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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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8204 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 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".
 
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