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The past few weeks I have noticed a significant shift in sentiment - a number of people,  have explicitly written they have lost hope. Like here, here, here, and here. I think the real economy nosedived late last year - after all, there were a number of huge hits. 1) Sequester. 2) Government shutdown. 3) End of long-term unemployment supports. 4) Cut in food stamps. My guess is that the bottom simply fell out for five to ten percent of our fellow citizens. There simply is no way of empathizing with that level of economic despair, unless you've been there yourself. Or understanding the undirected rage it creates.

One of the things that really scares me now is that our economy has collapsed to a point where income inequality skews national economic statistics so badly, that we no longer have any real sense of how bad things are for the bottom half or more of our fellow citizens. This is Citigroups's plutonomy in full, ugly bloom.

Memo Oct 16, 2005 - screenshot

Memo March 5, 2006 - screenshot

If we had a government that cared about ALL its citzens, there would be an official effort to try and break out economic gains by level of income, to get a true picture of what's happening. But we don't have such a government.

If the richest 100 people in America had $500 billion more in income last year, while the remaining 313.9 million lost $300 billion in income, national economic statistics right now would show that the economy "improved" by $200 billion. I think that's the situation we're in now.

What makes the pain and rage even worse is that many supposedly liberal and progressive Democrats are as clueless about this situation, as Republicans are bigoted and vindictive.

Ian Welsh described the problem perfectly yesterday:

Political decisions are important: in 1929 Hoover, the Fed, and later FDR did not bail out the rich.  They were allowed to lose their money, and thus much of their power.  That was a decision: another decision could have been made, and in 2008 it was made: the rich were bailed out.  It was made differently in 2008 because the rich have spent the last 80 odd years obsessing over what went wrong in 1929 that allowed FDR, the New Deal and everything which flowed from it. Ben Bernanke’s entire career was “how do we make sure the rich don’t lose their money so that FDR doesn’t happen.”  He was chosen to be the Fed Chairman precisely to ensure that the next Great Crash, which everyone who wasn’t an idiot knew was coming, wouldn’t wipe out the rich.

I talked with Stirling Newberry by phone a few days ago, and he observed that Obama's recent speeches indicate a significant change in the President's thinking. Stirling's observation was in response to my noting I have argued since 2007 that the major problem with Obama is he believes in economic neo-liberalism. Stirling said that Obama now realizes that all the accepted economic experts and their neo-liberalism nostrums are wrong. But Obama does not really know what to fill the vacuum with. There is no vision of alternative economic policies anywhere to be found within the government, or even the hierarchy of the Democratic Party.

It is up to us to put forward a vision. And, identity politics is not the answer. Look, we have $100 trillion of work that needs to be done to transform our $15 trillion national economy into an economy that is clean and sustainable, not based on burning fossil fuels. And there are around $50 trillion in offshore bank accounts belonging to the rich, who can't find anything worth investing in. That's because they want too high a return. They have gotten used to making 10, 20, 30 percent or more each year in their speculative financial casinos: the bond markets, the forex markets, the derivative markets, and the smallest of them, the stock markets. Forex trading alone now amounts to over $5 trillion a day. A day. That's supposed to be supported by a $15 trillion annual GDP. Not. There simply is not that kind of profit to be made rebuilding our industries, transportation networks, and energy grids we need to stop our slide toward environmental suicide.

If the rich won't use their money for what's needed, we have to take it from them, and use it for what needs to be done.

Alternatively, we can create our own money and credit, rather than letting banks and Wall Street create them. Then, money and credit can be used for the common good, instead of private gain. But, one of the key parts of the TPP is designed to stop the creation of public banks. So, the rich want it both ways.

A week ago, JimP left a comment that points to how feckless and inept the leadership of the Democratic Party is at this point. In one of those hand-wringing diaries expressing dismay that the Republican Party actually has hopes of gaining contol of the Senate this November, JimP wrote:

How hard is this: WE WILL CREATE A MAJOR FEDERAL JOBS PROGRAM TO GET AMERICA BACK TO WORK!

Boom! I just won the fucking election. Most of them from State up through Federal.

Instead Dems are telling us someday, someday, when we can compete with slave-, child-, prison-, and $9-a-day-labor in their precious 'global marketplace' then jobs will come back.

The Dems don't want voters. Not if it comes at the price of offending the filthy rich or hurting their interests.

There's our problem.

Let me repeat a line from my first quote of Welsh: "...the rich have spent the last 80 odd years obsessing over what went wrong in 1929 that allowed FDR, the New Deal and everything which flowed from it. " Two weeks ago, Welsh wrote,

What has been chosen, can be changed.  If we want an economy which works for everyone, we can have it.

But we have to choose it, and we have to convince or crush those who would chose otherwise.  And for those who wince at the word crush, remember, inequality means death and illness for many people.  The crushing has already happened, the class war occurred, and the rich won.  And the casualties are piling up.

Diaries such as the ones I linked to at the beginning, expressing the loss of hope, simply reflect the reality of these casualties. This is class war, plain and simple. The only question remaining for us is whether we can find a way to end it on our terms without violence. A stark choice, but that's the terms we have to be thinking in.

 

Originally posted to NBBooks on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, WE NEVER FORGET, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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  •  Tip Jar (247+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, Bob Love, prettymeadow, P E Outlier, Kvetchnrelease, One Pissed Off Liberal, dharmafarmer, Jarrayy, WheninRome, mookins, nancyjones, peregrine kate, jbsoul, AoT, George3, joe shikspack, joedemocrat, Thinking Fella, DeadHead, hester, claude, wxorknot, peachcreek, nailbender, tardis10, muddy boots, Throw The Bums Out, ferg, Prognosticator, roses, daveygodigaditch, on the cusp, fcvaguy, puakev, dmhlt 66, millwood, Mannie, LSmith, hnichols, triv33, terremoto, wader, Shockwave, sydneyluv, Simplify, asterkitty, Chaddiwicker, terabytes, chrississippi, Publius2008, Steven D, bsmechanic, basquebob, slowbutsure, denise b, Siri, Bryce in Seattle, ATFILLINOIS, blueoasis, cordgrass, lostinamerica, albrt, bogieshadow, Freedomfreak, goodpractice, Ginny in CO, Cat Servant, JamieG from Md, Sam Hill, Lefty Coaster, ModerateJosh, Just Bob, JayRaye, ehavenot, peptabysmal, dance you monster, NoMoreLies, TracieLynn, ctsteve, dradams, nocynicism, wayoutinthestix, Bob Johnson, Jim P, burnt out, Papuska, riverlover, jamess, genethefiend, greengemini, numble, Chi, antirove, Pluto, Agathena, Lady Libertine, Youffraita, Gottlieb, psyched, Shippo1776, Angie in WA State, side pocket, begone, thenekkidtruth, cpresley, Unbozo, BlueMississippi, 1BQ, bobswern, Azubia, Sandino, radical simplicity, Flint, Jeff Y, Creosote, srkp23, asym, bluehammer, geez53, LaFeminista, eeff, WisePiper, deben, rat racer, Mike08, kaliope, Burned, monkeybrainpolitics, NancyWH, Pat K California, JVolvo, doinaheckuvanutjob, maryabein, yoduuuh do or do not, MartyM, eyo, Dartagnan, ChemBob, dull knife, blue in NC, TheMeansAreTheEnd, memofromturner, emmasnacker, Deward Hastings, spooks51, radarlady, Galtisalie, Loose Fur, fiddler crabby, 84thProblem, Betty Pinson, The Wizard, rapala, Stripe, zerelda, Leftcandid, US Blues, katiec, alwaysquestion, CroneWit, Susipsych, ricklewsive, LeftHandedMan, deha, New Minas, RLCoates, tb mare, native, mjbleo, Brooke In Seattle, manwithlantern, Medium Head Boy, run around, coldwynn, democracy inaction, Debs2, entrelac, Habitat Vic, NearlyNormal, Timaeus, seefleur, hubcap, raboof, aznavy, Ekaterin, jck, gooderservice, Involuntary Exile, Hillbilly Dem, jaf49, Cronesense, Imhotepsings, middleagedhousewife, annominous, Dem Beans, StateofEuphoria, AlwaysDemocrat, FindingMyVoice, itsbenj, unfangus, CA Nana, PeterHug, bewild, emal, berko, Ezekiel in Exile, Marihilda, exNYinTX, Pescadero Bill, sb, Ed in Montana, skod, StrayCat, dksbook, weneedahero, Brown Thrasher, IndieGuy, Wolf10, Words In Action, RFK Lives, Brian82, elkhunter, WB Reeves, Sun Tzu, maregug, thanatokephaloides, RandomNonviolence, Sylv, sidnora, FarWestGirl, multilee, poco, dkmich, wonmug, salientwhisper, hbk, Jim Domenico, Robynhood too, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, CharlieHipHop, Vetwife, lennysfo, YucatanMan, BusyinCA, melo, Oh Mary Oh, OregonWetDog

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:27:28 PM PDT

  •  We need to get rid of capitalism. (25+ / 0-)

    and go to a resource and knowledge based economy.  Some details can be found here:

     http://incrediblerants.blogspot.com

    There is also the Zeitgeist movement and the Venus project as alternatives.  The London Futurists is also a group that is trying to come up with ideas.  

    Unfortunately for any of these ideas to take root, capitalism needs to die a spectacular death.  I suspect such a thing may be possible this year given the lack of foresight our government is displaying.

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:39:18 PM PDT

    •  Capitalism needs to evolve (36+ / 0-)

      IMO there is such thing as progressive capitalism.

      As I said in my diary;

      As a pragmatist I believe that socialism and capitalism both offer benefits.  Some things work better under a democratic government administration and some work better under private enterprise.
      What we have now is capitalism out of control and massive inequality which, also IMO, is not good for entrepreneurs like myself.

      The current system has an anti-thesis, call it out of control socialism or Marxism.  Progressive capitalism can be a synthesis.

      OTOH, it may be too late.  Unless a constitutional amendment overrules Citizens United we may be doomed or we may have to revolt.

      My dream come true would be an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders in the White House.  This could start the process.

      Clearly the 1% has the upper hand.  The Koch bros and others like Sheldon Adelson seem to hold all the cards.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:43:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look up the Benefit Corporation (10+ / 0-)

        structure.  It's different from the usual C corporation structure in that it protects a company that wants to pursue a metric other than just strictly profit.  Publicly listed C corp companies have to prove their management improves the bottom line (including so-called corporate socially responsible policies) or else they can be sued or an unfriendly takeover can be attempted (with many shareholders supporting the attempt if the takeover can prove profits are low due to current management).  A different corporate structure is just the beginning of changing from our current Predatory Capitalism to Progressive Capitalism.  (And there has been many forms of capitalism, Commodity Capitalism, Trade and Commerce Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism, Finance Capitalism (the current form) which has become Predatory Capitalism.)

        These Republicans have filibustered more . . . while accomplishing less . . . (and) while attempting to block more nominees than any other Congress in the history of our republic--Jon Stewart

        by monkeybrainpolitics on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:57:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, restore fairness to economics & politics (15+ / 0-)

        Working class Americans used their own tax dollars to bail out the 1%.

        Instead of re-investing in the US economy, they took their massive profits and used them to buy government and the political processes of both parties.

        That political influence has bought them tax breaks and opportunities to ship jobs overseas.

        Working class Americans have paid for the wealth of the 1% with their taxes, their jobs, their income security and their voting power.

        It's only fair to balance the scales of equality through:

        fair taxation that removes incentives for the investment casino

        campaign finance and lobbying reform

        re-regulation

        law enforcement

        and economic stimulus that rebuilds the US and increases the size of the middle class

        Without those changes, we've lost equal opportunity in the US

        This isn't rocket science, its been done before with great success.  So why can't we do it?

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:06:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  B/c core idea of mixed economy was cast aside (6+ / 0-)

          For decades, the concepts of social goods and a public sphere were broadly accepted.  It was understood that services like education, law enforcement and health care should not be treated like commodities.  There was a clear distinction between the production of automobiles and the teaching of our young.

          Roughly since Reagan's time, that distinction has been slowly but surely blurred out of existence.  Educational chains and fast food chains are run by the same model.  Health care is just another way to turn a buck (actually it's a way to turn a lot of bucks).

          There are multiple problems bedeviling us, but that one's a biggie.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:58:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Evolve into what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides

        It has evolved nearly as far as it can.  Capitalism means that the ones who control capital control everything.  Capital chases returns -- material returns, not social returns -- and as long as that's the case, the environment and workers will get steamrolled.  That's pretty much where we are.  If it evolves any further, we'll be living in a tyrannical hell.

        We need to stop kidding ourselves with the propaganda that we grew up with.  Capitalism is no more good than socialism is evil.  Nor is socialism "good," or capitalism "evil."  These are meaningless normative judgments.  What we need is some mixture of both or something else entirely because neither works.

        They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

        by CharlieHipHop on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:09:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What do you think of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OregonWetDog

        the way things are run in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland?  If we could transfer their best ideas over to this country, what would you keep and what would you leave out?  

        I like Finlands education system, and free daycare to all workers;  I like Norway's high wages and free college; I like Sweden's free clothing and diaper program for new mothers;  I like Icelands solution to corrupt banking;  And I like Denmark's universal health care systems and family leave for a new birth.

        Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

        by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:33:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

      is a knowledge based economy.

      •  Yes it uses knowledge (25+ / 0-)

        but also a great deal of luck is involved.  There are a few low IQ people who have become wealthy through sheer dumb luck (or a massive inheritance).  Just as everyone who has a high IQ will not necessarily become wealthy.  

         If your the smartest person in the room with a PhD, doesn't mean anything, in part because real actual useful knowledge isn't valued in this country. No one really values a biomedical researcher unless they wind up with a disease that needs a cure.  My sister and her husband aren't doing their children any favors by not pushing education.  Neither of them think you need anything beyond a high school diploma to get a decent job.  They would have been right 50 years ago but not now.  

         Being a vulture capitalist or a sports star is valued for some reason I can't fathom.  The dumbing down of America is nearly complete.  The major networks have had a hand in this by putting shows like Honey BOO BOO and Storage Wars, Nascar, and other sporting events into your living rooms and sadly many watch such rubbish.  (I would have never known they existed except for a visit to an ailing cousins home revealed he was watching that crap for several hours every day)  This kind of programming,  I swear causes a loss in brain cells because you don't have to do any thinking to watch it.  

        Many of the capitalists that exist in our society today, tend to be socio/psychopathic in nature as they only care about themselves and how much they can screw their employees out of wages  that they should have been receiving, as well as their customers out of value for their dollars, all in the name of GREED.

         

        Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

        by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:29:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IQ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          is not the only way to measure intelligence.  I see you also dissed sports stars. I guess you've never seen a skilled athlete at it's prime.

          What Michael Jordan did takes skill and intelligence,  maybe not the same kind of intelligence that leads you to cure a disease or build a building, but nonetheless........

          Michael Jordan's wealth did not create your poverty (if you are poor) . As long as no one was forced to attend his games or buy his sneakers, I don't begrudge him his wealth.

          Envy is an ugly color to wear.

          •  I worked for NFL Films... and (12+ / 0-)

            I had access to the vaults and all the high speed footage that most people never see. Those guys are phenomenal athletes, but the sheer physical abuse they endure is almost beyond belief. They aren't over paid... they are underpaid.

            But back to the subject of the diary... and hope...

            You can't choose what happens to you... but you can choose how you respond to it.

            Viktor Frankl said that it is our last and best freedom... the one that can never be taken away from us. He learned that in Auschwitz.  

          •  To PLAY a sport does take skill. (4+ / 0-)

            Operative word is PLAY.  WATCHING a sports star play, takes absolutely NO SKILL WHAT SO EVER.   Nor does it add anything tangible to society. Yes you can learn the team and player stats if you want to, but it's not necessary to know that stuff in order to watch a game being played.

             If I want to watch sports being played, great. Do it if you enjoy it.   I'd rather watch little kids who are just learning the game, as it's fun and rewarding to watch them build up their motor skills.   Otherwise I'll pass on the professional sports teams.  I've always been bored to death watching football or baseball.  (Yes, I know the rules of the games, my step-dad liked watching football, basketball and baseball.)  There are long periods of time where very little is happening.  I liked them too when I was little and I was learning how to play them.  I out grew it though before I turned 14.

            If you like watching it that's fine, but in watching your not actually DOING anything but yelling at a TV screen, or if you can afford it, yelling at players on a field, who likely can't hear what your saying any way.   Such antics do nothing for society.  

               

            Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

            by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:29:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It does put more of your money in (5+ / 0-)

              the pockets of millionaire/billionaire owners and their players. Is it worth it?  I don't think so, but maybe you do.  

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:45:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They tend tp spend it though (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thanatokephaloides, FarWestGirl

                I think there's a major difference between someone who gets a huge paycheck for a few years and those who amass and hoard wealth because they can.  In my experience much of the money paid to athletes and probably entertainers gets returned to the economy.

                •  The myth that rich people spend us into (6+ / 0-)

                  prosperity is what sustains neoliberalism.

                  When rich people spend their money, they consume scarce resources -- not the least being, the resource of human time and effort.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:55:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's rich, (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hbk, Jim Domenico, Don midwest, Mike RinRI

                    and then there's rich.

                    Star athletes and actors are of course rich in comparison with you and me, but in comparison with the plutocrats who have more money than they could possibly spend in 10 lifetimes, they're pikers. And at least they made their money by working for it.

                    Seriously, what's a $100 million fortune to Sheldon Adelson or one of the Kochs? That's what they spend on campaign donations every other year, and they hardly even notice it.

                    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                    by sidnora on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:14:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, yeah, there's the .01% and the .0001% (4+ / 0-)

                      Nonetheless, it is not to our general benefit when a star athlete hires a bunch of folks to build a $10 million-dollar palace. The only reason it even appears that way is that our economic system is so hopelessly broken.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:28:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have mixed feelings about that. (0+ / 0-)

                        Maybe it's because I'm old enough to remember when big-name movie stars were "contract players" who made way more money for the studios they were signed to than they did for themselves, and professional athletes were bought and sold pretty much like human chattel. They formed unions for a reason.

                        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                        by sidnora on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:03:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  yeah, read up on gordie howe some time. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sidnora

                          in the old days of the NHL, if a player got hit in the face, he'd go back to the locker room, the doc would stitch him up, he'd go back on the ice -- and the team would send him the doctor's bill. he played in the NHL for about 30 years. after Howe retired, his pension was something like $850 a month.

                          a madison wisconsin attorney named ed garvey -- who ran unsuccessfully for governor and senator -- was one of the original legal counsels that helped organized the NFLPA. he could tell you some stories.

                          did you know that jack kemp was the president of the (largely toothless) AFLPA? like reagan -- union prez who went on to become an anti-union politician.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:55:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  As I said, I'm old enough. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't need to read about Gordie Howe. I remember him. And all those toothless goalies, too.

                            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                            by sidnora on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:56:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no idea (0+ / 0-)

                    What you are talking about.  People have their time and effort to market, being compensated for it is how we earn our paychecks.  Much of this money is spent in the community and goes to people like me.  Your comment below is even more confusing; 10 million dollars spent to build a home brings nothing to the economy?  How is this different than 50 houses at 200K each which is generally considered to be stimulative?

            •  This has totally veered off topic (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl

              and frankly I find your tone to be sexist (against men).

              First of all, what people do with their leisure time or money is none of your damn  business, either on a moral, ethical. or political basis. The idea that people have to do, with their leisure "do something for society" with of course you defining what is good for society shows your ignorance of America's civic culture.

              Everytime you watch a movie, you are putting money in the hands of some millionaire actor or director too. Heck, everytime you use this site, you are probably helping make the site owner  make millions. People do what they enjoy with their money, and you   shouldn't comment on it.

              You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

              by trumanesque on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:19:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, it's the heart of the topic ....... (17+ / 0-)

                America has become a nation that "knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing".  Hundreds of billion$/year spent on play, or watching play that gives nothing but temporary, superficial distraction,  then bitching about the taxes that give us the real, working world we have come to take too much for grated.

                Literally countless hours of memorizing sports stats, and ruminating on bracketology but very finite seconds devoted to knowing the facts and ramifications of the laws and policies that govern every aspect of modern life (as opposed to cheerleading the buzz from whichever political team you ID with).

                All the major money making distractions (including pro and NCAA sports) are nothing more than the magician's trick to divert your attention from the real of reality. He picks your pocket while you marvel at his acumen.

                21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

                by geez53 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:03:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You would rather I said (12+ / 0-)

                womens doubles tennis or rugby?  Same thing applies regardless of gender playing.  If you are sitting on the sidelines watching, your learning nothing but a new stat to add to your knowledge base.  It's not actually useful information.  

                It's telling that college football coaches are among the highest paid professions out there.  They make more than the college deans or any professors.  We have put more value in a game being played on a field than we have in any cure for any disease out there, or even in the value of an unemployed person who would love to have a job they could live on.  

                40% of our homeless population DO have jobs but they don't make enough to actually be able to afford rent.  That is a national disgrace.  

                I didn't say you shouldn't watch them if you enjoy them.  Go ahead and enjoy it if thats what you want to do with your free time and money.  

                 I did say that doing so adds nothing of real tangible value to society.  Nothing sexist about it.  It does reflect the values our society puts into GAMES instead of coming up with funding for the next great idea that would add value to our society.  Basic research funding has been cut across the board, but our society always seems to be able to come up with funding for stadiums, sports teams, and wars.  

                 

                Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:08:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What is this we, you speak of (0+ / 0-)

                  People earn what people are willing to pay for you, for the value you bring. This society shtick is just an excuse for you to try to pontificate and control other people's lives. I am an individual and a free man, not a slave to your society or government.

                  You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

                  by trumanesque on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:40:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Since when do I or anyone else (0+ / 0-)

                    on here have the ability to control yours or anyone elses  life?  

                    Your delusional and perhaps a bit paranoid to think such a thing.  

                     

                    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                    by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:13:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Ha. Frankly, prettymeadow said NOTHING about (12+ / 0-)

                men, other than referencing her stepfather.  If you took offense...look in the mirror.

                I agree with pm, watching sports takes no skill.  Even if you or I never buy a ticket or a sweatshirt or a championship season dvd, part of our cable bill goes to, for example, ESPN or NBC's contract with the NFL. So we're feeding the leviathan.

