How can we take it back? | INFJ Forum

How can we take it back?

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Skarekrow, Apr 15, 2014.

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  1. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    How do we take back the US and the world from big money, big corporations, big politics, warmongers, psychopaths?

    It has finally brought me to tears tonight as I watched the Daily Show...I guess it has been a gradual building of frustration and I finally snapped.
    On the show they had Matt Taibbi talking about his new book ‘The Divide’...not the wealth divide in the normal sense that we may think, but the divide in our criminal justice system...mostly here in the US...but I’m sure it’s becoming more and more similar in other regions of the world.
    He used the example of several big banks who laundered cartel drug money...they were caught red-handed and yet...they paid fines...nothing to them.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/avinash-tharoor/banks-cartel-money-laundering_b_4619464.html
    Meanwhile, a guy was prosecuted and spent 90+ days in jail for walking down the street smoking a joint...probably pot supplied by those very cartels.
    The bankers drive their Maserati’s and live in their penthouse apartments, hand each other ridiculous bonuses, all with money that has basically been stolen from the average Joe. The sub-prime mortgages that they sold to little old ladies under false pretenses are different than a phone scammer selling fake magazine subscriptions how?
    And yet, NO ONE has done anything to stop them.
    It’s the very same thing at the hospital I work...
    Right before Christmas last year they laid off 500 employees, mostly housekeeping staff, minor support roles...while they were patting each other on the back and giving hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions in bonuses to the Administrative staff - themselves.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oreg...sf/2013/08/steve_duin_that_healing_touch.html
    Have we all gone insane to ignore such things? CEO pay has gone up to disgusting amounts (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...king-273-times-the-pay-of-the-average-worker/) while the working class has seen nothing but stagnation.
    If you combine stagnating pay with inflation, the cost of food, gasoline, health care, rent, education, etc., etc. we have seen our average pay worth less and less.
    All of the protections that the working class once had have been systematically torn down...union are being busted (not that they have had any real power since Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers for striking in the 80’s), retirement programs are nonexistent, pensions are a joke now, even the money that you think is safe in our “new” form or retirement the 401-K/403-B plans get raided and raped by the big banks ever since the regulations that stated specifically banks and investment houses MUST be separate (my Mom lost a huge part of her retirement when the banks collapsed in 2009/10).
    They have deregulated and privatized everything they possibly could get their hands on...not because competition is good for business, but because it makes THEM the most money...it is theft, pure and simple.
    In the 1950’s and 60’s one could go to college for FREE....in the 70’s you could work a part-time minimum wage job and afford to pay your tuition...then came the deregulation in the 80’s under the guise that competition would actually LOWER tuition rates for students - is that what happened? A resounding “NO!”.
    "Since 1981 the list price level of tuition and fees has risen sixfold while the consumer price index has only increased two-and-a-half times.” -http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/01/ri...nions-best-colleges-10-feldman-archibald.html
    The price of a university education has systematically “dumbed down” America and left the next generation starting a life after school with crushing debt.."Average Student Debt Climbs To $29,400, Up 63 Percent In Less Than A Decade” - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/04/average-student-debt-2012_n_4380946.html

