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  1. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I'm not sure there's a comparison there. This is already self-identified as political while it is not yet rioting. It's quite the opposite, is it not?

    Start political first, then turn into a riot, and you have a good recipe. Now a protester just needs to get shot.
    Ha! I meant that they where both being reported as forms of protest, therein the comparison lies.

    Protest is all very well but people wont sustain the effort when it comes to more mundane work a day political action, like going and voting.

  2. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Chanting in the streets alone will not accomplish much. But it's a good first step. They drew attention to major inequalities in the American system that has up to now been untouchable. If the sentiments of dissatisfaction become widespread, politicians will have no choice but to take notice, even if self interest is their only motivation.
    I think that's a pretty optimistic lie of thinking but if it turns out to be the case then all well and good, I dont see egalitarianism ever being a force in the US, libertarianism and social darwinism are just much, much more embedded by now and can easily stir up a storm as big as this one, the US is one of the only places to have seen so called "middle class riots" (during the recount in Florida for Bush).

    Its really not like in the post war period when FDR was able to produce a lot of "work not dole" programmes and reforms, there was organised, unionised labour to contend with then, a myriad of NGOs and other sources of pressure, now there's just the possibility that people will turn out on polling day. Which they may not. A lot of people who'll demonstrate or protest wont vote.

  3. #173
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So neither that happening nor the response to it happening is an indication of the failure of the government to do their job?

    I'm too familiar with Frank Luntz and George Lakoff to think that really means anything. Those labels actually don't really tell me much about what policies people want.

    I'll begin by saying that in terms of voting or interaction with other politicians, the Democrats simply do not seem to be as ideological as the Republicans. Now, to get to your specific point, I don't believe it's accurate. The major thrust of the Democratic strategy in 2006 and 2008 was to accept unusually conservative candidates and to put the energy behind them instead of the stalwarts. That was specifically their plan. It seemed to work in the short term, but many of those representatives were booted 2 or 4 years later in 2010, so perhaps it was not such a hot idea. But that itself leads to an important point. The biggest threat to blue dogs have not been anyone in the Democratic party, it has been Republicans. Republicans rarely knock out staunch liberal reps (Alan Grayson would be a counter example). They do knock out moderate Democrats. The Republican party is perhaps working on a self-fulfilling prophecy by knocking all the moderate elements out of the Democratic party.
    1.) The job of a democratic government is to represent and implement the aggregate will of the people (we'll ignore safeguards against the 'tyranny of the majority' for the time being) first, and all else second. In this case, the aggregate will of the people is stymied by mutually exclusive demands among the electorate towards the recession/stagnation; what one side sees as the solution, the other side sees as the problem.

    2.) In which case, its hard to come up with an objective measurement for ideological extremity; I was thinking of the proportion of self-described conservatives, liberals, and moderates among self described Republicans and Democrats.

    3.) I notice you didn't address the the rise of the Progressive Caucus and the decline of the Democratic Leadership Council. In any case, its natural for the Republicams to target moderate Democrats, just as its natural for Democrats to target moderate Republicans; that's how ideological polarization works during elections. If the Progressive Caucus had not governed from the left from 2008-2010, or 'done their job' on the economy in the absence of Republican 'obstructionism', then moderate and Blue Dog Democrats could have retained the advantage of the anti-Republican backlash from 2005-2009.

    As for where I left of earlier, much of the earlier compromises can be attributed to a combination of regional rather than ideological coalitions, the lack of a dominant party-identification (Republicans post-Civil War, Democrats post-Great Depression, etc.) and the prevalence of pork-barrel politics (remember how recently that was eliminated?). The Clinton years were somewhat of a transition in retrospect, and Clinton was quite simply able to outmaneuver the Republican Congress in the realm of popular opinion (remember the shutdown?), and policy-wise by his 'triangulation' strategy.

  4. #174
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    The core demands are not diverse. Basically they want separation of wealth and state, like separation of church and state.