                Other than the meager wages for the food vendors, ticket/seating folks, clean-up crew - and increased traffic for nearby bars and restaurants - Big Time Sports does not increase quality of life/value for the masses.  It does give an outlet for tribal competition and Distraction from how bad things are getting (see: Rome; Bread and Circuses. Although we're cutting SNAP so less Bread).

                Double Ha? This:

                People do what they enjoy with their money, and you   shouldn't comment on it.
                You might be on the wrong website...

                "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

                by JVolvo on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:25:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What people do with "their money" is damned (3+ / 0-)

                well the business of all of us.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:56:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  To play a sport does not take skill? (0+ / 0-)

              Get out much?

              And, I like to watch sports. I used to like to play sports too. It helps or helped relieve the stress that builds in my life doing the things being part of a society brings.

              Sports are as much a wonderful part of culture as art is.

              Do you walk around museums staring at pictures on the wall? What does that do for society? Read books other than non-fiction? Hmmmm.

              Seriously, come back down to earth and mix it up a little.

              Sure, the world's going to hell, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take the time out to do the things that bring us joy. Even if it's just sitting on a sofa watching sports. Especially if it helps distract our busy minds from the anxieties of modern living.


              "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

              by Pescadero Bill on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:22:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You really need to work on your reading (0+ / 0-)

                comprehension skills.

                 I said Playing a sport does take skill, but WATCHING a sport takes no skill at all.  

                I agree that Playing a sport is generally a good healthy outlet and fun exercise.  

                Being a couch potato and watching a game actually has the opposite effect.  Many get their blood pressure too high over a GAME they are watching from the sidelines and there is little movement or healthy outcome achieved in doing so as chips and beer or soda tend to be the game day snacks chosen.

                 

                Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                by prettymeadow on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:24:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  congrats. you're a neoliberal. (12+ / 0-)

            yet, at the same time you're one of those touchy-feely leftist anti-intellectuals who wants to classify every talent as some kind of "intelligence" -- a bit of semantic legerdemain whose only purpose is to devalue actual intelligence.

            Michael Jordan's $500,000,000,000 wealth is causing poverty right this minute. If you don't understand how and why that is, after all of the text that has been devoted to the concept here on dKos, including in this very diary, I can't think of anything I could type that would lift the veil, but the bottom line is this: Our capitalist system is founded on the requirement that "capital" be rewarded with an annual return. If the real annual return is to be a mere 5% (as this diary notes, the rich seem to think they're entitled to double-digit returns, so 5% is really quite meagre), $25,000,000 in "real" value must somehow be produced by somebody. Michael Jordan is not going to produce it -- indeed, Michael Jordan doesn't produce anything real, so the system is going to have to steal $25,000,000 worth of output from people who actually do produce something, in order to give MJ his return.

            What is more, MJ continues to rake in 50 or 60 million dollars per year in endorsement royalties. That's 50 or 60 million that the slaves who produce the goods he endorses, and the minimum wage retail clerks who sell them, cannot use to employ other poverty stricken people to produce things human beings actually need.

            Further note that the vast majority of Jordan's wealth did not come his way because of anything resembling a "free market" -- rather, it came his way because the government, acting in behalf of plutocracy, established various monopolies on Jordan's income streams.

            It is the founding principle of capitalist dogma that one person's wealth doesn't create another person's poverty. The principle could not be more wrong. One person's wealth is almost invariably taken at someone else's expense, one way or another. The antipathy of conservatives to environmental stewardship derives precisely from the conflict between reality and their dogma. If in "creating" my wealth I destroyed something of value -- something that "belonged" to everyone and not just to me, like, say, clean air and water -- then my wealth came at someone's expense, and that's anathema to the creed.

            Thus, they rage about Al Gore flying on jet airplanes: because if we all really need to cut back on CO2 production, then every molecule of CO2 that Gore creates is a molecule taken from somebody else's quota. But they don't rage at Gore for draining the quota, they rage at Gore for insisting that there is a quota. Their worldview cannot accept such a limitation.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:53:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oops, sorry, got carried away with the zeros. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thanatokephaloides

              it's $500,000,000, of course.

              i shoulda just typed "half-billion dollars", which is what I was about to do.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:50:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I was about to say the same thing... (0+ / 0-)

              ... albeit, not as well.  

              Thanks for pointing that out.  

              I do think that Michael Jordan deserves to make more than the average worker because he has special skills and a short window of time in which to put them to "productive" use.  But it's gotten out of hand.

              I would also like to point out that Michael Jordan's millions pale in comparison to the Walton heirs' billions, which are definitely contributing to the poverty of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

              They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

              by CharlieHipHop on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:19:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, good golly: Stop w/the envy crap. (7+ / 0-)

            Read some Adam Smith, and at least honestly address Smith's foundational notion that capitalism must sustain a democratic enough economy to sustain a political democracy.

            The notion has zip to do with envy.

            Get over it.

        •  garbage TV (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, blue in NC, prettymeadow
          The major networks have had a hand in this by putting shows like Honey BOO BOO and Storage Wars, Nascar, and other sporting events into your living rooms and sadly many watch such rubbish.  (I would have never known they existed except for a visit to an ailing cousins home revealed he was watching that crap for several hours every day)  This kind of programming,  I swear causes a loss in brain cells because you don't have to do any thinking to watch it.  
          And then there's a "History" channel which has given up showing any real history (Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Swamp People, American Restoration, etc., are NOT history!). After that, there's the channels whose entire purpose is to dumb their viewers down (FOX "News").

          I despair ever escaping the "Stepford Nation" we seem to be living in now......

          :-(

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:31:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ...and you know how that got started, right? (3+ / 0-)

            The Writers' Guild struck the TV networks, and their response was, "Writers? We don' need no steenkin' writers!"  

            And they didn't - they had "reality" all teed up and ready to go. Some early background here

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:25:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I got rid of my DISH TV 6 months ago (0+ / 0-)

            as the programming for the most part sucked.  There were only a half dozen or so shows that I liked watching any way.

            Yes I miss "THROUGH THE WORMHOLE", MYSTERY DIAGNOSIS",   and "HOW IT'S MADE"  among a few other for pleasure only shows like "NCIS".  The $100/ month I was putting out to view those few shows wasn't worth it to me though.  I can always go to  cbs.com or HULU to watch them if I so choose.  

            I also haven't been home enough to warrant having TV programming since I spend a great deal of time at my dad and step-mothers place in the winter, and we go camping a lot from May through October.  

            I agree the History channel has gone down hill since they jumped on the reality TV bandwagon.  Unfortunately many people watch that junk they like to call programming.  

            Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

            by prettymeadow on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:02:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Can you elaborate a bit? (9+ / 0-)

        Are you referring to this? And its relationship with the current Wall Street based economy?

        As Ackoff proposed, knowledge (or meta-information) is what is above information in the data, information, knowledge, wisdom pyramid.

        We now have the knowledge that unregulated capitalism brings inequality and stagnation (except for the 1%).  I believe that we need to go to a wisdom based economy where capitalism is one of the components but not the final destination.

        As a single payer activist I believe that some things (the payment system) are better run by government (socialism?) and others like hospitals, clinics and practices are better left in private hands (capitalism).

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:43:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I PUT UP A LINK EARLIER. (4+ / 0-)

          Here is most of the text.  Pay attention to item 4 and 16 as well as after it says 'rbe 2'.

          1.  All humans get a small house to live in regardless of the capacity

          to work and think. ll

          2. All humans receive the nutrition they need to survive and thrive.

          3.  Money is no longer a needed commodity.

          4.  The more you contribute to the society the more you receive in

          honors, goods and services.

          5.  Jobs will no longer be indefinitely retained at the same place.

          6.  Every human has the right to higher learning for free.

          7.  Every human has the chance to be innovators without the need for

          income.

          8.  Robots will do most manual labor.

          9.  Exploration and conservation of our environment becomes key in

          the happiness and survival of the human race.

          10.  Energy is gleaned from sun, wind, ocean currants and wave

          action, harnessing the power in the magnetic field,  and for space

          travel lightwave energy is harnessed.

          11.  Goods will be allocated based on when you signed up for a thing

          and the demand for such a thing.  Bicycles are available for anyone to pick up and use in your home complex.  Most people will be living in large spacious apartment complexes that come with all you should need including a fleet of cars and bicycles to get around with.  No one owns them, they are for the use of all who live there.

          12.  Every home will have an interactive interface that connects you

          to the net with a holographic display for connecting with people and

          information anywhere you go in your home.  a separate device in the

          form of glasses with audio/visual interactive capabilities for when you

          not home if you want it.

          13.  Transportation will be as easy as stepping into your vehicle, and

          telling it where you want to go.  Based on distance the vehicle will

          decide whether to fly for long distances, use roadways for short

          distances, or a version of rail where your vehicle gets on a sort of

          maglev highway system.

          14.  Since our world has finite resources, the push to explore and seed

          other planets and galaxies takes off.

          15.  A space station is built on the moon and asteroids are mined for

          the materials needed to build spaceships capable of carrying 100,000

          people each.  Each station will have it's own recycling water source

          and a hydroponics farm in which to grow everything needed to

          survive.  The light wave has been harnessed to allow for lightspeed

          travel, as well as the gravity wave for slower speeds.  This makes

          reaching other galaxies attainable within a few generations.  The

          initial crew and supports total 8,000 people with the 100 k capacity

          to allow for the growth of population over time.  Everyone on board

          will be cross trained on at least 10 different jobs based on their

          capacity to learn them.  Gravity is achieved through both rotation and

          artficially induced gravity which will be increased overtime to both

          allow for healthy bones and muscles as well as prepare for the

          possibility of finding a habitable world with a higher gravity than

          earth's.

          16.  Few real manual labor jobs remain and they are split up with the

          entire populace taking part to make things happen.  For example lets

          say someone needs to ride on a garbage truck to keep an eye on what

          gets put out into the trash.  Robots do most of the work but human

          eyes are still needed to make sure kids and animals don't get caught in

          the robotic arms.  you may have to sign up for 5-10 hours per week

          for community service to do this job.  There are no regular long work

          hours as  there is a sign up to do certain things based on what it is you

          want for a good or service.  So lets say you want the newest version of

          a piano for your own entertainment.  You sign up to work at a factory

          to make this piano for your self and everyone else who is currently

          there who wants one.  It could be as little as a few months assignment

          or as long as a 10 year assignment based or if you like doing this job

          or not.  Most things can be made through 3 D printing but some

          assembly is required for those things that are created from different

          materials like it is for an instrument like a piano  or guitar.

          Buildings use extensive green technology and renewable resources.

          flouresing anaeorbic algae is housed in liquid filled columns that

          produce both hydrogen for heating and cooling as well as a soft light

          that allows for energy consumption reductions at night as no lights are

          needed to be able get around on the outer corridors of buildings.

          Windows serve as both an energy source as well as natural lighting.

          Opaque to clear solar cells are built into each window. also the heat

          from sunlight is converted into usable energy          

           Everyone has a say on new laws.   The best term I can come up with

          for this is a Socialized Democracy.

          rbe pt 2

          Try to think of it like this: Each community sets up it's own labor

          needs and how many man hours are needed to get the things done that

          absolutely can't be let go, like trash collection, electrical grid upkeep,

          nursing, teaching, roadwork and other ongoing construction, water

          and sewer upkeep, food production and distribution, etc. That is

          where the number of hours of community service is created. Currently

          most cities have a relatively small number of people doing all those

          things. We are a society stuck on the accumulation of stuff. If

          everyone has enough of the basics and the stuff you want can be

          achieved through 3D printing or working in a factory for a short time

          to get the stuff you want or think you need, then most people would

          be free to pick what they truly want to do with their lives. You could

          choose to become a physicist if that was something that interested you

          or you could choose to be a full time garbage monitor if that is more

          what you would like to do. You could also choose to be a painter,

          farmer, scientist, mathematician, factory worker, teacher, doctor,

          nurse, or whatever strikes your fancy. The difference would be in that

          you would take the pursuit of income and profit out of the picture so

          you could be free to try new jobs or experiences out..

          Everyone has a say on how laws are put forth and that would help

          create a more equal society over time but you would still need a

          central government and judicial system to make sure resources like

          food are grown and distributed evenly. Our current system is unfair to

          the majority of the population. A few have enough money to buy

          whatever they wish, while at the other end of the spectrum they have

          to buy what they can afford (if they can afford anything at all as some

          have been reduced to going back to hunter gathering) which is often

          unhealthy garbage.

          Instead of a wage per hour, the new currency of sorts could just be based on the number of minutes or

           hours worked.  If you invent something that helps humanity greatly (Like inventing a viable

           teleportation device)  you could receive a bonus 1000 hours of work time added to your tally.

            This would be used for those things not provided for in the society as a whole.  Since most basics are

          provided, it's not likely this "currency" would actually need to be used.  Let's say though that some services

          would need to be paid for (like a having a personnal trainer, chef, or massage therapist.  You could then

          trade your hours worked for their labor to give you the service you want.      They in turn could then turn

           around and get another service for themselves by paying for it with the hours worked pay out they have

          received.  In this way there would still be an incentive to work for something you want but no one would be

           making massively more than anyone else.

          Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

          by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:53:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with many of your objectives... (3+ / 0-)

            ...however utopian they seem.

            Money has been around for a long time.  Mand many new forms of money, including bitcoin and others.

            I hope we can evolve and that we don't go through a "spectacular death" of the current system.  IMO that would prevent for generations what you envision.

            Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

            by Shockwave on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:11:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The new currency (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shockwave, jbsoul

              could be just the number of minutes or hours worked and tasks accomplished, instead of our current fiat currency.  The incentive value of it would be there without massive hoarding taking place.  

              The Venus project envisions everyone having few or no possessions.  If you wanted to use a camera or a log splitter, you would just check those items out like you do for a library book now.  No money would be necessary to buy an item that you might only use for a few days a year.  

              I personally like the idea of aquaponics for a food supply.  It uses less land, and can be done in an in ground green house that would allow for crop production all year round in many, if not most areas.  

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:26:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I like what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                And I get it.

                But somebody has to clean out the sewers.  If you're paying them with time credits, isn't that the same thing as money?

                They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                by CharlieHipHop on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:30:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes and no. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  melo

                  It would act like money in so far as you can trade your labor credits for someone else's labor. The difference is in the how much labor can you do to accumulate those credits.  

                  There are only so many hours in a week.  Yes you could work 120 hours a week if you wanted to accumulate a lot of credits, but what for?  If you hire someone to clean your house, walk your dog and mow your lawn, because you haven't got time to do those things yourself, would you really be gaining much from your excessive self imposed work load?  

                  I would think that most people would do what was required (8-10 hours/week) and possibly another 10-30 hours more to have enough credits to spend on the goods and services they want, but I doubt many would even want to work more than that.  After all, you already would have a roof over your head and food on the table.

                  Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                  by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:51:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Tasks completed should be worth more than time (0+ / 0-)

                  at your job provided quality is achieved.  Here is an example:

                  If you go to work making widgets for 10 hours (600 minutes)  and you complete 40 quality tasks you would get 5 minutes for each completed task X 40 completed tasks (200 minutes) so your total  you would earn would be 800 minutes that day (13 hours 20 minutes)

                  If you only completed 5 tasks your tally would be 625 minutes.

                  If you completed a 100 tasks You would get 1100 minutes (18 hrs 20 minutes)

                  This would be the productivity incentive.  

                  Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                  by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:44:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Granted working on a large theoretical project (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    melo

                    that may or may not have real world applications would have to be dealt with a bit differently.  Instead of 5 minutes per completed task, it could have a bonus of 100,000 minutes if your theory results in an actual application.  The reason the amount is so high is because it could take a decade or more to come up with an actual quality working application.  Lets say you are trying to do a viable molecular transport device ("Beam me up Scotty!")  It could take decades to work out the science and do testing on such a device so that it would have a practical and safe application.  

                    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                    by prettymeadow on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:00:24 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That's quantity, not quality. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:35:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Quantity and quality aren't mutually exclusive. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      melo

                      Though if quantity is the goal over quality, it can be.  

                      I was an autoworker for 25 years.  In that time there were many production levels achieved.  When I started we made a mid sized car @ 300/8 hr shift.  Then we started on SUV's initially at 60 per 10 hour shift and increased over the nex year to 450/ 10 hr shift.  At that point I moved to the medium duty side of the plant, where production was @ 200/ 10 shift until that line was outsourced.  Then I went back to the SUV side where production had jumped to 675/10 hr shift.  

                      Yes it was harder to get quality out at that level but not impossible.  Also I should note that when I started there were over 6000 people working there, but when the plant shut down, there were barely 900 there.  

                      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                      by prettymeadow on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:58:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  A "right" to some economic good... (0+ / 0-)

            ...is a compulsion put to other people to provide it.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:20:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Several friends and some family of mine would love (4+ / 0-)

            these goals except for this one. .

            Most people will be living in large spacious apartment complexes that come with all you should need including a fleet of cars and bicycles to get around with.  No one owns them, they are for the use of all who live there.
            Several friends and family absolutely would hate living in any apartment complex and only want to live in very rural locations. Two of my closest friends long to live in more rural settings with very few neighbors and a lot of land. They both live in rather rural areas now but hate that they can still see neighbors from their house and complain that the area is growing and too much traffic. They are environmentalists but they long to and want to live out in the country and far away from anything resembling an apartment or a town or a community.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:45:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I like rural areas too. (3+ / 0-)

              If I had the money, I get 10 acres to live in the country, but if everyone wanted to do that, there would be little farmland left.  

              Already much of the best farmland in the country has been paved over and cities built where crops used to be.  

              Lucky for most who like the country, city dwellers don't like the smell of cow or pig manure.  Unfortunately to live in the country currently means using large amounts of gas or diesel fuel just to go get groceries.

               There is a massively expensive Thorium run car out there that will run for a hundred years without the need for fossil fuels.  There are also electric cars out there from various manufacturers (Toyota, GM, Tesla, Elio, etc.), but until prices are where most can afford them, they will mostly be a novelty for the well to do (Elio is cheap).    

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:57:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes both of these friends have to drive everywhere (4+ / 0-)

                of course and are always stopping for gas for their cars. Plus this one friend talks about struggling financially but yet she drives into town several times a day instead of combining trips. My late parents lived near her and they always combined trips. We went shopping after work,  we ran errands after appointements, we planned our trips carefully to use as little gas as possible and make the most use of that trip to town.

                Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

                by wishingwell on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:34:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  simple and easy solution (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                melo
                like rural areas too. If I had the money, I get 10 acres to live in the country, but if everyone wanted to do that, there would be little farmland left.  
                More to the point, everyone NEEDS to "do that". Stacking humans up in huge buildings like effing cordwood accomplishes little else besides increasing physical disease, neuroses, crime, and depravity. (Google B.F. Skinner.) Like it or not, personal landed space is a genuine, sociobiological human need.
                Already much of the best farmland in the country has been paved over and cities built where crops used to be.  
                There's a real simple -- and necessary -- solution to that problem (and yes, I admit it's a problem). It's called "Sex for Pleasure Only". People need to take a break from having children. Today, we can "expect to raise them all"; and we ought to act accordingly.

                The "high density" idea needs to be mercilessly scrapped, immediately. It's a band-aid on cancer.

                "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

                by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:48:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Have you seen the Venus project plans? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  http://www.thevenusproject.com/

                  Jacque Fresco has some great (and some not so great) ideas on what sustainable living could look like.  I like his spoke wheel like community that is surrounded by green space and crops.  

                  Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                  by prettymeadow on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:49:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He had some good ideas (0+ / 0-)

                    My big issue with his ideas, and the Zeitgeist people in general, is that it is authoritarian. I keep hearing the people involved say otherwise, but there's always this council of scientists thing that is mentioned in their literature that no one can really seem to explain how it could work democratically.

                     The rise of a green authoritarianism in response to the ecological crisis is something that worries me.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:13:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Wheel community (0+ / 0-)

                  http://www.thevenusproject.com/...

                  The bottom picture in the thumb nails is the one I like.  

                  Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                  by prettymeadow on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:57:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  wow prettymeadow (0+ / 0-)

            I really like the way you're thinking here. Ten years of reading dkos and I have never seen a post so visionary and pragmatic. You really have sussed it out!

            NBooks you have always been amongst my favourite writers, this is a great diary, thanks.

            why? just kos..... *just cause*

            by melo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:50:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

              If you, or anyone else,  have suggestions for improvements on my ideas that I haven't thought of, Please let me and everyone else know about it.  

              I'm hoping a large scale conversation on what can be done to improve our lives can actually move the ideas forward to make it a reality.  

              If you think I've got something wrong, let me know about that too.  

              I want to hear about everyone's ideas, not just my own.  

              NBBooks, Thank you for putting your ideas out there and possibly getting more people to think about how our society is run, as well as possible ways to improve it.  

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:01:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree on this: (9+ / 0-)
          As a single payer activist I believe that some things (the payment system) are better run by government (socialism?) and others like hospitals, clinics and practices are better left in private hands (capitalism).
          Clinics and practices can be private, yes, though the current arrangement where the doctors run their own accrediting system needs reform. But hospitals are nothing resembling a free market. When you are in an accident, you can't choose which hospital to go to, or under what terms you'll be treated. In most areas there are only 1 or 2 convenient hospitals; big cities are the exception here, and the hospitals there still manage to mostly have very high rates.

          Adding insult to injury is that the hospitals are attached to med schools. The hospitals claim to be fine even while overworking their residents, so the med schools don't have to supply enough residents. We end up with fewer doctors per capita than most OECD countries, and the cost of doctors just keeps going up. And the med schools get their take in the form of excessive tuition.

          Even with single-payer, the hospitals are a vehicle for siphoning whatever money they want out of the single payer system. Look at Sutter in California and their devilish chargemaster, or any of the myriad hospitals anywhere which vacuum up Medicare funds. Around rural VA some localities sold public hospitals into private hands. They pocket the money, the rest is paid back from federal Medicare. Clever way of making the feds fund your locality, but it takes from money that's supposed to be used to assist people.

          The smartest thing England ever did building the NHS was to nationalize most of the hospitals outright. I don't know that it's even possible without that.

          •  Hmm, well ... in a Single-Payer system, the (3+ / 0-)

            single payer can wield considerable authority over who gets compensated how much, and for what. You don't have to own the hospitals in order to dictate where and how MRI machines will be placed.