    It was the Baby Boomer generation who got us in this mess, who created the national debt, who spend more money on warmongering than any other country in the world - Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.17 million for Cost of War in Afghanistan Since 2001.
    Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $365,297 for Cost of War in Iraq Since 2003.
    Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.54 million for Total Cost of Wars Since 2001.
    http://nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/
    And yet...we cannot feed and clothe our poor? We cannot educate our nation? We cannot provide healthcare for all?
    And then we hear how the subsequent generations are LAZY...because kids graduating college have to live at home with their parents...really?!
    Who created that situation for them? Who raised them? Who destroyed any practical social benefit once enjoyed in the name of GREED?
    We send young men and women to foreign countries and stick our noses in business that we have no real right to stick it in...the politicians, sitting in their cushy leather chairs in air-conditioned offices, send our KIDS to fight and die so OIL prices can be maintained at an already bullshit inflated rate...they are dying so fat cat politicians and banksters and corporations can make higher profits! And war is big business for American corporations...they make BILLIONS and BILLIONS in profits while people die...our kids...people who have nothing to do with the conflict at all die...innocents.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money...10-companies-profiting-most-from-war/1970997/
    I once had the opportunity to train at the Grossman Burn Center in souther California...and helped do facial reconstruction surgery on a 6 year old boy burned in the Iraq War over 90% of his body...he will NEVER, NEVER just be able to be a little boy...to play as a child should...how all children should.
    (excuse me, I need to compose myself...more tears)
    Okay...a cigarette fixed it all...lol.
    Now we have a congress that cuts programs for the poor at every turn possible...while continuing to give HUGE tax cuts to giant corporations that by no means need tax incentives...they even get patted on the back for sheltering moneys offshore!
    It isn’t just fiction that the 1% pays a lower tax rate than your average working class person...it is factual.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/25-of-m...-than-many-middle-class-americans-study-says/
    Why? Why? Why?
    Because they can...because this country has systematically stolen our Democracy and handed it to anyone who antes up.
    With the Citizen’s United decision in the supreme court that says corporations are people, and now the McCutcheon v FEC decision that says individual donors have no limit to their donations we have securely taken the vote out of the hands of the average American.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...d50720-be80-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html
    I’m sorry, but corporations are NOT fucking people...they are businesses. Even a 4 year old can tell you that.
    There are reasons why there were laws governing how much money is allowed in political races and politics in general...because it is abused.
    Who has more political sway? Your average working class Joe who cannot really afford to make political donations because he has to feed his/her family...or a Billionaire who now can make unlimited donations? They can both vote sure...but who will the political winner be beholden to? His constituents or his donors?
    The answer is obvious. And those who can and do make such donations DO hold them accountable...in the name of profits, usually at the expense of the working class and poor.
    That pretty solidly eliminates what should be a Democracy.
    We are now a Corporatocracy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy
    “- is a term used as an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.[SUP][1][/SUP] It is a generally pejorative term often used by critics of the current economic situation in a particular country, especially the United States.”
    How did this happen to us? How could we just sit back and let the profiteers take over like they have?
    No one...not a single person who contributed to the bank crash has seen jail time...not a single person...even those who have been found grossly negligent, or worse purposefully criminal.
    I don’t want my Son to grow us in this world if this is all he has to look forward to.
    "Yale professor and economist Robert J. Shiller, who was among three Americans who won the Nobel prize for economics in 2013, believes that rising economic inequality in the United States and other countries is "the most important problem that we are facing now today."
    "Conservatives like to say that "a rising tide lifts all boats." In other words, if an executive makes $20 million a year, his income will eventually trickle down into the rest of the economy and ultimately benefit poor people.
    But that theory hasn't exactly proven true. The highest-earning 20 percent of Americans have been making more and more over the past 40 years. Yet no other boats have risen; in fact, they're sinking. Over the same 40 years, the lowest-earning 60 percent of Americans have been making less and less."
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/rich-richer_n_4731408.html

    [​IMG]
    Top 1% own 38.1%
    Top 96-99% own 21.3%
    Top 90-95% own 11.5%
    And it gets much uglier as you proceed downward. Bottom 40% of population has 0.2% of all wealth.



    So the reason I decided to finally compile most of this together (and believe me there is SO MUCH MORE I could post concerning this issue) is because I personally feel helpless...but I don’t want to be...I want to fight it...I want to make it better, if not for me, then for my Son and his children.
    I need thoughts and ideas on what we can do.
    You can throw your political ideology in here if you like, but that isn’t the point of this thread...I don’t really care if you disagree with what I have posted.
    I am NOT going to debate you on the state of politics and my own viewpoint.
    I want constructive ways to fix what has been broken.
    I am asking for your help.
    Thank you.

     
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    #1 Skarekrow, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  2. muir

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    I'm just watching the keiser report episode 586 and they are talking about why the youth haven't risen up. They are referring to an article that is discussing that. The generation that held the anti-polltax riots here in the UK and got that tax overturned were less oppressed than todays youth yet they turned out into the streets in large numbers

    I think there are a number of things going on but one reason that is cited is a lack of a clear vision forward for example there are no political parties on the left and no strong leaders people feel they can rally behind

    However i would argue we don't need leaders. We each must have a mini revolution in our own minds because that is where the battleground is

    I don't think generally that individuals make a huge difference i think that movements make a big difference. Often people ask 'what can i do?' as if they are looking for some ground shaking single act that they can do because as a generation raised on films of super heros we have been conditioned to think that problems are solved by one stupendous effort

    But what if the answer is more mundane than that?

