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Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Crni Vuk, Feb 17, 2019.
Finally. Some good ASMR. We just need Crni doing it instead and then we're done.
Food for thought :
A lot of factors have contributed to American inequality: slavery, economic policy, technological change, the power of lobbying, globalization, and so on. In their wake, what’s left?
That’s the question at the heart of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but still mostly white) lower class that is all too frequently subject to the first group’s whims.
Temin identifies two types of workers in what he calls “the dual economy.” The first are skilled, tech-savvy workers and managers with college degrees and high salaries who are concentrated heavily in fields such as finance, technology, and electronics—hence his labeling it the “FTE sector.” They make up about 20 percent of the roughly 320 million people who live in America. The other group is the low-skilled workers, which he simply calls the “low-wage sector.”
Temin then divides workers into groups that can trace their family line in the U.S. back to before 1970 (when productivity growth began to outpace wage growth) and groups that immigrated later, and notes that race plays a pretty big role in how both groups fare in the American economy. “In the group that has been here longer, white Americans dominate both the FTE sector and the low-wage sector, while African Americans are located almost entirely in the low-wage sector,” he writes. “In the group of recent immigrants, Asians predominantly entered the FTE sector, while Latino immigrants joined African Americans in the low-wage sector.”
After divvying up workers like this (and perhaps he does so with too broad of strokes), Temin explains why there are such stark divisions between them. He focuses on how the construction of class and race, and racial prejudice, have created a system that keeps members of the lower classes precisely where they are. He writes that the upper class of FTE workers, who make up just one-fifth of the population, has strategically pushed for policies—such as relatively low minimum wages and business-friendly deregulation—to bolster the economic success of some groups and not others, largely along racial lines. “The choices made in the United States include keeping the low-wage sector quiet by mass incarceration, housing segregation and disenfranchisement,” Temin writes.
And how is one to move up from the lower group to the higher one? Education is key, Temin writes, but notes that this means plotting, starting in early childhood, a successful path to, and through, college. That’s a 16-year (or longer) plan that, as Temin compellingly observes, can be easily upended. For minorities especially, this means contending with the racially fraught trends Temin identifies earlier in his book, such as mass incarceration and institutional disinvestment in students, for example. Many cities, which house a disproportionate portion of the black (and increasingly, Latino) population, lack adequate funding for schools. And decrepit infrastructure and lackluster public transit can make it difficult for residents to get out of their communities to places with better educational or work opportunities. Temin argues that these impediments exist by design.
Despite the bleak portrait that he paints, he doesn’t believe that the U.S. necessarily has to be like this. He offers five proposals that he says might help the country return to more equal footing. Some are fairly clear levers that many before him have recommending pulling: expanding access to and improving public education (particularly early education), repairing infrastructure, investing less in programs like prisons that oppress poor minorities, and increasing funding for those that can help build social capital and increase economic mobility. But other suggestions of his are more ambitious and involve fundamentally changing the cultural beliefs that have been reinforced over generations. Temin advocates doing away with the belief that private agencies can act in the interest of all citizens in the way that public entities can, and should. His final recommendation is to address systemic racism by reviving the spirit of the Second Reconstruction of the 1960s and 1970s, when civil-rights legislation helped to desegregate schools and give black Americans more political and economic power.
Temin notes that not all of these things need to be accomplished in order for America to reverse the increasingly divided path it’s on. But at the moment, implementing even one of these recommendations would prove a tall order.
The answer to why communism doesn't work is because:
1. People want different things from life
2. It requires putting all the control over your life and property in the hands of an outside party.
Besides, "Equality" in property is something that I don't see as necessary versus, "Everyone having a minimum basic standard of living."
While I don't want to get into this debate - like *really* don't want to - you have a very superficial understanding of communism/socialism, such as everyone will "own the exact same ammount of posession"
Idunno where these tropes keep growing from, but in order to have a discussion about a topic, you first need to know that topic. Communism - even at its hardest - refers to worker's control - the abolishment of a profit-based "boss system", where an administrator is able to get your share of the surplus, while you get none, despite you physically working more and harder than he does.
It has nothing to do with relinquishing your physical goods, for some "larger community"
Hell - if you do not step on others, if you do not claim for your own, the fruit of other peoples labour - if you for example sing, or paint, and people shower you with money for your very own labour - under most socialist pinko philosophies: You get to keep that money. It's yours. Which is the point - you - the laborer - dictated your own production.