            Currently, the biggest threat from private hospital ownership is that the Catholic church is slowly taking over too much of our health care, making proper reproductive care more and more difficult to obtain -- but in a single-payer system with government-owned hospitals, we'd have the same problem, because the christianists would demand that those government-owned hospitals not provide all manner of services. In fact, that's the biggest problem the US would face under any single-payer system.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:12:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  christianists (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue in NC
              Currently, the biggest threat from private hospital ownership is that the Catholic church is slowly taking over too much of our health care, making proper reproductive care more and more difficult to obtain -- but in a single-payer system with government-owned hospitals, we'd have the same problem, because the christianists would demand that those government-owned hospitals not provide all manner of services. In fact, that's the biggest problem the US would face under any single-payer system.
              I agree. One of the things we need to do is greatly curtail the power of the christianists throughout American society.

              Or, in more laconic terms, "everything the christianists touch turns to [feces]".

              ;-)

              "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

              by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:53:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I completely disagree about hospitals (0+ / 0-)

          There is no place in health care where profit motive should exist. Where there is profit motive, there is the incentive to cut corners. Health is too important to allow any corner cutting.

      •  This is another rightwing troll...needs to be (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        katiec, AoT, jbsoul, NoMoreLies

        shown the door with a little nudge from the Banstick.

        Check comment history.

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:12:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Umm, who is "this", Blue? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, blue in NC
          This is another rightwing troll...needs to be shown the door with a little nudge from the Banstick.

          Check comment history.

          Blue, the position of comments with respect to each other shifts on Daily Kos. After I posted my last comment -- and that was after you posted the one I quoted above -- it was my comment that was immediately above yours.

          (And I'm pretty sure I don't have that coming!)  :-)

          So who is it?

          Thank you!

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:57:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanatokephaloides: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, blue in NC

            I shouldn't answer for someone else but I don't want you to feel bad. (What can I say, I'm softhearted, I work with kids!) I'm sure blue was referring to someone else, someone who apparently believes the buck stops with him? Get it? (I'm trying to be subtle LOL!)

            If you hit the "parent" tab next to "reply to this" under blue's comment it will lead you back to the person I obliquely and oh so subtly referred to...heh.

          •  Welcome, O Relatively-New-Kossack! I was (0+ / 0-)

            definitely not referring to you! I [heart] your comment history (and viewing comment history does not automatically constitute "stalking"). ;-)

            In crowded and/or extended conversations, the comment being responded to can become obscure. However, please do not think that a comment immediately below yours is a response to yours.

            The explanation by jbsoul, and the suggestion to click the "parent" tab to find the comment being responded to, is 100% correct. That is the best way to "track back" a conversation that is getting "complicated".

            Another dead giveaway is the indentation - or lack thereof. If a comment below yours is not indented, that generally means that the comment is not a response to yours. :-) However, there is even an exception to that rule: if indents have gotten too extreme due to responses to responses to responses to responses, the indentation is stopped to keep replies from shrinking to one character wide. That little software feature introduces the "comment reply ambiguity" all over again!

            When I started commenting here lo all those long years ago, things were simpler. It still took me a little while to get with the "indentation" program, though. :-)

            "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

            by blue in NC on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:50:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Of course, meganerd that I am, I just went back (0+ / 0-)

            and reviewed comment placement in that conversation, and now realize that I have no idea how one of your comments ended up immediately above my "rightwing troll" comment. It's not in that position any more. Even my "indentation" explanation doesn't work.

            But yeah, I wish that "buck stops here" commenter weren't here. He isn't offering any legitimate analysis; his sole purpose appears to be to stir the pot in an attempt to hijack the thread with rightwing memes (his idiotic "envy" accusation, for example).

            "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

            by blue in NC on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:13:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh FFS (24+ / 0-)

      http://www.cracked.com/...

      I swear that movement is just a big psyop to funnel enthusiasm for revolutionary change away from places where it might do some ACTUAL good.

      We don't need to destroy capitalism--just bringing back the laws written post-Depression, enforcing the laws we have, particularly labor laws, and creating a large public works similar to WPA or CCC to fight global warming and rebuild our infrastructure would fix our current problems.

      Under Republican President Eisenhower we taxed the rich at 90%!  That would go a long way towards fixing our current problems.  The powers that be aren't scared of revolution, they are scared of us simply remembering what already existed in the U.S. in our parents' and grandparents' day.  Capitalism needs a strong federal government, strong regulation or merely slides back to feudalism and the Mafia.  No need to reinvent the wheel or reanimate Chairman Mao.

      •  Grow or die is unsustainable. The End. nt (18+ / 0-)

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:57:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Our current capitalist system depends on growth (9+ / 0-)

        and productivity gains.  The problem is that those can only be achieved up to a certain point, then either they have to take a severe  tumble so that those can be measured again, or your going to have to come up with a way to (not) kill off your over working populace (that will have break downs in their physical and mental processes) earlier.  

        Current growth is actually at a stand still in this country because not many are able to afford to buy anything beyond the absolute necessities.  Store chains that used to cater to the former middle class are closing down left and right.  Our current measure of poverty is woefully inaccurate as for most people, you can't live on 11k /year.  In Many areas of the country, you can't even get an apartment for that, especially in urban areas.  http://www.epi.org/...

        Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

        by prettymeadow on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:10:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Growth and productivity do not need to drain (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native, unfangus, Lawrence

          material resources nor pollute the air (or any other part of the planet).

          •  I'd love to see you explain this. (7+ / 0-)

            Because it's contrary to every natural biological cycle/system of which I'm aware.

            And, unfortunately for us, we are constrained by these very systems. One possible outcome is, of course, likely to be the very one that the Koch Bros. and their ilk are counting on. The death of vast numbers of the lower classes to re-stabilize the system. Even with that, their wealth would not grow as rapidly as it has because there would be fewer people to buy their crap.

            •  GDP is not based only on things that can (6+ / 0-)

              fit on an 18-wheeler.  Working to fix climate change can itself be part of GDP.  With proper taxation and regulation, the manufacture of material goods can be restricted, to focus more on the durable than the disposable.

              I'm a zero waste treehugger so I agree with the aims of reducing stuff.  But that is not inexorably tied up with the system of capitalism.

              Also, the overall population will be reducing soon, according to projections, and it already is reducing in the very industrialized nations that cause the most problems for the environment.

              •  Modern capitalism requires endless growth in (9+ / 0-)

                capital wealth. The fundamental yardstick of that capital wealth is its ability to command the allocation of resources. For it to grow endlessly, so must the resources being thus allocated. There is no way around this. Wealth isn't wealth if it doesn't buy something. Pretend wealth (e.g., virtual this 'n thats) may provide some sort of outlet, but in the real world real wealthy people want real stuff, including real stuff that has the capacity to generate more real stuff, or to command real resources. Real palaces. Real lamborghinis. Real yachts. Real arsenals with which to arm real private armies.

                900 years ago, the European socioeconomic model was that wealth was more or less fixed; the concept of "progress" scarcely existed. Nonetheless, the aristocrats insisted on becoming ever more wealthy. They did this by rounding up able-bodied men and sending them off to slaughter the able-bodied men who would otherwise be toiling in the fields and mines of other aristocrats, demanding that those other aristocrats surrender their claims to the serfs' labor and earth's bounty. The aristocrats also consumed every scrap of surplus they could coerce out of the hands and mouths of the peasants and the (tiny class of) skilled tradesmen.

                Today, the dominant socioeconomic model is that wealth is potentially infinite, and our capitalist system and philosophy depends on this being true. The only limit on consumption of natural resources must be our capacity to extract them. No other limit is permitted, precisely because any such limit is a sabot in the works of the unlimited growth machine. And the plutocrats lay claim to every scrap of surplus they can coerce out of the hands of the serfs and the (large but diminishing-in-power class of) skilled tradesmen and technological professionals.

                The growth model must be abandoned, and accumulation of individual wealth must be clamped at a sustainable level. The only alternative is bleak dystopia.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:31:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If the tax rate was 90% and we had a wealth tax (6+ / 0-)

                  and a financial transaction micro-tax, we could put that money to work buying things of REAL value, that would give constant returns and benefit all of humanity over the long-term.  Big capital like that needs to be spent on education, public transportation, weatherization, repairing infrastructure, improving and increasing farming...increasing the right sort of farming will renew the environment, not deplete it.

                  It's not just that the wealthy have all the money, it's that they spend on really stupid things, like the shadow banking casino.  They might as well set their money on fire.

                  All of those things are compatible with the way capitalism has worked in America's recent past.  Go back to those ways.

                  •  None of that removes the necessity of growth (4+ / 0-)

                    though. And it may in fact encourage growth. The issue isn't that we can't take money from the rich, or that the rich have too much money, the issue is that capitalism itself is predicated on growth. Taxing the rich doesn't address that fact.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:15:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Agree that taxing wealth is a good thing, but.... (3+ / 0-)

                    the rich don't have all the money, cuz there isn't a limited money pie.

                    The US creates dollars out of thin air by utilizing the infinite numerical system when it makes computer entries to mark up bank accounts.

                    Having enormous, concentrated wealth is bad for lots of reasons, but considering the political environment, maybe we should forget the 1% for a while, and concentrate on fully realizing that money is created at will  --  always.

                    And simply fight to have some money points created to cover the things you would like to have built.

                    The rich wouldn't be less rich, but the real economy would be better.

                    Since the US creates dollars out  of thin air, it's obvious that taxes don't fund fed gov spending.

                    Taxes remove dollars from circulation.

                    2 links:

                    Forget the 1%

                    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/...

                    Short video on how our monetary system works:

                    http://heteconomist.com/...

                    •  sigh. (7+ / 0-)

                      of course the rich would be less rich. they don't measure their wealth in dollars, they measure their wealth in:

                      A. Material assets, especially real estate
                      and
                      B. Power

                      anything that gives the non-rich more power and more spending capacity diminishes the wealth of the wealthy -- or at least, it prevents the geometric growth in their wealth, which is the First And Foremost objective of our current socioeconomic arrangement.

                      Taxes do not, by default, remove dollars from circulation. That depends on who is paying the taxes, and what the government is doing with the collected taxes.

                      You cannot forget the 1% -- and more particularly, the 0.001% --  because if you try, they will come with sheriffs and marshals and swat teams and bought-and-paid-for politicians, and they will slap you down, imprison you, torture you, and kill you. Any solution to humanity's current socioeconomic conundra, however fantastic, must recognize that disempowering the wealthy is necessary, and you cannot disempower them simply by "creating" new money -- for some reason you folks will insist that you aren't talking about "printing" money -- that must compete for resource allocation with the financial instruments already at the disposal of the plutocrats.

                      God this whole MMT thing is so intellectually childish it makes me want to scream.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:40:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Taxes remove dollars from circulation. Period. (0+ / 0-)

                        It's a logical necessity.

                        Spending and tax collection have an orthogonal relationship.

                        Of course you don't disempower the wealthy through increased deficits.

                        But you might run the chance of empowering a tad the non-rich.

                        You don't seem to understand MMT very well.

                        And the obvious regarding taxes and fed gov spending was pointed out long before MMT, and is thus not an MMT insight.

                        Merriner Eccles noted way back in 1932, when the US went off the gold standard for national settlement that "taxes are now obsolete for fed gov spending".

                        To argue otherwise, you'd have to who why an entity that creates it's own currency out of thin air, and owes all it's obligations in it's own currency, needs to collect taxes in order to spend.

                        What would be your story regarding this necessity?

                        •  No, they don't. Period. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          thanatokephaloides

                          No more than does having a cub scout pack collect dues, which are then allocated to paying for pack expenses.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:08:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Cub scouts don't create dollars out of thin air. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            If you had a money making machine in your kitchen, would you need to collect taxes before you could push a button on your machine?

                            Of course not.

                            Also, at the fed level, money is immaterial, just key strokes.

                            And those key strokes rely upon the infinite numerical system.  You can't put either in a vault.

                            There is no vault of cash at the fed level.

                            You  --  and the scouts  --  are currency   USERS.  You can have a lot of money, a little bit of money, no money.  You can save up money.

                            The US merely   ISSUES  dollars.  It itself is never either rich or poor, or saving for a rainy day.

                          •  I wasn't addressing whether cub scouts had (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            an alternative. I was addressing whether their collection of dues was "taking money out of circulation".

                            Your MMT fascination with mere "keystrokes" is bizarre. The government's capacity to create credit is not one jot more or less limited with computers than it was with pieces of paper -- there is, after all, no practical limit to the number of dollars I can represent on a single piece of paper. Nonetheless, as I have noted, when accused of wanting to "just print money", MMT'rs always start ranting about keystrokes and disk drives, as if there's any difference between symbolic representation encoded in the magnetic orientation of atoms on the surface of an aluminum platter, versus symbolic representation encoded as glyphs on a piece of metal or paper or wood or stone.

                            And again, you will insist on confusing whatever is represented by those symbolic representations, and wealth. THe US certainly is rich or poor, in terms of the resources it controls and the power it can exert over the allocation of those resources.

                            Every one of your comments is written as if you are arguing with an 11th-grade. You are not. Every one of your statements is, to me, either a statement of the obvious, or a statement of the hilariously untrue.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:26:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  MMT's POINT is to distinguish between (0+ / 0-)

                            real vs. financial wealth.

                            Money is the yard stick.

                            It' the real stuff that matters.

                            So, this is why I question your understanding of MMT.  

                            Financial vs. real wealth is at the heart of MMT.

                            So might want to tone down the insults.  Or not.  Doesn't matter to me, but you seem to be having a bad day.

                          •  I'm not having a bad day, I'm having a bad (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            lifetime, and I can no longer bother to be polite when confronted with nonsense.

                            Money can only be a useful yardstick if the size of the yardstick remains relatively stable. MMTrs insist that sovereign dollars will not change the size of the yardstick. Everybody else, regardless of their ideology or intelligence, regards this as silly.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:56:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not everyone else. Not by a long shot. (0+ / 0-)

                            Don't have time to send links to non MMT folk who agree with MMT regarding how our monetary system works.

                            But 2 points:

                            1)  If the economy grows, then the yardstick needs to grow.

                            To encourage the economy to grow, you entice people with inches, thus expanding the yard stick.

                            MMT does   NOT  claim that new inches doesn't grow the yardstick.  What they say is that it's sometimes a good thing to grow the yardstick, so we can galvanize idle real resources, so we can have more real wealth.  And to confuse financial wealth with real wealth is stupid.

                            Like allowing the planet to burn up to save a few money points.

                            2)  Banks create credit out of thin air, and loans create deposits.  Private bank credit circulates as money.  And makes up 97% of our money supply.

                            Private bank credit/debt is the private sector's debt.

                            Dollars are the private sector's net financial assets.  We pay our private debts off using dollars.

                            Dollars make up 3% of our money supply.

                            To say the dollar yard stick should be small relative to private bank credit is odd to me.

                            But maybe not to others who buy into the Quantity Theory of Money.

                            Which not all people do, MMT or not.

                            Frank Newman among those non MMT folk  -- he's the ex #2 at Treasury, and ex CEO of a bunch of banks  --  here's his book:

                            http://www.amazon.com/...

                          •  ah. so you are, indeed, applying the third (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            option: "those things in your bank account aren't really dollars".

                            private bank credit is denominated as dollars, and is indistinguishable under every mode of exchange from any other thing we describe as a dollar -- a dollar of "private bank credit" is fully, completely, entirely interchangeable with anything else you care to describe as a dollar. the money supply, as you have described it, is 100% dollars. they just aren't the dollars you want them to be.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:46:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "just not the dollars you want them to be"...... (0+ / 0-)

                            So you prefer private bank credit/debt  --  which nets to $0?

                            Why?

                            You do realize that the real economy needs at least some net financial assets, right?

                            So the private sector can record in it's private ledgers a final payment?

                            So, yeah, I like net financial assets.  And can't conceive of a working economy without at least some.

                            Can you???????

                          •  I don't even know what the fuck you mean by (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            that. Or think you mean by it. It's like conversing with a Marxist who has learned a bunch of catchphrases that get strung together in semi-random fashion. "nets to $0"? I don't give a fuck what it "nets" to, I only care about how it functions.  I think your "3%" statistic is a disgraceful abuse of language intended to shock and dismay the listeners, who are presumably supposed to be chastened at some sort of revelation that they don't know what a dollar is. Except they do know what a dollar is. You've just changed the definition to suit your disingenuous rhetorical tactic.

                            On the other hand, if you wanna advocate dynamiting the entire financial system and basically starting from scratch, go ahead. We've done it a few times in our nation's history -- but then, it was easier when our economy and financial system weren't fully integrated with those of the rest of the world. Can we ever do it again? I don't know. What I do know is that having the US government solve our fundamental problems of unfilled socioeconomic needs by "printing" money, while leaving in place all of the other structures of our financial system, is both politically impossible and economically insane.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:05:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So there's no difference between my IOU and a (0+ / 0-)

                            dollar?

                            Really?

                            You don't think there's a hierarchy of money?

                            My IOU has the same function as a dollar?

                            Really?  

                            Weird.

                          •  I think MMT describes our system. to the extent (0+ / 0-)

                            that I think it has something to contribute to creating a better economy, I think it's an extremely non-revolutionary bridge type of critique.

                            But, yeah, I'd be more in favor of deeper change.

                          •  Functions: Dollars function to record a final (0+ / 0-)

                            payment.

                            private bank credit doesn't.

                          •  3% -- just a fact. Not meant to shock. Meant (0+ / 0-)

                            to point out a fact.

                            And to question the notion that our public deficits are too large relative to our private debt loads, which amount to 97% of our money supply.

                          •  Again: Dollars clear the private sector of debt. (0+ / 0-)

                            That's their function.

                            It's how the private sector records a final payment in their private ledgers.  Dollars say:  Debt reduced by X number of  dollars....  and hopefully eventually, debt is gone, and this car is paid off, no one anywhere owes anymore on this car.

                            That's how dollars function.

                            Again, dollars are booked outside of the private sector:  They are a net gain to the private sector.

                            They are a +1.

                            Private bank credit has both it's liability and it's asset side booked within the private sector.  

                            They are a +1 -1.  They net to $0.

                            Private bank credit functions as a record of who owes what to whom within the private sector.

                            Dollars function to record who no longer owes money within the private sector.

                            They function differently.

                          •  You are spewing gobbledygook. (0+ / 0-)

                            You are redefining the "dollar" to be something very, very special, just so you can make a phony distinction between one kind of debt and another.

                            When a bank issues you credit, it does so in "dollars", and those dollars are exactly as real as the ones that actually roll off the treasury's printing presses.

                            Your blather about "clearing the private sector of debt" is just that -- blather. The debt on my car is retired in exactly the same fashion as it was originally created: by altering the symbolic values of various electronically stored bank/credit union accounts. Magical "3%" dollars don't enter into it. And no, the private sector doesn't have any interest whatsoever in "clearing" debts, they'd prefer to keep every loan out there active for as long as possible, which is why their preferred mode of lending is the hyperexpensive credit card.

                            In your previous comment you assert that our "public deficits" are not large contrasted with our "private debt loads", which represent 97% of our money supply. That's a fascinating interpretation of the circumstances, given that our public debt is 12 trillion dollars, as represented by issued T-bills. The MMT argument continues to be something along the lines of, yeah, but we can just pay those 12 trillion dollars off by printing sovereign dollars ... as if the debt has no real meaning at all, as if there isn't some sort of obligation to honor the debt with real value. You think there's a difference between your IOU and a "real" dollar -- but nowhere does our legal system draw the distinction that you want to draw, as far as your obligation to make good on that IOU goes.

                            MMT should stand for Magical Monetary Thinking.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ugh. Silly argument. (0+ / 0-)

                            Get over MMT   --  it's not an MMT thing.

                            It's an accounting thing, that most economists worth their salt understands.

                            Answer yes or no to the following:

                            Does the liability side of dollars get booked outside of the private sector  --  does it get booked in the pubic sector instead?

                            Yes or no?

                            Does private bank credit's liability side get booked within the private sector?

                            Yes or no.

                            Simple.

                            And it's not ideology.  It's simple, double entry accounting.

                            Now think about what the difference implies.

                            When you take out a dollar loan from a bank.  You owe the bank.  Right?

                            If the gov were to hand you a dollar, who would you owe?

                            Since it's booked as a public, not private, liability  --  who does the gov owe?????

                            You?  Itself?  A Martian?  Who?

                          •  The difference implies *nothing*. (0+ / 0-)

                            The government "owes" me -- which is why the government issued me this rather extraordinary little IOU. In particular, it owes me real value for the dollar that it just gave me, presumably in return for some service I delivered. It can deliver that value in either of two ways: By accepting that dollar back, as my contribution towards paying for some useful public good or service; or by establishing and maintaining a stable economy within which I can exchange that dollar for something I consider a fair compensation for whatever service or good I delivered to the government.

                            This is not a difficult concept.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:12:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Agree w/the value thing. But what the gov owes (0+ / 0-)

                            you is a tax credit -- to accept the dollar to extinguish your tax liability.

                            Cuz obviously, if I create dollars at the push of a button, I don't use your taxes for anything.

                            The gov is self funding.

                            Taxes don't fund fed gov spending  --  according to heads of the fed, heads of the treasury, the bank of england....

                          •  in all of my time reading all of the reams of (0+ / 0-)

                            weird crap on this site, this:

                            Cuz obviously, if I create dollars at the push of a button, I don't use your taxes for anything.

                            The gov is self funding.

                            Taxes don't fund fed gov spending  --  according to heads of the fed, heads of the treasury, the bank of england....

                            ... is the most singularly lunatic and ludicrous comment I have ever read.

                            Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:17:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Another simple yes or no question: (0+ / 0-)

                            Does the fed gov have the sole legal authority, per the Constitution, to issue our currency?

                            Do banks issue our currency?

                            Simple.

                            Think about it.  And stop being so rude.

                            Your ignorance is showing.

                          •  No, your delusionality is showing. (0+ / 0-)

                            I won't stop being rude. I find your own rhetorical approach to be condescending and smug, even though your essential arguments are preposterous.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You keep trying to draw me into some sort (0+ / 0-)

                            of Socratic dialogue in which you ask these pertinent questions that will lead to enlightenment -- but the problem is that the questions aren't pertinent, and lead only to a confusion.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:04:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  2 types of money: Sovereign, and private bank. (0+ / 0-)

                            Does it matter?

