed to a trickle is sad.
 
2013-02-19 06:12:55 AM

stevenrushing: Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.



I would like to understand this line of thinking more. I appreciate what you are saying.
Why are you against the notion of some children being "education distant" simply because of the family and environment they were born into? Why not have us, all of us, the government, try to provide a social equal playing field that even those individuals have the equal opportunity to apply themselves? Not make it easier then it is for others but at least level the playing field until their own impetus and drive actually takes over. At that point it is indeed up to them but nobody can tell me that it is not desirable to provide equal basis to all until a certain age against the force of the environment they were born into until they are old enough to actually apply themselves.
 
2013-02-19 06:13:55 AM
Horatio Alger horseshiat is horseshiat.
 
2013-02-19 06:16:39 AM
I blame Human Resources. Everything bad related to work stems from the rise of corporate HR departments

- Stagnating salaries
- Requiring degrees for non-degree work
- Draconian workplace policies and rules
- Union busting
- Erosion of pension benefits to risky 401(k) plans
 
2013-02-19 06:31:42 AM
More proof that the Nobel in economics should have been tossed out as illegitimate, as has been recommended; apparently all its good for is a soapbox for liberal moralizing untie NYT that has nothing to do with economics.


The problem with our schools is not money.  My sons school spends thousands less per student than the local public schools but the students do better.

If 6% of the bottom fifth move to the top , that means that in spite of millions of immigrants who don't speak English, 1 in 5 rich folk were born dirt poor.  That's amazing, until you realize that poor is redefined every few years by liberals.

Astoundingly, the median wage, corrected for inflation, is basically the same today as it was in 1968.  O the horror.

T
 
2013-02-19 06:40:06 AM

zedster: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Aar1012: What are the odds of it happening again? What are the odds that a poor black kid or any poor kid that was born within the past decade would be able to do the same?

The dream isn't dead, but it is on life support


It a really really long shot. It was a really really long shot to begin with. But it was and is possible. The dream doesn't come with a guarantee

A Family Affair: Intergenerational Social Mobility across OECD Countries - PDF

The US has the third lowest upward mobility index behind Italy and Great Britain

Ignore the dream of being break out rich or even two cars in the garage and a chicken in every pot. The real American dream has always been if you play it straight your children will have more opportunity then you had. With 20 somethings and younger today we are seeing the dream evaporate. The cost of education has shot up, the job market has crashed. We (Gen Y) were told go to college, get good grades, and you will be alright. Instead you have JDs waiting tables and people with solid degrees doing jobs they could have done out of high school. Don't give me the crap about oh if you went into STEM, thanks to outsourcing, H1As, loss of grants, etc... those fields aren't that much more secure these days.

We are looking at a lost decade and a lost generation unless we decide that we need to do something about it instead of attempting austerity. The life time earnings of Gen Y are going to be significantly less just because of how late we are getting into actual jobs.


Just because you went to a low ranked law school and are pissed that it didint work out doesn't mean govt needs to do anything.

When they pay off my mortgage I will support them helping your stupid worthless degrees

Get a job a work till you die
 
2013-02-19 06:49:19 AM

Macular Degenerate: I blame Human Resources. Everything bad related to work stems from the rise of corporate HR departments

- Stagnating salaries
- Requiring degrees for non-degree work
- Draconian workplace policies and rules
- Union busting
- Erosion of pension benefits to risky 401(k) plans



You've shot lots of messengers in your time haven't you?


Animatronik: Astoundingly, the median wage, corrected for inflation, is basically the same today as it was in 1968.  O the horror.


Ahh the ole, there is no problem tactic. All these sissies need to suck it up because their problems are imagined and improvement isn't necessary because people are simply whiny.
 
2013-02-19 06:54:11 AM

Animatronik: More proof that the Nobel in economics should have been tossed out as illegitimate, as has been recommended; apparently all its good for is a soapbox for liberal moralizing untie NYT that has nothing to do with economics.


The problem with our schools is not money.  My sons school spends thousands less per student than the local public schools but the students do better.

If 6% of the bottom fifth move to the top , that means that in spite of millions of immigrants who don't speak English, 1 in 5 rich folk were born dirt poor.  That's amazing, until you realize that poor is redefined every few years by liberals.

Astoundingly, the median wage, corrected for inflation, is basically the same today as it was in 1968.  O the horror.

T


Let's see: scatter brain post, blames liberals for everything, screws up basic math, uses statistic that actually undermines his point, casually belittles the issue at hand...

