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View Diary: Shrinking Middle Class - Return to Agrarian Class Structure? (80 comments)

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  •  Capitalism depends on consumers (11+ / 0-)

    All societies do to some extent, but much of our society depends on being able to sell goods and services to others.  What happens when not enough people have money?  We are certainly there to a great extent, with the multinationals not really caring because they can sell overseas.  

    Of course not everything is necessary; many of us could do with less.  But that often takes employment from others.  We can start by not buying from multinationals whenever possible, buying local.  And becoming more self-sufficient, as in no more corporate food.

    This was really an informative and thoughtful diary, very provocative.  We really need to envision different forms of economic and social organization.

    And of course climate change is going to upended much of modern society.

    Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

    by Mimikatz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:07:17 AM PDT

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    •  Faster than expected (8+ / 0-)
      And of course climate change is going to upended much of modern society.
      A little mentioned fact is that at the end of the 2012 crop year, which saw corn yields from 25% below the running average for the last few years, carryover stocks of grain were calculated out to be 68 days of current consumption.  This is not much of a cushion when given the vagaries of climate.

      The food riots in 2007 and again in 2011 are a preview of what will be coming to every country that is a net agricultural importer.   When the agricultural exporters pull up the drawbridge (like Russia has done with wheat exports), don't expect the peasants outside the gate to go away peacefully.

      Oh, there are ways to make the food stretch to feed the population.  We can quit using it for fuel, graze animals instead of feed them grain, and reduce crop losses, but none of those put more money in the pockets of the ruling class.  Actually, that kind of economizing takes money OUT of their pockets, so don't expect it any time soon.

    •  When the consumers stop consuming (3+ / 0-)

      the elite will stop pretending to engage in commerce and revert to direct looting.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:13:11 PM PDT

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      •  I would argue they are already engaged (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prof Haley

        in direct looting... they just control the legislative process well enough to make most of it legal... or at least the penalties for getting caught nothing worse then a golden parachute and a cushy retirement.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM PDT

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        •  Aye (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White

          Its called control fraud and its rampant.

          But what I had in mind was more like the Jackman turning up to drive you out of your home or enforce tribute. REAL looting.

          Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

          by Deep Dark on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

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