                            Yes.

                            Only dollars have their liability side booked outside of the private sector:  They're booked in the public sector.  Thus:

                            Public -1  =  Private +1

                            Private bank credit, on the other hand, nets to $0, cuz:

                            Private -1  =  Private +1

                            The private sector needs +1 to record a final payment in it's private ledgers.

                            Right ??????

                          •  Does it matter. No. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            This statement:

                            Only dollars have their liability side booked outside of the private sector:  They're booked in the public sector.
                            has no meaning, because both sovereign and private bank money are dollars.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:07:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cub scouts don't take money out of circulation (0+ / 0-)

                            but taxes do.

                            You'd have to show a logical and/or physical relationship between taxes and spending.

                            You can't.

                            Cuz if I can create dollars out of thin air, there isn't a relationship.

                            My finger can punch a button  -- whether I'm collecting taxes or not.

                            You seem smart, if a tad rude.

                            I'm sure you'll get this one day :)

                          •  Yes, your finger can punch a button, regardless (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            of whether you're collecting taxes.

                            And your finger can stamp an imprint on a piece of paper, regardless of whether you're collecting taxes.

                            There is no practical difference between creating credit as a record on a computer, and creating credit as a record on a "banknote". Yet, few believe that our government or any other can address its day to day economic requirements by simply creating an arbitrary amount of credit denominated by slips of paper.

                            As to cub scouts taking money out of circulation, you are the one who needs to show me the difference between cub scouts collecting dues in order to pay pack expenses, and the government collecting taxes in order to pay public expenses, because you are the one claiming that if the government takes a dollar from me and pays you to do something with it, the government has "taken the dollar out of circulation".

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:53:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Taxes destroy dollars. A point of logic:......... (0+ / 0-)

                            One hand pushes a button to create dollars at will.

                            Another hand collects taxes.

                            Because the first hand creates at will, it has no need to put your taxes in a vault, as though it needs to save your taxes in order to pay me.

                            Nay, all that needs to be done is to have the first hand push a button.

                            It doesn't matter if the other hand collects taxes or not.

                            One does not rely upon the other in any way.

                            This is not an MMT claim.

                            Again, the head of the Fed Reserve, Merriner Eccles, made this point back in 1932.

                            The point has been made by Greenspan, hardly an MMTer.

                            It's logic.

                          •  your logic is the bizarre logic of corporations (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides, poco

                            that sue countries under NAFTA because some regulation represents a "taking" of some future potential profit that would have otherwise perhaps attained.

                            if the government collects a dollar and then spends it, the dollar has not been destroyed. that is the unassailable logic. if the government collects a dollar, and then neither issues new credit via the usual mechanisms, nor spends the collected dollar via the usual mechanisms, then the government has taken the dollar out of circulation. that doesn't happen very often, since the government is almost always in the mode of creating new debt faster than it is retiring old debt.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:40:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "New debt" -- define debt for a monetary (0+ / 0-)

                            sovereign of a fiat currency with a floating exchange rate who owes all it's obligations in it's own unit of account, which it creates out of thin air.

                            National finances are not like a household's, individual US states, or the Eurozone.

                            Who do we owe?  Ourselves.

                            T Bonds are no longer borrowed against our gold holdings.

                            They're a time deposit.

                          •  Debt for a monetary sovereign of a fiat (0+ / 0-)

                            currency with a floating exchange rate who owes all its obligations in its won unit of account, which it create out of thin air, can be defined as an obligation to return value for value.

                            Who do we owe? Ourselves. Except that ourselves isn't a single entity, it's a collection of 300,000,000 entities, and the debt is not owed uniformly across those entities.

                            jesus, i can't believe you just uttered the "national finances are not like a household's" cliche. who said they were? you aren't arguing with me, you're just unloading your Big Box 'o MMT Slogans, in more or less random fashion.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:42:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What do you think the US does? Collect your taxes (0+ / 0-)

                            and stash all those dollars in a vault somewhere?

                            Nope.

                            New "debt"  =  new net financial assets in the private sector.

                            As long as the private sector grows, it needs new dollars.

                            Right?

                            What do you want?

                            Less real wealth growth so we can save on money points, which we create out of thin air?

                            Why so?

                          •  Actually, what it does with them is deposit them (0+ / 0-)

                            in its bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

                            And then it issues checks on those accounts in order to pay bills.

                            In fact, it works in a way startlingly similar to the way that you collect money that is owed to you, deposit it in your bank account, and write checks against it. As far as I know, nobody suggests you are taking money out of circulation when you deposit it in your checking account.

                            I'm not sure why you seem to think some other weird process happens, such as:

                            a. The IRS receives a check.
                            b. The IRS notifies the bank on which the check is drawn, which decrements the account accordingly.
                            c. The IRS informs Treasury that another N dollars in public debt has just been retired.
                            d. Treasury puts its face in its hands, oh noes, we just destroyed N dollars! What will we do?

                            If the government is running a surplus, then sure, they can retire accumulated debt if they choose to, but it's simply inane to assert that in general, when you send a tax payment to the IRS, the corresponding dollars are "destroyed" and "taken out of circulation". They aren't -- rather they are more or less immediately sent back into circulation, in the same way that the dollars from my paycheck go into my credit union account and then promptly -- rather too promptly, in my case -- fly back out into circulation.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:01:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again - I have the ability to create an infinite (0+ / 0-)

                            amount of dollars.

                            Why do I need to collect taxes in order to spend.

                            This is the question you need to answer.

                        •  I understand MMT with crystal clarity. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          katiec

                          My "story" regarding this "necessity" has to do with the reality that pouring ever-increasing amounts of money in one end of the system will create ever-increasing amounts of money at the far end of the system -- the one occupied by the plutocrats, who one way or another will collect their vigorish. Pour $10 trillion in, so as to build needed infrastructure, and within some predictable period of time, 95% of that $10 trillion will belong to the 1%. They will promptly then:

                          A. Buy scarce resources with it
                          B. Lend it to members of the hoi polloi who, for one reason or another, wish to spend more money than they have immediately available.

                          If you try to put controls on the lending, they will focus on the buying of scarce resources, and soon enough your new sovereign dollars will be competing with your old sovereign dollars for command and allocation of those resources.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Note that your first three conditions: (0+ / 0-)

                    confiscatory income tax, wealth tax, and transaction micro-tax, all work towards my key claims: "accumulation of individual wealth must be clamped at a sustainable level".

                    Once that is done, we can go about spending on the things we need without requiring unsustainable growth in total production/consumption.

                    So, yeah, I'm 100% with you on those 3 policies -- but you'll find that the plutocrats immediately recognize the implication: "No growth for you!", and will resist with all the means at their disposal, which will include slaughtering those who oppose them.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:28:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not sure about your order of things: Maybe (0+ / 0-)

                      it would be better to forget  the 1%

                      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/...

                      •  sorry, but i consider MMT to be addle-pated (0+ / 0-)

                        and infantile bunk.

                        MMT does not get us off the financialist treadmill. There is no meaningful difference between "Sovereign" dollars and "Tax" dollars. Ultimately, they will all end up in the same place. And if that weren't true, the plutocracy would wield the political power that derives from the wealth, in order to prevent your "Sovereign" dollars from ever seeing the light of day. Or more to the point, if we had the political power to crank up the printing presses -- and yes, no matter how many ways y'all find to deny that's what you're doing, that's what you're doing -- we would have the political power to use taxes to limit geometric wealth growth, without re-inventing our entire approach to money, and without running the rather significant risks that attach to expanding the money supply in order to stimulate economic activity.

                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:56:16 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Dollars make up 3% of our money supply. (0+ / 0-)

                          "Expanding money supply" alarmists never grapple with this fact.

                          Agree with the power thing  -- power to tax might be the same amount of power required to direct dollars into main street  --  except for 2 facts:

                          1)  New dollars   =  new T Bonds, which the financial sector is dependent upon, so new dollars will always be created, it's just a question about how they'll be utilized

                          2)  Taxes take money away, new dollars spent on infrastructure, for instance, may not feed our oligarchs in the same way military spending does, but it does feed them, and certainly doesn't take the money they already have away.

                          So, I think people demanding dollars for things like infrastrucutre probably has a better chance than increasing taxes at this particular political juncture.

                          But could be wrong.

                          And  --  you don't seem to understand the MMT/"printing" thing.

                          MMT folk avoid the word "printing"  --  because most money is electronic.  And for certain purposes, this matters, as it does in fact change the game a bit.

                          Objects, like dollar bills, must travel, which is time consuming.

                          Computer entries are instant, so it affects how our payments system works, for one thing.

                          And this has potential to allow us to think differently about some fundamental things  -  like what we mean by saying money is a "store of value".

                          Considering money no longer has to travel over distances/time  --  does money need to be a store of value that lasts longer than completing a trade?

                          Things like this.

                          •  MMT folk avoid the word "printing" because it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            allows them to sidestep the first-line objection that many people present when told, "We can just create whatever money we need." Everybody knows exactly what has always happened when a government has decided to just print whatever amount of money it needed in order to command the resources it desired to command. (For that matter, more sophisticated observers know exactly what happened to Spain when their monarchs suddenly had access to an enormous new supply of gold and silver, allowing them effectively to "create whatever money" they thought they needed.) MMTrs rely on fancy footwork to try to explain why this is not a danger in their "sovereign dollar" scenario, and the first step in the dance is to insist that there is something qualitatively different about creating a transferable record of debt on a computer disk, versus creating a transferable record of debt on a piece of paper, or indeed on a disk of improbably abundant silver.

                            Regardless, money as a "store of value" is important precisely because:

                            a. no matter how fast you can exchange money, there's a limit to how quickly you can produce/exchange/consume items of real value

                            b. ultimately the majority of most human beings' consumption will be for things they need to survive, and they cannot reliably wait until they need them in order to go out and earn the requisite tokens of exchange -- in fact, at time of need they often entirely unable to earn those tokens.

                            In the real world, things of value are earned, produced, exchanged, and consumed in bursts. People need a "store of value" in order to efficiently connect their bursts of earning/production to their bursts of exchange/consumption.

                            BTW, to the extent that electronic representation of credit/debt makes transactions "instantaneous", it also brings particular risks. "Just-in-time" systems, as are popular these days in all aspects of the economy, are brittle and dangerous -- they lack the capacitative elements that create a stable flow, and when anything goes wrong, turbulence ensues.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:48:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Spain and silver: Fixed exchange rates. (0+ / 0-)

                            Today's fiat:  floating exchange rates.

                            Big difference.

                            Spain suffered the Triffin Dilemma:

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                          •  The problem for Spain was a surplus (0+ / 0-)

                            of money. This was going to lead to inflation, one way or another -- the only question was, what bad things would happen in the face of the inflation. Since the Spanish money was about fungible as money can get, being hard silver, it was inevitable that, in its abundance, it would come to function somewhat like a reserve currency, so yes, the Triffin Dilemma applied, but Spain would have been screwed either way (e.g, if they had made any serious and successful effort to curtail the flow of silver out and goods in). That the exchange rates were fixed was inevitable, again, given that the money's value was "inherent".

                            A version of the Triffin Dilemma is fundamental to what ails the US. The Fed pours cash into the economy, inflating the prices of everything ... the cash makes its way out of the country via the plutocrats, who arrange to have goods produced in low-cost countries and sold here at inflated prices ... and the Fed pours more cash into the economy.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:02:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  NO. It is not MMT's position that there is (0+ / 0-)

                            something qualitatively different from paper vs. marks on a computer screen.

                            The time factor is my own musings, which I got from non MMT folk who like to think about our tech capacity, and what could be done with it.

                            MMT   DOES  make a big deal out of paper or marks on a computer screen, and things like gold and silver.

                            For several reasons, some being:

                            1)  Floating vs. fixed exchange rates

                            2)  Cost of producing and getting to market money  --  much higher for gold and silver, obviously.

                            3)  Risk of getting money to market.

                            Risk is much higher for gold and silver.

                            Gold and silver's interest rate must take into account these costs and risks.

                            Computer marks don't.

                            computer marks have near $0 cost and near 0 risk, so it's interest rate is 0  --  unless the gov step in to drive it up.  Which it does.

                            4)  gold and silver stocks can be borrowed against.

                            5)  Fiat isn't borrowed against.

                          •  Multiple times, I've seen MMTrs insist that, (0+ / 0-)

                            "No, it's not the same as just printing money," and then they've gone off on some irrelevant rant about how it's just throwing a switch or pushing a button or yadda yadda yadda. I'm perfectly willing to believe they were making this argument in bad faith.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:06:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? "Dollars" make up only 3% of our (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides

                            money supply?

                            That is quite interesting, because they make up 100% of my money supply. Every single economic transaction to which I am a direct party is carried out in units of "dollars". Of course, most of those dollars are symbolically represented by physical changes in the states of electronic circuits or atoms on aluminum platters, rather than by coins or banknotes -- but they are all dollars.

                            But perhaps you are referring to the plutocracy's use of various derivative securities as instruments of financial exchange, and counting that as part of the "money supply" -- as perhaps it should be, since it does endow the plutocracy with the power to control resource allocation.

                            Alternatively, you perhaps are trying to pretend that the dollars in my bank account aren't "real" dollars. In which case, you're wrong.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:05:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Money supply = Sovereign currency and (0+ / 0-)

                            private bank credit.

                            Private banks don't issue our currency.

                            They create credit, which circulates as money.

                            See my other reply.

                    •  of course (0+ / 0-)

                      Teddy Roosevelt had a time of it too.  But he didn't throw out capitalism.  Capitalism does not require material-resource-depleting growth, but plutocracy does.

                      It may sound like splitting hairs, but words have power.  Capitalism and socialism can co-exist.

                      •  He didn't throw it out ad look where we are now (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        thanatokephaloides

                        And look where the country went after he was president. Things got pretty horrible, what with the great depression and all.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:57:09 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think the capitalists would agree with (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        thanatokephaloides

                        you.

                        Growth is the reason for capitalism. "Rather than spending this money on consumption, or hiding it in my mattress for future consumption, I will 'invest' it in some sort of enterprise so that at some point in the future I will have even more surplus wealth."

                        You can imagine a dramatic reworking of capitalism in such a way that the growth is small, but if there is no growth there is no reason to invest.

                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:00:57 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  "Freedom" and "liberty" (4+ / 0-)

        are myth-making words that no longer provide a common frame of reference. They have come to signify a permission to acquire unlimited wealth -- while accepting no responsibility for the social consequences that massive agglomerations of wealth entail.

        This is how capitalism also has come to be known. As a wild beast let loose to rampage wherever it will, at liberty to wreak havoc and destroy anything weaker than itself.

        It's as if the horse had slipped its halter, and been allowed to run wild in the garden, trampling all the vegetables. There's nothing wrong with the horse. There'd be no need to shoot it, if only someone had the means and the skill to bring it back under control.

    •  The problem is not capitalism itself, its... (4+ / 0-)

      capitalism by itself.

      What I mean is raw capitalism too laissez faire for an actual civilization.  But a socio-capitalism where very basic needs and all things used by everyone (utilities mainly) are done by the government to protect the bottom end with a capitalist top end somewhat limited by a very progressive tax code, but allows people to still profit and live rich lives given the luck effort and skill.

      When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:49:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism is a tool, not a religion. Use it where (4+ / 0-)

      ...it works, adapt or ditch where it's not ideal.

      With a design and ordered principles of priorities and values it doesn't matter, just use the whole tool box and more, adapt, innovate, develop, whatever to make and sustain what you're building.

  •  No We Cannot Create an ALternative World (25+ / 0-)

    There was a report cited in the last year or so explaining that there isn't nearly enough wealth and opportunity in the world outside the hands of the rich, for what's left over to make a good world for the 99%.

    Going that way is not much better than to resign ourselves for the most part to the fate they're issuing us now.

    I have been making this point about the right's planning over teh past 80 years since I joined 10 years ago. It's not much of a secret; I'm glad to see others have seen it.

    What needs done has no precedent in North America. FDR of course had it easy, he got to follow a Republican President who had exercised what today's conservatives confine to propaganda, basically leaving the market to fend for itself, and allowed the free market to devastate not only its labor and consumers but its owners too.

    "Now," as Basil Fawlty once said, "for the tricky bit."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:42:33 PM PDT

    •  Co-ops would be a good start (5+ / 0-)

      to try and even things out a bit.  Put the money  directly into the hands of those doing the work.  An Economics Digest on DK a couple of days ago had a link to an article about co-ops in the NYT:

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      There are, of course, different types of co-ops:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Wiki has a list of businesses that are co-ops:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      I always buy things that are from a co-op first when I can.  For example, I go to ACE Hardware first and then head out to other places if I can't find what I need there.  I always buy Land O'Lakes dairy.

      This a Gandhi style of change that we can all catch onto but this style of change is particularly suited to the youth, who appear to be so sick of the fighting and yelling from what I can tell.  They seem to have embraced a lifestyle that involves more community support.

      Basically, this is a way to keep capitalism (it is not going to go away) and shift some of the money from the ultra rich to the workers.  Cut out the CEO.

      We need a pool of money with which to borrow that does not involve big banks.  I bank with a credit union.  But it would be great to have a co-op bank that gives low rate mortgages and low rate loans for start up co-ops.

      Sometimes change starts with easy choices, like co-ops.
       

      1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

      by alwaysquestion on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:29:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Co-ops are nice (7+ / 0-)

        and are useful for some things, but they are at their base just another way of competing within capitalism against the large corporations. Because of that they are only viable on a very limited scale and for a limited time. And even in those cases often end up being exploitative.

        Which isn't to say coops are all bad, they can be great. But presenting coops as the answer, or even the main answer, just doesn't really work.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:52:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am sure they get their (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, AoT, thanatokephaloides

          goods to sell from the same suppliers that the big box stores do and that is a whole other problem that needs attention, no doubt.

          But co-ops are a way to redistribute the wealth in some small way.  It takes what would have gone to a CEO and reinvests into the business and pays the workers a much fairer wage, those workers being the owners.

          I do not offer co-ops as the answer much less the main answer...look at my first line of the post.  It can be a way to work within a capitalist system that is not going away.

          Nothing is perfect.  There is no perfect answer.  Never will be.  The world is one big game of Monopoly.

          However, we need people thinking of ways to ease the burden of so many and this a a great forum for people to offer up ideas.  This is a start.

          1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

          by alwaysquestion on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:15:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "The world is one big game of Monopoly." (4+ / 0-)

            But it doesn't have to be. Capitalism isn't inevitable, no matter how much the propaganda says otherwise.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know if capitalism is inevitable (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thanatokephaloides

              or not.  I only know this is the way it is now and getting rid of it is not going to happen, not within my lifetime, or even that of my daughter.  I only know that no matter how badly I may want to find that "silver bullet" to fix all woes, I still have to live and work in the now, so I take baby steps.

              1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

              by alwaysquestion on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:03:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um... (3+ / 0-)
                I only know this is the way it is now and getting rid of it is not going to happen
                This means it's inevitable.
                I only know that no matter how badly I may want to find that "silver bullet" to fix all woes, I still have to live and work in the now, so I take baby steps.
                Baby steps can only get you so far. Sometimes you have to take a leap. Baby steps are not going to fix our problem.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:07:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A bit of confusion.... (0+ / 0-)

                  For the US, we already have a capitalistic society, so the question is not whether it is inevitable that we have a capitalistic system but whether or not we get rid of it.  For that I am saying I do not know if it is inevitable that it ends,  but I don't see the reversal in my lifetime or my daughters.

                  Given the current energy going into stoppng capitalism, which is to say, none, I from there conclude it won't happen in my lifetime.  

                  What big leap are you talking about doing?  I have not heard of how we can realistically get rid of this capitalistic system in one giant leap.  Until that is revealed to me and how I can make that leap happen, I take the steps I can.

                  I would love to hear of this Plan Leap, though.  If you've the time.  Not being snarky.  Seriously, I would love to hear about it.

                  1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

                  by alwaysquestion on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:01:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Now you're talkin'...this is exactly what needs to (21+ / 0-)

    be done :

    If the rich won't use their money for what's needed, we have to take it from them, and use it for what needs to be done.
    We need to change the narrative from income inequality to INCOME EQUALITY, and what better way to accomplish this than to take people's money and redistribute it for (wink wink) what needs to be done. We all know what needs to be done, just no one has had the courage to frame it like you have identified.

    The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science. Carl Sagan

    by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:43:21 PM PDT

    •  So all incomes should be equal? (0+ / 0-)

      Then why would anyone want to work hard?

      •  Wow, that must be exactly what that comment meant! (21+ / 0-)

        So glad you flushed out that furtive commie. Almost had us—whew, that was a close one!

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:35:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why would they not? (11+ / 0-)

        If the only thing that motivates you is money, there will never to enough money to motivate you. For those of us who enjoy our work or want to make the world a better place or simply feel satisfaction at a job well done, there is always enough money.

        If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

        by edg on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:54:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          you've never met a law or med student...

          •  I have met many. (6+ / 0-)

            You don't get through the stress and expense of med school or law school just on dreams of future riches.

            If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

            by edg on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:15:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not entirely (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              But most wouldn't bother without it.

              I love what I do, but if it paid half as much I'd do something I loved less. If I got offered a lot more money I'd take a job I liked a lot less. For enough money I'd do something I hated.

              Money matters big time. If it doesn't to you, that's fine. But far fewer people would bother doing anything otherwise. I doubt a society where everyone were paid the same would work at all. It just couldn't.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:34:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  For some greed is hardwired (7+ / 0-)

                You are apparently one of those who is, but not everyone is.  There are some for whom social justice is more of an issue than the accumulation of more stuff.  I keep hoping that humanity can evolve to the point where greed is not an option nor a desired trait to have.  

                Thinking that you deserve more money, power, influence or stuff than the person who is homeless, jobless, or ill, just means you don't care about other humans and the difficulty they are going through.  This also makes for a dysfunctional society where the "I've got mine and screw you attitude"  adds to the desperation of those without to the point where crime gets committed as a means of survival.  Theft and robbery are crimes that often happen in poor neighborhoods because people become desperate for the basic items that would make their lives easier.  

