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Talk amongst yourselves

Bad Neoliberal Big Dawg! Bad! No biscuit for you!

I’m busy.

I haven’t been paying attention to politics for the past two days because, frankly, there’s nothing much I can do about the coming catastrophe no matter who is in office.

We’ve got to focus our attention on two years from now and this time, we need to get serious.

I’ve already floated a proposition on another blog where it was promptly shot down because people didn’t like the model on which it was based, even though that model was extremely successful.  There is such a thing as being too persnickety. If you’re going to argue about names and models right off the bat without even trying anything, then, you know, just give up and get used to generations of penury and debt to the wealthiest elite for as far as the eye can see.  I can’t take you seriously.

One thing I think we can all agree on is the 12 Word Platform that originated at Corrente.  Here it is:

1. Medicare for All

2. End the Wars

3. Tax the Rich

4. A Jobs Guarantee

I like medicare for all but for it to work, there have to be cost controls on providers and they’re not going to like it.  Gird your loins for all kinds of misinformation from Harry and Louise type ads.

End the wars, well that goes without saying.  It’s time to stop wasting money when it could be used here at home.

Tax the rich, absolutely necessary.  I love successful people but if they have more money than 120 people could spend in a lifetime, they need to be taxed.  Heavily.  The accumulation of wealth means they aren’t compensating their workers enough and that is a drag on the economy.

A jobs guarantee means that putting people back to work will take precedence over protecting the accumulated wealth of the privileged.  There are more of us and when many of us aren’t working, society in general becomes more unstable.  Is that what the rich want?  Kinda makes it hard to sell stuff if everyone is ripping everyone off and violence escalates.

This has got to be a moral movement.

Think about what kind of country you want to live in.  I envision a country where you can safely bike to work and where we all have the ability to live off the grid if we choose, where you get rewarded for the work you do and where everyone has a birthright to good schools, affordable healthcare, higher education, a justice system that treats everyone fairly regardless of wealth, an honest voting system and a comfortable retirement.

Your turn.  I’ve got stuff to do.

40 Responses

  1. I seem to be having a melt down. The future seems so grim in every way. I realized today that we’ve spent over $30,000 on health insurance since Obama’s inauguration — which is an incredible amount of money for us. How long can this go one?

    And unemployment? this chart:

    Unemployment by Presidential Terms

    Is astonishing. Can it be that employment/unemployment/disemployment won’t be an issue at all?

    And. Robot Drone Bombs.

    I can’t stand it.

  2. One hears that the number of American citizens renouncing their citizenship has increased from a few hundred a year to a few thousand
    over the span of about five years. While a few thousand is still a small number, it is still a big increase over before and one wonders the background of these people. That is, are they mostly wealthy folk “going Galt”, unemployed working or middle class people seeking jobs elsewhere or the retired. Anyone know ?

    • The people who give up their citizenship for tax reasons live in other countries already. It’s rare that someone will uproot their family and move somewhere else just to save taxes. Today’s taxes are low compared to what we had until Reagan, and people didn’t give up their citizenship then.

      • Duh, it has a lot to go with educational opportunities, social safety net options and civil liberties.
        Believe it or not, and if you’ve never been out of the US, you won’t believe it, there are places in the world where the standard of living is as good or better than here.
        What conservative leaning voters seem to missing is that thru your taxes, you are able to achieve an economy of scale in purchasing goods and services, like healthcare and higher education, that you can not achieve from individual policies. This is tge thing that is never discussed in the media. Yes, in some countries tge taxes seem to be higher than here but those citizens get a LOT more for their tax dollars. Ask and French expat if he/she thinks Americans pay a lot in taxes and they will say absolutely yes. We pay a good chunk of our salaries in taxes but because we refuse to let our government negotiate on our behalf, we get almost nothing for it. We pay for everything on our own that other countries’ citizens get as a benefit of letting their taxes pay for those goods and services.
        Like I said, this is something that you will never hear discussed in the news. Ever. The powers that be do not want you to understand how taxes could be used to work for you.

    • I suspect it is the American equivalent of those middleclass and barely uppermiddleclass liberal-intellectual people of the sort who began fleeing Europe in the early and mid 1930’s in advance of the Nazi Onslaught which they were expecting. It is people who really believe that America is entering a Violent Authoritarian Lockdown period. They may be right, they may be wrong. And it doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not. I am too old to go anywhere so I’m staying.