    What if the answer is that we accept that the political system is broken? And by that i mean that it has been completely bought out and dominated by big money

    So really we need to look to other ways to make change. For example by boycotting. So we know that monsanto is making toxic roundup that ends up in the food supply and we know that it is making GMO's that have been shown to give lab rats tumours so why don't we stop buying their products and educate other people to do the same?

    We know that mcdonalds isn't real food and that it uses taxpayer money to subsidise its wage costs so that it doesn't need to pay its workers properly so why don't we stop buying their products and buy from a local family run cafe instead?

    We know that the food supply is being tainted with glysophate and antibiotics and other nasties so why don't we buy more organic therefore forcing the manufacturers to make more organic?

    Sure organic might cost a little more...but do we want change or don't we?

    people think getting in the street and waving a banner is going to make a difference? maybe sometimes. But perhaps what would make more of a change is if EVERYONE bought organic and if EVERYONE took their money out of the corrupt banks and put it instead in community credit unions and if EVERYONE boycotted the big corporations and instead shopped locally and if EVERYONE stopped relying on the corporate lamestream media for their news and instead followed the alternative media

    If enough people withdrew from the banks instead of whining about how corrupt the banks were you know what would happen? The banks would dissapear

    If enough people stopped voting for the same political parties that are totally bought out by the corporations and instead voted for parties like the pirate party do you know what would happen? The corporations would lose their political clout.

    If everyone bought organic we would revolutionise our food supply

    etc etc

    There are a million different things we can each do in our life that when added up over millions of people will make a massive difference. Sure it lacks the 'fuck yeah-ness' of marching through police barriers wearing guy fawkes masks but maybe its what we need to do

    We need to see each and every purchase we make as a mini revolution. First we must win the battle in our minds to overcome the unconscious desires that have been programmed into us by the advertising and other media. Instead of giving into the urge to buy that bigmac we say 'no, i'm going to eat from a small family run place and if i don't like what they sell i'll try another until i find one i do like or i'll make my own damn lunch from organic food'

    This in turn will create the wider revolution

    But for this to work it needs lots of people to participate and for that to happen people need to know about these things. People aren't going to go to the extra effort of eating organic if they aren't aware of the harm of non organic (and GMO's). People aren't going to withdraw their money from the corrupt banks unless they know about bank corruption etc

    So a large part of the struggle is AWARENESS which can be waged largely on the internet

    Some see the awareness aspect as merely talk...but it is about winning hearts and minds...without changing how we think we cannot then change our behaviour so awareness is vital

    Internet activism could take the shape of adopting a forum and sowing some seeds on it. Lets say that you reach 50 people with your ideas. Those 50 people are also posting in various places on the net and they each then spread those ideas across the web and in turn each of the people they speak to then go on and speak to more people and so ideas go viral

    It's a war over consciousness and the corporations with all their media clout have until now been winning that war...but we are now at a turning point

    But maybe instead of one heroic moment we need to spread our heroism over each day...and think about where we shop, what we buy, who we vote for, what we say to other people, how we behave, what we support, what we shun, what information we put into our heads, what food and medicines we put into our bodies etc
     
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    #2 muir, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
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  3. Lark

    Lark Rothchildian Agent

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    I take your points, but they've been made before and they will be made again.

    There's no getting over or getting away from, and I do not simply believe, as I once did, that its a matter of language and getting the wording correct, the reality that the message is not one that enough people are receptive to or interested in or find appealing.

    In a highly individualist culture or nation when you continually talk about "we" its going to be a turn off, when you talk about "feeding and clothing the poor", while I'm sure you mean "enabling or facilitating" the poor to feed themselves the first thing people are going to ask, particularly if they are hard pressed themselves, is why cant the poor feed themselves? Its reductive, over simplistic and mistaken I believe but most people conclude that depending on someone or something else to meet their needs is part of why they are poor in the first place or why they remain poor, from the stand point of a radical, and lets be honest here that most radicals dont expect the same or less of people but they actually expect a hell of a lot more, those individuals are not going to engage in any "self-emancipation of the oppressed classes".