                Food, clothing, shelter, and heat in the winter, and healthcare should all be human rights, but we treat those who can't afford those things, as if they were the leper colonies of old.  We have monetized human living needs to the point where many can't afford even the basics to living. We are the only animals on the planet for which money is needed for survival (there are a few exceptions in the few remaining hunter gatherer cultures of the world).

                Your fellow humans need and deserve compassion and a basic living standard that doesn't leave them begging on the streets.  This goes for everyone and not just those select few who can afford whatever they need or want.

                If everyone has at least the basics, crime rates would go down as the drive to steal to survive would no longer be an issue.        

                Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:15:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If people have the same income whether they (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  work or not, most people choose to work far less, and with less creativity than when their income increases with increased work valued by others.

                  For many people, if all that is needed for a basic and secure level of living requires no work, they will rationally choose no work - this is not being lazy, this is being rational.

                  This is why modern societies (eg., former USSR, pre  Deng Xiaoping China) that replace the economic relationship of receiving increased value of income for increased value provided with same income for all ( or close to same) degenerate into oppressive societies as people become unproductive government uses force to make people work.

                  A popular joke in the former Soviet Union was, "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work."

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:01:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe we should make law school and med school (9+ / 0-)

                less stressful and economically challenging.

                And change our criteria for who we let in.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:33:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If you're going to law school for the money (8+ / 0-)

                then you're a fool. Lawyers have the highest unemployment rates in the country.

                Of course, here we see the problem with capitalism, making rational choices in capitalism requires knowledge of the future.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:02:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nothing is certain (0+ / 0-)

                  Everything in life is an assessment of probabilities. That's why we have a safety net.

                  But that being said, making the right decisions in life is much more likely to give you the kind of life you want than the alternative.

                  This is a politics site. The fact of the matter is that other than perhaps a modest increase in the minimum wage and moderate improvements in the safety net, politically little is likely to change in the next ten years. People can and should organize if they think it will make a difference, but individuals need to start working on making the right decisions for their future because that is likely to be far more effective than any mass organization.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:09:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And if the two things are at odds? (4+ / 0-)

                    Because most likely they will be at odds. The structure of our society is set up to make sure that this is the case. That's how capitalism works, it forces competition instead of cooperation.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:16:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And the goal is to destroy all competition. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, prettymeadow
                    •  Competition is the mother of most innovation (0+ / 0-)

                      It's the reason you are able to read and type to DKos on a computer. Or have hands at all to type it with.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The main reason is that the Government (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        thanatokephaloides, poco

                        underwrote the development of Computer technology beginning in WWII.

                        The internet itself was specifically created for Government purposes.

                        "Competition" has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution is about adaptability to the environment. The dinosaurs didn't die off due to competition. They died off because they couldn't adapt to rapid and extreme changes in their environment.

                        What's next? Arguing that "the strong survive and the weak go to the wall?"

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:13:52 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah yeah (0+ / 0-)

                          Then who commercialized that technology? The private sector.

                          "Competition" has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution is about adaptability to the environment. The dinosaurs didn't die off due to competition. They died off because they couldn't adapt to rapid and extreme changes in their environment.
                          Hair splitting pedantic nonsense. The diversity of life is due to "survival of the fittest": organisms that best reflect their environment survive. Just like the fact that businesses that best reflect their economic environment (hence are most responsive to their customers) tend to survive.

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:46:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  More of the same self contradicting nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                            So now it doesn't matter that Government actually played a major role in creating and developing computers and the internet. Now what matters is who developed it commercially.

                            So much for your claim that competition is the wellspring of innovation. Now it's just the wellspring of exploitation. There's a difference you know.

                            It's hardly hair splitting to point out that your original assertion was factually false. Unless fact is irrelevant to your argument.

                            That the ecosystems produced in nature can be equated with the business "environment" is such a self evidently absurd idea that it's hard to believe you're serious.

                            Why not just claim that Capitalism is divinely mandated? At least then you wouldn't have to contend with those pesky questions of fact.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:10:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                            That the ecosystems produced in nature can be equated with the business "environment" is such a self evidently absurd idea that it's hard to believe you're serious.
                            Then it's impossible to have any reasonable conversation. Since these concepts are basic to understanding either biology or a modern economy there is little more to discuss.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:31:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now you're being ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                            Biology and Economics are distinct fields and not interchangeable. What applies to one doesn't necessarily apply to the other.

                            All you're doing is blowing smoke to obscure the inadequacy of your arguments.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:42:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  These are the ethics of money, (3+ / 0-)

                succinctly explained. You'd do what you hate to do, if you got paid enough money. You'd do what you would otherwise not do. Thus, the ends justify the means. Thus the mercenary soldier.

                But I say if it's not done for love, it's not worth doing.

                •  Ok (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  duhban, native, Simplify, nextstep

                  Go work in a convenience store for love.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:22:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How about this: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    thanatokephaloides

                    Life is sad, life is a bust
                    All you can do, is do what you must
                    You do what you must do
                    And you do it well.
                    I'll do it for you
                    Honey baby can't you tell?

                                                   - B. Dylan

                  •  Let's pay according to a job misery index. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dfarrah, jbsoul, poco

                    You seem to be saying that human beings won't do unpleasant or dangerous work without some decent compensation, and I agree absolutely.

                    In fact, I like Parecon's proposal that pay be based on a job's unpleasantness or danger level.

                    That would mean that CEOs, who spend their days drinking martini lunches, playing golf with other CEOs, flying in private jets and chasing their assistants around the office, would be lucky to make minimum wage.

                    Coal miners and practical nurses in nursing homes would make a shitload.

                    •  It already is that way (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nextstep

                      Salaries are based on how many other people on the planet are (a) willing and (b) able to do the job.

                      Big shot CEOs (whom you are stereotyping) may have a lot of people in the "willing" column but almost none in the "able" column.

                      Coal miners and nurses have more "able" but less "willing".

                      If a coal miner does or doesn't do his or her job, some amount of coal does or doesn't get mined. If a mine executive doesn't do his or her job, the entire mine is a success or a failure. Generally you pay people more as their decisions or activities have an increased impact on the bottom line.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:59:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dfarrah, jbsoul, poco

                        Then how to explain bonuses given to CEO's running companies at a loss? To executives who preside over bankruptcies, liquidations and financial collapse? How many of those responsible for crashing the global economy have lost their privileged perch?

                        The theoretical model you present doesn't accurately describe the reality of our economic system.

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:02:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Maybe maybe not (0+ / 0-)

                          But the people whose money is at risk make that determination, not society at large.

                           

                          How many of those responsible for crashing the global economy have lost their privileged perch?
                          Hey, don't complain about the private sector on that one. Any bailed-out institution only exists because the government enabled it. In a more libertarian government these institutions would have simply collapsed.

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:38:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, and we'd all get ponies too! (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jbsoul, poco, NoMoreLies

                            It's always amusing to hear the ideologically driven argument that if only we had the ideal "Libertarian", "Communist", fill in the blank, system, all our dreams would come true.

                            The truth is that ideal systems do not exist outside of theoretical constructs. You might as well be saying that everything will be sorted out when Jesus comes back.

                            The reality is that Capitalism has historically depended on Government. The idea that it could survive without such support is a pipe dream.

                            All you're doing here is playing a variation on the "No true Scotsman" argument. When it's pointed out that Capitalism doesn't actually operate according to your theoretical scheme, you retreat to claiming it's not "true" Capitalism since the government is involved.

                            When in the history of Capitalism do you imagine the Government wasn't involved?

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:04:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In any economic system the government has a role (0+ / 0-)

                            Even hard core libertarians think that.

                            But the government makes a good referee but never a good player. Bailouts are just a way for the government to "play".

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:41:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In which case talking about a more (0+ / 0-)

                            "Libertarian" system that would allow the institutions of the existing economy to collapse is, as I said, a pipe dream.

                            If Government involvement is a given, the only substantive question is in whose interest the Government will act.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:49:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The government is a tool (0+ / 0-)

                            As long as it fairly enforces contracts and institutes reasonable regulations under the consent of the governed there is no reason for it to act in anyone's "interest".

                            The government is a scaffold upon which we construct the real actions of interest: private economic activity producing goods and services of value.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:22:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again theory vs. reality (0+ / 0-)
                            As long as it fairly enforces contracts and institutes reasonable regulations under the consent of the governed there is no reason for it to act in anyone's "interest".
                            When, pray tell, have governments ever acted in the purely disinterested fashion you imagine?

                            Government is and has always been, an arena in which conflicting interests collide. The idea that Governments don't act in "anyone's interest" is yet another patent absurdity.  

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:30:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  If CEOs and (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jbsoul

                        other such bigshots were so critical to the company, then their positions wouldn't go empty for so long.

                        Companies are happy to leave high level positions empty for months at a time while they conduct searches.

                        I figure this means that whatever that person was doing, if anything, was clearly not critical to operations.

                        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                        by dfarrah on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:37:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                          Companies are happy to leave high level positions empty for months at a time while they conduct searches.
                          I figure this means that whatever that person was doing, if anything, was clearly not critical to operations.
                          Or, they are so critical that the risk of picking the wrong person is too horrible to consider.

                          Any organization has day-to-day operations as well as major strategic decisions. Day to day will run fine with existing players. "Should we make this billion dollar decision" requires an expert.

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:40:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course you came (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thanatokephaloides, jbsoul, poco

                            back with the expected answer.

                            Gosh, these businesses need so many strategic skills, and those skills are soooooooo needed to direct the people who do the work.

                            I call bullshit.  

                            You could lop off the top layers of overpaid management, and the company would still go on.  There is no correlation between these overpaid asshats and company success.

                            However, they have certainly been successful in convincing a lot of people, like you, that they are the lifeblood of any company.

                            These people don't really work; they just somehow convince others of their bullshit.

                            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:00:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok whatever (0+ / 0-)

                            The people whose money is at risk will make that determination. I'm sure it's all lies and bullshit. After all, companies that make millions of dollars are all staffed by and invested in by idiots. They should just listen to you.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:37:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have to ask (0+ / 0-)

                            What kind of practical experience in business have you had?

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:32:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  are you asking (0+ / 0-)

                            Sparhawk?

                            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:51:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oops! My bad. It was meant for Sparhawk. (0+ / 0-)

                            Likely it doesn't matter though, since he just inform me that refusing to accept his conflation of biology with economics renders me unfit for further discussion.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:00:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I think your (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            reply was posted under his comment, but I thought it could have been for me, so I asked.

                            So, no bad.

                            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:27:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I budget, execute, and manage... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...large technical projects.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:33:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It figures n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:50:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  C'mon -- (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you honestly believe that the executives deserve the pay they receive?

                            If Dimon or the other overlords of the banking business all quit, do you really believe that Bank of America, US Bank, Wells Fargo would shrivel and die?

                            Do you think that Facebook would up and die if Sheryl Sandberg left?

                            Do you honestly believe that executive compensation correlates with company performance?

                            I don't want to discount talent and ability, but it's just ridiculous to think that these people, who are so removed and insulated, have a huge impact on business.

                            Even the 'holy' GE guy -Jack Welch or Chainsaw Al- what did they do?  They ran around buying up businesses and laying off people.  How hard is it to layoff people?    Laying off people is the quickest, easiest thing to do to improve the bottom line, and we're supposed to believe that great strategic skills are involved? How hard is it to borrow money so you can run around buying up companies; then running up debt for the companies?  The companies [and government entities] do this all of the time, so it can't be that difficult.

                            What the rest of the world lacks is simply the bullshitting skills that these 'captains' of industry have.

                            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:50:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  No, but the system needs to be fair and equal (7+ / 0-)

        There's no justification for providing the wealthy with extra breaks at the expense of the rest of the population.

        There's no reason why struggling working class taxpayers should bail out wealthy individuals and corporations who contribute nothing to economic growth or maintenance of infrastructure and key institutions.

        It's been proven countless times through history that the wealthiest and most powerful among us will seldom pay their fair share to protect and build our national community without being forced to do so.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:23:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They took that money unfairly (21+ / 0-)

      Most of them earned it, though they justifiably earned only a small fraction of what they have. In many cases they broke laws to do it.

      Let's be generous: who can say they deserve to be worth more than $100 million? No human being on the planet can.

      It's ours. Take it back.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:38:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile the Democratic challenger . . . (40+ / 0-)

    to Dan Benishek in MI-01 has, on his policy page, a description of his economic outlook as "conservative" and goes on to state that he will reduce the deficit by curbing wasteful spending.

    I know when I'm being pissed on and have no enthusiasm for this election.

    •  Hell man, by the time the Leadership were done (10+ / 0-)

      with Bernerno in 2012 he sounded like a DLC stooge.

      It was embarrassing.

      PEO - Start talking about big money bankrupting our People and stealing our water.

      MI is arguably the most valuable real estate on the planet and our people are just about the best in the world at making stuff.

      We are being robbed, plain and simple.

      If you want to go on and pin it to conservative economics that both parties have been pitching for the last 30 years, be my guest, but definitely get people aware that big money and big ag are coming for our water.

      Peace~

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow .. MI will be new Potato Famine scenario (7+ / 0-)

        There'll be plenty of water in MI, just like there was plenty of food other than potatoes in 1840's Ireland. Except all the viable water will be confiscated by big business and political shenanigans and be used for fracking, export to California, and anything except being left for MI residents -- unless you PAY BIG for it, of course. Just as most food besides potatoes in Ireland had prices skyrocket because of huge demand for it from England, when there were no potatoes to buy, there was nothing else the Irish could afford. So they starved and mass emigrated.
        You people in MI will be reduced to catching whatever water falls from the sky for all the water needs you have.

        Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

        by fourthcornerman on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:43:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Grapes of Wrath II is casting right now I think. (7+ / 0-)

          The burning of food to protect prices is going to be a real eye opener for people.

          I'm not currently living in MI, BTW. But Michiganders have been through a rough slog since Nixon. I think that we were ground zero of neoliberal economics. The canaries in the coal mine.

          Detroit went down hard and fast. Boom!

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:49:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Every failed experiment has been tried here. (5+ / 0-)

            Between a government that saw no need to promote a diversity of manufacturing regardless of having two good universities, neoliberal - let them rot - economics, a policy of kicking the poor and lower working class when they are down, and racist collar counties that choked Detroit, what's not to like?

            I am convinced that Michigan is a short-sighted and profoundly selfish place.  And now Jerry Cannon wants to tell me that he is economically conservative???

            •  Have you lived anywhere else but Detroit? (4+ / 0-)

              I grew up in the northern suburbs.

              America is a shortsighted and profoundly selfish place.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:14:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh yes. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, thanatokephaloides

                I've seen how Chicago used expressways to segregate neighborhoods or keep "the wrong people" out.  However, that said, it is a far more dynamic and heterogeneous place than Detroit and its suburbs.

                And, I grew up in Hamtramck and worked for a while in research at the old Michigan Cancer Foundation when it was at John R. and Warren.  Then over 30 years ago moved to Chicago but am back in Michigan now.

                •  When did you get back to MI. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  thanatokephaloides

                  I left for 20 years and went back in 2006 after living in:
                  St Louis
                  Grand Rapids
                  Vegas
                  Grand Rapids
                  Honolulu
                  Orlando
                  Dallas
                  Maryland

                  It was very refreshing - what an amazing state Michigan is. Not real good for our destination type business with animal though - WAY too far for people to travel. In NY state we cover about 1/5 of the nation's population within a day's drive -huge difference in demographics...

                  We left MI in a rush 2011 due to housing. Scary thing with 15 dogs... Ironically the economics were really starting to trend well for us too. Lost a lot of sweat equity and incredible relationships there, for sure.

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:59:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  So DLC/Third Way is targeting MI? (3+ / 0-)

      It's probably safe to assume those political talking points don't resonate with MI voters, right?

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:24:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MI-01 is still pretty conservative. (3+ / 0-)

        And I think Jerry Cannon is trying to have it both ways; trying to offer an alternative to a rabidly obstructionist Benishek while attempting to sound like a serious person about the economy.

        I wonder if talk about "deficits" and "cutting waste" is an old dog whistle for the right wing meant for conservatives in the district?  But then, I have to assume that "conservative" is how he will vote and so decide accordingly.

        Damn, I'm trying to support him - writing letters to the editor, feeding progressive economic views to his campaign, but bullshit economics no different from Benishek is not going to get my vote.

  •  another diary - "OK now its official" - poverty (41+ / 0-)

    up a few hours ago

    lots of excellent comments about people hanging in there by the skin of their teeth

    and others who had good jobs but these days can't get anything

    people who were extremely well known in their fields, now nothing

    here is the link to that diary

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    and it is going to get worse because of the trends and lack of action of the government

    •  almost . . . but in fact (10+ / 0-)

      " it is going to get worse because of the / / action of the government"

      It was not "lack of action" that deregulated the derivatives trade, fueled the housing/assets bubbles, inflated the currency, bailed out the banks and all the other economic crimes of the past couple decades.  It was action deliberately taken, with deliberate intent.  The rich got richer because the rich own not just the "means of production", but the whole fucking government.

      And it's going to get worse because they fully intend to continue making it worse.  That's what they do . . . until we stop them.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree w/your sentiments, but.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Involuntary Exile

        "inflated the currency"?

        Dollars, our currency, makes up only 3% of our money supply.

        The rest is made up of private bank credit/debt money.  That would be:  97% of our money supply is private bank credit/debt.

        Versus 3% currency.

        How much more do you think we should deflate our currency supply?

        2%?

        1%?

        0%?

        Our public deficits are too low considering:  1)  Household debt loads, which we pay off using dollars, and 2) Our foreign trade deficits, which are financed off the backs of domestic workers.

        Private Incomes = Public Spending - Foreign Trade, which is in defitit  (and multi-national corporations are a part of the foreign trade sector, so they get paid.  Workers?  Not so much).

        Put another way:

        Public -1  =  (Domestic Private +1/2) - (Foreign Trade +1/2)

        You want to deflate our currency supply, which looks like this:

        Public +1 = (Domestic -2) - (Foreign Trade +1)

        Yikes.

        •  I bought a house (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, NoMoreLies

          for $16,000 about 45 years ago.  They say it's "worth" $600-700 thousand now.  I've done some "improvements", sure, but most of that is simply a decline in the value of the dollar.

          The government did that.  

          If you want to pretend that the banks did that fine . . . I'll rephrase it:

          The government let the banks do that.

          Same difference . . .

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:31:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ::waves:: (7+ / 0-)

      I work extremely hard and I cannot get ahead no matter what I do.

      That's hard to admit, but it's true. I am unable to earn a living wage, and instead of helping me, "my" party in IL is kicking teachers in the teeth by ending their pensions rather than taxing the rich (like the Pritzkers, who aren't hurting any during our recession) or fighting hard to increase the minimum wage (which would help me greatly).

  •  NBBooks: I've noticed too... (24+ / 0-)

    ...and you are right, many self identified liberal and progressive Democrats seem clueless (but can such smart people truly be that clueless?) about the true situation.

    I've even read so many comments on this site that indicate clueless arrogance and smug elitism, that I have to admit I've been surprised.

    Thanks for the diary, it was needed.

    But now how to get the Democratic elites to realize the seriousness of the situation and act accordingly. History shows us what will happen if they don't.

    •  the "Democratic elites" (10+ / 0-)

      are the cause of the situation.  And the origin of the capture of the Democratic Party by Wall Street goes back sixty or seventy years (at least) to the aftermath of WWII.  Truman railed against it, even as it was beginning, but he couldn't stop it.  Clinton fully embraced it.  Obama is a product of it and owned by it.

      And most "Democrats" are completely snookered by it . . . as "owned" by it as Obama is.  We settle for the crumbs . . . cheer, in fact, when we get them, while kept so far down that we can barely even see the many loaves and the rest of the feast on the top of the table.

      Change will not come easy . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always wanted someone to identify more than (0+ / 0-)

        one or two of these '... elites'.  Is there some club or group that they all belong to, are there dues and rituals like the local Elks club.

        Who are these people?  Not generally but specifically in your town, county, and state.  Do you know any?  Can you interview them for D-Kos?

        This is not just snark but is frustration with blaming anyone but all of us --- you know the voters.  Get a clue there are no 'elites', just a few rich narcissists who pay to fool the rubes and uninformed -- and fool people into blaming the 'elites' of the Dem party.

        •  Sheesh! (4+ / 0-)

          You could try to get a clue yourself. Maybe some of the "rich narcissists" could possibly be, oh I don't know. ..elites?

          How in the hell could it be my fault when I faithfully vote Democratic in every single election, work my ass off for Democrats, donate money I do not have, get out and fight against things like SB5 (in Ohio), write and send emails, call offices, etc. I have a full time job (for which I am grateful), family obligations, pets, volunteer work and friendships to maintain but I still do all those things.

          Is it too much to expect from the people who I elected, to do their jobs with the same dedication and diligence that I do mine? Is it too much to ask elected and appointed Democrats (yes, "elite" Democrats, they get paid 3 to 6 times what I make and are in a much higher social class) to represent with fidelity those people who elected them and to fight like hell for them?

          It is their full time job. I already have a full time job and cannot spend every minute watching them and nagging at them to represent me.

          Of course I do not know most of these people, they are in a much higher social and economic class than myself. Don't be absurd.

        •  The game is rigged (7+ / 0-)

          and not in our favor.  The wealthy elite have already decided that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee.  They are already pouring money into her campaign coffers to the point where no one else will be able to come close to being able to compete on the airwaves.  

          She, like her husband before her, are corporate democrats who will release just enough feel good laws to try to keep the peasants (that's everyone in the bottom 95%) at bay.  She will do no better than Obama has done.  She will be putting people in power like Geithner and Summers again.  

          Our system is severely flawed and broken.  There were 132 people in the last presidential election that donated 90% of the funds for election campaigns.  When you wield that kind of power to get people elected who will protect your bottom line, to the exclusion of everyone else, you have made a wise investment in buying the government you want.  Those same people expect results in the form of low taxes, lots of loopholes, and less regulation, to make their investment in politicians worthwhile.

          It's a great scam they are running.  Alito,Thomas, and Roberts as a part of SCOTUS are also bought lackeys that will continue to allow corporations to run rough shod over the people of this nation.  This is the one of the worst SCOTUS's ever.  

           

          Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

          by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:05:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm thinking you're right (3+ / 0-)

            But I can't seem to stop working and fighting for (some) Democrats. It seems to be in my DNA lol!

