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The People's Interests 
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Post Re: The People's Interests
I grew up and still live in the Bronx (hardly an affluent place), and I myself received scholarships for both my high school years and current college endeavors. So way to go. I've seen the poverty first hand, and if the resources are "within their grasp," then there are more powerful forces making sure they remain ignorant so they don't take advantage. It's a two way street and there are a lot more factors that go into it than just the nonchalant culture. It's a cyclical, vicious circle. These people might be shooting themselves in the foot, but somebody is putting the gun there. The status quo doesn't maintain itself. And, I don't want to pass judgement, but I feel safe in labeling you as super duper white *braces self to learn you're actually Chinese*.

And while I agree that we desperately need to get better in the fields of math and science, I don't think it's necessary to abandon the arts to accomplish that.

Basically, Americans just need to wise up.


Mon May 09, 2011 12:18 am
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
I grew up and still live in the Bronx (hardly an affluent place), and I myself received scholarships for both my high school years and current college endeavors. So way to go. I've seen the poverty first hand, and if the resources are "within their grasp," then there are more powerful forces making sure they remain ignorant so they don't take advantage.


What "powerful forces"?

Quote:
And, I don't want to pass judgement, but I feel safe in labeling you as super duper white *braces self to learn you're actually Chinese*.


I'm of Eastern European ancestry.

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Mon May 09, 2011 12:21 am
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Corporately owned media and lobbyists for policies that hinder the working class while consolidating power to the wealthy are what mostly constitute said "powerful forces." Obviously, a lot of the blame is placed on the individual who is either ignorant or apathetic to the fact that they aren't getting their fair share of the pie. It's one of the reasons I'm so vehemently abrasive; it's incredibly frustrating to hear uneducated simpletons support a system that is entirely against their economic interests. There needs to be a rallying force that can open peoples eyes and spring them into action (ie a call to change the anti-educational culture you were talking about). The only problem is that the opposition is fiercely powerful (and it'd be hard to argue that it isn't because they are wealthy) and manipulative.


Mon May 09, 2011 4:08 pm
Post Re: The People's Interests
I think it's also important to examine how we got to this point (point being that American citizens are in a trend of being the least intelligent of any industrialized nation). There was a time in this country where we were pioneers and innovators in nearly every field. Education used to be a priority. Now, it seems, the priorities that are in place only serve those with vast amounts of wealth and power.


Mon May 09, 2011 4:12 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
Corporately owned media and lobbyists for policies that hinder the working class while consolidating power to the wealthy are what mostly constitute said "powerful forces."


1) How do they 'hinder' the 'working class'?
2) What is the 'working class'?

I think that if you actually look at the current figures you would find that your notions are incorrect.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... -95-in-07/
http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook ... me-earners
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-ha ... l?x=0&.v=1


Quote:
Obviously, a lot of the blame is placed on the individual who is either ignorant or apathetic to the fact that they aren't getting their fair share of the pie.


Of course they are. That's the nature of the market: when allowed to freely function, it gives people what their 'fair share' is. That is, it gives them the market wage.

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Mon May 09, 2011 5:23 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Uh, not sure where I said the top percents pay less taxes than the middle class. In fact, I never made such a claim. What I'm saying is that they wield their influence for their special interests, which rarely include keeping things on a fair and even keel.

I mean, all your stuff is nice in theory, but there isn't really a free market. If there was, all those banks that got a bailout would've went under like they should have. So it still comes back to the fact that the special interests were able to get what they wanted whilst screwing over the economy.


Mon May 09, 2011 5:41 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
Uh, not sure where I said the top percents pay less taxes than the middle class. In fact, I never made such a claim. What I'm saying is that they wield their influence for their special interests, which rarely include keeping things on a fair and even keel.


You would think that if they had such an influence they would not be in a position in which at the federal level they are subsidizing half of the country.