    In 99% of cases people hate the destitute, they dont hate destitution, they arent engaging in any kind of grand analysis asking "what brought this individual to this?", they are saying I wish this individual wouldnt behave like this or even I wish this individual wasnt there at all, why? Because of how it effects them, the impact, the most immediate and unpleasant matters. So you dont get someone thinking about changes, structural and cultural, which could take generations to work out because they are often tackling legacies of developments themselves generations in the making, they are just thinking about how to "get that f**ker out of here" who's street drinking, tripping, stoned, pissing in the street and bothering the neighbourhood kids. And you know what? That's understandable, like 99% of the left who dont encounter that or only theorise about it I'm not going to refuse to empathise with that and meet it with condemnation even if I dont think that come polling time voting for the "toughest talking, welfare cutting" politician is going to be a good idea.

    The statistics are gross, the way that crimes are responded to are gross too and most of the actions of the financial sector from before the days of Enron have looked largely like crime and snake oil anyway, disseminating information about all that is one thing but there's nothing definite about what that information will mean to people. I've met just as many people who railed against class divisions, class struggles and corporate crime who were radical capitalists or some kind of anti-semitic cranks as old style socialists or even democrats. There's a huge, huge gulf between description and prescription.

    For years I visited a website which was set up as a local "watch group" in the US, it had a lot of right wing libertarian opinion and I thought it was interesting to see what regular people in US thought because there was every indication that this site wasnt attracting the usual run of the mill intellectuals or college kids, you know what? In the description of what they thought was wrong with the world there was nothing at all which divided them from myself, an avowedly socialist thinker, although their prescriptions were very different, radical deregulation, all the measures of Mise, Hayek and the Chicago School, I couldnt see how this wouldnt objectively mean more of what they thought was wrong with the world or a bolstering of the very elites they were complaining about but that was the essential dividing line.

    They were right about something too, the amount of mobilisation, initial and ongoing, required in most of the alternatives to capitalism which left wing thinkers were fans of seemed entirely unrealistic, especially when you apply it to the constituency and core support which left wingers generally do of the oppressed, poor and beaten down. The sorts of people who usually cant function well presently, with the demands the system makes of them now, are unlikely to cope any better with greater demands.
     
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  4. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    Re-allocation of wealth through intrusion and the extraction of private property.
     
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  5. Eventhorizon

    Eventhorizon Permanently relocated
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    I agree with some of this. Corporations and people with a lot of money have too much say about the direction our country goes. Absolutely no doubt about that.
    Feeding, sheltering, clothing the poor are all nice ideas but at this point in time in human evolution, not possible. The world revolves because people want things. The want, food, shelter, clothing etc. If these things were just given to people, why would that vast majority ever get out of bed in the morning. Who would get the food, who would make your shelter, who would make and distribute your clothes then? Who would haul your trash away or process your waste…
     
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  6. Kanamori

    Kanamori Permanent Fixture

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    Cold fusion (or zero-point, though my guess is zero-point has more potential to be dangerous, just a guess at this point) + 3d printing + new intellectual property laws (obviously not of the sort that guarantee absurd profits) + better financial regulation.
     
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  7. muir

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    Don't rely on the politicians...they ain't gonna do it. It is going to have to come from us...the people....as much as a pain in the ass it is going to be actually having to take some responsibility it is, i fear, the only way we are going to change this world because the guys at the top are clearly going to take us to hell on a hand cart unless we take control
     
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    Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    I am working on the awareness part...in just about every aspect of my life...I would like to be out actually protesting...but I am just barely hanging on here financially as I think a lot of people are (mine is from my arthritis in my spine), I probably buy about 50/50 organics, once again sometimes it isn’t financially feasible. I DO NOT own any credit cards and do bank with a local credit union. I know I’m not going to transform into a super hero and “take out the trash”, but I feel that even by doing those things that I already am doing...it will never happen...they will buy up the organic farm, and the local credit unions if it should become profitable or a threat.
    I just feel that we NEED a tipping point to get people to really rise up.