Isn't it late in the thread to be trolling?

hinten: stevenrushing: Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.


I would like to understand this line of thinking more. I appreciate what you are saying.
Why are you against the notion of some children being "education distant" simply because of the family and environment they were born into? Why not have us, all of us, the government, try to provide a social equal playing field that even those individuals have the equal opportunity to apply themselves? Not make it easier then it is for others but at least level the playing field until their own impetus and drive actually takes over. At that point it is indeed up to them but nobody can tell me that it is not desirable to provide equal basis to all until a certain age against the force of the environment they were born into un ...


He must think that education is a zero sum game and that any gains his child enjoys from good parenting are undone if some other kid gets help he thinks they don't deserve.  Maybe it's some kind of 21st century version of sins of the father?  Punish the child for the mistakes of the parent?
 
2013-02-19 07:14:24 AM
Some short black guy said "Fark that land of opportunity shiat, I don't need permission to sell a damn hit". And there you have it.
 
2013-02-19 07:27:40 AM
A better article, from Stratfor:

"The Crisis of the Middle Class and American Power"

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/crisis-middle-class-and-american-powe r
 
2013-02-19 07:29:16 AM
'Equality of Opportunity' means different things to Democrats and to Republicans.

For the former, it means actively bringing down the social structures that unfairly persecute groups.
For the latter, it means doing absolutely nothing.
 
2013-02-19 07:35:15 AM

Baryogenesis: Animatronik: More proof that the Nobel in economics should have been tossed out as illegitimate, as has been recommended; apparently all its good for is a soapbox for liberal moralizing untie NYT that has nothing to do with economics.


The problem with our schools is not money.  My sons school spends thousands less per student than the local public schools but the students do better.

If 6% of the bottom fifth move to the top , that means that in spite of millions of immigrants who don't speak English, 1 in 5 rich folk were born dirt poor.  That's amazing, until you realize that poor is redefined every few years by liberals.

Astoundingly, the median wage, corrected for inflation, is basically the same today as it was in 1968.  O the horror.

T

Let's see: scatter brain post, blames liberals for everything, screws up basic math, uses statistic that actually undermines his point, casually belittles the issue at hand...

Isn't it late in the thread to be trolling?

hinten: stevenrushing: Let me just come out as one very against "equality of opportunity". I don't want the government artificially putting the children of those who did not properly prepare them for life on the same playing field as my children. I am working hard to give my children a leg up, a head start in life. By definition, to have a head start, there are going to be people who start behind you, and there are people who are working even harder than I am, or whose parents or grandparents worked harder than mine, whose children will be ahead of mine. I do not deny them that.


The only proper role of the government is to ensure that we are all equal before the law. Not equality of outcomes or even equality of opportunity.There is so much work here to be done. The rich often go to different judges, different prisons, and face shorter sentences. This is a serious problem in our society, and needs to be rectified. I don't claim to have all the answers, but we can start by paying defense attorneys competitively with what the private sector pays, and by auditing judges so that they are not a law unto themselves.


Before someone says I must have had it good as a child, let me assure you that I grew up incredibly poor, and have worked my whole life to be where I am.


I would like to understand this line of thinking more. I appreciate what you are saying.
Why are you against the notion of some children being "education distant" simply because of the family and environment they were born into? Why not have us, all of us, the government, try to provide a social equal playing field that even those individuals have the equal opportunity to apply themselves? Not make it easier then it is for others but at least level the playing field until their own impetus and drive actually takes over. At that point it is indeed up to them but nobody can tell me that it is not desirable to provide equal basis to all until a certain age against the force of the environment they were born into un ...

He must think that education is a zero sum game and that any gains his child enjoys from good parenting are undone if some other kid gets help he thinks they don't deserve.  Maybe it's some kind of 21st century version of sins of the father?  Punish the child for the mistakes of the parent?


Fact: The Nobel prize in economics is not actually a Nobel Prize. It was created years later as a renaming of another prize to 'Nobel Memorial Prize' and the memorial part was dropped. Many scholars and scientists would like to see it removed, its illegitimate, politicized, and shouldn't have the name Nobel associated with it as it wasn't in his will.

Krugman and Stiglitz deserve awards for unswerving loyalty to the socialist and Keynesian paradigms, all logical arguments notwithstanding.

Liberals nowadays will complain endlessly about the cost of the wars, which is legitimate except when they multiply by three, but they will never acknowledge the failures of costly social programs. They'll just keep asking for more of the same.

