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View Diary: Why I don't claim to be a progressive (154 comments)

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  •  My Thinking on This... (11+ / 0-)

    ...got started in earnest last summer, because of a comment of John Stossel, of all people.  I don't watch Fox, so it was probably video embedded in a diary here, but at one point Stossel half-shouted, "The era of shared prosperity ended in the 70's!"  I started wondering about that.  I was born in 1970 so my personal memories of that time are obviously about my home and immediate family, and nothing more.  Hell, Led Zeppelin and Queen had barely hit New Hampshire by the time I was growing aware of anything.

    Anyway, I'm no historian, and I can't talk in detail about economic and social trends, but I can point to two very important things which happened then.  First, US domestic oil production peaked in 1970, right on Marion King Hubbert's predicted schedule.  Peak oil officially became a thing.  (Since oil discovery had peaked in the early 60's, and production would eclipse discovery in the early 80's, this was part of a very important trend.)  Second, "The Limits to Growth" was published in 1972 and scared a whole lot of people, some badly enough that they spent decades and millions of dollars trying to refute it.

    And it's those people who spent all that time and money trying to defeat the principle of economic and physical limits to the earth system, that I think of as the ones who have been engineering the demise of democracy and shared prosperity.  Whether cynically, knowing the limits are real, or ignorantly, thinking they could never exist (I lean strongly toward the former), these people have resolved to carve existing society up and give themselves the lion's share.

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