Quote:
I mean, all your stuff is nice in theory, but there isn't really a free market. If there was, all those banks that got a bailout would've went under like they should have. So it still comes back to the fact that the special interests were able to get what they wanted whilst screwing over the economy.

Part of the reason that those banks gave those loans is because of government meddling: the government encouraged and leveraged them to give risky loans. They did it under Clinton and under Bush. Without harmful government policies it would've never happened.

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Mon May 09, 2011 5:50 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
firefly wrote:
Timmy Shoes wrote:
Uh, not sure where I said the top percents pay less taxes than the middle class. In fact, I never made such a claim. What I'm saying is that they wield their influence for their special interests, which rarely include keeping things on a fair and even keel.


You would think that if they had such an influence they would not be in a position in which at the federal level they are subsidizing half of the country.

Quote:
I mean, all your stuff is nice in theory, but there isn't really a free market. If there was, all those banks that got a bailout would've went under like they should have. So it still comes back to the fact that the special interests were able to get what they wanted whilst screwing over the economy.

Part of the reason that those banks gave those loans is because of government meddling: the government encouraged and leveraged them to give risky loans. They did it under Clinton and under Bush. Without harmful government policies it would've never happened.


Nope, it was just greed.
Rob


Mon May 09, 2011 5:59 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Robert Holloway wrote:
firefly wrote:
Timmy Shoes wrote:
Uh, not sure where I said the top percents pay less taxes than the middle class. In fact, I never made such a claim. What I'm saying is that they wield their influence for their special interests, which rarely include keeping things on a fair and even keel.


You would think that if they had such an influence they would not be in a position in which at the federal level they are subsidizing half of the country.

Quote:
I mean, all your stuff is nice in theory, but there isn't really a free market. If there was, all those banks that got a bailout would've went under like they should have. So it still comes back to the fact that the special interests were able to get what they wanted whilst screwing over the economy.

Part of the reason that those banks gave those loans is because of government meddling: the government encouraged and leveraged them to give risky loans. They did it under Clinton and under Bush. Without harmful government policies it would've never happened.


Nope, it was just greed.
Rob

http://reason.com/archives/2011/03/04/t ... ie-and-fre

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Mon May 09, 2011 6:00 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
So, in the United States, we have 2 dominant parties mired in special interests. The Republican party is completely dominated by moneyed interests, and the democratic party is almost completely dominated by moneyed interests. Sure, the democrats occasionally support the working class, but the fact of the matter is that special interests still control much of their policy. Either way you look at it, the middle class is slowly being cut out by corporate interests.

BUT! There's hope. Out in Wisconsin, the workers stood up and said enough is enough. The question is; will the rest of the country follow suit? How long will it take before the working class bands together to stop all this madness? Will it happen? If it doesn't, I'd say this country is almost assuredly fucked (an opinion of mine that I've made quite clear over the span of my time on this forum).

Then, of course, there's the shadow government (aka the media) that has a penchant for brainwashing. But will the younger generations push out the abject, babbling retards who buy into the propagandist agendas of corporate media outlets? Only time will tell.

Comments?


You say you want a revolution? Well you know we all want to change the world.

Want to affect change for the positive is a good thing. BBut simply tearing something down if you don't have anything to replace it with doesn't work. People wonder why the sixties "revolutionairies" failed. Some of the true ones didn't, namely the ones who pushed for civil rights. But simply tearing the whole power structure down with nothing to replace it just isn't going to cut it. It was Pete Townshend who wisely observed:

Quote:
revolution, like all action, can have results we cannot predict. Don't expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.


SImply tearing the whole thing down isn't going to improve anything if all you have to put up in its place is a tent.

Firefly wrote:
Art classes don't really matter, either: do you want to raise a generation of starving artists or a generation of kids who can actually do calc?