Stiglitz will ask for more and more tax and borrowed money for education. Public education is a problem because its badly managed. Federal guarantees on student loans are inflating tuition while passing the cost of default to taxpayers and encouraging students to borrow too much.

We don't need to repeat what Europe is doing wrong to get it right. We need to cut spending and raise taxes to balance our books.

The alternative will be inflation, because that will be the only way to pay the debt down. In clarion will rapidly consume any minimum wage increase.
 
2013-02-19 07:36:37 AM

Cinaed: For the latter, it means doing absolutely nothing.


I would say the GOP has been actively trying to make us unequal as possible since, at least, the Reagan years... Trickle-down economics is nothing more that a gift to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

...And these regressive chicken farkers are still pushing trickle-down to this day.

These aren't conservatives trying to maintain the staus quo. These are regressive ideologues, who are actively working towards making us a full fledged plutocracy.
 
2013-02-19 07:37:11 AM
Damn mobile browser. I meant inflation not in clarion. And 'in the' not 'untie'...
 
2013-02-19 07:45:20 AM

keylock71: Cinaed: For the latter, it means doing absolutely nothing.

I would say the GOP has been actively trying to make us unequal as possible since, at least, the Reagan years... Trickle-down economics is nothing more that a gift to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

...And these regressive chicken farkers are still pushing trickle-down to this day.

These aren't conservatives trying to maintain the staus quo. These are regressive ideologues, who are actively working towards making us a full fledged plutocracy.


You've got it to the point where practically everyone in the bottom half pays no income tax, unemployment benefits extend out to a year and beyond and have not been paid for by money coming in as unemployment insurance, and now Obama wants the government to foot the bill for every kid's preschool.

Only a mental midget would sit around whining about trickle down economics in the face of the massive shift in money and resources at the Federal level.

The big story here is that the Federal government is going broke trying to secure equality of outcomes, so the solution is: go more broke doing more of the same, while more jobs get shipped overseas to cheaper labor markets. Until the scheme collapses under the weight of 30 trillion in debt.
 
2013-02-19 07:50:14 AM

Animatronik: blah blah blah


The big story here is you think I give a shiat about your canned talking points and bullshiat.
 
2013-02-19 08:02:13 AM
kg2095: Zeb Hesselgresser: WhyteRaven74: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Won't you admit that you can over regulate something?

Germany has far more regulations than the US does and just looking at the numbers, things are better for people there than in the US.

well, they work harder, so they can have nice things

They don't work harder - they have shorter working weeks and longer annual vacations than US workers.- Neither of these things means what you claim.

And that distribution has little to do with how hard one works. Many of the poorest in society are those who work the hardest. Many (not all) of the wealthiest have never done a decent day's work in their lives, unless you consider telling other people what to do as working - Dammit Jeeves, put a bit more shine on those Bentleys you lazy, shiftless prole. - Sure, but this more often OUR problem than theirs.

"Many of the poorest in society are those who work the hardest  least. " - sometimes. And before you set up that strawman, the sentence says MANY, not all, not even MOST, but enough to make a
difference.
 
2013-02-19 08:03:40 AM
Corporate taxes in the U.S. are the highest in the world. In the face of high corporate taxes and costly labor, its no surprise that capital is flowing overseas.

/stop whining about Republicans and agitating in favor of more government and work harder at making a difference as an individual.
 
2013-02-19 08:08:19 AM

Animatronik: keylock71: Cinaed: For the latter, it means doing absolutely nothing.

I would say the GOP has been actively trying to make us unequal as possible since, at least, the Reagan years... Trickle-down economics is nothing more that a gift to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

...And these regressive chicken farkers are still pushing trickle-down to this day.

These aren't conservatives trying to maintain the staus quo. These are regressive ideologues, who are actively working towards making us a full fledged plutocracy.

You've got it to the point where practically everyone in the bottom half pays no income tax, unemployment benefits extend out to a year and beyond and have not been paid for by money coming in as unemployment insurance, and now Obama wants the government to foot the bill for every kid's preschool.

Only a mental midget would sit around whining about trickle down economics in the face of the massive shift in money and resources at the Federal level.

The big story here is that the Federal government is going broke trying to secure equality of outcomes, so the solution is: go more broke doing more of the same, while more jobs get shipped overseas to cheaper labor markets. Until the scheme collapses under the weight of 30 trillion in debt.


No the big story here is that Republicans look at the ills of society and their solution is to make them worse. Let's do more supply side economics and by widening income inequality further we can live in the bright future of turning wage slaves into actual slaves.

