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Spartan

Disillusionment and Disgust

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On 11/9/2017 at 9:51 PM, TheOldBarn said:

How could I not agree with Spartan's post. Truly well written hitting many important points that affect all people here in the U.S. one way or the other. Compromise requires listening to all sides as Spartan suggests. The underlying problems are things we need to face together and it is true that 2016 was a dismal election where issues were not really addressed. Some were but by then it already could easily be sensed that the divide among people was already what it was, deeper and more deconstructing than any in my life time at least. 

 

You know, the things we want on any side of the aisle really are not that different for basic people. Nobody wants more abortion. Nobody wants religious intolerance. I would think everybody would want a better immigration policy that was thoughtful and tried to bring undocumented residents out of hiding so we could truly understand economically where we all stand, since we all want jobs and a better society where people are safe and the prison systems are not filled to the brim. 

 

Regarding regulation. We do need an honest approach to regulations across the board to determine which ones are wasteful and which ones would protect all of us more. How do we safeguard against the financial disaster of 2007/8, how do we protect ourselves from the crazy housing boom refinance craze that brought many folks down? 

 

These aren't easy questions. Some say Trump is a symptom of a larger disease that's come about after decades of harmful misinformation and greed/neglect from politicians as well as those who come from special interest groups. 

 

It's about the people. All the people. 

 

Peace!

 

 

The underlying problem is capitalism. It always gets a pass

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9 hours ago, Zaro said:

 

The underlying problem is capitalism. It always gets a pass

 

As I've said before, it's the excesses, the poor regulation of capitalism - which we don't even have a word for. So no wonder the battle is harder.

 

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The Inuit have over 30 words for snow.  We have a blizzard of unfair capitalist practices, and we don't have a word for it.  Which indicates our societal lack of awareness of this severe  problem.

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4 hours ago, bludog said:

The Inuit have over 30 words for snow.  We have a blizzard of unfair capitalist practices, and we don't have a word for it.  Which indicates our societal lack of awareness of this severe  problem.

 

And our inability to fight it. Republicans can get millions of people to vote against Bernie by screaming "Socialist!" But there's no such good label to yell at the people with the actually harmful policies. Yelling 'capitalist' attacks the whole system including mom and pop shops that's not what's meant. 'Plutocrat' works but the public doesn't respond without a hype machine. When's the last time you heard anyone in the mainstream media refer to 'plutocrats' much less in a negative way? The closest thing is 'the 1%' and that's not even that effective a name - makes it sound they're attacked just for being wealthy and that's not the case.

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17 hours ago, Craig234 said:

 

As I've said before, it's the excesses, the poor regulation of capitalism - which we don't even have a word for. So no wonder the battle is harder.

 

 

Excesses? Those are just the logical conclusions of capitalism. It's like a religion in this fucking country

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2 hours ago, Zaro said:

 

Excesses? Those are just the logical conclusions of capitalism. It's like a religion in this fucking country

 

Yes, excesses. You're kind of making my point about how capitalism is an all or nothing word that doesn't fit the issue.

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8 hours ago, Craig234 said:

 

Yes, excesses. You're kind of making my point about how capitalism is an all or nothing word that doesn't fit the issue.

 

So who or what would curb those excesses? Congress? The Supreme Court? Capitalism has perverted every institution and reduced Americans to commodities

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4 hours ago, Zaro said:

 

So who or what would curb those excesses? Congress? The Supreme Court? Capitalism has perverted every institution and reduced Americans to commodities

 

Government would - Congresses and presidents, if they had a sane majority on the court; capitalism hasn't done that, the excesses of capitalism have.

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5 minutes ago, Craig234 said:

 

Government would - Congresses and presidents, if they had a sane majority on the court; capitalism hasn't done that, the excesses of capitalism have.

 

Capitalism bought our government. 

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5 minutes ago, Zaro said:

 

Capitalism bought our government. 

 

That's pretty correct. Though the answer is not 'get rid of all capitalism'. That's the point I made about our language lacking the words for these issues.

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10 minutes ago, Craig234 said:

 

That's pretty correct. Though the answer is not 'get rid of all capitalism'. That's the point I made about our language lacking the words for these issues.

 

It's way too late to step on the brakes. The horse has left the barn a long time ago. I blame old people. Asleep at the wheel, counting their pennies most likely

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45 minutes ago, Craig234 said:

 

That's pretty correct. Though the answer is not 'get rid of all capitalism'. That's the point I made about our language lacking the words for these issues.

 

32 minutes ago, Zaro said:

 

It's way too late to step on the brakes. The horse has left the barn a long time ago. I blame old people. Asleep at the wheel, counting their pennies most likely

 

A methodical way to do this would be to compare to a country whose system you like.

Make a table: a list of all the things we do well and all the things we do badly.  Make a list of all the things they do well and all the things they do badly.

Then figure out how to move the bad things toward the good column .... slowly. I say slowly because anything done quickly or by force, no matter how good, will be fiercely opposed and eventually negated.

 

A fortuitous side-effect of doing that kind of thing is that you can develop the language that describes it as you go along.

A negative side-effect is that it would take a lot of work and critical thinking, and you'd probably need peer review to get it right.

