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Politics What is happening????

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by pan6467, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    I don't know 200+ years of a 2 party system seems to have worked out pretty damned good. We still have freedom of and from religion (which 100 years ago we didn't), we have abolished slavery and while yes, it took way to long, we have a black man as president and women in office, we have sown the seeds for others to establish their democracies and civil rights, we may no longer be the beacon of HUMAN RIGHTS, but we are trying and while some are not happy with the speed of which things are progressing they are.... 50 years ago gays hid in closets and suffered through token loveless marriages and today, we are fighting not for them to exist publicly but to be able to marry those they wish to, 50 years ago MLK Jr. was leading a Civil Rights movement and again today we have a black president finishing his first term. Thanks to President Eisenhower's foresight, we have the greatest highway system and arguably the best transportation systems on Earth.

    So while some may argue that there should be more parties..... to be honest, I don't see what another party could truly accomplish that the 2 we have can't accomplish. It's not like the parties would get along any better or work together any better, each side whether there are 2, 3, 4, or 50 wants NOTHING MORE than to win and have as much power as possible.
     
  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Meanwhile the Super PACs are taking advantage of every angle in the system.
    I'd say that's where our first effort should be getting control of...

     
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  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Nice to know there are good old-school conservatives that see it this way.
    It makes me feel like there are still those who value discussion over a circus.

    Use the noted link below the headline to get to the article for its links...there are way too many to do so here.

     
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  4. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I had a poly-sci professor explain to a class I was in, once upon a time, in a far away place, that democracy isn't really designed for more than a 2 party system. Of course you can have other parties, but, notable, throughout history, only 2 parties prevail. When you look @ US support of two warring nations, you'll notice that often enough both have their own side and stand-point, and we choose the lesser of 2 evils compared to our own social values (usually we side with the party that's being impinged upon by another more dominant position, but with better grounding). The same can be said for our own, individual core nature... we tend to make decisions, lean one way or another... not both. Though, similar to Religion being on the decline (ignosticism), many are starting to take middle-ground, looking at what's best in the moment, rather than throwing tomatoes from one side or the other; probably a positive side-effect of the world inundated by information, if not residual over that overload.
     
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  6. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    And people are screaming about where the jobs are??? Even the "job creators"
    And yet...

    This is like screaming that the debt is too high...but then you do everything you can to avoid paying taxes. (oops...there are those "job creators" again)

    Or my wife screaming that there's not enough money to shop...after spending it all going shopping.
    Funny how that math stuff works... :rolleyes:

     
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Two new ones...
    When is the U.S. going to clean house??? The Brits are starting to look under the rug. :eek:
     
  8. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Out of curiousity...

    What things do you think have increased significantly over the past 2 decades
    that have helped weigh-down and over-burden the avg. citizen???

    Making the cost of living more difficult in comparison to previous generations.
    Or have we just reached too far, too fast...and bought into a lifestyle portrayed by others?
    Or both???
    • Student Loans
    • Morgages
    • Credit industry
    • Insurance
    • Food price increases
    • Gas prices
    • Utility Bills
     
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  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Great Scott!!
    You mean that politician say the want fairness, but don't actually follow-thru with action?
    And that citizens say they want fairness, but don't actually follow-up on those who are acting (or not)??
    Say it isn't so...

     
  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    What I know is this...WHY ISN'T ANYONE IN FUCKING JAIL???

    How long do the financial entities and those that run them get to RAPE our nations???

    How long do we take to fucking PROSECUTE these assholes AND their companies???

    This is not just damn civil, this is CRIMINAL!!

    NOT just fines & settlements, but JAIL!

    And this is NOT just the U.S....this goes for the rest of the post-industrial world too...


     
  11. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    I think it is a combination of things like out of control tuition and college book prices, causing lifelong debt because the job market cannot nor will not pay enough to cover the student loan debt and allow the worker to live a decent lifestyle.

    I think the credit industry needs their rates regulated. IF YOUR bank wants to grant credit to "high risk" and/or a student's first credit card then the consumer should not have to pay exorbitant interest rates or monthly/yearly fees, to use the card YOU offered to give them.