The government has revenue problems because that bottom 50% you're complaining about that doesn't pay income tax is broke. They don't have money to spend, markets stagnate, and federal revenue plummets. Keynesian economics is no cure all, but it does stymie the bleeding, which otherwise would turn into devastating poverty for millions. What's needed is more regulation in labor and forcing employers loaded with profits to pay their employees either with a progressive minimum wage or progressive profit sharing, passive income via investment/debt needs bold new regulation that severely limits it from what it is today, and a shift in our capitalism/financial markets away from the ideals of infinite growth to a focus on sustainability.
 
2013-02-19 08:42:32 AM

MayoSlather: Animatronik: keylock71: Cinaed: For the latter, it means doing absolutely nothing.

I would say the GOP has been actively trying to make us unequal as possible since, at least, the Reagan years... Trickle-down economics is nothing more that a gift to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

...And these regressive chicken farkers are still pushing trickle-down to this day.

These aren't conservatives trying to maintain the staus quo. These are regressive ideologues, who are actively working towards making us a full fledged plutocracy.

You've got it to the point where practically everyone in the bottom half pays no income tax, unemployment benefits extend out to a year and beyond and have not been paid for by money coming in as unemployment insurance, and now Obama wants the government to foot the bill for every kid's preschool.

Only a mental midget would sit around whining about trickle down economics in the face of the massive shift in money and resources at the Federal level.

The big story here is that the Federal government is going broke trying to secure equality of outcomes, so the solution is: go more broke doing more of the same, while more jobs get shipped overseas to cheaper labor markets. Until the scheme collapses under the weight of 30 trillion in debt.

No the big story here is that Republicans look at the ills of society and their solution is to make them worse. Let's do more supply side economics and by widening income inequality further we can live in the bright future of turning wage slaves into actual slaves.

The government has revenue problems because that bottom 50% you're complaining about that doesn't pay income tax is broke. They don't have money to spend, markets stagnate, and federal revenue plummets. Keynesian economics is no cure all, but it does stymie the bleeding, which otherwise would turn into devastating poverty for millions. What's needed is more regulation in labor and forcing employers loaded with profits to pay their employees either with a progressive minimum wage or progressive profit sharing, passive income via investment/debt needs bold new regulation that severely limits it from what it is today, and a shift in our capitalism/financial markets away from the ideals of infinite growth to a focus on sustainability.


You can't legislate equality of outcome. They tried that in the Eastern bloc. It didn't work. Maybe you're too young to remember. In the U.S. there will always be someone richer than you. Get used to the fact that being lower middle class in th U.S. is like winning the lottery in Africa, if you don't waste your money.


A few years ago the local paper did a story on a young mother with three kids and no baby daddy. There was a picture of her boy playing Xbox on a 55 inch flatscreen. She's got a car and a job but can't make her condo payments. She's a few miles from the house I rent.

The story is about how someone with no money and credit who fathered children from different men, who has been living for free for 6 months in her condo that the bank owns, should get my sympathy because she is going to lose the condo she shouldn't have bought in the first place.

The Washington Post, which is 10 times better than the NYT, made her the centerpiece of a page 1 story.

That's equality of opportunity, Democtat-style.

A little more equality of opportunity like that and we'll be a third world country.
 
2013-02-19 08:55:03 AM

Animatronik: You can't legislate equality of outcome. They tried that in the Eastern bloc. It didn't work. Maybe you're too young to remember. In the U.S. there will always be someone richer than you. Get used to the fact that being lower middle class in th U.S. is like winning the lottery in Africa, if you don't waste your money.


That is hardly an equivalent scenario. And yes, you can in fact legislate far more equality than now. It's fine if people are rich, that's great, but being so rich that you're depriving others of quality of life when that extra money provides extremely little value to you is a real problem. Being rich means you should actually have to earn your money and not simply make money because you have money. Passive income is a real problem and decidedly far from a meritocracy.

Republican's version of capitalism today is a lot like their version of Christianity. They sell it to their constituency while doing the polar opposite of the ideals they preach. Adam Smith's ideas have as little to do with Republican's idea of capitalism as Jesus has to do with their version Christianity.
 
2013-02-19 09:27:01 AM

MayoSlather: Animatronik: You can't legislate equality of outcome. They tried that in the Eastern bloc. It didn't work. Maybe you're too young to remember. In the U.S. there will always be someone richer than you. Get used to the fact that being lower middle class in th U.S. is like winning the lottery in Africa, if you don't waste your money.