      It could be studied. What is the average age of the citizenship renouncers? What is their average income? What countries are they going to? And will they answer questions about why they left if they are asked? And is anyone bothering to go to their new countries and ask them?

  3. I don’t see how “a job guarantee” would work. I think that would be the epitome of inefficiency. Most people have, like the sword of Damocles, threatening their very livelihood if they don’t perform. I’m not saying all, just most people. I really appreciate the post office. I’m always amazed how a letter moves sometimes thousand of miles, even into rural areas, for $.40 But it’s also easy to see how post office workers, who don’t fear losing their jobs (until now), move like molasses, without an incentive to give great service. If we had that kind of attitude with most jobs we would become as inefficient as the U.S.S.R. was.

    Secure jobs do not serve society the best.

    • Hang on a sec, would you prefer that the country provide unemployment checks or welfare indefinitely? Or would you prefer that everyone who wants to work have a job instead of a measly check?
      Think it thru.
      BTW, a secure job is the only thing that is going to save our economy. We can’t have people flitting from job to job or no job unable to pay their rent or buy cars or feed their kids. That will depress demand. Depressing demand will mean a much slower growing economy. Is that really what you want? Again, think it thru. The people who are talking about the USSR are not being honest with you.
      One other thing: science does not advance well in unstable environments. Experiments REQUIRE continuity of work and resources. And scientists who are always revising their cv’s are not in the most conducive mental state to concentrate optimally.

      • “would you prefer that the country provide unemployment checks or welfare indefinitely?”

        I don’t understand why you would say that RD. Welfare and unemployment are two safety nets that are relatively new, and before then, people made a living. Yes, there was poverty, but there’s something to be said for those who pick themselves from their own bootstraps to get out of poverty. I’m not against having safety nets, but I also agree that people should not depend on the safety nets for too long. We need to make sure that our economy offers the opportunity to give a job to anyone who wants one. Our government has been working against that goal. We should see clearly what the problem is so as not to fix the wrong problem.

        • I don’t believe that people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps if you don’t provide them boots

          And history has shown that this is true. Life was nasty, brutish and short before the social safety net programs. But there is a right and wrong way to do these programs. Throwing money at people is the wrong way. Giving them a roadmap out of poverty is the right way. That roadmap should include money for boots.

          • Agree. Probably because I am the type that just can’t take, or was never given aid? Instead I was the type of middle class person who gave, gave, gave to things like the United Way. Funny how that works. Communism doesn’t work for America. It bothers me that all those taxes I did have to pay, well? All that Social Security that might be gone? Well? I’m like RD. Only out of workforce now for one decade almost. What has happened to the country is bogus. For our gen. Corporate raiders. Our gen will go down as the gen that had that. Oh and all those student loans for the BA. Yeah that took ten years to pay back. At least I had a job in those years. College wasn’t easy working two jobs to do it. Lambert had something great up — about “Robespierre” yeah, that or Weimar redux. All the reasons we wanted Hillary ala FDR, well Stein has Green New Deal. I say protest vote this year. And maybe, just maybe Hillary might come back 2016.

    • perhaps a shift in group think to a more entrepreneurial mind set is in order. Instead of a “job” with its politics, pressures, soul-sucking mundacity and involuntary retirement, the study group that organizes as a structure to support cash flow while ventures launch on a modest, local level, could be a viable alternative in which the group can learn, as garage bands do, to “make it” doing what they love doing together.

      • I kinda like that idea but it won’t work for research without large infusions of cash.

        • I can only refer back to the era when Edison and Westinghouse competed for patents and dominance in supplying electricity. Tesla’s restored reputation makes me think that the current glut of idiot programming that follows the Kardashians and the guests in the Big Brother House, not to mention Honey BooBoo, beg the shopping of reality shows covering the thrilling world of research. Bear in mind that Edison and his extended family not only brought together investors for the electrification of this country, they developed along the way, the phonograph, movies and the Chautauqua Society’s Public Education programming. People who can sink hundreds of thousands into political campaigns aren’t too far removed from potential supporters of legitimate research. A show for the research geeks would be fascinating tv for a broader spectrum of intelligent folk than you might imagine. If you’re not revealing propriety information, it’s no worse a “pilot” possibility than the various cities’ “Real Housewives.”

    • I have always found post office service fine. Could it be that I just don’t know any better? Of the several ten thousand pieces of mail that I have sent or gotten in my life, I only remember 2 or 3 being lost and only 4 or 5 being slightly or badly damaged. Out of several ten thousand pieces of mail to me or from me, that is nearly one hundred percent perfection.