    The political persuasions of the people protesting and the proposed solutions are diverse, though. That's why it's currently pretty nebulous.
    I was referring to the actual 99% of people below the top 1%, and vice versa.

  5. #175
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    This is supposed to be a free and enterprising country. Instead it's becoming very corrupt, and the disappearance of the middle class in NOT a good trend. Huge disparities between the rich and the poor are characteristic of third world countries. Obviously we're not that bad yet
    O RLY?
    Source: CIA Factbook
    The U.S. places 39th on the list of countries with the most income inequality.
    Its neighbors in that ranking?

    35 Philippines
    36 Mozambique
    37 Jamaica
    38 Bulgaria
    39 United States
    40 Cameroon
    hoarding time and space
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    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #176
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INA View Post
    O RLY?
    Source: CIA Factbook
    The U.S. places 39th on the list of countries with the most income inequality.
    It's neighbors in that ranking?

    35 Philippines
    36 Mozambique
    37 Jamaica
    38 Bulgaria
    39 United States
    40 Cameroon
    Wow. Scary shit. Thanks for the info!

    The US at 39th highest has an index of 45, and Rwanda at 32nd highest has an index of 46.8. Jesus H. (Higher index -> higher income disparity)

  7. #177
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    The core demands are clear cut and hard to oppose without sounding like an oligarchic douche.
    Opposing the influence of corporations in politics is a lot like opposing big government; its a statement of broad ideological principle, not a list of 'clear-cut' policy options. Its also difficult to pursue the former agenda without extreme restrictions on free speech and political association rights, and without empowering the Party leadership at the expense of the accountability of individual representatives to their constituents (wich would result in, uh, oligarchy)-which is exactly why 'clear-cut' policy demands are needed when protesting on that basis.

  8. #178
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INA View Post
    O RLY?
    Source: CIA Factbook
    The U.S. places 39th on the list of countries with the most income inequality.
    Its neighbors in that ranking?

    35 Philippines
    36 Mozambique
    37 Jamaica
    38 Bulgaria
    39 United States
    40 Cameroon
    Erm. Yes. But You're misinterpreting the facts.

    Have any of you seen those countries? Or compared standard of living between a middle class person there, and the middle class here?
    Yes, there's higher income disparity, but there are more people who are wealthier HERE than there are anywhere in the world. We've got it pretty good here in America. The people living on welfare here live better than most anyone else in the world. India being a perfect example.

  9. #179
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Erm. Yes. But You're misinterpreting the facts.
    What fact, exactly, is being misinterpreted how?

    Have any of you seen those countries? Or compared standard of living between a middle class person there, and the middle class here?
    Yes, there's higher income disparity, but there are more people who are wealthier HERE than there are anywhere in the world.
    I'm not sure why I deign to respond to this, but what does this have to do with levels of inequality in a given country? The CIA factbook list was not about standard of living.

    We've got it pretty good here in America. The people living on welfare here live better than most anyone else in the world. India being a perfect example.
    Actually, there are pockets of population in the U.S. where life expectancy is lower and infant mortality is higher than in places like India/third world countries.
    For example:
    African-Americans fare far worse: Their [infant mortality] rate of 13.3 deaths per 1,000 is almost double the national average and higher than Sri Lanka’s.
    Link
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  10. #180
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That is an interesting proposal, I wonder what its substance would be?

    I could only see it being recycled by the political classes as a reason for campaign funding or some other institutional support for politicians and politics.

    The diversity and disparity of opinion is becoming a major obsticle, at the moment when some practical and pragmatic measures have been most needed there's never been so much utopianism or ideological hopes. I know that more mundane things like a consensus on raising taxes and policing fiscal institutions seems dull but anyway.
    I agree. I don't know what the best solutions would be.

    Upper limits on campaign contributions, regulations against groups like unions forcing their members to contribute, limits on lobbying and conflicts of interest in politics, reinstating some of the regulations that prevented ridiculous risk-taking in the finance industry, increased transparency in politics (maybe also in corporations), and regulations against predatory practices and against deliberate deception in business and in politics might be a good place to start, though.

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