That is hardly an equivalent scenario. And yes, you can in fact legislate far more equality than now. It's fine if people are rich, that's great, but being so rich that you're depriving others of quality of life when that extra money provides extremely little value to you is a real problem. Being rich means you should actually have to earn your money and not simply make money because you have money. Passive income is a real problem and decidedly far from a meritocracy.

Republican's version of capitalism today is a lot like their version of Christianity. They sell it to their constituency while doing the polar opposite of the ideals they preach. Adam Smith's ideas have as little to do with Republican's idea of capitalism as Jesus has to do with their version Christianity.


Jesus never advocated having the government take of charity for you. He didn't exhort tax collectors to collect more taxes. He didnt advocate puttin. people on dole from birth to death, and teaching them that as long as they voted for the right politicians they nneed not rely on themselves, their own ingenuity or gifts.

Jesus wanted people to make individual choices and sacrifices. People like you, who are advocates of the new socialist order, where the ideal is to collar as many votes as possilbe with govt checks, are the antithesis of the Christian ideal.

3 months ago Hugo Chavez bought an election by handing out 3 million appliances from China for free. Democrats in the U.S. have learned how to the same thing by labeling it social justice. Obama wants to give you free day care and our the other party opposes it as adding to our indebtedness he'Lo make it an election issue in 2014.

Who doesn't want free shiat?
 
2013-02-19 09:42:25 AM

Macular Degenerate: I blame Human Resources. Everything bad related to work stems from the rise of corporate HR departments

- Stagnating salaries
- Requiring degrees for non-degree work
- Draconian workplace policies and rules
- Union busting
- Erosion of pension benefits to risky 401(k) plans


Wow, that's a massively broad brush you're painting with there.  And you're using a terrible color.

HR has problems.  A lot of problems.  Bureaucracy, speaking their own incomprehensible language, not speaking to business needs or providing demonstrative value when making critical business decisions.  But the things you list above have little to do with HR as a business function.  In fact, the great majority of them are dictated by the king support function in any business - finance.  Pension benefits, stagnating salaries, union issues - these stem from bottom line financial concerns.  HR is just forced to make it happen and enact the new policies.  But finance always runs the show in those issues.  Requiring degrees is sometimes HR, but typically it's the hiring manager.  They want to neck-down the applicant pool so they're looking at 100 applications, not 5,000.

I'll grant you the "draconian policies" bit.  An immature or power-hungry generalist will often try to clamp down on biatching with the use of detailed and unnecessary rules.  No argument there.  It's the mark of a contentious work environment, and its only a band-aid solution to the larger problem.
 
2013-02-19 09:50:02 AM

Animatronik: MayoSlather: Animatronik: You can't legislate equality of outcome. They tried that in the Eastern bloc. It didn't work. Maybe you're too young to remember. In the U.S. there will always be someone richer than you. Get used to the fact that being lower middle class in th U.S. is like winning the lottery in Africa, if you don't waste your money.

That is hardly an equivalent scenario. And yes, you can in fact legislate far more equality than now. It's fine if people are rich, that's great, but being so rich that you're depriving others of quality of life when that extra money provides extremely little value to you is a real problem. Being rich means you should actually have to earn your money and not simply make money because you have money. Passive income is a real problem and decidedly far from a meritocracy.

Republican's version of capitalism today is a lot like their version of Christianity. They sell it to their constituency while doing the polar opposite of the ideals they preach. Adam Smith's ideas have as little to do with Republican's idea of capitalism as Jesus has to do with their version Christianity.

Jesus never advocated having the government take of charity for you. He didn't exhort tax collectors to collect more taxes. He didnt advocate puttin. people on dole from birth to death, and teaching them that as long as they voted for the right politicians they nneed not rely on themselves, their own ingenuity or gifts.

Jesus wanted people to make individual choices and sacrifices. People like you, who are advocates of the new socialist order, where the ideal is to collar as many votes as possilbe with govt checks, are the antithesis of the Christian ideal.

3 months ago Hugo Chavez bought an election by handing out 3 million appliances from China for free. Democrats in the U.S. have learned how to the same thing by labeling it social justice. Obama wants to give you free day care and our the other party opposes it as adding to our indebtedness ...



So now you're going to reply to my argument by conveniently conflating Jesus and Adam Smith? OK. Aside from that Christ did believe in helping the poor, acceptance, understanding, and a good will towards all men, nowhere in that message did it say anything about scapegoating the poor or offering advantages to those that already have everything.