    There are serious issues with insurance companies when 10 are listed in the Fortune 500 and most if not all of those 10 are in double digits on the list. That shows me that profit means more than the human life their health insurance is supposedly covering. I think profit is good BUT when profit is your sole motive and NOT just the effect of good business it's wrong. It in turn drives up prices and makes it harder for those without insurance cover the prices that insurance refuses to pay. This causes hospitals/doctors and so on to go bankrupt and/or not be able to treat the people truly in need. When insurance will pick up some rich bitch's nose job and tummy tuck while someone with a treatable sinus infection has to face death and 4 surgeries because the system won't help him early in the illness to prevent that small infection becoming life threatening there is a serious problem. What does it say about insurance companies when they own the hospitals, own stock in the pharmaceuticals and medical instrument companies? Yet won't pay for the insured's preventative care?

    Gas prices need to be held at a certain level and not just moved up and down randomly due to speculators trying to make money. It is near IMPOSSIBLE for companies and people to budget when the price of fuel is so volatile. This week it's $3.60/gallon, last week I filled my tank for $3.15/gallon. That's a 50 cent increase in a week's time. Should people and companies budget it at $4/gallon.

    Mortgages due to the meltdown seem to be getting under some type of control, there is still far too many foreclosures than there should be. OUR TAX DOLLARS BAILED THE FUCKERS OUT AND THEY HAVE THE BALLS TO KEEP FORECLOSING AND RAISING INTEREST RATES, THEN WANT TO RAISE RATES ON STUDENT LOANS??????? That is a serious fucking problem facing our nation.

    Food prices and utilities have a lot of government assisted programs available even for the higher end middle class. Rent subsidies are also available. As long as these programs exist, there is some hope for the lower class to move up.

    BUT by far the most serious problem we face is a catch 22, IMHO. It's wages and decent paying jobs. How we can allow CEO's and upper management types, who know NOTHING about the businesses they run to make MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS while their workers have homes foreclosed upon and face bankruptcy if something serious happens to their car or illness because they live paycheck to paycheck, is something this country's government needs to address. If wages increase tax base increases, thus lowering the tax burden of the "very wealthy". However, those executives making MILLIONS upon MILLIONS a year are not going to willingly take pay cuts, they have a standard of living to maintain. There are very few that are paid purely on the performance of the companies they run, they would rather outsource jobs than pay livable wages. As the jobs evaporate, the need for cheaper product increases and tax base decreases forcing the "very wealthy" to pay more in taxes and find "tax havens" to hide the money. We have the GOP talking heads on the far right trying to convince everyone that TAXES not jobs are the problem.
     
  12. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    in some ways it's quite clear what's going on. class warfare.
    these reports from the tax justice institute (look them up) indicates that an estimated 21 trillion dollars sits in off-shore tax havens. twenty one trillion dollars.

    http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Price_of_Offshore_Revisited_120722.pdf

    http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Inequality_120722_You_dont_know_the_half_of_it.pdf

    the reports name institutions and names.
    nary a word in the mainstream american press about it.
    what a shock.

    this quite apart from the LIBOR fixing scandal.
    and the ongoing debacle generated by political and/or cognitive paralysis in the eu
    and the ongoing debacle generated by political and/or cognitive paralysis in the u.s. of a..

    it's like there's this stratum of ultra-right wealthy nihilists who look into the future and see their politics collapsing because they have nothing to say, nothing to offer. so they figure: this is the end of the world. people will want to take my shit. i better hide it. so the little people buy up ak-47s. the big people flee to tax havens.

    twenty one trillion dollars.
     
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  13. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Oh, the perspective: $21 trillion is more than the American and Japanese economies combined.

    It's disgusting.

    However, I do like the term that's being bandied about: pirate banking.
     
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  14. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    Only to be aided and abetted by the EU austerity program and the proposed Republican budget/debt reduction scheme in the US.
     