            At least we have Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren. All is not lost yet.

            And btw, you've done a great job of pushing back against right wing talking points all down this thread. Good on you!

            I was gonna rec all your comments but I haven't yet had time- still have to bathe 2 dogs, sweep the house, etc etc. But I will get to it because you sure earned it!

            •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbsoul, thanatokephaloides

              I try to be as informed as possible and I do a lot of my own research into things I care about.  I do my letter writing campaigns and write bills I'd like to see passed.  I send those off to  my senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray as well as Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson,  and Elizabeth Warren as I think they are my best chances of getting those things out there.

               Cathy McMorris Rogers (R) is my current congress critter whom I feel is only out for the wealthy elite and the right wing religious fanatics who have never actually read their bible.  

              I'm considering joining Wolf-PAC to get more information out to voters.  Do you have an organization which you favor?

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:48:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm a League of Women Voters girl (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                prettymeadow, thanatokephaloides

                I know it's staid... One of my older sisters got me involved years ago and I've tried to stay as involved as I can with it.

                I know what you mean about congress critters. Mine is the excreable Jim Renacci. However on the bright side, one of my Senators is the honorable and wonderful Sherrod Brown.

                Well, back to work....

  •  I don't entirely agreed (17+ / 0-)

    and honestly what frustrates me most is the willingness of some here to "throw the baby out with the bath". The government does care, well at least 80-90% of the Democrats in the government care I would wager. The problem is that the Republicans do not.

    And yet instead of trying to change that we get veiled 'both sides equally suck'. I'm sorry but that just plain wrong. Even if you think the only valid economic argument is fire breathing populist the differences between your general democrat and general republican are vast on economics alone. In terms of social issues democrats and republicans are not even in the same universe.

    So are some people losing hope? Possibly but hope not only waxes and wanes but sometimes it's unrealistic in it's expectations. And when hope is unrealistic disappointment is bound to occur simply because that hope is never likely to be met.

    Instead of being hopeless how about we each to the best of our ability support a candidate? I don't even live in Alaska but I've donated to Begrich because of his populist stances on issues like Social Security and I will again.  I encourage everyone else to do the same or to donate time or something to change the current trajectory of our nation.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:52:29 PM PDT

    •  This: (10+ / 0-)
      how about we each to the best of our ability support a candidate?
      I think actually finding a candidate to support is a lot more productive than navel-gazing about how to overthrow the system.

      And for those who don't feel comfortable working hard for a moderate Dem, there are a lot of progressives running who need money and exposure. I've been impressed with the diaries on behalf of Shenna Bellows in Maine, for example - and she'd have a chance with a sustained publicity kick.

    •  I'm not sure anyone is trying to (24+ / 0-)

      throw the baby out with the bath so to speak..

      I agree that a lot of Democrats care, and may feel pretty powerless to do much to fix the economy.

      I understand why millions of people don't feel much hope. I can't blame them for feeling neither political party really cares. Look - how many millions long term unemployed & no action?  What has been done?

      The Democratic Party needs to begin to promote policies that will actually restore hope. I've been reading some interesting ideas. One is by Robert Reich and he now advocates a universal guaranteed income...

      •  I disagree (5+ / 0-)

        Read the first diary linked or the second one. Both contain to varying extents the old nonsense of 'both parties suck'. I reject that. More so it's one of the few things I reject completely and utterly.

        The central problem in American Politics imo has been believing that nonsense that there's 'nothing we can do'. Really? There's a senator in Alaska the state that sent Palin to the governor's mansion saying that not only should SS not be cut it needs to be expanded. There's a prospective Senator in Maine that it willing to not only challenge the established Republican there but is being quite confrontational about it. It's past time for people to own the choices they make and that includes not participating for whatever reason they have.

        You ask what has been done on unemployment, whom again has blocked restoring unemployment benefits? Whom blocked them in the first place? What party has controlled the House for 4 years and has yet to put anything resembling a jobs bill up to the a vote?

        I've read Reich's proposal, it's a pipe dream in the current political climate. And truthfully I have serious hesitations about it's overall viability even if it had a snowball's chance in hell of becoming law. If you choose to put your time into that proposal that's up to you. I do not judge. I do however caution you that any hope for Reich's proposal is not realistic.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:27:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Both parties are contemptible. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basquebob

          You reject that utterly and completely?

          I will never vote again. I own it. And I'm comfortable with it.

          •  your loss (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:39:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We have different definitions of "loss." nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              basquebob
            •  Our loss, societies loss, and a contemptible (3+ / 0-)

              way to think.

              Don't like the candidates, don't like the direction of the Dem party?  Well then run yourself or help a friend run.  It starts local, run for city, town or county government.  Get your ass down to the local school board meetings.  Get off you damn ass and change it.

              •  My local candidates aren't a problem (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thanatokephaloides

                It's the party that's broken, not my local officials.

                For the majority of my voting life my representatives were either Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Lee. So not anyone that I'd make a positive difference running against. Or who I'd have a chance in hell of beating.

                And I'm sorry, but going to a school board meeting isn't going to fix what's happening in DC, it just isn't. It certainly won't hurt local politics, but it's not going to change what the president does.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:22:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  duhban

                  because you can't fix all the problems, it's not worth trying to fix any of them? If I were you, I wouldn't give up so easily. Change takes time, and effort, and a lot of people who make what difference they can.

                  •  Society not worth fixing. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jbsoul, thanatokephaloides

                    Helping the beautiful, living, breathing human beings around me? You bet your ass I'll help--do help.

                    All politics is local.
                    No politics is helpful.

                    I'll stick to feeding people, not working a phone bank.

                  •  Not what I said at all (0+ / 0-)
                    Don't like the candidates, don't like the direction of the Dem party?  Well then run yourself or help a friend run.  It starts local, run for city, town or county government.  Get your ass down to the local school board meetings.  Get off you damn ass and change it.
                    I was responding specifically to this comment. This is about fixing some very specific problems and fixing them in a specific way. You haven't addressed my response at all and instead pretend like I've said something completely different.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:03:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  It's not at all contemptible. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thanatokephaloides

                It's realistic.

                And I'm waiting for a non-violent revolution, which is just as efficacious as running for office. Only sociopaths can get elected. If you're not one, you do not get past go.

                But I'm not here to argue with my fellow humans. Go in peace, do your thing.

                •  revolution (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jbsoul
                  t's not at all contemptible. It's realistic.

                  And I'm waiting for a non-violent revolution, which is just as efficacious as running for office. Only sociopaths can get elected. If you're not one, you do not get past go.

                  But I'm not here to argue with my fellow humans. Go in peace, do your thing.

                  See my last reply comment to you.

                  Monkeywrench ballots are a useful attack tool in just such a revolution as you describe. They're legal, non-violent, and revolutionary in that they make it perabundantly clear just how effed up our current system is. "You want my vote? Give me something better than this effing swill!"

                  "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

                  by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:45:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  voting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            prettymeadow

            jvantin1 said:

            Both parties are contemptible. You reject that utterly and completely?

            I will never vote again. I own it. And I'm comfortable with it.

            I suggest that, at the very least, you cast a monkeywrench ballot.

            Electoral sabotage.

            Sign up for "continuous absentee ballot" (mail-in) at your County Board of Elections. When you get the ballot, write in your own name for the highest office on the ballot. Write in friends' names for the other offices. (Note: in Presidential Elections, the Vice Presidential candidate has to be a resident of another State than the Presidential candidate is.) Vote "NO" on all the judges.

            This still leaves you with any referenda; you'll have to take actual positions on those; I can't help you there.

            At least, if you do that, you'll succeed in denial of your vote, not just to the losing (actual) candidates, but to the winning candidate as well.

            In places where elections are essentially pre-determined (and I live in one, by the way), this is one way to at least keep yourself clear of the nasty "silence=consent" ethical problem. You will enjoy a clearer conscience while going and doing what you feel has an actual impact (feeding people).

            Anyway, it's worth a try.

            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:39:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think you've missed some of my point (22+ / 0-)

          I vote 100% Democratic. I'm not running around saying both parties "suck."  I'm saying that I can't blame many people for feeling almost nobody in Washington is on their side.  

          I understand the Republicans have blocked an extension of unemployment benefits. I also understand the Republicans don't believe any jobs bill other than more tax breaks for investors and the rich so it trickle down...

          I support Mark Begich's plan to expand Social Security.

          But that's not my point. I think the economy and the labor market are in bad shape, and extending unemployment is one of many things needed to fix the economy. Long term we need a substantial change in policy to fix the economy and while much of it isn't possible now it never will be if people don't advocate.  

          I understand Reich's proposal is completely unrealistic as of this writing. But if people don't talk about it, then it always will be that. I'm thinking longer term here..

          •  I don't think I've ever read much of your comments (4+ / 0-)

            so I wasn't saying that you are saying both parties suck. Instead I merely pointed out that 2 of the diaries referenced are written very much in the style of 'both parties suck'. Like you I don't blame people but at the same time neither do I think people should be allowed to not be responsible for the choices they make. And when people choose to allow their pessimism no matter how justified to slide into the nonsense of 'both parties suck' I will object to that.

            I try to do so respectfully and without judgement. And yes there's a lot of things that our nation needs. I doubt less than 1% of them will happen so long as people refuse to act in any way they can. It always strikes me as holding your breathe as a method of winning an argument.

            That's just my take.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:55:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  okay peace (5+ / 0-)

              I wasn't trying to argue or anything.

              I'm not going to use the term "suck."  Suffice it to say I believe a substantial change in policy is needed outside the post 1980 framework to fix the economy.

              And I think those ideas need to be advocated now even if they don't currently have any chance of passing.

              And yes that takes time. The problem is many people just don't have time...

              Have a good night!

        •  Both parties do suck to different degrees (6+ / 0-)

          But that doesn't mean that the Dems are as bad as the GOP. You just don't want to talk about the problems the Dems have.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry I disagree completely with you (0+ / 0-)

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:58:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course you don't (4+ / 0-)

              Because you think that 90% of democrats are good. I've seen that not to be true, and obviously so. You might not agree, but I've got evidence on my side, what the democrats actually do. You've got nothing substantial to back up your claim.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:05:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no you don't (0+ / 0-)

                because if you did you'd post it. Instead you're simply engaging in pessimistic nihilism.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:51:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Didn't you say... (1+ / 0-)

                  you weren't "following politics lately," in another thread?

                  That might be part of the problem.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:10:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  go look up the word "context" (0+ / 0-)

                    That might be part of the problem.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:23:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Okay. I did. Here's what I found... (1+ / 0-)
                      I've not been keeping up with politics lately

                      you have a link to that?

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:03:52 PM PDT

                      I'm not sure how the context of that thread changes your rather clear-cut admission.




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:48:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I certainly am not going to explain meyself (0+ / 0-)

                        to someone like you.

                        You think you 'got me'? Fine whatever I really don't give a fuck about your opinion or thought process. You can think you've discovered a method of transmuting lead to gold for all I care.

                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:30:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yep, just another in a long list of DH showing you (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DeadHead

                          to be duplicitous at best and clueless at worst.

                          And really, WTF does this even mean...

                          You can think you've discovered a method of transmuting lead to gold for all I care.
                          ?

                          Just another brain fart?

                          As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:40:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Relax (2+ / 0-)

                          I'm not asking you for an explanation.

                          I just figured someone who speaks with such conviction would at least be keeping himself informed.

                          It sort of raises credibility issues, otherwise.




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:32:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  rofl (0+ / 0-)

                            more passive agressiveness from you.

                            You insult me and then pretend you didn't. And relax? That implies your words have some sort of impact on me. They do not. They never have and never will. I do not let the ramblings of people like you affect me either way. So by all means post all the 'evidence' you like. I'm sure Clive will cheer you on while I just laugh. Especially when you talk about credibility as if you have any.

                            You both lost whatever credibility you had when you decided to continue this silly vendetta of yours.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:19:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
                            You insult me and then pretend you didn't.
                            Where did I insult you? After you point that out to me, perhaps you can then show me where I "pretended" that I didn't do so. A list of things you consider "insults" would be helpful, too, because honestly, I've lost track of all the different ways in which your feelings are potentially hurt.
                            And relax? That implies your words have some sort of impact on me. They do not.
                            Yes, they do have an impact on you, or else you wouldn't be reacting to them and continuing to insist on having the last word.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:53:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not playing your games (0+ / 0-)

                            your words, your insults and your bullying is out there for everyone to see. Unlike you I don't need to appoint myself the great decider of what people should be saying. Nor unlike you do I have to 'follow' people around  and track everything they say. You will get yourself into trouble sooner or later I really don't care when it happens. You remain insignificant to me.

                            Your eventual karma is more than enough for me and your attempts to project onto me 'reactions' is laughable. You not only want me to react you need me to react. Except you're not worth it. You never have been and you never will be. I know how people like you work and I at least will not be giving you that little thrill you so desperately crave.

                            As to the last word? Well I simply was curious how much of a fool you were going to make of yourself. How many lies you were going to tell and how many passive aggressive attempts you were going to make. In a way it's an experiment and the results have been enlightening.

                            The experiment is over and I no longer have to force myself to interact with you so I will go back to ignoring you. While you on the other hand keep trying to desperately attack me while claiming I am 'reacting'. You have fun with those imaginary conversations you keep having I suppose.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:32:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf... (0+ / 0-)

                             photo lookleft_zpsac83b282.jpg

                            As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:12:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Okay, four days is enough time... (0+ / 0-)
                            your words, your insults and your bullying is out there for everyone to see.
                            And yet you failed to show where exactly I insulted or "bullied" you. So they must not be as obvious as you claim they are.
                            Unlike you I don't need to appoint myself the great decider of what people should be saying.
                            I've never tried to "decide" what anyone says. That's just another of your many strawmen. I give my opinion on things, just like you.
                            Nor unlike you do I have to 'follow' people around and track everything they say.
                            Yet you, nor anyone else who's made such dumb accusations has ever offered any evidence to back up these false memes that have been pushed for awhile now. Funny that.  
                            You will get yourself into trouble sooner or later I really don't care when it happens.
                            People keep saying that, yet it never happens. You're the one with two timeouts under your belt, not me.
                            You remain insignificant to me.
                            Which is why you posted a multi-paragraph comment telling me how insignificant I am to you.
                            Your eventual karma is more than enough for me and your attempts to project onto me 'reactions' is laughable. You not only want me to react you need me to react.
                            Why would I "need" you to do something you do anyways?
                            Except you're not worth it. You never have been and you never will be. I know how people like you work and I at least will not be giving you that little thrill you so desperately crave.
                            And yet here you are, showing me how "worth it" I am.
                            As to the last word? Well I simply was curious how much of a fool you were going to make of yourself. How many lies you were going to tell and how many passive aggressive attempts you were going to make.
                            Of course, it was all part of your master plan to expose me and the lies I never told.
                            In a way it's an experiment and the results have been enlightening.
                            Yes, turn a defeat into a victory by using the "Pee-Wee Herman Defense" of "I meant to do that." Excellent work, Scientific Researcher.
                            The experiment is over and I no longer have to force myself to interact with you so I will go back to ignoring you.
                            Which you've since failed to do, in the Henry Ford diary.
                            While you on the other hand keep trying to desperately attack me while claiming I am 'reacting'.
                            I'm not attacking you. I've been rather calm. You, on the other hand, are going out of your way to make it look like you're being attacked, because that's your go-to retort for me.
                            You have fun with those imaginary conversations you keep having I suppose.
                            I didn't realize you were a figment my imagination.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 01:35:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  A rec because of your prescription (15+ / 0-)

      but it is very hard to remain hopeful when so much of the country is underwater, so to speak.

      I agree with you politically 100%, however breaking this log jam seems like the impossible dream and in the meantime people are drowning.

      We haven't seen a real increase in wages for over a decade, maybe .$50 an hour, that means we have done nothing but go down. And we are lucky, we have a roof, we have heat and we have food.

      Pessimistic thinking doesn't help, but sometime one can't help but go there.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:29:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that sure explains (16+ / 0-)

      the Democratic President's endorsements of the likes of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner...

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You realize that room exists for opinions other (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiesIrae

        than the ones you deem acceptable? You realize that at the end of the day the president is just one single man making decisions everyday that effect millions with often no clear best choice?

        It's easy to sit there and be derisive. Perhaps you could channel that energy into something more constructive like supporting someone that does meet your criteria? It doesn't even need to be for Congress after all most of Congress comes from the state level.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:59:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's cute that you assume I'm not (5+ / 0-)

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:08:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  let's just assume that you are (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DiesIrae

            what does your pessimism achieve then? Does it make you more motivated? Does it make others more motivated? Does it help you keep an open mind?

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:20:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, it does (22+ / 0-)

              I am motivated by truth. Lies upset me and motivate my opposition. The leadership of the Democratic and Republican Parties are both in on the lie that what we have today is an acceptably free and representative society. Republicans are far worse. Whoop de do, that still leaves plenty of lying and bad decision-making on the D side. I'm not going to hold back on that, because that's just enabling behavior. That's part of what got us to our current worsening circumstances as a society.

              When underly critical Democratic Party boosters lie to voters about how great Democratic policies are, and then the voters find out otherwise, how motivated are they then? Watch in November and find out, like four years ago. (Hopefully Team D does better this time.)

              The leadership of the Democratic Party is Doing It Wrong. A very wide variety of world views are legitimate. But there is only one objective reality. Based upon that, for the most part, the liberals (in the American sense) have been and are correct in voicing the best principles and policies.

              Acknowledging reality isn't pessimism. You think of me as a pessimist, but you are utterly wrong. Just as, as a "pragmatist," you probably think that my apparently hopeless idealism is utterly un-pragmatic—and you are utterly wrong about that as well.

              Even if I know the right thing won't happen, I still advocate for it, because it's right. And who knows, someday, that small act may have helped make it possible.

              Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

              by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:50:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  then let's have some truth (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DiesIrae

                The democrats are not republicans.

                Largely, generally your generic democrat is worlds better than your generic republican.

                If you disagree with leadership than I suggest you push for new leadership.

                That's the truth.

                PS I've never called myself a pragmatist if that's how you choose to view that's up to you. It's not wrong but neither is it right.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:38:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  "It's hard to be president!" (8+ / 0-)

          He nominated a sexist, third-way douche bag and all you've got is that opinions may differ?

          You realize that the main difference between the GOP and Democrats is also that they have different opinions, right? I suppose we should just forgive the bad things Republicans do as well because they have different opinions?

          You realize that at the end of the day the president is just one single man making decisions everyday that effect millions with often no clear best choice?
          But there are some clearly bad choices. Like Summers. Defending bad choices is dumb.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:43:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  actually the main difference (0+ / 0-)

            is that Democrats want a functioning government, republicans do not.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:57:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure they do (3+ / 0-)

              They just want different functions. Like a military that invades places and other shitty things. The only time they want to shut down the government is when the Dems are in charge.

              Getting rid of the government would mean getting rid of the police and the army and that's the very last thing the Republicans want. Without those things how would rich people stay rich?

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:59:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the Republicans do not want a functioning (0+ / 0-)

                government. You do not require that for a military and frankly the GOP has been pursuing for decades.

                You are gravely mistaken if you think otherwise.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:14:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't need a government to have a military? (3+ / 0-)

                  Are you kidding me? Is the military not a part of the government now?

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:17:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  do you really think that despotic nations (0+ / 0-)

                    are an example of a functioning government?

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:18:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, it doesn't function as most of them would (3+ / 0-)

                      like, but it functions. You seem to be defining 'functioning as functioning how you would like ti to function as opposed to existing and continuing itself. Just because a government is bad doesn't mean ti doesn't work. And Republicans are of the opinion that a functioning government means the military and the police function, and not much else.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:21:04 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  then we have a definition disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                        because when I say 'functioing government' I mean first democracy that responds to the will of the people and second a government that is sustainable. The GOP doesn't want that. They want a despotic or oligarchical government these are not 'functioning govenments'. First because they have nothing to do with the people but perhaps most importantly because they are not sustainable.

                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:24:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So then the vast majority of governments (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DeadHead, Brown Thrasher

                          throughout history have not been functioning. Again, what you are talking about is what you want from a government, not what a government is. you can pretend otherwise but that doesn't change the fact.s

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:29:01 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  they certainly have not been stable or sustaining (0+ / 0-)

                            which is why they ultimately failed and democracy in it's various forms has not.

                            You can pretend otherwise but that doesn't change that fact or that largely this is a semantic argument.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Monarchy lasted far longer than Democracy has (0+ / 0-)

                            What you seem to be saying is that the Republicans don't want a functioning democracy.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:11:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no the THEORY lasted longer (0+ / 0-)

                            but governments came and went often within the same year. That's hardly stable and frankly monarchy was generally only as a strong as the king or queen in charge. Perhaps one of the best examples of that is what happened to Alexander the Great's empire on his deathbed. Alexander built one of the largest empires ever and it came crashing down with his death.

                            Compare that to the United States which has endured regime change often every 4 years for almost 230 years. Very few if any monarchies could claim that. And none could claim to have done it with the stability of democracy.

                            I am being very clear on my use of terms here. A functioning  government is a stable one among many things and the only truly stable style of government so far is the forms of democracy.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:54:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Imperial China lasted a long, long time (1+ / 0-)

                            And the US is the longest lasting continuous democracy. So you have one example of a stable democracy. Every other democracy with the exception of Britain has been far shorter lived. You clearly don't know history in this matter.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:31:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dynasties came and went though (0+ / 0-)

                            which is something you seem to refuse to understand. Not to mention that the vast majority of those changes came with violence and death. Where as democratic nations turn over power all the time. Often to parties that absolutely do not agree.  Understanding that though requires an understanding of history which you clearly lack.

                            Instead your argue semantics and act obtuse not to mention you accuse me of not knowing my history. To quote you, fuck off. You want to refuse to understand my point of view fine whatever. It's a shame because you have always seemed reasonable and at least willing to consider a view point other than your own. However it's unacceptable for you to refuse to accept the historical record just because it's inconvenient to your agenda.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:31:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf... (0+ / 0-)

                             photo can-opener-in-a-can_zps55c91848.jpg

                            As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:49:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that was hilarious 2 decades ago (0+ / 0-)

                            the more you post the more I wonder about you

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:50:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not meant to be funny. Just illustrating... (0+ / 0-)

                            your debate style.