And of course there's this...

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. -- Matthew 19:23-24, Mark 10:23-25
 
2013-02-19 10:20:59 AM
there are plenty of places here in America where you can live and have your food and shelter and healthcare and everything you need taken care of.

life is simple in those places.

but on the other hand, you would be locked in, but hey...
 
2013-02-19 10:45:28 AM

colon_pow: there are plenty of places here in America where you can live and have your food and shelter and healthcare and everything you need taken care of.

life is simple in those places.

but on the other hand, you would be locked in, but hey...


Chicago?!

i kid i kid
 
2013-02-19 11:06:49 AM
KiltedBastich
govern ... without ... government.

I just want to make clear that this is what's going on in your brain. You have put an impossible task before me. "Paint this fence white, using only dark blue paint"

The powers that be throwing out democracy to institute some other system is not revolution in the sense we have been previously discussing, and revolution does not inherently mean warfare and violence, it can simply mean radical social change. In fact, pragmatically speaking, violent revolution is the worst option and the one most likely to not result in achieving the goals you are seeking to accomplish and most likely to cause collateral damage, because a violent revolution is also the kind that is the least predictable and most easily transformed into a random bloodbath. Again, the French Revolution is the most well known example, but look at what happened in the Iranian revolution, and various others around the world.

Okay, I'm clearly being trolled. What a bunch of gibberish. First you say revolution doesn't have to be violent, then you imply that violent revolution is the only kind.

which is the scope in which we are having this conversation

You: "Propose another system"
Me: "We have to think beyond representative democracy"
You: "We're only going to think within representative democracy"
 
2013-02-19 11:37:32 AM

Animatronik: Krugman and Stiglitz deserve awards for unswerving loyalty to the socialist and Keynesian paradigms, all logical arguments notwithstanding.


Since you've never given a logical argument ever it will be forever nonwithstanding.  Keep working on that GED.
 
2013-02-19 11:40:35 AM

RanDomino: I just want to make clear that this is what's going on in your brain. You have put an impossible task before me. "Paint this fence white, using only dark blue paint"


Ah good, you actually noticed the first part of the problem. So now you've given up on governing. How are you going to make your complex modern society function at all?

RanDomino: Okay, I'm clearly being trolled. What a bunch of gibberish. First you say revolution doesn't have to be violent, then you imply that violent revolution is the only kind.


No, you're just incompetent at logic and/or illiterate. Let me break it down for your obviously poor reasoning capacity.

There is more than one kind of revolution. Some are nonviolent, some are violent. The violent ones are much worse and even from a completely draconian perspective less effective in accomplishing your goals because it is almost impossible to control and direct them, and it does far more damage to your society.

Is that clear enough for you, or do I have to dumb it down to kindergarten level language?

RanDomino: You: "Propose another system"
Me: "We have to think beyond representative democracy"
You: "We're only going to think within representative democracy"



Now you're just being disingenuous. What actually happened was more like this:

Me: "Propose a mechanism other than representative government for enacting meaningful social change on a large scale"
You: <ideological small scale anecdotal suggestions that depend on the legal and ethical structures of a representative government and have no impact on the larger social issues>
Me: "What you propose is ideological, superficial, and completely dependent on the social and legal framework provided by representative government, and as a result will have no long term effects without political action. You fail. Try again"
You: <Pouting over his ideology being questioned>

You are not winning this argument by these straw men arguments you keep using. Clearly you do not wish to argue in good faith if it would mean that your ideology is challenged. How very predictable.
 
2013-02-19 12:09:49 PM

A Dark Evil Omen: Sergeant Grumbles: iawai: Where the fark does that last sentence come from? I agree until he gets there.

What is your better solution?

I'm guessing it's that everyone who isn't rich can eat shiat, but the government should continue to provide police and road work and all of those other things rich people need, so they can have caviar instead.


My better solution is to abolish the subsidy network that props up politically connected "old money" industries, to distribute the regulatory structure to privately owned regulators who can better keep the big guys in check and not place undue burdens on small startup businesses, to stop pretending that the government has any interest in helping poor people, because poor people don't prop up their donations nor do they have a stake in the revolving door of big banks and big industry and the govt.

I agree that something needs to be done, but I'm not willing to point a gun at anybody to get them to play along with my schemes. That's exactly what Stiglitz is doing here by appealing to the govt for solutions. If you don't agree with the plan and resist? You get the business end of a gun.

