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.
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.
Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded ageAnd 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]Sourcethis 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.nevermindHow 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.
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.
doglover: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded ageAnd 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]Sourcethis 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.nevermindHow 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
o5iiawah: Again, I havent. Just government overreaching or neglecting its enumerated authority.
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.
WhyteRaven74: KiltedBastich: Because "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" worked out so well for this lady:She never said it.
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.
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.
KiltedBastich: it was more of a summation of her attitude
HindiDiscoMonster: Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Giltric: namatad: zedster: slayer199: zedster: right, let's forget the robber barons and gilded ageAnd 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]Sourcethis 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.nevermindHow 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
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 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?
Giltric: How will taking from them build you up?Why bring someone else down to make you feel more equal?
stevenrushing: I did join the military, and received education through it (which I earned).
RanDomino: Why do you work, for eight hours or more?There'd be jobs for us both, if you'd only work four.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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,
RanDomino: The government routinely does those things for the benefit of Wal-Mart.Government is the means by which the capitalist class exerts force.
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.
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.
KiltedBastich: They are already doing so. Do the words "too big to fail" sound familiar?
KiltedBastich: Seriously, have you never even heard of the tragedy of the commons, or game theory? Market systems are inherently unstable.
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.
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.
RanDomino: Government implies a bureaucracy. Many societies have had laws but no formal government.
RanDomino: Democrats. Republicans. These are the options. Going to stand by that statement?
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.
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.
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.
RanDomino: Suppose this has already happened. Then what?
RanDomino: That is not a rallying cry to save the government, but an indictment of our ability to organize.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RanDomino: Don't presume to lecture me on that. You don't have any clue what you're talking about.
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.
RanDomino: Twaddle. That's not a plan, it's a wish.
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".
RanDomino: That's a fair challenge. Not only that, it's a plan rather than a wish.
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.
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.
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
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