    I don’t think that there are so many people who would be turned off by saying the money we use on warmongering could easily feed and clothe the poor in this country.
    Or that the tax breaks we give corporations could easily give everyone in the US healthcare.
    And no...I specifically didn’t use the word “enabling” because this word now has negative connotations to it now. Yes...we shouldn’t just hand people food and money, we should have programs that help pull them out of poverty. Do you want the statistics on homeless children? Did you know that they are the biggest recipient of food stamps?
    We have a serious perception problem in the US...you illustrated that beautifully....all the homeless and poor must be lazy, alcoholics, on drugs, staggering through the streets and harassing children....really? That’s a gross misrepresentation but that is the picture you painted.
    The media and the right wing of this country have done their best to paint that picture...it is a falsehood...I can give you statistics if you like but I want to answer these other posts before I run off to work.
    I don’t think 99% of people hate the poor...if that is true then we are a nation of total unsalvageable assholes.

    I’m there....let do it.
    I like to think that human nature is better than that....is less selfish than people would have us believe. I don’t advocate for doing away with money, or even capitalism, what I do advocate for is for the playing field to be a bit (or a lot ) more level.
    I'll get to work on the cold-fusion.
     
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    #8 Skarekrow, Apr 15, 2014
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  9. Lark

    Lark Rothchildian Agent

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    Yeah, the point I was trying to make is that while people may question whether or not wars are legitimate they usually would not question that this is a legitimate sphere of government action, for one reason or another and there are many, whereas feeding and clothing people? A responsibility of government? Really? Even when trust busting and attacking gross disparities of wealth, status and power Theodore Roosevelt held fast to the idea that every man (sic) had a duty first to provide for himself and his family. Similarly the healthcare debate in the US, which I think provides a good example of the division in the US, frequently boils down to very simple questions, for those resisting the idea, such as "why should I buy your grandmother's medicine?" and its a blunt and simple as that.

    I dont believe that this IS all a consequence of myth making by a biased and villainous media, I find those arguments ridiculous whether its a supposed left or right wing bias which is being posited because the media is about making money and providing entertainment for the most part, whoever is paying the piper and calling the tune can be as left or right wing as they like and the media will be as left and right wing as a result.

    There are people who have direct experience with "the poor" and its not positive, and it does get exploited at election time, when the governments arent elected, like Bush's stolen presidency or the unelected and unelectable coalition of free market liberals and fiscal conservatives in the UK, they win the popularity battle after having seized power and it matters. It doesnt need to be 99% either, it doesnt need to be all year round either, it just needs to be when governments are elected or when pollsters come calling.
     