If poor people were such bad investments, why has the micro-loan industry sprung up? The biggest thing keeping poor people from bettering their situation is govt regulation, economic intervention, and a system of criminal laws that is ravaging the poor for victimless crimes and creating violent criminal gangs that are funded by illicit traffiking.

/and no, the govt shouldn't be in roads, police, or "national" defense either. I'm not into violent socialism for anything.
 
2013-02-19 12:20:48 PM

iawai: I agree that something needs to be done, but I'm not willing to point a gun at anybody to get them to play along with my schemes. That's exactly what Stiglitz is doing here by appealing to the govt for solutions. If you don't agree with the plan and resist? You get the business end of a gun.


Oh, another "taxes are theft" guy.
 
2013-02-19 01:35:06 PM
The most I got out of this thread before I gave up reading is that it's important to tell your kid that they can build a better life for themselves.  But it is not important to help make that more possible.  SAYING it is good enough, but actually doing stuff?  That's work.  And work is hard.  So, what's the harm in telling your kid that she can be an astronaut while voting for guys to gut the space program?
 
2013-02-19 02:45:50 PM

Fart_Machine: iawai: I agree that something needs to be done, but I'm not willing to point a gun at anybody to get them to play along with my schemes. That's exactly what Stiglitz is doing here by appealing to the govt for solutions. If you don't agree with the plan and resist? You get the business end of a gun.

Oh, another "taxes are theft" guy.


and?

Name-calling is not an argument.
 
2013-02-19 06:08:28 PM

iawai: My better solution is to abolish the subsidy network that props up politically connected "old money" industries, to distribute the regulatory structure to privately owned regulators who can better keep the big guys in check and not place undue burdens on small startup businesses, to stop pretending that the government has any interest in helping poor people, because poor people don't prop up their donations nor do they have a stake in the revolving door of big banks and big industry and the govt.


I wouldn't call that a better solution. In fact, I'd say the complete opposite. That's a horribly stupid idea.
Privatizing the regulatory framework is probably the worst possible thing that could be done. Or did you believe the banks when they said they could police themselves?

How about I fix this for you....

iawai: to stop pretending that the government private industry has any interest in helping poor people

 As long as I have a vote, I trust the government more than I do private enterprise. A shareholder can be bought out while voting is a right.
 
2013-02-19 07:10:20 PM
KiltedBastich
Ah good, you actually noticed the first part of the problem. So now you've given up on governing. How are you going to make your complex modern society function at all?

Maybe the problem is that the word "government" is being thrown around when what's really meant is "State". If you want to call any large-scale organizational system a 'government' then we'd have to start talking about a 'Stateless government' which makes my brain hurt just typing it.

Anyway, I'm done with this thread, so here's a straight answer.


Sergeant Grumbles
As long as I have a vote, I trust the government more than I do private enterprise. A shareholder can be bought out while voting is a right.

You have the right to a totally superficial vague preference. Congratulations.
 
2013-02-19 08:11:22 PM
Ghastly:
The revolution will never have the support of the population. Fascism 2.0 will have the benefit of history at its side. It'll realize the Iron Fist is nowhere near as effective at controlling the population as the fluffy pillow. People will be kept comfortable, productive, and saturated with opiates of all kinds. Fascism 2.0 will be sold under the banner of freedom. "Government" will be almost non existence replaced instead by a coalition of large multinational corporate monopolies.

Entertaining post, scary in it's resemblance to current days.  Only thing I think you are missing is that there will still be a stratified society and capitalism can't contain it's self.  It will (by it's very nature) push more and more of the populace towards the bottom, after their fleecing. Just like the Enron folks ruined deregulation plans for the nation by raping California.

This will always be their undoing, Capitalism/Corporatism will always sell you the rope that you use to hang them.
 
2013-02-19 10:45:04 PM

RanDomino: Maybe the problem is that the word "government" is being thrown around when what's really meant is "State". If you want to call any large-scale organizational system a 'government' then we'd have to start talking about a 'Stateless government' which makes my brain hurt just typing it.

Anyway, I'm done with this thread, so here's a straight answer.


No, I mean government. A state is the boundaries you draw on the map. A municipality has a government, a state has a government, a nation has a government. In fact, if you get into some fairly abstract social theory. Any time you have a body given the mandate to enact law for the society it represents, you have a government. Corporations can be that government, you know, oligarchy is an old concept in political science.