      • The U.S. has the best post office in the world. I often defend them. But I stand by what I said with regards to customer service. I have many stories, but they are long and not worth telling. That’s why people refer to the post office as the poster child for inefficient government.

        • Hopefully those problems can be faced and solved within the Postal Service, then. Because if they happen enough to enough people, those enough people will be embittered enough against the Postal Service that they will aquiesce in, or even actively support, the ongoing BushCo-engineered budgetary self-destruction under way for the Postal Service. And once it self-destructs as deliberately engineered, then the Pirate Sector will piratise the profitably piratizable parts of the wreckage, and we will be left with very poor service indeed. And no service at all over a couple of million low-population square miles of this country.

          Not to mention that having a Post Office is a Constitutional requirement of American governance, not that its anti-Constitutional extinction would be noticed among the Bonfire of the Constitutionalities currently under way.

  4. So, I dropped a screw into my garbage disposal awhile ago and decided to replace it. Bought a replacement from same company. Consulted YouTube video on installation instructions. Easy peasy, just need to rewire and hook up the flanges, right?
    Wrong. New disposal appears to be an “upgrade” requiring new flange. Great. Must now find plumbers putty and struggle with fricking snapring.
    On the positive side, my sister, the nascent brewer, left a homevrewed Grolsch style beer.
    It is delishus.

  5. Btw, you know what I love about that graphic? The hated, so called bad president, Jimmy Carter, created 10 million jobs in four years. Reagan created 16.7 million jobs in eight years.

  6. Yeah, it seems to overestimate Reagan. I remember the Reagan years and the first term was an employment wasteland. But he broke unions so that meant employment at much lower wages and bennies. He started the race to tge bottom.
    But then, this us wapo we’re talking about, so, you know, he’s the fricking king, right?
    I couldn’t stand that throwback, reactionary, disneyfied actor as president.
    He never impressed me.

    • He set in motion our decline, imho. But, as The One said, he put the U.S. in a different trajectory that Clinton did not.

      Can we get rid of Obama? I hope so.

    • I still loathe Ronnie Raygun and the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which begat the horrid twins: FoxNews and AM Hate Radio.

      • I remember his revenge-policy against college students. The Age of Reagan began the long attrition against student aid of various forms. It also heralded the Culture of Tax Revolt which defunded states from funding their state university systems. State universities had to make up the missing-money-difference by raising tuition against In-State students as well as out-of-state students.

        He did it to get revenge against the Students of America for the irritation he affected to feel over the actions of some students in California when he was governor. I was a troubled unhappy young person in college but I knew I would have to finish badly right then rather than drop out for a while to sort myself out because I knew that the golden age of student aid would end with Reagan. So I ground my way through and finished badly.

        Here is a John Dolan article about Reagan. http://exiledonline.com/reagan%e2%80%99s-cheshire-snarl/
        And here is a three-part series by Mark Ames I believe (unless some of it is also by John Dolan). It is a link to the middle part, but that middle part contains links to parts 1 and 3.

        • Ah, yes, I remember it well. I was a college student during the Reagan years. Manoman, was that Ill-timed for me, first generation college student. It was bad enough to have to navigate admissions, registration, financial aid completely without any assistance whatsover, Reagan went our of his way to make those of us on Pell grants and subsidized student loans feel like leeches. And then there was tge work-study job where I had to wait 6 weeks before I got my first paycheck. Awful. I would never wish that on my worst enemy. My parents were less than helpful and Reagan fed their notion that anything of value had to be gained with great pain and hardship to build character. It was a rotten thing to do to us. I don’t think most of the people I worked with had to go thru that. They either came from college educated families, or their families helped them pay for college or they were selected by their governments and had issues unrelated to finance and background or they lived in europe where they were educated with minimal cost to themselves. There weren’t too many people like me probably because you’d have to be a masochist to put yourself through it without any financial or parental encouragement. It sucked. I did not enjoy my college years because they were just too fucking hard from a financial pov. I’m lucky I made it through at all. Reagan definitely had a severe impact.
          My first election was Carter-Reagan. That’s when I began to truly know what it was to be a loser. I only felt like a winner during the Clinton years.

          • See, I knew I knew you RD. Identical! Work-study, oh yeah. Yes on Clinton years, me too. Now though, I’m over being a Dem. No kidding. I’ll never get over what happened in 2008 RD & Co. Never. All those years voting all of them in, and the women — they let Hillary down. Oh well. Too bad now. No more votes out of me. Finished. If Hillary came back, I would, but she is it. RD, we believed in that party — that is effing YEARS. YEARS.

