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ExPDXer

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  1. Interesting post from Marc Andreessen.... link: IT'S TIME TO BUILD <snip> Every Western institution was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic, despite many prior warnings. This monumental failure of institutional effectiveness will reverberate for the rest of the decade, but it’s not too early to ask why, and what we need to do about it. We don’t have enough coronavirus tests, or test materials — including, amazingly, cotton swabs and common reagents. We don’t have enough ventilators, negative pressure rooms, and ICU beds. And we don’t have enough surgical masks, eye shields, and medical gowns — as I write this, New York City has put out a desperate call for rain ponchos to be used as medical gowns. Rain ponchos! In 2020! In America! We also don’t have therapies or a vaccine — despite, again, years of advance warning about bat-borne coronaviruses. Our scientists will hopefully invent therapies and a vaccine, but then we may not have the manufacturing factories required to scale their production. And even then, we’ll see if we can deploy therapies or a vaccine fast enough to matter — it took scientists 5 years to get regulatory testing approval for the new Ebola vaccine after that scourge’s 2014 outbreak, at the cost of many lives. In the U.S., we don’t even have the ability to get federal bailout money to the people and businesses that need it. Tens of millions of laid off workers and their families, and many millions of small businesses, are in serious trouble *right now*, and we have no direct method to transfer them money without potentially disastrous delays. A government that collects money from all its citizens and businesses each year has never built a system to distribute money to us when it’s needed most. Why do we not have these things? Medical equipment and financial conduits involve no rocket science whatsoever. At least therapies and vaccines are hard! Making masks and transferring money are not hard. We could have these things but we chose not to — specifically we chose not to have the mechanisms, the factories, the systems to make these things. We chose not to *build*. Is the problem money? That seems hard to believe when we have the money to wage endless wars in the Middle East and repeatedly bail out incumbent banks, airlines, and carmakers. The federal government just passed a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in two weeks! Is the problem capitalism? I’m with Nicholas Stern when he says that capitalism is how we take care of people we don’t know — all of these fields are highly lucrative already and should be prime stomping grounds for capitalist investment, good both for the investor and the customers who are served. Is the problem technical competence? Clearly not, or we wouldn’t have the homes and skyscrapers, schools and hospitals, cars and trains, computers and smartphones, that we already have. The problem is desire. We need to *want* these things. The problem is inertia. We need to want these things more than we want to prevent these things. The problem is regulatory capture. We need to want new companies to build these things, even if incumbents don’t like it, even if only to force the incumbents to build these things. And the problem is will. We need to build these things. And we need to separate the imperative to build these things from ideology and politics.
  2. I would not know, I dutifully voted for HRC, which gives me the right to complain about tent size. I do not need your permission. I will defer to your expertise on absurdity. However, I would consider this as an example: I'm sure you are planning on collecting SS, and signing up for Medicare, if you aren't already. Expecting those able bodied Americans to work in hazardous meat packing plants, stock shelves, and deliver food to your doorstep (for substandard pay, and no health benefits) in order to eat a hamburger for lunch might be a better definition of "Greed".
  3. Who should we nominate to be the arbitor of correct political behaviour? Any thoughts, Bill? In my estimation, Joe better start campaigning soon.... Election day is only 6 months away, and he gots some work to do, if you know what I mean. As I mentioned November is 6 months away. Joe is still in his basement. What's the plan, Stan? Where is the strategy? I see no Biden signs down here in FL. I see no Political ads on TV, from the DNC, or those promised to be paid for by Bloomberg. Is there even going to be a DNC Convention? Where's Tom Perez been lately? Whats up with that? Isn't Florida one of those important States? Maybe not.... So many questions. I hope Biden wins, but elections don't win themselves. Kinda reminds me of a story.... A terrifying story that took place at a public pool in the 1960's. His name was CornPop. He was a bad dude. But Joe wasn't scared..... Let's not be all crazy-cakes. We have an election to win. I suspect you would prefer a smaller tent, but smaller tents don't win elections. I actually liked the 2016 DNC platform as a document. It's reasonably progressive. Too bad it was forgotten days after it was writen. By "this stuff", do you mean": political discussion, criticism, or endlessly rehashing what happened in 2016. If it's that last one, then I totally agree with you. There are vastly more important issues happening right now in 2020
  4. 1978 Fender Squire Bullet 1 w/ Steinberger Bridge Oscar Schmidt OL-40B w / Flat Wound Martin OMCPA4 Performing Artist Orchestra Epiphone Sheraton II
  5. You are correct. Every single day, the media is consumed with all things Trump. From the time he rode down the escalator and declared Mexican immigrants rapists, it's been one shiny object after another. Every single rally is televised, every tweet is quoted, every lie is repeated, and discussed ad naseum. This is how he won in 2016, and sadly 2020 looks like a repeat. No one is talking about what Biden said, or didn't say from his basement, or what Pelosi did, or didn't do to address the crisis. All publicity is good publicity, even if it's insane, and (especially if) the media distresses over it. This is by design. The only way this can be avoided is for the the media (and for us) to ignore the daily shiny object. Real news organizations should never repeat lies from a source that has been proven over and over to be not credible. Repeating a lie, or a dangerous /inciteful statement over and over, just to boost ratings, is dispicable, even if it is fact checked. It may be entertaining to some. It may even be considered a laughable, or a joke. But it is very sad, and depressing, because the joke is on the us. The American people are suffering economically, and many are dying unneccesarily.