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    Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    It is not the government’s responsibility to feed and clothe the poor...my point is - we could easily afford it if our priorities were not skewed toward constant war.
    The right-wing likes to throw the “teach a man to fish” proverb around as justification not to support programs like food stamps...well, then let’s spend the money on educating the poor so they can lift themselves up out of poverty...why haven’t we done that yet? Because it’s easier to vilify them...to make ignorant statement that they are all there because they are drug addicts or just plain lazy. Some even want to drug test before they are allowed to collect their food stamps....statistically there is only a 1. something % difference between food stamp recipients on drugs and the rest of society in general. One out of 50 - or about 1.5 million American children are homeless each year. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness 23% of the homeless are chronically homeless with a disabling condition - substance abuse, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness. For persons in families the most common causes are - lack of affordable housing, poverty (obviously), and unemployment. For singles it is substance abuse, mental illness, and lack of affordable housing. So a whopping 40% of homeless men are veterans...these are the guys who were drafted or joined the military...who put their lives on the line...who watched their buddies die...who killed in the name of freedom...who now are haunted by their experience...how come we can’t take care of our veterans who sacrificed so much? On any given night 200,000 veterans are homeless. 671,888 people are homeless on any given night. The recession (caused by the bankers) forced 1.5 million people into homelessness in the following two years after the Wall Street collapse.
    Yes, there are drug addicts...yes, some of them put themselves in that position via their own choices...but I would venture to say that most don’t want to be in that position.
    But I am not just talking about the homeless....I am talking about the poor....many of whom are working, sometimes two or more jobs.
    In 2012, 16.1 million children were living in poverty. Out of the 49 million Americans living in food insecure homes, 15.9 million of them were children.
    I guess all those kids are just lazy drug addicts...perhaps we should make the kids work for their food stamps or their reduced/free school lunches as was suggested by Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga?
    Walmart receives an estimated $6.2 billion annually in mostly federal taxpayer subsidies.
    The reason: Walmart pays its employees so little that many of them rely on food stamps, health care and other taxpayer-funded programs.
    Walmart avoids an estimated $1 billion in federal taxes each year.
    The reason: Walmart uses tax breaks and loopholes, including a strategy known as accelerated depreciation that allows it to write off capital investments considerably faster than the assets actually wear out.
    The Waltons avoid an estimated $607 million in federal taxes on their Walmart dividends.
    The reason: income from investments is taxed at a much lower tax rate than income from salaries and wages.
    Walmart made 17 Billion in profits last year...17 BILLION! If they gave all their workers a 50% raise some estimates say that will only cost 30 cents more for each person at checkout. How sad.
    Last year, Walmart stores even put large barrel in the break rooms of it’s stores during Thanksgiving so employees could donate food to other employees...really!?
    How about you greedy bastards hand your employees a coupon for a free fucking turkey...or will that cut into your profit margin too far?
    Why should a full time position at Walmart not pay that employee enough that they don’t need to receive food stamps? The same goes for McDonalds, etc, etc.
    Once again - teach a man to fish....higher education is the biggest factor in finding and holding a well paying job....but who can afford it now?
    I see commercials for these private colleges luring people into their over-priced Medical Assistant programs and such....these programs cost $20,000+...do you know what a medical assistant makes? About $10 and hour...they can’t afford to pay back their student debt...they haven’t gotten a higher education...a garbage man makes 2-3 times that and with state benefits to boot. They are predatory.
    As far as paying for your Grandmother’s medicine...that is what you are doing with traditional medical insurance anyhow you know.
    Just like everything else that has been deregulated, the state of medical care in the US is pathetic....I’m sure you have seen all the statistics for our standing in the world rating for quality vs price....it’s quite sad.
    Every person in the working class and down is just one bad accident away from bankruptcy because of the insane cost of medical care in this country.
    I am not saying that the Affordable Care Act is fantastic and THE fix to all the problems but something needs to be done....people cannot afford to see the doctor...these aren’t lazy drug addicted takers as Fox news would like us all to believe....they are working Americans, retired elderly, children, etc.
    Access to healthcare SHOULD be a basic right for every single American...not just to those who can afford it.


    But the poor ARE being vilified...they are looked upon with a laundry list of negative connotations...they aren’t the ones who should be vilified...the bankers who blatantly steal the money of working Americans, smirking while pissing on them...that is their idea of ‘trickle down’. There is such a gigantic double-standard here...it is disgusting and it is pathetic that more people don’t pay attention to it and help correct it.
    How many lives has Wall Street ruined? NO ONE has gone to jail!
    NO ONE.
    They are criminals...and now our congress is bought and paid for by them...what more of a tipping point do people need?
    They are the ones who should be vilified not the poor....they poor have no more upward mobility...it’s all been stolen away...where are the jobs job creators?
    Overseas.
     
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    #10 Skarekrow, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I'll just fight until I die. I try to get away without supporting this machine as much as I can.

    I recycle and life hack a lot. I'm still semi addicted to technology and such but I try to avoid feeding into the system. I avoid watching television. I use the internet but my computer has been built from parts, it looks like a piece of shit with Gorilla tape all on the front and stuff hacked together like an old case fan cooling my video card because the video card fan went out. I've gotten parts from dumpster diving. I've been known to take things and fix them up instead of letting them go to the landfill, or buying new. Moreover I'm willing to teach others how to do so as well.

    I really don't buy a lot of things. I've been known to pirate and crack at times. I still do not own a cellphone or a camera... or a camera cellphone, or an iphone or an ipad or any of that crap. And it pisses me off that YouTube still keeps asking me for a cellphone number. I don't fucking have one! IS THAT SO IMPOSSIBLE THESE DAYS?
     
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    Chris Hedges says 'rebellion'

    [video=youtube;PeDYrKnLDi8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeDYrKnLDi8#t=42[/video]
     
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    Peaceful non-compliance says David Ike:

    [video=youtube;EKRPM8VsrNs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKRPM8VsrNs[/video]
     
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    #13 muir, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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    Skarekrow

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    Maddow Asks: 'Why Do We Overlook Right-Wing Violence and Refuse to Call it Terrorism?' Answer: Because They're White


    Terrorism is what "other people" do.