Well I could post an extremely dedicated explanation as to why it's a bad idea, getting into the uniformity and deterministic viewpoint of society that requires the revolution to be made on behalf of people who don't necessarily want to be liberated or the fact that as a religious person I very much am disinclined to like it as well--or simply comment on its view of economic theory being based on scarcity as well as labor when, in fact, capitalism (for all of its faults) is about production as well as automation but sure let's just agree to disagree.
I don't think it works.
Here’s a poll in Russia I found from 2018
“The number of Russians who want to go back to the USSR has reached 66 percent in 2018,”
“The majority of those nostalgic for the Soviet Union were people older than 55.”
So your meme doesn’t really work since a majority of older Russians who actually lived in the Soviet Union want it back.
And besides, the Soviet Union is not the “be all end all” of Communism. The French revolution for example was particularly bloody
Yes but that's I think a lot of nostalgia go in to that. It's strange but people seem work like that. There can be no doubt that Russia today is better than the Soviet Union ever was. Yet, the same people that would have condemned the Soviet Union, want it back ...
Socialism is cancer. I always say that. Even as a leftist.
Why would people feel nostalgia for a past that was “horrible”? Even if the current Russian Federation is bad, surely people still wouldn’t feel nostalgia for a time that they felt was “horrible”
“Socialism is cancer. I always say that. Even as a leftist.”
No it’s not
Why do women sometimes return to a husband that used to beat and abuse them? Because we humans work in very strange ways sometimes where emotions take over our way to think rationality and actually analyse a situation correctly, because people sometimes remember things differently, or outright forget things, where they feel that some memories are important and others play no role and so on.
Look up one of the definitions of, Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The word nostalgia is learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain" or "ache", and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Described as a medical condition—a form of melancholy—in the Early Modern period, it became an important trope in Romanticism.
There are things people remember fondly and where they tend to forget the stuff that didn't work. Not to mention that systems like the Soviet Union did everything in their power to make people believe, everything was good. It's not like they have been runing around explaining everyone that atrocities their organisations committed, like the torture and killing of dissidents by the KGB or Tscheka. And some people flat out deny that those crimes ever happend because it would mean they lived their whole live in an inhuman system.
What this means is for example, when societies change like the foundation of it, people tend to do a few things. They either start to build up utopian ideas where they look out for improvements from this change or moving it in a direction where it leads to a better future or they engage in what is known as retro-pies. In other words, they try to wind the clocks back to a time where they actually understood things, where they felt things have been in "order". You had clear enemies, clear and simple terms to believe in and so on. This is not a new thing either. During the industrial revolution when the city landscape started to change a lot due to factories, production and huge number of people moving in them, gave actually the birth to the many "environmentalist movements". It was mainly driven by wealthy citizens who felt that the way of life has become unnatural. One side of it was they rejected new technology and developments in general, particularly new ideas and concepts, equality, egalitarianism and the like. To them, a worker could never ever be even remotely on the same level as they are. They wanted to return to a "more simple" life.
Many restauration movements also started with this kind of thinking. That it could be somehow possible to rewind the clocks. Take the French revolution and Napoleons reign. What was the direct result of it? The return of the Bourbon Kings in France, the so called Bourbon Restauration - if only for a short time.
So it really isn't that uncommon that large parts of a population long back for what they saw as the "glorious" years in times of change.
Yes, yes it is. Millions suffered and died DIRECTLY(!) trough socialist dictatorships and ideology. I am a leftist. But I am not an ideologist. If someone still thinks socialism today is like a magic pill or a good system then he's delusional. After more than 100 years this experiment can be considered a failure.
Why don't we have a communist society yet? I mean we could.
Simple - because humans are selfish by nature, sharing with strangers isn't natural. Communism runs against human nature. Communism expects us all to want the same things...impossible.
Human nature is flexible - and while sharing with strangers is less than natural, sharing with non-strangers (family, friends, neighbors) is a deep-running impulse, present in all cultures, even other primates
politics is what helps determine who's a "stranger", we can see that all the time, how in vs out group form - and how people can feel more of a stranger to a next door neighbor, of the same race and ethnicity, than theyll do someone they feel closer to, online, across the world. You can even layer it - when I'm at home, anybody from outside is a stranger. When I'm in my neighborhood, my neighbors are no longer strangers to the same degree, but an American tourist certainly would be. If I go abroad, and meet another Norwegian, he's less of a stranger than the Spanish locals. If I go to the moon, and meet a Chinese person there, he'd feel kind of familiar to me - more than the green moon men. This is a real psychological impulse that skilled social manipulators can exploit politically, to form groups (for good or bad)
Stealing and exploiting is natural too. it is mostly directed by one group against another, and typically it's seen as a less desireable maneuver. Turn it around to people around you, and it's considered taboo. It's forbidden to steal from the store in your community (but as a nation, you can steal a little bit in foreign places), it's forbidden to exploit your laborers (unless you exploit those too far away to bother)
Human nature is real - but is not a very good excuse, because of how flexible it is. Family groups are almost always "socialistic" in terms of resource-sharing, so these instincts most definitely are present in us. It is unfair to claim that humanity does not genuinely posess these altruistic traits.