  6. I accept your concession that Medicare For All is a worthwhile social program (* as long as socialism doesn't get the credit), and should be paid for through taxing profits made through capitalism. FDR established theTennasee Valley Authority in 1933 as a federally-owned electric utility and regional economic development agency. It still exists today as the nation’s largest public power provider. Healthcare insurance like Medicare must be considered a public infrastructure need, because private, for profit companies cannot provide for public healthcare needs. This should be brutally apparent at this moment. It is in the Public interest to respond to attacks on our country, whether it be a virus, or an ICBM. It is in the interest of Private corporations to have a healthy workforce. It is in the interest of every individual citzen to eradicate contagious diseases, regardless whether a profit can be made, or the ability to pay.
  7. Okay. I am totally in favor of social programs that are delivered and paid for by capitalist economies . If it makes you happy, I'll refer to Social Security as Capital Preservation program. Whatever you want to call it, is a worthwhile social program. So is Medicare. So is Medicare for All, So is Unemployment Insuance. Interesting. Do you really believe that Mussolini, and Eugene Debbs somehow engineered the Wall St crash of 1929? Capitalism cannot escape responsibility for 1929, or 2008, or the current wealth inequality issue right in front of us. To be clear, the social programs (*eventually, and reluctantly paid for by capitalism), were created in response to the massive unemployment, which was caused by rampant overspeculation on Wall St. I agree. Yes, these are all good examples of social programs paid for by capitalism. Some things are better off being run by the government, whoever pays for it. Like public school, Post Office, Police, Interstate highways, and healthcare. Not sure where you are drawing the line. That's quite suprising. Sweden is going to turn into an human rights, and economic nightmare? Will that be before, or after America's economic nightmare? Have it your way, Sweden is an advanced capitalist economy, which has an government funded universal healthcare system paid through taxes. Or, Sweden is an advanced capitalist country with a unversal heaalthcare system (*paid for by capitalism), if you like that better. The fact remains. Sweden has a universal healthcare system for all it citizens.
  8. It is fair to say that FDR used socialistic programs (like the ,TVA, CCC, CWA) to save capitalism from itself. He also enacted laws and regulations (like Glass-Steagall Act and Fair Labor Standards Act), reign-in the excess of the greedy barons of industry. Embracing pure capitalism will absolutely lead to extreme wealth inequality. Capitalism and socialism lie on opposite ends of a continuum. Almost every country mixes elements of capitalism and socialism but do so in varying degrees. Some societies lean toward the capitalist end of the continuum, while other societies lean toward the socialist end. The United States is a capitalist nation, but the government still regulates many industries to varying degrees. But the free market is not helping our citizens very much at all during our current crisis. The free market has responded to the crisis by immediately laying off millions of workers, then asking taxpayers to bail them out, because no one can afford their products without paychecks. China has embraced capitalism, with many American corporations doing business there, but capitalism has not saved their citizens from being suppressed, or run over by tanks for speaking out in favor of democracy. Raw capitalism encourages selfish and greedy behavior: if individuals try to maximize their profit, they do so at the expense of others, ...someone has to lose. A company’s ultimate aim, and one that is generally lauded, is to maximize its profits by driving another company out of the market altogether. That company succeeds even if some other party is hurting. The small Mom-and-Pop grocery stores, drugstores, and hardware stores are almost a thing of the past, as big-box stores open their doors and drive their competition out of business. Raw capitalism encourages harmful behavior. Yet it is precisely this type of behavior that is taught in business schools. The pro-capitalists, and robber barons (like JP Morgan) were no fans of FDR. As I mentioned, the two extremes are pure capitalism, and pure socialism.... Most nations, (including the US) combine elements of both capitalism and socialism. Denmark, Sweden and several other Western European nations combine the best features of capitalism and socialism while avoiding their faults. The government in these nations has extensive programs to help the poor and other people in need. Social democracies like the Scandinavian nations are often called controlled capitalist market economies. The word controlled refers to the idea that their governments either own industries or heavily regulate industries. A key feature of these social democracies’ economies is that inequality in wealth and income is not generally tolerated. Employers, employees, and political officials are accustomed to working closely to ensure that poverty and its related problems are addressed as much as possible and in as cooperative a manner as possible. All citizens, regardless of their socioeconomic status or family situation, receive various services, such as child care and universal health care, that are free or heavily subsidized. To support this massive provision of benefits, these nations have high taxes that their citizens generally accept as normal and necessary. This mixture of captialism and socialism has been very successful, as the Scandinavian nations rank at or near the top in international comparisons of health, education, economic well-being, and other measures of quality of life. It is very possible to have a political and economic model that combines the best features of capitalism and socialism while retaining the political freedom that citizens expect in a democracy.
  9. Yea, right... "For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor — other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness." FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech at Democratic National Convention, Jun. 27, 1936 "We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred." FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Address at Madison Square Garden, New York City, Oct. 31, 1936 “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT And one quote from FDR's 5th cousin: "To permit every lawless capitalist, every law-defying corporation, to take any action, no matter how iniquitous, in the effort to secure an improper profit and to build up privilege, would be ruinous to the Republic and would mark the abandonment of the effort to secure in the industrial world the spirit of democratic fair dealing." Wrong again. Exactly what do you have against ordinay people? Why do you admire elite neoliberals, who embrace trickle down economics, and declared "the era of big government is over"? Populism: pop·u·lism /ˈpäpyəˌlizəm/ Learn to pronounce noun noun: a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups. Elitism e·lit·ism /əˈlēdˌizəm/ Learn to pronounce noun noun: the advocacy or existence of an elite as a dominating element in a system or society. * see also neoliberalism "We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there's not a program for every problem. We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington." "The era of big government is over." "I believe our new, smaller government must work in an old-fashioned American way, together with all of our citizens through state and local governments, in the workplace, in religious, charitable and civic associations. There is now broad bipartisan agreement that permanent deficit spending must come to an end. I compliment the Republican leadership and the membership for the energy and determination you have brought to this task of balancing the budget." PRESIDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS JANUARY 23, 1996
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