    The shooting deaths of three people near Kansas City by the noted Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller has refocused the public’s attention on the violent tendencies of the White Right in the United States.

    On the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow concluded (video link) a segment on the Republican Party’s deep denial about (and active protection of) its violent “Patriot” and militia wing by asking the following question: why do we overlook right-wing violence and refuse to call it terrorism?
    The answer to Maddow's question is simple.

    "We" don't talk about right-wing domestic terrorists and other extremists because “they” are largely white and male.
    The language used by Rachel Maddow–and how it undermines the scurrilous Right-wing lie that there is such a thing as a “liberal media”–helps to demonstrate the above claim. Once more, a "liberal" news analyst talks around the obvious and is afraid to connect the words "white" and "male" and "conservative" in their discussions of white violence, murder, mayhem, and treason.

    Domestic terrorism is an oxymoron in America when white folks are involved. Whiteness imagines itself as kind, benign, safe, neutral, normal, and good. "Terrorism" is something those "other people" do, i.e. the Muslims, or some other ambiguous cohort of black and brown people who "hate American values". Whiteness and the white racial frame are possessed by an acute sense of historical amnesia as well. The most dangerous domestic terrorist organization in the history of the United States was the Ku Klux Klan, a group that killed thousands of black Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Again, Whiteness has the ability to transform and shift empirical reality for its owners and those invested in it.
    Whiteness also grants white people in America the freedom to always be a blameless individual. By implication, white people, by virtue of their racial group membership, are incapable of ill deeds as a group. White people who do bad things are just "bad individuals".
    Patterns of violence by white people, most notably mass shootings by white men, apparently tell us nothing about Whiteness or white masculinity. Patterns of behavior that should be the basis of a critical inquiry about white culture (a logic that when applied to black and brown people inevitably returns to questions of "pathology" and “bad genes”), is a question that cannot be asked by the mainstream media, or in "polite" circles, as it is considered impolitic.

    Because white people imagine Whiteness as normality, to even explore the relationship between race and domestic terrorism is an intolerable offense or social sin that fuels the howls of white conservative victimologists and their knee jerk claims of "reverse racism" and "bigotry" against gun loving American "patriots".
    Whiteness is also a type of mass psychosis, one that is predicated on a rubric that those people now considered white (see: the Boston Massacre suspects) can have their racial identity revoked retroactively if they commit acts which are not in accordance with how White America envisions itself as viewed through its own narcissistic gaze.

    Ignoring the various pathologies of Whiteness as exhibited by White domestic terrorists is just one more example of how Whiteness hurts white people through a slavish devotion to the profound lie that to be a member of the racial group arbitrarily defined as "white" is to thus be preternaturally good and harmless.
    The bodies of many white children have been laid out at room temperature on the funeral slab because of that "innocent" white lie.

    In 1860, "Ethiop", an African-American social critic and satirist asked “what shall we do with white people?” The murderous escapades of Frazier Glenn Miller, the growth of white militias, the violent and seditious rhetoric of the Republican Party in the Age of Obama, Birtherism and other types of deranged and paranoid political fantasies on the White Right, and mass shootings and well as other terrorist acts by white men, reinforce the need for asking that question in the present moment.
    Of course, there will be no “national conversation” in the United States about “white cultural pathologies”.
    How can there be when white people, by definition, are the embodiment of the universal and supreme individual, one for which accountability and questions about “bad culture” are anathema and impossible to consider?
     
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    Thom Hartmann: How America Killed Its Middle Class


    We're heading into a world that looks like a Charles Dickens novel.



    [​IMG]

    There's nothing "normal" about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it's a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation's middle class.

    Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens' novels.

    At the top there is a very small class of superrich. Below them, there is a slightly larger, but still very small, "middle" class of professionals and mercantilists - doctor, lawyers, shop-owners - who help keep things running for the superrich and supply the working poor with their needs. And at the very bottom there is the great mass of people - typically over 90 percent of the population - who make up the working poor. They have no wealth - in fact they're typically in debt most of their lives - and can barely survive on what little money they make.