 

Overall, the main good thing about capitalism is the same thing that's good about insurance: it spreads risk. (In the case of insurance, risk is spread among the insured. In the case of capitalism, the risk of a venture is spread among the investors.) The other good thing about capitalism is that it multiplies the number of ventures; if government is the only entity that will attempt difficult enterprises then you won't get nearly as many different initiatives as when many companies attempt various enterprises for profit. That's rich chocolatey goodness. :)

 

The main bad thing about capitalism is the limit of the responsibility of companies. They are currently only responsible to share-holders. If there's wrong-doing, they're only held accountable by government. That needs to be changed. Companies must also be responsible to society, to the population in which they do business. There needs to be a legal mechanism for that and I haven't thought enough about how it should be arranged. The fact that companies have no real responsibility to society is what happens to rich chocolatey goodness due to passing through the alimentary tract.

 

The common good is served when companies respond quickly to needs, out of a desire for profit. It goes wrong when companies dishonestly put the pursuit of profit ahead of the common good.

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9 hours ago, laripu said:

 

 

A methodical way to do this would be to compare to a country whose system you like.

Make a table: a list of all the things we do well and all the things we do badly.  Make a list of all the things they do well and all the things they do badly.

Then figure out how to move the bad things toward the good column .... slowly. I say slowly because anything done quickly or by force, no matter how good, will be fiercely opposed and eventually negated.

 

A fortuitous side-effect of doing that kind of thing is that you can develop the language that describes it as you go along.

A negative side-effect is that it would take a lot of work and critical thinking, and you'd probably need peer review to get it right.

 

Overall, the main good thing about capitalism is the same thing that's good about insurance: it spreads risk. (In the case of insurance, risk is spread among the insured. In the case of capitalism, the risk of a venture is spread among the investors.) The other good thing about capitalism is that it multiplies the number of ventures; if government is the only entity that will attempt difficult enterprises then you won't get nearly as many different initiatives as when many companies attempt various enterprises for profit. That's rich chocolatey goodness. :)

 

The main bad thing about capitalism is the limit of the responsibility of companies. They are currently only responsible to share-holders. If there's wrong-doing, they're only held accountable by government. That needs to be changed. Companies must also be responsible to society, to the population in which they do business. There needs to be a legal mechanism for that and I haven't thought enough about how it should be arranged. The fact that companies have no real responsibility to society is what happens to rich chocolatey goodness due to passing through the alimentary tract.

 

The common good is served when companies respond quickly to needs, out of a desire for profit. It goes wrong when companies dishonestly put the pursuit of profit ahead of the common good.

 

How slowly? I vote for a bit faster just to stay ahead of climate change. Capitalism is a cancer that has metastasized into every aspect of our lives and threatens the survival of the planet. Maybe I'm wrong to blame capitalism. Americans are just very fond of overkill. If we had a socialist system we would probably fuck it up too. Anyways, America had a pretty good run. 

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15 hours ago, Zaro said:

 

How slowly? I vote for a bit faster just to stay ahead of climate change. Capitalism is a cancer that has metastasized into every aspect of our lives and threatens the survival of the planet. Maybe I'm wrong to blame capitalism. Americans are just very fond of overkill. If we had a socialist system we would probably fuck it up too. Anyways, America had a pretty good run. 

 

We had a change of culture in the mid-60s to the end of the 70s. The reaction to counter that happened in the 80s and beyond and is still going. So 15 years of culture change (that doesn't involve investment of the majority in those changes) isn't enough. The change has to happen over that time or more, with people's income and/or well-being tied to the changes.

 

How long did it take the automobile to go 99% of the way to replacing the horse?  Cars gave people an big economic benefit. The way to change society so it sticks is to make it economically beneficial for the majority if they accept the change.

 

I think you're right about all these:

"Americans are just very fond of overkill. If we had a socialist system we would probably fuck it up too. Anyways, America had a pretty good run."

 

I would add:

Many Americans have a culture in which bragging and pretentiousness and greed are rewarded, not looked down upon. We don't absorb humility well.

To counter that I like to remember that in due time I and everyone I ever knew will be insect poop; and soon after, not even that.

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2 hours ago, laripu said:

 

We had a change of culture in the mid-60s to the end of the 70s. The reaction to counter that happened in the 80s and beyond and is still going. So 15 years of culture change (that doesn't involve investment of the majority in those changes) isn't enough. The change has to happen over that time or more, with people's income and/or well-being tied to the changes.

 

How long did it take the automobile to go 99% of the way to replacing the horse?  Cars gave people an big economic benefit. The way to change society so it sticks is to make it economically beneficial for the majority if they accept the change.

 

I think you're right about all these:

"Americans are just very fond of overkill. If we had a socialist system we would probably fuck it up too. Anyways, America had a pretty good run."

 

I would add:

Many Americans have a culture in which bragging and pretentiousness and greed are rewarded, not looked down upon. We don't absorb humility well.

To counter that I like to remember that in due time I and everyone I ever knew will be insect poop; and soon after, not even that.