          • Yeah, you had to be a first gen college student to truly appreciate just how awful Reagan was.
            I bet I know where you went for spring break.
            “spring break? You mean you don’t have to work and can go party and are allowed to *enjoy* your youth without guilt, responsibilities and obligations? Wow, that must be nice. Hope you get eaten by a shark. I mean, I hope you have fun in the dark!”.

          • Young people who got excited about Obama were children during the Clinton years and did not know that the Bush years were an aberration. Now, I’ve talked to a few of them, and they see the Obama economy so much better than the end of the Bush administration, that they give him a passing grade. It’s sad to be old like me. I experienced the last few years of the Golden Age after WW2. I know how bad it is.

          • I went to college mostly just beFORE the Reagan years. I was very much scholarshipped and loaned thru based on good grades and stuff, but I was so internally troubled for reasons which would interest nobody here that I barely escaped college alive. But I knew what Reagan would do, so I stuck it out to get through rather than trying to “go back” during or after Reagan.

            And I didn’t even have any fun. No drugs, almost no parties, no nothing. Just fear and pain, pain and fear. So far, those have remained the worst years of my life, for which I am deeply grateful.
            (Grateful not to have had even more worser ones after).

        • The first year I voted was for Carter against him. Yeah. CA student. UCSB. Hugs.

  7. Seriously reining in the financial bloodsuckers has to be part of the plan too.

  8. I came back to show you all something. Back in 2008, the reason I was aware of the extreme impoverishment in our country was because I was working as therapist. I had gone back for an MA in the mid nineties to change careers. My last hours as an intern were working with the homeless. You have not seen what I saw? Probably not. People were coming from as far as Arkansas because there were no jobs. I worked with the mothers and children in a fledging program called storyteller. Anyway, after we all began to talk about that here, the poverty — when RD was still a scientist — and I was two years from the deaths of all the parents, right after the destruction of my “main” job at the paper — I had time on my hands to start researching? Because I quit. The social problems are far too great. It will require an FDR WPA intervention at this point. So I had a video up that I want to drop off. I was remembering it last night. It’s these two kids somewhere in the middle of the country. It’s very telling because of a set of buildings you are going to see. That is what has happened as things closed down either because of outsourcing, corporate raids or just towns closing down. I’ve beed watching the vids about Bain. Still, I wonder if Romney is enough of an American by sheer dint of that — that he might have a plan? It broke my heart by 2003, working with that population. It made me so sad. Anyway, watch this. Where I live looks a bit like this in terms of the vacant storefronts and empty buildings. Same feel. One more thing. I may go an see the film on the whole “anti-colonialism” gig. Because, I think that is part of what we saw in Rev Wright — concepts about Imperialism that our gen is suffering for. Uppity had it nailed on Ayers ages ago. You have to remember the 70’s and how that felt. Now imagine that the very radical liberals — the upper Baby Boom who came of age in the 60’s were a very angry bunch. Well? That group — many of them — run or ran things around here. So some of them turned out to be Gekko types ala Wall Street. And some? Maybe they are responsible for a lot of this gridlock in politics. Time to just get past all that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nTDBopB8PU&feature=player_embedded

  9. Another thing. I am using FB a bunch? More political — and I am still connected to a few people I met here? So, yesterday or the other remember Dak? She is defending O. This is how hard it was on the Dems — the split. “Dems” like the kind that started voting for Carter in the era we did are one kind of Dem — like a Hillary Dem. We aren’t interested in the “outfits” at all. Not when you expect Dems to do what they are best at — helping the poor. That hasn’t happened. Part of that may be related to the anti-colonialsm as a larger motif. Our gen was busy working and not noticing. But in the inner corridors of cities like the kinds I always saw as a kid there would be a rage that was tapped into? Because of the extreme, extreme poverty. Of this sort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg8U7pnujsI — because of the food shortages and such extreme blight people’s souls are crushed. In the 70’s there was the concept of urban renewal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg8U7pnujsI
    This is the kind of place where interventions could be made making community gardens to start. I’m beginning to write something up on that over in FB, teaching how to plant and save seeds based on the seed savers concepts that I know. Americans starving to death is not a concept I can abide? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk2qZdqj_FQ

  10. I slid into moderation, just a few hopeful videos!

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