    So, for average working people, there is no such thing as a middle class in "normal" capitalism. Wealth accumulates at the very top among the elites, not among everyday working people. Inequality is the default option.
    You can see this trend today in America. When we had heavily regulated and taxed capitalism in the post-war era, the largest employer in America was General Motors, and they paid working people what would be, in today's dollars, about $50 an hour with benefits.

    Reagan began deregulating and cutting taxes on capitalism in 1981, and today, with more classical "raw capitalism," what we call "Reaganomics," or "supply side economics," our nation's largest employer is WalMart and they pay around $10 an hour.
    This is how quickly capitalism reorients itself when the brakes of regulation and taxes are removed - this huge change was done in less than 35 years.
    The only ways a working-class "middle class" can come about in a capitalist society are by massive social upheaval - a middle class emerged after the Black Plague in Europe in the 14th century - or by heavily taxing the rich.

    French economist Thomas Piketty has talked about this at great length in his groundbreaking new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He argues that the middle class that came about in Western Europe and the United States during the mid-twentieth was the direct result of a peculiar set of historical events.
    According to Piketty, the post-World War II middle class was created by two major things: the destruction of European inherited wealth during the war and higher taxes on the rich, most of which were rationalized by the war. This brought wealth and income at the top down, and raised working people up into a middle class.

    Piketty is right, especially about the importance of high marginal tax rates and inheritance taxes being necessary for the creation of a middle class that includes working-class people. Progressive taxation, when done correctly, pushes wages down to working people and reduces the incentives for the very rich to pillage their companies or rip off their workers. After all, why take another billion when 91 percent of it just going to be paid in taxes?

    This is the main reason why, when GM was our largest employer and our working class were also in the middle class, CEOs only took home 30 times what working people did. The top tax rate for all the time America's middle class was created was between 74 and 91 percent. Until, of course, Reagan dropped it to 28 percent and working people moved from the middle class to becoming the working poor.

    Other policies, like protective tariffs and strong labor laws also help build a middle class, but progressive taxation is the most important because it is the most direct way to transfer money from the rich to the working poor, and to create a disincentive to theft or monopoly by those at the top.
    History shows how important high taxes on the rich are for creating a strong middle class.

    If you compare a chart showing the historical top income tax rate over the course of the twentieth century with a chart of income inequality in the United States over roughly the same time period, you'll see that the period with the highest taxes on the rich - the period between the Roosevelt and Reagan administrations - was also the period with the lowest levels of economic inequality.

    You'll also notice that since marginal tax rates started to plummet during the Reagan years, income inequality has skyrocketed.
    Even more striking, during those same 33 years since Reagan took office and started cutting taxes on the rich, income levels for the top 1 percent have ballooned while income levels for everyone else have stayed pretty much flat.

    Coincidence? I think not.
    Creating a middle class is always a choice, and by embracing Reaganomics and cutting taxes on the rich, we decided back in 1980 not to have a middle class within a generation or two. George H.W. Bush saw this, and correctly called it "Voodoo Economics." And we're still in the era of Reaganomics - as President Obama recently pointed out, Reagan was a successful revolutionary.

    This, of course, is exactly what conservatives always push for. When wealth is spread more equally among all parts of society, people start to expect more from society and start demanding more rights. That leads to social instability, which is feared and hated by conservatives, even though revolutionaries and liberals like Thomas Jefferson welcome it.

    And, as Kirk and Buckley predicted back in the 1950s, this is exactly what happened in the 1960s and '70s when taxes on the rich were at their highest. The Civil Rights movement, the women's movement, the consumer movement, the anti-war movement, and the environmental movement - social movements that grew out of the wealth and rising expectations of the post-World War II era's middle class - these all terrified conservatives. Which is why ever since they took power in 1980, they've made gutting working people out of the middle class their number one goal.

    We now have a choice in this country. We can either continue going down the road to oligarchy, the road we've been on since the Reagan years, or we can choose to go on the road to a more pluralistic society with working class people able to make it into the middle class. We can't have both.
    And if we want to go down the road to letting working people back into the middle class, it all starts with taxing the rich.
    The time is long past due for us to roll back the Reagan tax cuts.


    Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host.
    His newest book is "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America – and What We Can Do to Stop It."

     
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