                            The more you post, the more others wonder about you.

                            Carry on.

                            As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:59:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you have that the other way around (0+ / 0-)

                            the more you post the more people wonder. I mean here yo u are continuing your vendetta against me.

                            It's just sad

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:26:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dynasties that lasted for longer than any (0+ / 0-)

                            democracy has existed. But that doesn't count?

                            You've made this about semantics, not me. You claimed that only Democracies are functioning governments and when I point out other functioning governments you then move the goal posts and make it about something different, even when completely wrong. You obviously don't know history if you think democracy has been more stable or lasted longer without violent change. All you have is semantics.

                            However it's unacceptable for you to refuse to accept the historical record just because it's inconvenient to your agenda.You haven't bothered to present a single shred of historical evidence to support your claim, and the evidence you have presented is wrong. The US, the model democracy, was torn apart by a massive war during the time that you claim it was stable. When I point that out you ignore it. When I point out a great number of monarchies that have lasted longer than any democracy you ignore that and hand wave it away because those monarchies eventually ended.

                            You refuse to accept the historical record, not me. You are arguing semantics, not me. You are claiming that a functioning government has to be a democracy, that's pure semantics.

                            You offer no evidence for any of your claims. That's why I reject them.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:50:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And even the US was clearly not stable for a large (1+ / 0-)

                            part of it's history. If we count from the Civil war it's only been a hundred and fifty years of relative stability in a "democracy" that was in any way stable. Compare that to Imperial China, The Abbasid Caliphate, or even most of the French Dynasties and it comes up lacking.

                            This is just such a biased claim that I don't even know what to do with it.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:21:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What the hell are you talking about? The (0+ / 0-)

                            British Monarchy has been going since the 10th century - over 1000 years.

                            ...the only truly stable style of government so far is the forms of democracy.
                            Tell that to the Iraqis.

                            As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:05:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  like many things you'll have to figure it out (0+ / 0-)

                            Though I doubt you will.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:49:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yet another duh patented non-reply. Why don't (0+ / 0-)

                            you address the fact that the British empire [sic] has been under a form of government other than Democracy for over 1000 years and that your statement - "...the only truly stable style of government so far is the forms of democracy." is on its face, absurd?

                            As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:11:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  And wanting a functioning government (4+ / 0-)

              is an opinion. Which was the entire point of that statement.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:00:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Obama has learned, but not learned enough (24+ / 0-)

        As Newberry pointed out, Obama has learned that all the economics advisers he has surrounded himself with were worse than useless. It certainly would have been much better had he reached that realization after spending 30 minutes in a room with them back during the campaign days of 2007. But he didn't, and we are here in 2014.

        I would go further and argue that what Obama has yet to learn is WHY his economic advisers were all so bad. Figuring out the why is necessarily part of figuring out how to begin moving the country forward. Personally, I doubt Obama can overcome his elite training at Harvard Law, and revert back to his community organizer. But I suppose our task is to try and help steer him in that direction.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:18:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps he wasn't as smart as he or many people (17+ / 0-)

          thought he was.

          Is it really possible he didn't know that neoliberal economics was a failure?

          I mean it totally is possible, but, with his experience, you'd have to be really naive to not be in on that joke.

          From what I've seen he believes in neoliberal economics. Perhaps he did have a come to jesus about it. I hope he has, if so, then, "Mr. President, Welcome to the fray. Suit up and bust a bankster and claw back some of our country's wealth.

          I am not holding my breath.

          NBB, great job on calling for the repatriation of escaped taxes by the filthy rich. I wholeheartedly agree.

          Excellent piece. Thank you.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:10:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, big problem is people who drank the cool-aid (19+ / 0-)

            have done very, very well. And they continue to do very well. All the "smart" people who were indoctrinated with neo-liberalism, and who didn't torture themselves questioning assumptions and so on, have made a LOT of money, and are doing very well. Really - if you're a rich person now, why would you want to change anything? And rich people are generally our society's paragons of "success."

            Now, in response to your question, "Is it really possible he [Obama] didn't know that neo-liberal economics was a failure?" Oh, yeah, definitely. I read Dreams by My Father and I listened to Audacity of Hope. Obama wrote about free trade and mentioned shoe workers in Indonesia, and wondered what would happen when some other country offered cheaper labor. Made me want to scream. I was diarying and commenting from mid-2007 on that Obama was a complete dolt on economics. But so are all the other "successful" people in our society. How much of it is there fault? I mean, are they even aware of, say Henry Carey, or Francis Wayland, or E. Peshine Smith, some of the "American System" economists of the nineteenth century who are the true alternative to neo-liberalism? I used to speed check economics text books by looking in the index, to see if Carey was even listed. Most times he wasn't. So, basically, the first century and a half of actual US economic history has been written out of the textbooks! So how much do you blame the student for not learning what's NOT included in the textbook?

            In the concluding chapter of his book, Lawrence Goodwyn (I commented on Goodwyn elsewhere in this thread) makes some very interesting observations and arguments about how Populism was destroyed by its fusion with the presidential campaign of Bryan in the 1896 election. Fusion with the Democrats forced the Populists to abandon their Greenback principles, which are the key to solving the problems created by an economy controlled by oligarchs and plutocrats.  The Populist movement was replaced by the progressive movement, then by liberalism, which, Goodwyn argues, simply did not have the cajones to oppose corporatist capitalism:

            Restructuring of American banking was not something about which New Dealers or New Frontiersmen could think with sustained attention. The received culture has proved to be so powerful that substantive ideas about a democratic system of money and credit have become culturally inadmissible. Such ideas (the sub-treasury concept of a treasury-based democratic bank will do adequately as an example) are, in the judgment of prevailing cultural authority, "unsound."
            Well, when I read parts of Mirowski's books on Mont Pelerin Society and neo-liberalism, I recalled Goodwyn's argument. An idea I have been cogitating since is that liberalism was revived and remolded in the early 20th century as an alternative to Populism - and alternative that did not threaten the existing power and privilege of the elites in the banking and financial systems, and especially did not threaten their control of the monetary system. Neo-liberalism, then, is a deliberate and conscience project - as practiced by Hayek, von Mises, Popper, Friedman and their Mont Pelerin Society - to destroy any resurgence of Populism, which was plainly manifest in many aspects of Democratic Party rule from Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal to John Kennedy.

            Does Obama know any of this? I doubt it. Why should he? That's not what they teach at Harvard Law. And, look, the fact is, Obama has been very successful in a career track that begins at Harvard law. Right? I mean, he got elected President......

            A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

            by NBBooks on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:42:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What horrifies me, more recently, (13+ / 0-)

              is how (per Shock Doctrine) the Chicago school privatizing looters got to Solidarity in Poland and even got to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in South Africa. I find it hard to believe those two groups were powerless to stop economic "liberalization." Did they actually buy into the twisted reasoning?

              Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

              by Simplify on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:02:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sweet answer! I actually had all that in my commen (9+ / 0-)

              but deleted it for brevity.

              I actually did start to write something akin to that successful blinder - I've written about his early education quite a bit.

              Punahou is better equipped than most colleges. It is not like reality. Of course public schools pale in comparison - there's no way they could compare to Punahou.

              So there is a place where those blinders are clearly on and in effect, and it dovetails nicely with both your charge of ignorance and my charge of belief.

              If that's the case though, I really have to say I have lost a bit of respect for him and his intellectual curiosity.

              Anyway, thanks for the info...oh, almost forgot.

              How does Goodwyn's argument relate to Gramsci's Passive Revolution.

              Peace~

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:05:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  When discussing liberalism (10+ / 0-)

              as it applies to economics, I hear current "left" leadership OECD-wide still touting privatization,low inflation, low taxes, free trade, free movement of capital and labour and low levels of regulation. All neoliberal positions. But in regards to just how limited government must be(especially in relation to markets and privatization),there does seem to be a bit of morphing from neoliberalism toward ordoliberalism among them. S L O W C L A P. Far,far too little and far too late at this juncture .... and it strikes me that the POTUS may well see it the same.

              "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

              by tardis10 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:40:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think it is so sweet (12+ / 0-)

      …that USians think they can fix their runaway, rogue, bought and sold federal government through domestic political solutions.

      Instead of being hopeless how about we each to the best of our ability support a candidate?
      "If only we could elect just the right people…."

      Taming their golem is one dream that both Republicans and Democrats share.

      ::

      It is now up to the rest of the world to help USians get a fair shake at social mobility and human rights.

    •  Yes there's a difference (12+ / 0-)

      But that doesn't mean that the Democratic party is doing right by the people who were hurt during the recession.

      I'm not voting for any Democrat that talks about deficits. I am not voting for any Democrat that talks about balanced budgets, I am not voting for any Democrat that triangulates in any way. I am done with Clinton type Democrats. Done. It's on the leadership in the party to fix the fucking party or they're going to lose.

      I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

      by jbou on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:52:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I'd guess that maybe 50 or 60% of (6+ / 0-)

      the Democrats in government care, in any meaningful way, about the fate of ordinary folks -- but the problem is that almost all of them believe that rich people deserve their wealth, that lower taxes are inherently a good thing, etc etc etc. In other words, they are neoliberals whose economic philosophies drive them towards non-solutions to the ordinary folks about whom they care.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:38:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  neoliberals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul
        Well, I'd guess that maybe 50 or 60% of the Democrats in government care, in any meaningful way, about the fate of ordinary folks -- but the problem is that almost all of them believe that rich people deserve their wealth, that lower taxes are inherently a good thing, etc etc etc. In other words, they are neoliberals whose economic philosophies drive them towards non-solutions to the ordinary folks about whom they care.
        You're more correct than you give yourself credit for.

        Most of the Dems you describe actually believe that they are helping the ordinary folks by doing what they do.

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:09:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Caring" is meaningless without action (10+ / 0-)

      Most of our neolib DC Dems have enabled the GOP by never challenging them for fear of losing corporate political contributions.

      They occasionally talk a good game on tv, but its kabuki.  The few principled Dems left in DC are always busy introducing good legislation to challenge the GOP, but if you look closely, you'll see that the neolibs never co-sponsor these bills, never introduce legislation of their own or push for any change in Congress.

      They sit on their hands and pretend to be worried while planning their next fundraiser.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In 2009 there was a democratic supermajority (15+ / 0-)

      in congress and again last year in CA there was a democratic supermajority in the legislature. Neither time did the issues that are leading to this hopelessness get addressed. If California represents the future of the party then we are well an thoroughly fucked. We can't even get the supposedly liberal governor to institute a moratorium on fracking.

      Those numbers on how many dems in government care are wildly off. Otherwise we would have a decent environmental program in CA instead of the governor and others pushing to roll back the environmental law, as well as destroying the delta so that some agricorps can make a buck. California is the test case for the Democratic party and the Dems are failing miserably.

      Hope is fundamentally realistic, it has to be. The loss of hope is coming from a lot of places, a whole lot. You're looking at the big picture only, not the circumstances of individuals. You think we can eventually fix some stuff, but that isn't enough for a lot of people. People don't lose hope because they think that reform is going to take a few more years than they expected, they lose hope because their life is fucked and a few more years delay means their life will stay fucked.

      That's what this is about. Not some theoretical "winning" in the political realm. It's about people seeing their dreams go down the hole with no chance of recovering them. Because sometimes a year will do that. A bad year can in fact destroy someone's life in a way that they can never recover from realistically. So unless we're working toward something like a debt jubilee, which would bring hope to millions, then a delay on reform is killing people, often literally.

      And honestly, it is painful to have people tell you that you just need to support a candidate, painfully insulting. Hope is lost for me because I don't see a single candidate who has a workable solution to global warming. Not one. Instead we get new light bulbs and slightly more efficient cars. And there's no chance that this will change within the next two elections. None at all.

      Hope is lost when the least of expectations are not reasonably able to be fulfilled. That's where we're at right now.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:26:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's factually incorrect (0+ / 0-)

        The ACA was passed, the stimulus was passed etc etc.

        You can argue they didn't go far enough but that has more to do with the GOP taking the House in 2010 than in them not acting.

        Hope is also not fundamentally realistic. And yes AoT people lose hope all the time because they are told to wait a bit. the ACA grumbling from some here is an example of that.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:17:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, they didn't address the issues that (6+ / 0-)

          are leading to this hopelessness. They made a couple of minor adjustments that made it so things are getting worse slower, but that's not progress.

          Hope is also not fundamentally realistic. And yes AoT people lose hope all the time because they are told to wait a bit. the ACA grumbling from some here is an example of that.
          You entirely misunderstood the point. People lose hope because delay means that any impassibility of things getting better is gone with a delay for a lot of people. That's different than saying "Oh, it's going to take a year to implement ACA so I give up." It's saying "Oh, student loan forgiveness is not going to happen in the next decade so I might as well give up hope because my life will be ruined no matter what I do." When you tell someone in the latter situation to just wait that's basically telling the to give up hope.

          And yes, hope is fundamentally realistic, at least the useful sort of hope. Otherwise it's just a useless emotion that stops people from killing themselves even though they have no chance for things to get better. Real hope includes content that gives reason for hope, that's why Obama did what he did in 2008, because he inspired real hope in people.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  your hopes and demands are unrealistic (0+ / 0-)

            And the ACA was not a minor adjustment. As I said before if you want more than we need to put the Democrats back in control.

            It really is that simple and hope doesn't have to have a single thing to do about it.

            Please also pick an argument, is it 'hope is realistic' or 'useful hope is realistic'? I'll agree with the second but I still disagree with the first. Even then though we'd have to talk about what useful really entails.

            Speaking personally I do not think there is anything 'useless' that keeps people going. Life can be cruel sometimes and when we get knocked down we need a reason to get back up. Hope can be just as powerful and useful to that goal as anything else.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:31:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  hope and despair (4+ / 0-)
            And yes, hope is fundamentally realistic, at least the useful sort of hope. Otherwise it's just a useless emotion that stops people from killing themselves even though they have no chance for things to get better.
            Or, as I said somewhat more laconically:

            "Better honest despair than false hope!"

            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:12:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  global warming (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, jbsoul
        And honestly, it is painful to have people tell you that you just need to support a candidate, painfully insulting. Hope is lost for me because I don't see a single candidate who has a workable solution to global warming. Not one.
        That's because there's no human, candidate or not, who does.

        It would have to exist first.
             -- Styx Allum, founder, FidoNet HOLYSMOKE Echo

        Instead we get new light bulbs and slightly more efficient cars.
        Which have essentially no effect, as you correctly point out.

        There is no solution to this problem which does not involve something which is completely anathema to Capitalism and "Christianity" alike: significant shrinkage of all human populations worldwide.

        And you're not going to find anyone advocating this allowed anywhere near the levers of power, ever.

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:59:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've noticed an increase in comments (46+ / 0-)

    and diaries of people who feel like giving up. I have also gotten more pessimistic.

    I've had a gradual political change. I used to be more pragmatic. There were a lot of things that got to me..

    I've been trying to find words for this, so I'll try.

    I remember the Chained CPI debate. I debated it from a more practical standpoint. Was the President between a rock and a hard place?  Did we have no good option?  I didn't know.

    I ran into a lot of comments by people who had nothing left besides social security. They had lost jobs, homes, and savings. What right did anyone not in that position have to debate the issue in anything but human terms?
    I could be in that position some day. It wouldn't take a lot.

    Then I noticed people who had lost everything but social security trying to talk about their situation, and people just talked right past them.

    The same is true about unemployment. There are so many long term unemployed people. How can I blame any of them for being down on both political parties??

    I can't look anyone in the face and say the status quo will solve either problem. No - we need to substantial change in policy. That means dramatic new ideas..

  •  The collective unconscious (12+ / 0-)

    is coming to the surface.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:57:16 PM PDT

  •  Democrats like Rich money more than Poor votes. nt (13+ / 0-)

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:50:14 PM PDT

  •  NBBooks, it is always a pleasure to read you. (17+ / 0-)

    Thanks so much for your ongoing insightful efforts here trying to spread clues.

    JimP's suggestion,  which I and others also have stated for  the past year, is such a complete no-brainer that it really takes Democrats to not get it.  

    Failure to grasp this basic concept of BEING a Democrat by promising to make things better by creating a generation's worth of desperately needed infrastructure jobs, and then actually,  y'know,  keeping that promise  is what stands between Democrats and victory in 2014.

    It astounds me that Democrats don't get it.  And THEN they will blame the voters for not showing up,  like it is the voters who have the credibility problem rather than the candidates.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:09:32 PM PDT

  •  F that noise. I got tons of hope. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    Middle name is hope.  Had some hope for dinner.  Swam in hope river to get to my house on hope street.

    And I'm going to put solar panels on f-ing everything.  My second 48 hour course ends this Sat.  The trades are fascinating.  There are certainly different classes in the country.  Did you know you have to work in the plumbing or elec fields for 7 years before you can become a licensed electrician!  How about them apples.  

    When we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.

    by genethefiend on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:29:51 PM PDT

  •  Its diaries like this that give me hope... (12+ / 0-)

    Not individual hope, though indirectly that too, but national hope.

    See I think the biggest problem is America is distracted by 'bread and circuses' and really doesn't have a clue. People aren't talking about the fact that our government doesn't work for us intentionally. To me that should be the first thing on EVERYONES mind.

    I've watched our country turn to ruin since the 1980's starting with the deregulations, like a car crash in slow motion over the last 30 odd years we have come to live in a completely different country. Like the frog in slowly warming water most people just really didn't notice.

    Since I've been a member here such talk usually hasn't taken much traction, but over the last months more and more people are speaking reality. Its like everyone knew it, but just wanted to pretend it wasn't so. I think Snowden was the turning actually with his revelations removing all doubt that we have a government out of control.

    More and more the reality that faces us is being spoken about in the cold truth and people are paying attention and momentum is building. It is our government and all it takes to get it running right again is enough of us demanding it does so. Until recently more and more I felt all hope was lost and we would continue our drift to fallen civilization or some weird semi free facist state, but that is changing and people are waking up.

    And that gives me hope...

    When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:31:39 PM PDT

  •  The Economy (17+ / 0-)

    has become a Casino Game.

    -- the price for entry:   The best years of your life.


    But just because they let some of us play,

    doesn't mean they'll let any of us win.


    Sooner or later were going to have to: Trade in those Carbon Footprints ...

    by jamess on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:34:41 PM PDT

  •  This Diary hurts the heart (14+ / 0-)

    …if one is nationalistically inclined -- or really from most any perspective.

    in 1929 Hoover, the Fed, and later FDR did not bail out the rich.  They were allowed to lose their money, and thus much of their power. That was a decision.
    Naturally, there are people currently with a vision of social justice in America. But there is too much private ownership of the US government and US natural resources and the courts. A visionary can no longer matriculate to higher office.

    And the USian people have never really known that a government is formed to benefit the people. They've lived the Plantation Life of Colonists for too long. Their obsolete constitution directly affords them NO human rights. They do not have the right to health care -- and cannot conceive that such a thing is ubiquitous throughout the world. They do not know that they have the human right to a living wage for full time work. If you told them that they have a human right to food and shelter -- as other nations do -- they would not believe you.

    It is this sad beaten down consciousness that dooms USians from respecting their lives and demanding a dignified destiny.

  •  Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    This.

    I've tried austerity, and I don't think it works worth a damm. If filthy rich Oligarchs insist it's the answer, they can try and prove it to me by example.

    by thenekkidtruth on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:26:00 PM PDT

  •  You mean to tell me... (13+ / 0-)

    the president doesn't know about Keynes or Galbraith? Galbraiths kid is alive and offering advice to anyone who'll listen.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:58:13 PM PDT

    •  Ask instead: Why doesn't Obama appoint Galbraith? (10+ / 0-)

      Asking "Why doesn't Obama appoint James Galbraith to a policy making position?" is more instructive, I think. It is probably safe to assume the President knows of both father and son, and I recall that JG was in at least one economists' con-fab with the President. The answer includes some variant of why James Galbraith and his economics ideas are considered culturally inadmissible.

      For example, consider what would be the reaction of Wall Street, and more specifically, the business and financial media, to Obama - or any President - nominating James Galbraith. I can't even begin to imagine the dirty smear campaign that would be launched, though I would be interested in seeing how they manage to twist facts and distort previous statements in order to label Galbraith a socialist or Bolshevik or whatever. Now, are you ready to respond effectively to counteract such a chorus of intense howling? But that is where we need to push, drag, cajole, educate and persuade the vast majority of our fellow citizens, to make the nomination of James Galbraith, or Michael Hudson, or Dean Baker, or Randall Wray, or Thomas Palley culturally admissible.

      Also, see my comment above, in response to the question "Is it really possible he [Obama] didn't know that neo-liberal economics was a failure?"

      Sometimes I wonder if blogging is merely participation in the "screamocracy" that really does not impact things. Then I think of how public discourse has changed and evolved. I remember the hostility and push-back I was met with - here on DailyKos - when I argued back in 2008 that Obama was basically an idiot when it came to economics. Now, people will no longer disagree with the argument, but they want to know why Obama is so misinformed on economics, and what we can do about it. And a good part of the despair starting to surface - I think - is because many people now understand how deeply and broadly has been the indoctrination of neo-liberalism. I mean, back until even last year, there were people who got in a huff by use of the word "neo-liberalism" because they mistook the word and its use as an attack on political liberalism. I haven't seen that mistaken reaction for a few months now, which I take to signify that enough people now understand neo-liberalism to be the radical free market theories of Hayek, von Mises, Friedman, et al.

      I don't know if it's because I more attuned to it than 30 years ago, and am keen to see it happen, or because it is happening more quickly now than 30 years ago, but it sure seems to be now that you can see public consciousness developing. The open attacks on "the rich" would have been rapidly squelched 10 or 15 years ago. Back when Sex in the City was glorifying the rich pricks of Manhattan.

      Keynes is an entirely different matter, and is one which I sometimes mull about how to set in motion a similar process of social education. Of course, Obama knows of Keynes. For now, I'll just state some of my conclusions about Keynes. First, his ideas of government making up for the slack in aggregate demand during a depression or recession are mostly correct. However, other people had the idea before him, most notably the Mormon banker Marriner Eccles, who Franklin Roosevelt appointed as chairman of the Federal Reserve system.