I won't get off on a tangent on how one of the purposes of education is in fact to make one a more well-rounded individual because I personally feel that a lot of that learning can be better done outside the classroom. Instead I will make two observations:

1: Schools would cut programs like art, drama and music before they'd think of dropping sports. This is in itself absurd because it does not take into account that they are many people who are not good at sports. But are talented at art, acting, playing an instrument or singing. Why should they be left behind? I agree with something Roger Ebert once wrote when he reviewed Mr. Holland's Opus.

Quote:
The day American high schools admit that "electives" like music, art, and drama are as important as sports will be the day they value culture as much as entertainment for the alums


2: I remember the words of a fellow class of 1997 graduate who told me that if the high school we went to didn't have the drama program it did, he probably would have dropped out.

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Mon May 09, 2011 7:21 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Quote:

1: Schools would cut programs like art, drama and music before they'd think of dropping sports. This is in itself absurd because it does not take into account that they are many people who are not good at sports. But are talented at art, acting, playing an instrument or singing. Why should they be left behind? I agree with something Roger Ebert once wrote when he reviewed Mr. Holland's Opus.


Oh I don't disagree with you there. I can understand why universities develop their sports programs to the extent they do, because they are revenue generators. I can't imagine that high schools see the same type of return.

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Mon May 09, 2011 7:36 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
firefly wrote:
Part of the reason that those banks gave those loans is because of government meddling: the government encouraged and leveraged them to give risky loans. They did it under Clinton and under Bush. Without harmful government policies it would've never happened.


It started with Reagan.

I agree that the harmful government policies are the primary cause, but you seem to not want to acknowledge the fact that without the lobbyists from the insurance companies, banks, and corporations, those policies never would have been enacted in the first place...


Tue May 10, 2011 3:08 pm
Post Re: The People's Interests
Jeff Wilder wrote:
You say you want a revolution? Well you know we all want to change the world.

Want to affect change for the positive is a good thing. BBut simply tearing something down if you don't have anything to replace it with doesn't work. People wonder why the sixties "revolutionairies" failed. Some of the true ones didn't, namely the ones who pushed for civil rights. But simply tearing the whole power structure down with nothing to replace it just isn't going to cut it. It was Pete Townshend who wisely observed:

Quote:
revolution, like all action, can have results we cannot predict. Don't expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.


SImply tearing the whole thing down isn't going to improve anything if all you have to put up in its place is a tent.


Why do people keep putting words in my mouth? Unsure where I said I want to "tear it all down;" I'd just much rather have a system that was actually for the people, instead of for the rich and powerful. Perhaps simply removing lobbyists from the picture of politics.

Although, of course, there is the sure fire answer to everything. See, Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever. Why stop at Jews? Kill em all...


Tue May 10, 2011 3:17 pm
Post Re: The People's Interests
Behind the scenes there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Each party rattles their sabres to the general public but they are really nothing more than two sides of the same coin.

Our country has been on the slippery slope to hell since Woodrow Wilson enacted the IRS to steal our funds so he could send our boys to fight in World War I (the greatest American blunder of the 20th century if not all time). After WWII it accelerated at a blistering pace and it never changes regardless of who holds office. Just take a look at all the hope and change in action today.


Tue May 10, 2011 3:28 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
firefly wrote:
Part of the reason that those banks gave those loans is because of government meddling: the government encouraged and leveraged them to give risky loans. They did it under Clinton and under Bush. Without harmful government policies it would've never happened.


It started with Reagan.

I agree that the harmful government policies are the primary cause, but you seem to not want to acknowledge the fact that without the lobbyists from the insurance companies, banks, and corporations, those policies never would have been enacted in the first place...

The answer isn't more government meddling--it's stopping the government from distorting the housing market and from playing corporate favorites. In other words, the answer is libertarianism, not socialism..

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Tue May 10, 2011 3:53 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
firefly wrote:
The answer isn't more government meddling--it's stopping the government from distorting the housing market and from playing corporate favorites.


