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TheOldBarn

Why are people who think like me called leftist now?

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I do wonder a whole lot about that fact. The US has moved more to the right of center, but I staid back. I thought we lost our way, but when, why and how is a great question to ask. 

We lost our way, and by that I mean we were at last at one time moving away from horrible civil rights polices and laws that made brown skinned citizens less than equal. Where was the evolution in our immigration policies that got us here to this point where the Trump administration chooses to eliminate protections that allow for immigrants to stay in country to receive life-threatening medical care?

 

Who have we become, at what point did we stop our evolution towards standing up for true equality and human rights? What labor laws, what labor law progress was slowly eliminated, and what financial laws were changed creating more and more inequality in democracies all over the globe? 

 

Why do representatives in congress spend all their time raising funds to get reelected - why would someone who did a good job have to raise more money to be reelected?

 

AB-5, a new law that challenges the gig economy https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/8/30/20840563/ab-5-uber-lyft-senate-vote-california.

 

So, you have a good idea, and then you write some software application, and then the money rolls in. 

 

Each and every year, we see more and more effects of climate change. When I was a kid growing up in the sixties, healthcare was a lot less expensive. More people had it. 

And I like this one: http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/china-goes-generic

 

I like it for a lot of reasons. How have we come to a place where thousands are killed by opiate addiction - I grew up remembering the heroin problems in the 1970's - the recessions, the incredible inflation. I remember Nixon placing a price freeze on groceries. When most people cannot afford the hike in food prices you know you're in big trouble. And what about the Vietnam War, and the oil embargo?

 

oh boy...

 

Peace!

 

 

 

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The concentration of wealth and power has been driving the push to the right since at least the late 1960's.  De-regulation of one industry after another, including the media, perhaps most importantly, has led to a handful of people controlling the media outlets that reach almost everyone.  The role of the media in the run-up to the Iraq invasion is a case study in how bad that really is.  We've seen other similar situations since then, too.  What is CBS or Fox or NBC or the NYT or WaPo saying about Libya, ever?  NPR?  You would think Fox News would be saturating the airwaves with images of the collapse of Libya after the Obama/Hillary/European "regime change" took out Kadaffi.  But it's almost non-existent, across the board.  I've mentioned the total failure of Libya to people who reckon they are well informed and been met with, "Where do you get this stuff?  How do you know this?  That's not true!"  

 

How is that even possible?

 

Similar de-regulation and concentration of wealth and power across industries continues unabated, including in finance and banking, where it almost ruined us just 10 years ago.  

 

We really need some entirely new paradigm for how to use competition, how to manage it, how to limit wealth concentration, because wealth is power, and power concentration is tyranny.

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I don't know exactly what all is behind it, but there is a radicalizing tendency to the American right at this time. It may be Russian active measures pushing them, but I don't think we can blame Russian trolls for Sean Hannity. However, he and others like him seem to react to their audience much the way Trump himself does, so it may be that these personalities are merely swayed to become more radical themselves by their audience.

 

I'm sure splunch is correct about the role of the media. Cable news has grown into an entertainment medium more than a news medium. It gets ratings. Now they are also competing with outright fake news, which loosely resembles cable news outwardly but has no journalistic standards behind it and is even more agenda-driven, likely with foreign disinformation efforts feeding directly into it since there is no filter in place to stop it.

 

Ironically, the Information Age is leaving us less informed than we have been in generations. This is happening because of all of the disinformation and hype-generating entertainment in the mix. You might compare it to diet, where we have a glut of good, nutritious foods as well as junk foods, and the junk foods are more appealing to most palates, leading to an overconsumption of the latter as subsequent health problems. With the news situation, the fake news and entertainment-oriented cable news is more appealing than the relatively boring actual news, so it's what people tend to consume and it subsequently poisons their minds. Then, to top it off, it's all reinforced by social networks, family members and peers in many cases. It all helps establish a kind of cult or full-blown organized religion in which people seek solace and belonging. Humans are by nature very susceptible to cults, to embracing an ideology over embracing reason and critical thinking.

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All of that noise, all of those media outlets, has been reduced to just more ways for snake oil salesmen to distract us from what used to be the only information people had or needed:  Am I paying my bills?  Do I have a decent job?  Are my kids doing okay?  Can I go see a doctor?  Is my community doing well?  No?  Then the incumbent is out and we'll try something else.

 

Now people are inundated with ideological arbitrary nonsense, just made-up gibberish that confuses them away from simply voting their own interests.

 

It is important that Americans are taught to be hyper-critical consumers of information at this point.  And to know the difference between critical thinking, and arbitrarily choosing wingnut nutjob positions in a flailing, desperate attempt to simulate critical thinking, like the climate deniers.

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