  15. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    and people wonder why there's an occupy movement. the plutocracy should be on it's collective knees every day thanking whatever it is they imagine runs the show, and by extensions explains the radical inequalities in the distribution of wealth that explains their economic existence, that it has been contained to this point. the real problem for the existing order is that there's no significant difference between a centrist democrat and a centrist republican--both speak the same neo-liberal lingua franca. both are participant thereby in the entire ideology that's enabled this sort of obscene situation to take shape, and are complicit in allowing it to continue. there are no institutional remedies for this at this point, and none on the horizon. given the overall impotence in the face of neo-liberal generated balance sheet recession---which requires, according to richard koo anyway, significant and sustained state intervention in circulating capital through the economy---something that neo-liberalism has no way of allowing for---and given the ongoing surfacing of information concerning the magnitude of plunder that neo-liberalism has allowed, you'd think that the edifice itself would be tipping toward a very significant problem.

    my inner marxist, who is a busy boy these days, thinks: burn it all down. replace it with an entirely different, more sensible and humane and equitable system. because what's in power now has not, is not, will not and cannot work. it can't even address the consequences of the implementation of it's own fucking ideology.
     
  16. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    My inner pragmatist would have to disagree, recognizing that the country is centrist but that a centrist republican is an oxymoron. While the Democrats may be center left, today's Republicans are extreme right, not center right.

    Center left is achievable. Far left is not. The constituency does not exist. I am more a believer in change from within -- dance with the one that brung ya -- as opposed to burn it down and replace it.

    Looking back on OWS, perhaps the movement would have been better served by focusing on restoring grass roots democracy, with a first step of promoting campaign finance reform. Get the corporate money out of politics and you open the door to candidates more accountable to the "people."

    A congressman from MD will be introducing the Grassroots Democracy Act this week. It is actually a "voucher" system that would give EVERY voter a refundable $50 tax credit for congressional donations and additional public funds to candidates facing significant third-party SuperPac spending. While not perfect, it is this kind of initiative (short of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United) that I believe is the small step in the right direction that might slowly lead to a restoration of some level of accountability. It is DOA in a Republican House.

    Nothing will change until we change how elections are financed.
     
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  17. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    It's a self-destructing disaster in slow motion, which is why its proponents will say it works, and it's why they blame socialist bogeymen for all the bad things that happen.
     
  18. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    i'm not going to get into a discussion of what these categories "far left" etc. mean. i don't see them as meaning anything outside of the peculiar, circular system of label generation that's of a piece with the broader discursive framework that functions to make this narrow conservative oligarchy appear to be representative. but i agree entirely with the need to get corporate money out of the political process. the idea of grassroots democracy in a system as unresponsive as the american is peculiar. effectively, people are politically free for one day every other year. the system cannot bring down a government with a vote of no confidence. we were saddled with the epic disaster that was the bush administration for 8 years as a result of this inability. i think there are some basic changes to how the american system operates that are of a piece with thinking in terms of grassroots democracy if it is to mean anything. a more parliamentary style of governance would be a start. a greater diversity of political parties would be another. forcing a rather massive redistribution of wealth would be yet another. breaking up the big banks, nationalizing them if necessary. there has to be something done about the vacuity of the dominant media as well, which does almost nothing to serve a democratic polity. seriously...television as an infotainment system is a joke. i wouldn't be opposed to nationalizing all of the main networks simply as a way of forcing a change in orientation and them making them publicly held again. but this system of infotainment delivery in the states is seriously a farce.

    dealing with the 21 trillion matter would require a different form of transnational regulation along with the institutions that would be required to enforce it. but the development of capitalism has for some time been such that nation-states are obsolete. the problem that raises--and it's a big one--is how any transnational institutions are supposed to be democratically accountable, even in theory. the eu is obviously not.

    that said, i don't oppose the initiative you outline. it's just nothing like adequate. it's a nice gesture, but little more than that. i wonder, though, why it's not getting more attention out there in the wider world? there's no given-in-advance answer to that in my mind---i just find it odd, that's all. maybe a demonstration of the points about about the infotainment system and why, if the idea of democracy is still meaningful in the united states---and i think it's mostly just a word---that a basically different media system is far more important than gestures like you point to. which, again, i'm pleased to know about.
     
  19. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    It's far more than just 21 trillion dollars, the article states it is 21 trillion POUNDS... that would make it a considerable amount more than 21 trillion dollars.

    Sorry just wanted to clarify that.
     
  20. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    on page 5 0f the report--which i've only just had a chance to start really digging into (i'll look at it more once this fucking editing is out of the way for the evening) is 21-32 trillion dollars. i've seen the figure of 13 trillion pounds floating about on uk websites. it's an enormous amount of money...but look for yourself. the report is way more interesting than anything i've written.