      My major problem with Keynes is that he does not argue that the programs and projects the government funds must contribute to the general welfare. We do NOT want to simply hire people to dig holes and fill them back up again. This failure of Keynes is a reflection of his being a British economist, and his natural inclination to oppose and/or ignore the nineteenth century American System of political economy, in which the general welfare is the standard by which economic policies and results are measured. Or, to put it another way, Keynes does not understand or appreciate the importance of republicanism as an organizing principle of political economy. So far as Keynes is concerned, it does not matter whether or not the American Revolution ever occurred. (Much the same critique is applicable to Adam Smith, also). For Keynes, a country ruled by the people, has no intrinsic value over a country ruled by oligarchs. This has profound implications for economic policy making: Are you trying to sustain, uplift, and better a country of citizens? Or are you trying to buy off and placate a rabble?

      To further the understanding of why I do not like Keynes that much, it might also help to point out the massive failures of Keynesianism in the 1960s and 1970s. 1) There was the failure to discern and oppose the huge flows of dirty money from organized crime that funded the mergers and acquisitions and leverage buy out booms, which were the beginning of the dismantling and looting of the US industrial base. 2) There was the failure to understand and oppose the refusal to pay for the Vietnam War by raising taxes, and how that refusal was going to cause both inflation and recession - what became "stagflation." 3) There was no understanding or concern for the development of the new industrial and transportation base, which shifted from animal power and water power, to burning fossil fuels and using electricity. Keynesians simply accepted these developments as a given, and never tried to understand them as one specific epoch in the industrial and economic development of humanity. By contrast, statecraft in a republic demands that political leaders be familiar with the cutting edges of science and technology, so as to be able to steer economic development in such a way as to assure society does not bump up against environmental and resource limitations (the limitations which Jared Diamond explains so well in his book Collapse). Part of the cutting edges of science and technology is to identify and demarcate the environmental and resource limitations in which society's economy must operate. To be specific, Keynesians were totally unprepared to deal with the 1970s oil shocks specifically, and peak oil generally.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:24:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is neither a sane nor believable reason (22+ / 0-)

    for the Democrats -- literally "rule by the people" -- to refuse to offer what it is that the people have been saying in polling for over 10 years now.

    Well before the 'official' crash of 07-08 working people saw their personal economies crumbling. There were even popular songs "We Can't Make It Here Anymore" in 2005.

    What have the people said they wanted? JOBS! End of story.

    A couple of years ago even 53% of REPUBLICANS!!! said they wanted a Federal Massive Jobs Program. (iirc, Gallup). It was in the 70-75% range for Democrats and Independents.

    The Democratic leadership takes polls. They know, they knew, they will know tomorrow, what it is that voters want. They say they want to win elections, but how can anyone believe them, when they offer neither

    Yet... nothing. And no, a too-small by 2/3rds stimulus that depends on corporate tax breaks; a Jobs Proposal that includes infrastructure fixing which depends on Corporate funds and the ever-present tax breaks... this is plain crazy.

    Nobody going to take a x% tax break to hire someone for a 100% loss. Corporations don't give a shit about the infrastructure, especially the biggest because they don't need it. Their interests lie overseas.

    Something is rotten in DC. The only way out for the working class that I can see is if somehow we could crowd-fund bribing politicians to pass legislation that helps, rather than destroys, the nation. (Did I say 'bribe'? Oops, I mean 'make a very compelling argument in the form of millions of dollars.')


    Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

    by Jim P on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:00:32 PM PDT

  •  modern conservatives (9+ / 0-)
    "...the rich have spent the last 80 odd years obsessing over what went wrong in 1929 that allowed FDR, the New Deal and everything which flowed from it. "
    ...are people who want to re-fight the Vietnam War, the Civil War, and/or the Great Depression, in hopes of different outcomes.
  •  Tip, rec, follow, repub X4 (6+ / 0-)

    labor and unemployed workers tag added
    (hope that is OK)

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:46:45 AM PDT

  •  The left in the U.S. is getting its groove back. (6+ / 0-)

    But it must not adopt its own version of isolationism. We need a new internationalism if we want to see reality for all its challenging complexity. We must think first and foremost as world citizens. The world is being denied democracy by the nation states, which are capitalist-controlled and allow international "cooperation" only if it promotes capitalism.

    The U.S. is a lagging indicator of what is happening around the world. The left is on the ascendance in the U.S. Neoliberalism has failed. The corporate media pretends not to notice, just like the Democratic Party pretends not to notice, just like the U.S. government, including the corporate-controlled Congress, state legislatures, and judiciaries, pretend not to notice.

    However, the left cannot expect the U.S. to be the leader of a better world and must realize that the capitalist-controlled U.S. government has no, zero, nada interest in deep global sustainable democracy of the material resources of the world for the benefit of all humanity. The U.S. talks a good anti-authoritarian game but that is a smokescreen for its own repression at home and abroad in order to support extending and consolidating capitalist hegemony. Opposing dialectical forces Marx described pretty accurately are at work all around the world. The U.S. is overwhelmingly controlled by the capitalist oligarchy, which will not give up power voluntarily.

    The left in the U.S. needs to:

    1. think and work locally, in everything from indirect efforts like voter registration/voter turnout to get better elected officials to direct efforts like labor organizing, cooperatives, mutual aid societies, and workers' gardens, but because U.S. capitalist democracy-lite is so overwhelming controlled by the oligarchy, the left also needs to extend and receive hands of solidarity across the water and the borders, and thus  

    2. think and work globally, by
    (a) opposing neoliberal trade agreements;
    (b) seeking an end to the global drug war;
    (c) seeking a drastic reduction in the U.S. military and CIA industrial complexes;
    (d) encourage rather than undercut places which are trying to do something better than capitalism, including Cuba and Venezuela, which can be encouraged to adopt more toleration toward dissidents if the U.S. will stop engaging in dirty tricks and funding of right wing movements around the world and stop the blockade against Cuba and give back Guantanamo Bay; and
    (e) encourage the U.S. to become part of a worldwide social compact of economic, social, and cultural rights for all, which is something I am beginning to address as a species-being doing my best (http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...).

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:36:07 AM PDT

  •  Adam Smith - country going to ruin (7+ / 0-)
    The rate of profit ... is naturally low in rich and high in poor
    countries, and it is always highest in the countries which
    are going fastest to ruin.

    Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    Quotation from Chapter 10 "The Rich Strike Back" of the excellent book

    “Worse than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington’s Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go From Here”, by Keith Quincy.

    As noted by several comments here, the rich were pissed off that they lost money and power and they struck back.

    Also noted in several comments is that the country is going to ruin at an accelerated rate.

  •  You want to take (0+ / 0-)

    money from "rich"  people.   How rich in your definition?   Better bring a gun.

  •  Thankfully, I have my rage (15+ / 0-)

    I'm grateful for it. I will never put a gun in my mouth, or run off and wait quietly for the end to come quietly sobbing to myself, because so much of what is soul crushing in our political culture makes my blood boil rather than makes me want to quit.

    I thought as I got older I might run colder.

    Nope. I'm more liberal, and more quick to get fired up.

    I find great solace in comforting those who have given up hope. I sympathize with them, and would never bash or excoriate them. I get it.

    You can only fail people so much, for so long, before they give up hope.  

    "How have you failed the Democratic Party today?" only adds to the misery and hopelessness.

    I vote Democratic because I have to. I haven't been proud of being a Democrat in a long time. My Democratic Party is a legacy party. I am more proud of the New Deal that my grandfather was proud of, and the Great Society programs that my mother held dear, than anything neoliberalism has put forth in the name of "please, oh, please, just don't hurt me" opposition to Movement Conservatism.

    1993-2013. The record is written. The evidence is in. Using conservatism in the hopes it can be adapted for liberal goals was supposed to make the GOP obsolete, was supposed to gut Movement Conservatism by leaving them no legs to stand on.  

    Movement Conservatism has not been checked, let alone rolled back, by "please, oh, please, don't hurt me".

    It has thrived.

    Not since the Gilded Age has the elite held such an iron fist over those at the bottom.

    Hopelessness was going to claim some truly magnificent human beings to despair.

    It's an unfair war. Unfair wars break good people. Noble people. Just people. They have a cadre of billionaires, no shame, no good faith, and can justify anything they do as morally correct because it is what Jesus would do, as they are the party of Supply-Side Jesus and Sacred American Flags made in China by people chained to their workstations because a flag made by union hands paid a living wage is "un-American".  

    Not everybody can live on rage.

    Or false hope.

    And constantly telling people on the edge to buck up, with no reason to other than vague happy talk to back that up, is a form of inhuman cruelty wrapped in the guise of better days and handed out like a gift to people who are already in a bad place and vulnerable to getting even more heartache heaped on them.

    There is no reason that the hopeless shouldn't be bolstered not by vapid and empty happy talk by a fierce argument against Movement Conservatism. None whatsoever.

    Where has Movement Conservatism succeeded except for turning lying into an art form, and massive and systematic economic, social, and military failure into a foundation for a cancerous movement?

    One aspect of non-Conservative establishment politics that should die on fire is the idea of blaming the abused and downtrodden for the sins of the most powerful and influential. As a Democratic voter, I marvel at the ability of Democratic pols and pundits to blame the voters for their failures. You get fucked at the polls, you earned a piece of it. The coalition that doesn't turn out for off-year elections, and only turns out for Presidential ones, was chosen. It was engineered. The rockstar brand model. We have known since 1993-4 that the rockstar brand is not connected, in any way, to the Democratic Party brand.

    You can always count on a slew of lamentations about why our side doesn't turn out in off-years as if it is a mystery. Just like you can always count on seeing tons of commentary after a bad election day blaming the voters for bad outcomes.

    Who's fault is that? The people doing the most whining about it.

    In 2014 nobody should be assuming that activists are not voting in great number, they are the most engaged in the Tent, and nobody should be thinking that last minute scare tactics to low-information voters will make up for years of not making an argument against Movement Conservatism. They are low-information voters, if they knew who was right and who was wrong, if common sense was their guide, and because of their being well-informed and full of common sense they knew who was their real friend and who was their true ally, they wouldn't be so easily bamboozled into believing that firefighters were arsonists and the arsonists were the firefighters so often.  

    What fundamentally drives me to never give up is the reality that Movement Conservatism is, quite literally, screaming for a sustained and withering ass-kicking.

    You lean, hard, on the freakshow and it squeals and screams "UNFAIR!!!!" You quote the Republican accurately, word for word, off of a video or audio recording, and its a 'smear'.

    It is hard to name an area where Movement Conservatism has not been proven to be a massive epic fail disaster. Economically? Foreign Policy-wise? Social policy-wise?

    The biggest reasons outside of their wealth and working the refs for decades is that they have been given a pass, for years, on having to defend their failures or having to beat back an alternative vision for the country.
    "Me too, just humanely dosed over time"? That is not an argument.  

    There is no fucking excuse for not beating the shit out of the American Right. For not attacking Movement Conservatism along with every other thing done to help people get out from under the rocks they have been buried under by greedy bastards and their professional enablers.

    Hope is a gift, you squander that shit at your peril.  

    You might not get the opportunity to get it back again.

    Here's to the glorious pessimists who still fight for optimism and better days. Odds are, if you are waking a wall with a grim slit on your face, it's because you give a shit that things are falling down all around you, and you don't think for a second that bullshit happy talk is a plan.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:05:20 AM PDT

  •  Obama made a speech at Georgetown in 2009 (11+ / 0-)

    that should be called the New Foundation Speech. It was pitch perfect for the times and would have been a great way to begin rebuilding an economy that wprks for people. Unfortunately,  like so many things he says, nothing ever happened beyond a speech. Everything I  it was tabled. Instead, we got more tax cuts, deficit reduction, and austerity-lite. As if nothing happened in 2008. Weak financial reforms that in some ways made things worse. Appointments of the worst foxes in the world to guard the henhouse. But most of all, a decision not to fight for a New Foundation and instead a historic battle to nationalize Romneycare.

    Its the sad story of his presidency. A missed opportunity to revive the economy for people who arent rich. He and the Dems in Congress blew it, and weve been on the defensive ever since. The only thing keeping us in the game is that the GOP went batshit crazy. If they were even remotely sane, wed be finished.

    In the end, history willmost likely note the great social changes on his watch (like his historic election), especially in the area of LGBT rights, his healthcare reforms which we will have to see are sustainable over the long haul, and most importantly ending the American war adventures of the new century which formed the basis of his mandate in the first place. Otherwise, he will get a 'meh' for basically maintainingthe status quo in the political and economic system that is making this country continue its steady decline.

  •  I'm ready for class warfare (7+ / 0-)

    The wealthy have been waging class warfare on the rest of us since forever and it is high time we start fighting back.

    Whenever some right wing oligarch or clueless pundit decries "class warfare," I'll wear it like a badge of honor rather than accede to their attempt at shaming.  They're goddamned right it's class warfare, they've been waging it on us relentlessly for as long as I can remember and they will squeal like pigs when we start fighting back but we have to start fighting back.

    Let's get that Overton window moving back the other way.  I propose a return to the 90% top tax bracket rather than the measly 34% (or whatever it is today).  I propose publicly-funded elections, banning all outside money from the political process.  I propose nonpartisan redistricting and redrawing every single district in America to eliminate all "safe" districts.  I propose a new Draconian tax on corporations on a sliding scale that taxes them heavily based on the difference in pay between the top paid executives and the lowest paid worker such that they simply can't afford the tax penalties that would result from paying their executives as exorbitantly as they do today.  Paying the CEO more than 20 times what the lowest paid employee makes would cause them to be taxed out of business.

    I propose establishing a new commission to fight corporate crime and to retroactively go after those that caused the 2008 collapse and bring real criminal charges to everyone with any culpability however high it may go.  I want to see a whole lot of wealthy criminals being frog-marched off to prison, and not country club prison, regular prison.

    I propose the end of corporate personhood.  I propose the end of allowing the wealthy to abuse the power their wealth brings them.  Actually hold them all accountable and when they get caught abusing their power, take their money and take their power.  You can be rich if you can get rich fairly but not if you get there unethically or illegally.

    I propose a guaranteed minimum income and radically increasing Social Security so that even when the rich get nailed for abusing their power and have their wealth removed as a result, they won't end up living on the street (no one would), they will still have a guaranteed minimum income and a comfortable retirement, just like the rest of us.  They won't be able to afford to live in a mansion but they will be able to afford modest housing and they won't go hungry.  There would no longer be any such concept as "homeless."

    I propose Medicare for all, publicly-funded healthcare for everyone in the country, paid for by the increase in tax receipts from progressively raising all of the tax brackets.

    All of these things (plus a lot of other similar things there isn't room here to mention) would work to level the playing field and would bring back a very robust middle class.

    Now honestly, it matters little if these things are actually possible.  But we need to put them out there, start fighting for them and start recruiting the rest of the 99% to fight with us.  That's how we move the Overton window.  We may not get even 1/100th of these things accomplished but any movement made in the right left direction would be real progress.  As long as we never let up the fight, we might get close someday.  The more we can move the needle, the more people will rally to our cause.

    Politicians aren't going to fight with us, even our own party would be hostile to these progressive ideas because our party is decidedly not progressive.  We would have to do this all on our own dragging the politicians behind us and making it untenable for them to stand in the way.

    I'm ready.  I've been ready.  And I think there are millions of others who are just as ready to join in waging such a fight if they really believed it would make a difference.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:05:57 AM PDT

    •  You sound a lot like me in your thinking. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul, thanatokephaloides

      this is what I wrote in a blog last November:  

      Friday, November 8, 2013

      My ideals for a better society. Hope for the present and future political possibilities, as well as humanity as a whole.

      YEP.

      I'm one of those keyboard jackhammers that representative Steve King (R-IA) was talking about and proud of it.  Here are the reasons why...

      I'm for People not corporations.

      I'm for a good quality education and higher learning that is accessible to all.

      I'm for everyone having access to healthcare and to not go bankrupt because you wound up with a catastrophic illness or injury.

      I'm for everyone having enough food to eat, a roof over their heads and heat in the winter.

      I'm for work place safety and giving everyone who wants a job to have one.

      I'm for clean air, and clean water and land that is not contaminated with harmful substances like tar sands bitumen.

      I'm for fixing, improving and updating our crumbling infrastructure.

      I'm for having our seniors and disabled citizenry to be able to not live in poverty.

      I'm for spending money on research to find new cures, new technological innovations and to have a greater understanding of the universe and the world we live on.

      I'm for clean energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and ocean wave power.  

      I'm for giving citizens a living wage because if you work you shouldn't live in poverty.  

      I'm for making sure children are well taken care of.  Also to make daycare a free service paid for by tax dollars so that every parent can work without worrying about their child/children's welfare.  

      I'm for publicly funded elections where anyone can run who wants to with no need for a giant bank account.  

      I'm for bringing honesty back into news reporting and to allow journalist do do the investigative journalism they used to do without fear of reprisals or jail time.

      I'm for re-instating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act so we could break up these mega banks and corporations that are dictating our laws and buying our elections

      I'm for getting rid of all lobbyists and to allow individual citizens to write laws that the entire country can vote on and give their opinions on before it is taken up into being made a law.

      I'm for allowing analysis in plain english of what a law is actually designed to do so that no one is duped by the false labels that many current laws possess, and to give the true costs and savings involved as far as can be determined.  

      I'm for transparency in government.  If it was paid for with your tax dollars, you should have access.  

      I'm for teaching parenting skills and financial skills in high school.

      I'm for allowing children to receive college credit for their classes if it's an advanced class or having them take remote classes through colleges that offer it.

      I'm for publicly funded elections where anyone can run who wants to with no need for a giant bank account.

      I'm for giving every person who works a living wage until we can get rid of capitalism.

      I'm for a resource based economy and to do away with the capitalistic system.

      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

      by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:24:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How our fiat monetary system works.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action
  •  I have been thinking that without bubbles (0+ / 0-)

    we have to face as a nation the true status of our situation economically.  Once we got past the  difficult effects of the near depression and spent time making regulatory changes to be able to prevent or at least prosecute that type of speculation, we have been able to focus more clearly on the structural issues.  This means taking a step back and understanding how the changes in the Reagan years brought us to this point, in my opinion.  There are also changes that happen because we evolve as a global society that would have structural effects on our situation as a country economically.  If you end war after so many years that is another huge factor (and hopefully as we try to go back to a peacetime economy no one is able to yank us bank in).

    The perspective being gained by the general population as to what's wrong and how to organize to fix it is a good thing.  It will take a strong effort to counteract the forces that want to perpetuate the problems for their own gain (Koch brothers for example).  November is a great time to make hard work pay off.

  •  The Primacy of Weath is an Illusion (5+ / 0-)

    from 1970 to 2006 our economy continued to grow at an average rate of 3.5% per year. Yet, the median family saw almost no growth in income, and actually a net decline in prosperity, if you look at Elizabeth Warren's research. Now we are in a permanent recession. What would you expect to happen? We will not get out of this until we come to terms with wealth and ownership of public resource capital.

    This topic is huge and I could go on forever, but I will cut to the chase. Fasten your seatbelt.

    - The economy clears every year, those goods and services that are manufactured are sold, plus or minus inventory change. If the broad consumer base doesn't have enough income to buy those goods and services, then they must increase debt. If this doesn't happen the economy fails quickly.

    - While this is happening, wealth and debt are doing a dance. Your debt is someone's wealth. All wealth is essentially an IOU, either directly as in loans or indirectly as ownership of capital with some market value.

    - There is an net change in Debt and Wealth during the year. As has been happening for the last 40 years, the wealthy have been building their net aggregate worth while the rest of us are in net personal capital decline and increased debt. That's where all of that wealth has come from. It's not excess profit dollars placed under the mattress.

    - When a  individual spends wealth he is converting IOUs into cash to spend on his project. That money comes from your debt.

    I have two conclusions, each one more radical.

    1- We could take the wealth of the 1% and spend it directly on important projects, infrastructure and technology. There is no difference, except that the wealthy will not directly get economic rents from infrastructure, technology and social capital. This is completely plausible.

    2- We can cancel debt and wealth. The capital needed to expand the economy, and create infrastructure comes directly from broad based taxes. If individual families had no debt they could easily afford the taxes to build public infrastructure. There is no economic difference between this scheme and the scheme we have today. Currently, you make payments on your debt, mortgage, credit cars, student loans, etc., and that cash flow is the new capital that the Wealthy have to spend.

    For my scheme to work we as a society have to get over the concept that the wealthy have a right to own what is really society's capital and to make economic rent off of that capital. It's a big leap, but without it we are stuck in an economic depression for the vast majority of Americans, with no hope of ever getting out.

    •  I'm for your idea of canceling debt and wealth. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Wizard, thanatokephaloides

      From what I understand of global debt, it is 1000 times greater than the GDP of every country on earth.  There is no way to pay back such a massive amount of money.  

      In fact our current system encourages debt as a means of more growth and that is unsustainable.

      It's time to hit the reset button and start over.  Preferably with something more humane than capitalism.  

      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

      by prettymeadow on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:34:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco

    Only one caveat. I'm not sure what you mean by "identity politics."

    One of the unique aspects of US society is the centrality of race. Historically, racism has been and continues to be the great complication and stumbling block for progressive social and economic policy here. It is neither possible or desirable to ignore it.

    Do you include issues of race and racism under the heading of identity politics?  

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:15:56 PM PDT

  •  Unforgivably an FDR moment was pissed away by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    a party that no longer deserves support. Republicans are the enemy but Democrats are worse. They are, with precious few and largely powerless exceptions, traitors.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:11:21 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't know what to fill it with my @ss. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, thanatokephaloides

    Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman and a whole host of others would be a start.   I haven't lost hope.   I'm just fed up and pissed off that we're still idolizing Clintons and a corporate owned Democratic Party pushing austerity.

    I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:38:03 PM PDT

  •  I really do not believe most people (0+ / 0-)

    are giving a ratt's butt about OPM ( other people's money)
    as long as they have a decent living and can enjoy some pleasures  in life.  Greed is something that I see as a deadly way of life.  The billionaire who cannot get enough is poison to any and every breathing animal on earth because they live in bottomless pits of more more more.

    I believe most who are feeling hopeless are feeling helpless.  All to solve the problem is decent jobs, fair wages, a decent home, good education opportunity,  a little savings and access to good and fair healthcare.   Everything else is just for show.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:25:50 PM PDT

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