And anarcho-syndicalism is also simply an alternate form of government, and one that has the rather enormous Achilles' heel of requiring informed ethical behaviour of all participants. The very idealism and decentralization it espouses makes it very vulnerable to anyone who wishes to selfishly exploit or overthrow the system, and it makes almost no provisions at all for the kind of personal charisma that can let one person convince others to follow him or her and follow their lead in commiting said exploitation. Humans engage in tribal behaviours instinctively. It takes almost nothing at all to trigger "us vs. them" thinking and behaviour patterns, and it is the easiest thing in the world for someone with a modicum of personal charisma and native intelligence to exploit to their own benefit.

Ultimately, it makes the fundamental mistake of assuming that humans, once they understand the system, will want to participate honestly and ethically rather than exploit the system. It also presumes a level of general education in, understanding of and acceptance of these very specific ideological concepts that is essentially impossible to achieve in a pluralistic society that values personal freedom and different perspectives.  All in all, that's incredibly foolish, as anyone who has ever studied social psychology can tell you. People are short-sighted and self-interested. Even when they know better they will often take the easy and selfish route, especially if no one they know directly is going to be affected. You will always have people who will try to game the system. You will always have people willing to organize themselves into groups, be they tribes, guilds, nations or corporations, in order to seek advantage. If you want to change this, then you will have to literally change the underlying nature of human beings.

(Seriously, I already told you I have a degree in sociology. Did you think I would be unfamiliar with anarcho-sydicalism? It's a little obscure, but it has direct roots in Marxist theory, and Karl Marx is one of the three big names in sociology along with Max Weber and Emile Durkheim. Most any sociologist worth the name will at least be familiar with the basics.)

This is just another example of why I hold a very poor opinion of most ideologies. They lead people to attempt to make the world conform to how they think it should be, to their ultimate detriment and usually the detriment of those around them, rather than learning to accept the world on its own terms as honestly as they can.

If you do not understand, the universe is as it is. If you do understand, the universe is as it is. - Zen koan
 
2013-02-20 01:53:08 AM

Sergeant Grumbles: I wouldn't call that a better solution. In fact, I'd say the complete opposite. That's a horribly stupid idea.
Privatizing the regulatory framework is probably the worst possible thing that could be done. Or did you believe the banks when they said they could police themselves?


Hmm....
3.bp.blogspot.com
I don't trust the banks to regulate themselves, that's why (1) I don't want the govt regulating them, (2) I don't want a fiat currency, (3) I don't want to pay taxes to an institution that bails them out, and (4) I would rather trust a private regulator who could be judged by independent courts to be at an arms-length from the regulated entities.

Sergeant Grumbles: As long as I have a vote, I trust the government more than I do private enterprise. A shareholder can be bought out while voting is a right.


Your vote doesn't matter. And even so, why does 51% get to tell 49% how to run their lives?

You don't have a "right" to vote, anyway - you have been granted the privilege to throw your ballot into the ocean of ballots filled out by the rest of the voters.

I'd rather rely on my private property rights as a shareholder, and be free to sell my share if I don't like how the regulator I've invested in has been doing their job.
 
2013-02-20 10:45:58 AM

iawai: I don't trust the banks to regulate themselves, that's why (1) I don't want the govt regulating them, (2) I don't want a fiat currency, (3) I don't want to pay taxes to an institution that bails them out, and (4) I would rather trust a private regulator who could be judged by independent courts to be at an arms-length from the regulated entities.


You don't want to live in reality. Could have just said that.
 
2013-02-20 01:22:19 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: iawai: I don't trust the banks to regulate themselves, that's why (1) I don't want the govt regulating them, (2) I don't want a fiat currency, (3) I don't want to pay taxes to an institution that bails them out, and (4) I would rather trust a private regulator who could be judged by independent courts to be at an arms-length from the regulated entities.

You don't want to live in reality. Could have just said that.


And you don't want to accept that you live in a reality that sucks. Could have just said that.
 
2013-02-20 01:43:54 PM

iawai: And you don't want to accept that you live in a reality that sucks. Could have just said that.


I accept reality sucks. I also know your fantasy isn't any kind of solution to making it suck any less.

Making money king is half of the problem with the U.S. today. Going all the way is only going to invite more corruption.
How is a private regulator, presumably beholden to its own shareholders, supposed to make objective decisions on the industries it regulates? I think it can only end one way, the Food and Drug Administraction (a subsidiary of Brawndo, Inc.).
 
2013-02-21 11:49:36 AM
KiltedBastich
Did you think I would be unfamiliar with anarcho-sydicalism? It's a little obscure, but it has direct roots in Marxist theory

looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool
 
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