Haven't I said that? I lean towards libertarianism, not socialism. But I think by default libertarianism creates a more socialistic environment. At the heart of all that government meddling are corporations who are wielding their influence to shape policy. Which is essentially what I've been talking about. The only way to stop it, in my eyes, would be for the people to stand up and say enough is enough.


Tue May 10, 2011 4:08 pm
Post Re: The People's Interests
Bondurant wrote:
Behind the scenes there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Each party rattles their sabres to the general public but they are really nothing more than two sides of the same coin.

Our country has been on the slippery slope to hell since Woodrow Wilson enacted the IRS to steal our funds so he could send our boys to fight in World War I (the greatest American blunder of the 20th century if not all time). After WWII it accelerated at a blistering pace and it never changes regardless of who holds office. Just take a look at all the hope and change in action today.


While I'm not entirely sure about the Wilson thing (though it certainly makes sense), your comment about republicans and democrats is spot on. They're 2 faces on the same 7 headed dragon.


Tue May 10, 2011 4:10 pm
Post Re: The People's Interests
Forgive me if this is too simplistic, but if I were to boil things down to their underlying assumptions, it's that either government is essentially bad (libertarianism) or that it is essentially good (socialism). I don't think government is essentially anything but a tool. Whether a tool is good or bad depends on whether or not you're using it for the right job.

This, I think, is consistent with the Jeffersonian ideal of government. You apply it where it's needed and keep it out of where it isn't. Currently, the imbalance of wealth in this country is quite severe. Part of the trouble is that massive corporations receive welfare in the form of military-industrial contracts. That needs to be heavily mitigated. It's an example of government "helping" where it shouldn't. Taxing the money back out of those corporations and redistributing it in the form of social programs isn't a perfect solution, but an imperfect solution is better than no solution.


Tue May 10, 2011 4:36 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Timmy Shoes wrote:
firefly wrote:
The answer isn't more government meddling--it's stopping the government from distorting the housing market and from playing corporate favorites.


Haven't I said that? I lean towards libertarianism, not socialism. But I think by default libertarianism creates a more socialistic environment. At the heart of all that government meddling are corporations who are wielding their influence to shape policy. Which is essentially what I've been talking about. The only way to stop it, in my eyes, would be for the people to stand up and say enough is enough.


Socialism and libertarianism aren't compatible. Libertarianism says that the untethered market can best allot resources in a society, whereas Socialism says that the state can optimally organize at the very least the means of production and possibly the distribution of production. These can not mesh. Hayek details this extensively, particularly in The Road to Serfdom.

Quote:

This, I think, is consistent with the Jeffersonian ideal of government. You apply it where it's needed and keep it out of where it isn't. Currently, the imbalance of wealth in this country is quite severe. Part of the trouble is that massive corporations receive welfare in the form of military-industrial contracts. That needs to be heavily mitigated. It's an example of government "helping" where it shouldn't. Taxing the money back out of those corporations and redistributing it in the form of social programs isn't a perfect solution, but an imperfect solution is better than no solution.


Wouldn't it just be better to reevaluate our foreign policy practices?

Corporate taxes are inefficient at generating revenue and harmful to the economy. Moreover, they are a misnomer: a corporation doesn't pay taxes. It just passes the costs on to the consumer. It also causes lower wages. We'd be better off if we had no corporate income tax--we'd be the most competitive economy in the world.

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Tue May 10, 2011 8:25 pm
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Post Re: The People's Interests
Your argument assumes that higher corporate taxes directly correlate with bad economies, which is demonstrably untrue. Our corporate taxes (in real numbers, not theoretical numbers) are relatively low among those of major world economies, yet there are other, more prosperous countries whose corporations pay higher taxes. Your argument also assumes that lower taxes unerringly lead to more productive (and therefore cost-lowering) investments, but history indicates otherwise.

As for the housing crisis, the vast majority of the fault rests with lenders behaving irresponsibly and unethically in a deregulated environment. Government-mandated loans did exist, but the role they played was insubstantial.


Wed May 11, 2011 5:36 am
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