It ain't that flexible...
Problem is usually the larger the group, the less interpersonal connections.
Humans work very well in the small groups we originate from - that is, we work pretty well within these groups. There's signs of treatment of wounded individuals going back to Homo erectus, we're talking deeply, deeply ingrained need within the group to sacrifice, slow down, give away resources to individuals who could otherwise not keep up - freely.
Once humans come together in bigger groups, without these personal collections spanning across it, we are faced with having to force these considerations into place - no more murder (as one would between warring tribes), no more stealing (as one would raiding another village) - this is why urban centres right from the stone-age getgo had to write up rules of conduct, while tribal communities typically just have spoken customs and "common sense"
my point is, we have - since tribal origins - always known what is good and fair and humane, even when we pretend not to. We can always choose to force good and fair and humane, through laws and rules, and fight all the violent reprecussions that are bound to erupt from it, sich as thiefs and criminals.
Ever gone to a strip club? Plenty flexible humans there!
There's also the fact people stereotype a lot of situations in ways that are just flat out wrong.
For example, the domestic abuser example is that women are "addicted" to their attackers. This stereotype isn't really true and most women leave their attackers if possible but some get tracked down or intimidated with physical violence into compliance because there's not that many avenues of escape.
So too with the Soviet union. The Ukraine, for example, has outlawed Soviet paraphenalia and treats it like a Nazi uniform due to the genocide by famine conducted by Stalin. There's other places where the Soviets returning TERRIFIES the people like Esotonia. Why they want in NATO.
Other places? Other places like, say, Russia remember the times when they had the fear of the rest of the world and a nationalist empire.
I didn't read this whole thread but as societies advance they should become more socially democratic. It's a sign of our countries advancement to be able to support and enable its citizens at every level, not just with healthcare but education and infrastructure. We should support our countries and our people instead of being pitted against each other on a ladder of poverty and inequality. I see that more in Europe than in North America sadly.
Probably one of the most defining statements I've heard in North America in the last few years is the slogan, "Make America Great Again". When I talk to these folks their definition of making America great again is paying less taxes (taxation is theft), not paying for someone else's healthcare, not putting money into social programs, barring immigration, etc. Basically just having more money and it not being used for anyone but them. "Make America Great Again" but for me specifically and fuck every other person. They don't seem to consider "America" an amalgamation of all the people that live there, rather an entity by which they profit. That sentiment has reached Canada and poisoned several provinces, particularly Alberta which is a major oil producer. They are the richest province in the country and would like to separate so less of their money goes to the federal government because they suddenly have a deficit after an oil recession. A deficit, by the way, they could pay in probably 2 years if they actually (sales) taxed the people in the province (which they don't) but greedy people hate taxes.
Anyway, that's a long winded way to say social democracy is the way of the future. It strengthens a country as a whole. People shouldn't go bankrupt because they had the misfortune of being sick. Everyone should have access to education without the burden of debt, rather than be punished for their existing social or economic status. Pharmaceutical companies shouldn't be able to charge millions of dollars for a life saving medication and force families/insurance companies into weighing just how much a person's life is actually worth. A lot of this stuff is bullshit. If I have to pay higher taxes to make Canada "great" then sign me up.
The idea of socialism isn't really based on the government actually doing things, It's based on the proleteriat/workers owning their own production, That's it.
Soooooo many people confusing Social democracy with socialism and socialism with communism :/.
You're right, I really mean "social democracy"
You voted NDP didn't you, I am also guessing you are from Ontario, did you know thanks to Ontarios massive spending for your "Social Democracy" now involves 25% of their budget going to pay debt service payments. I work for the damn government and I can say they are massively inefficient in many ways. Also a lot of why Alberta is pissed seems to revolve around essentially a large portion geographically of the country getting the hose so that all the parties can buy votes in Eastern Canada. Our "healthcare" system is a good example that wastes massive amounts of money but people are so afraid of changing it they will not look to any other country and just imply that any change is "Americanizing the system" Even though as many of our European friends on here can say there countries have private services while still maintaining a single payer system. We in Canada are fucked.