 

People already know what is economically beneficial to them. Jobs, here, not fucking robots. Universal health care, education etc, not fucking wars and tax cuts for millionaires. But alas. In the land of the free and the home of the brave the most they might get is a smarter smart phone. And they line up at the store half the night to make sure they get it. What a bunch of candy asses. Fuckers vote for an Alabama Bible thumper who has no use for the Constitution and infrastructure is a wall on the Mexican border. The only thing that will teach us humility is a war. Here. Not getting our ass kicked somewhere else on the globe. 

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9 minutes ago, Zaro said:

Fuckers vote for an Alabama Bible thumper who has no use for the Constitution and infrastructure is a wall on the Mexican border.

 

And they'd happily let you drink water with unsafe lead levels.

 

But automation, robots or AI... that's not a maybe, that's here and coming more and more. Why should an employer pay $20K or $30K or $40K per year if that employer can buy a machine to do that job for $50K and maintain it for $2K per year?

 

If you were in business you'd do the same. Business ain't brotherhood, my dad used to say. (You'll understand the original: "handelschaft ist nicht bruderschaft". It's Yiddish, not exactly German, but pretty close.)

 

On the other hand, there's a business that makes those machines. If we don't educate our people, that business will operate where they do educate their people.... Korea or China or somewhere else. Cuz... you know, business ain't brotherhood.

 

The thumpers haven't figured that out yet, have they?

And climate change can't cause any real problems can it? Not after what was promised to Noah, right?

And the physicists must be wrong because the earth is under 6000 years old.

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3 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

And they'd happily let you drink water with unsafe lead levels.

 

But automation, robots or AI... that's not a maybe, that's here and coming more and more. Why should an employer pay $20K or $30K or $40K per year if that employer can buy a machine to do that job for $50K and maintain it for $2K per year?

 

If you were in business you'd do the same. Business ain't brotherhood, my dad used to say. (You'll understand the original: "handelschaft ist nicht bruderschaft". It's Yiddish, not exactly German, but pretty close.)

 

On the other hand, there's a business that makes those machines. If we don't educate our people, that business will operate where they do educate their people.... Korea or China or somewhere else. Cuz... you know, business ain't brotherhood.

 

The thumpers haven't figured that out yet, have they?

And climate change can't cause any real problems can it? Not after what was promised to Noah, right?

And the physicists must be wrong because the earth is under 6000 years old.

 

This place is done. Everyone is looking out for number one and fuck you. But sooner or later it's your ass. Our hyper individualism was put to the test in Houston. And even Joel Olson had to open his doors. Don't the Lord work in mysterious ways? Our problems boil down to the fact that so far we did not have to suffer too much consequence from our Inaction.

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On 11/13/2017 at 7:44 PM, Zaro said:

How slowly? I vote for a bit faster just to stay ahead of climate change. Capitalism is a cancer that has metastasized into every aspect of our lives and threatens the survival of the planet. Maybe I'm wrong to blame capitalism. Americans are just very fond of overkill. If we had a socialist system we would probably fuck it up too. Anyways, America had a pretty good run. 

 

The whole world wants "instant gratification", above all else.  Corporations are aided and abetted in their despoiling of the environment by consumers who want their luxuries and conveniences.  Anyone who uses autos, TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, computers is complicit.    Everyone who buys hobby paraphernalia, clothing, packaged food and products, furniture and nice things, is in league with Capitalists.

 

Air, land and water pollution is hard to ignore.  But, on the whole, they are getting worse, worldwide, with only some areas of cleanup.  Often, governmental regulation to combat environmental degradation just sweeps problems under the rug, to emerge later, with a vengeance.   But Climate Change is so gradual that even the nations most threatened by sea-level rise give little more than massive lip-service to the problem.  Officially, the US doesn't even recognize the existence of it.

 

Not one nuclear club nation has offered to disarm.  Instead, many others want into the club.  None of this bodes well for the survival of Homo-Sapiens, as a species.

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"Not one nuclear club nation has offered to disarm."

I just learned in Oliver Stone's USA history series, that after the US used nuclear weapons in WWII, the administration considered disarming itself of nuclear weapons, and having a worldwide ban on developing them.

 

It said there was a strong debate in the cabinet, but that the 'business guy' in the administration - the same guy the party had wanted to become FDR's VP in 1944 who would have been president, who FDR banned from the ticket - it's always the business guy it seems - won Truman over and instead they started the cold war.

 

It also portrayed Truman as quite naive - while he knew the world could be killed by the weapons, he said that the USSR would 'never' develop them.

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6 hours ago, Craig234 said:

It said there was a strong debate in the cabinet, but that the 'business guy' in the administration - the same guy the party had wanted to become FDR's VP in 1944 who would have been president, who FDR banned from the ticket - it's always the business guy it seems - won Truman over and instead they started the cold war.

 

What an incredible opportunity missed.  They had the chance to make the world a better place, and instead, chose the path of impending doom.

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5 hours ago, bludog said:

 

What an incredible opportunity missed.  They had the chance to make the world a better place, and instead, chose the path of impending doom.

 

Absolutely. What a different world we'd have if we had put the genie in the bottle, and how lucky we didn't have that nuclear war yet. Funny we forget it was a question.

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