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Thread: Dear America

  1. #1
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Default Dear America

    In November, Americans will have a chance to speak their minds.

    And there's one thing everyone should agree on:

    America just isn't working right now.

    It's not just Americans who aren't working. It's America itself, a country whose economy once worked for almost everyone, not just the rich.

    In the old America, if you worked hard, you had a good chance of moving up.

    In the old America, the fruits of people's labors accrued to the whole country, not just the top.

    In the old America, there was a strong middle class, and their immense collective purchasing power drove the economy for decades.

    No longer.

    Over the past couple of decades, the disparity between "the 1%" and everyone else has hit a level not seen since the 1920s. And there is a widespread and growing sense that life here is not fair or right.

    If America cannot figure out a way to fix these problems, the country will likely become increasingly polarized and de-stabilized. And if that happens, the recent "Occupy" protests will likely be only the beginning.

    The problem in a nutshell is this:

    In the never-ending tug-of-war between "labor" and "capital," there has rarely—if ever—been a time when "capital" was so clearly winning.

    And that's not just unfair.

    It's un-American.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dear-...#ixzz1x5nrkGkl
    There are ~40 statistics shown about what has happened in these past decades (in the link.) Some of these statistics, you may have already seen. ALL ~40 of these line graphs, bar graphs, and pies graphs show the same, similar, or complimentary idea. IF this issue isn't faced head on, we are just seeing the beginning of something...very... very... bad(read: ominous) for this country.

    Me? I am as cynical as I have ever been these past few months. I am seeing nasty trends in the political games and bills that are trying to be enacted or have been enacted, and it ain't looking pretty one bit.

    Yada, yada, it is an election year. Those bills and laws aren't going to be enacted.... What about the other bills that you have not seen or heard about?

    I can name about 5 bills off the top of my head that the general populace does not know about that will affect them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    The guy who wrote that letter is right, but many Americans will reject it because it sounds "Marxist". Blame Cold War propaganda. Once the Boomers die, the generation that has a fear reaction to any term or phrase that is related to socialism, communism, or Marxism will be gone.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    ... Blame Cold War propaganda. Once the Boomers die, the generation that has a fear reaction to any term or phrase that is related to socialism, communism, or Marxism will be gone.
    That rings true. As a Gen X'er, I don't really have a great sense of commie scare (I missed the 50's, and my only understanding of communism was basically the nuclear arms race in the 70's/80's, Reagan's speech about how commies were evil, and then the wall coming down at the end of the 80's), and the younger gens far less. It just means so little to anyone but the older generations, nowadays. The younger gens are more communal anyway.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
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    The distribution of power is cyclical in nature.
    It's swinging, and I for one don't mind.
    Though that exposes my a'staticism.

  5. #5
    F CK all I need is U ilikeitlikethat's Avatar
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    I love America.

    Dear America,

    Always be you, never change.

    -ilikeitlikethat

    There are some slight culture clashes I found different that I adjusted to, but all in all...
    I like the ethics, and American History.
    It's a hard world we're all living in and; there are loads of terrible things going on against people's wills all the time in it that, we should be happy there is a place like America and I am very happy being British and being from London. Like, home sweet home and all that, but; Americans because of America, are a people to whom I can identity with, when it comes to certain stuff and stuff, like, comedy and music and language and a lot of stuff, so, that's why I love America.

    As I child, I often dreamed of moving to the United States, to be honest.

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    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    It is frustrating to watch the government try and "fix" this country when the people trying to "fix" it don't have a clue what the middle to lower class is going through.... Not to mention they don't even try and work together on solutions. We have so many broken and abused systems....


  7. #7
    F CK all I need is U ilikeitlikethat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeitlikethat View Post
    Always be you, never change.
    Maybe I should have put;

    Always be you and, forever grow.

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The guy who wrote that letter is right, but many Americans will reject it because it sounds "Marxist". Blame Cold War propaganda. Once the Boomers die, the generation that has a fear reaction to any term or phrase that is related to socialism, communism, or Marxism will be gone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That rings true. As a Gen X'er, I don't really have a great sense of commie scare (I missed the 50's, and my only understanding of communism was basically the nuclear arms race in the 70's/80's, Reagan's speech about how commies were evil, and then the wall coming down at the end of the 80's), and the younger gens far less. It just means so little to anyone but the older generations, nowadays. The younger gens are more communal anyway.
    I was born in the year they tore it down, so the whole communism thing has no bearing on me. That fear is a hindrance to the nation. The fear I have is even worse than these guys who think this country is turning towards communism or socialism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Harmony View Post
    It is frustrating to watch the government try and "fix" this country when the people trying to "fix" it don't have a clue what the middle to lower class is going through.... Not to mention they don't even try and work together on solutions. We have so many broken and abused systems....
    That is what I have been trying to explain for a while now, but I've been trying to not sound so crazy. Sometimes I sound like I am bickering with DB (probably not.)

    The political system is broken.
    The economy and government has been hijacked
    And the people are still bickering over the "little" stuff.

    This IS the medicine that needs to be forced down the American people's throats because it isn't disappearing any time soon. The sooner the better.

  9. #9
    Anew Leaf
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    I read this as "Dear Amanda" and I got excited.

    Now I am disappoint.


  10. #10
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Blodget's new piece, it may very well start pissing people off (even the title might piss people off the second they see the word "need" and "union" together, but he goes on to talk about how he hated Unions.)

    I've always instinctively hated labor unions.

    Why?

    Several reasons.

    They create an "us versus them" culture within companies, instead of putting everyone on the same team
    They restrict flexibility and hurt competitiveness
    They drive companies to move jobs out of the country, to places where there are no unions
    They often become career employment for their leaders, who pay themselves well (much better than the workers they're representing
    They maintain ludicrous compensation for jobs based purely on seniority (some bartenders in one of the New York hotel unions, for example, apparently make ~$200,000 a year)
    They create a culture of entitlement
    Etc.

    And all those are indeed significant negatives.

    But we've now developed a bigger problem in this country.

    Namely, we've developed inequality so extreme that it is worse than any time since the late 1920s (just before the Great Depression).


    Leaving aside fairness, what this inequality does is hurt the main purchasing-power engine of the US economy--the strong middle class.

    (Although the 1% likes to think of itself as investing the capital and "creating the jobs" that employ the rest of the country, this is a consensual hallucination. Jobs in this economy only exist because there are customers who can afford to buy the products. And customers can't buy products if they don't have any money. See: Finally, A Rich American Destroys The Fiction The Rich People Create Jobs)

    So, for the sake of the economy, we have to fix this inequality problem.

    And although correlation is not causation, the chart below suggests that labor unions might be able to help with that, at least in some industries.

    Felix Salmon of Reuters just tweeted this chart from EPI, which is based on the work of Pickety and Saez (the deans of inequality research).

    The chart shows the correlation between the share of the national income going to "the 1%" with membership in labor unions.

    Yikes.

    .
    .Statistic
    .


    If companies can't be persuaded to share more of their income with employees just because it's the right thing to do, then perhaps labor unions are the only answer.

    Right now in this country, we have the painful juxtaposition of the highest corporate profit margins in history, combined with one of the highest unemployment rates in history. We also have the lowest wages in history as a percent of the economy.

    That's not good for the economy... because rich people can't buy all the products we need to sell to have a healthy economy (they can't eat that much food or drive that many cars, for example).

    And it's also just not right.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/well-...#ixzz1xELeTybA
    I've always instinctively believe we needed unions, but I wasn't sure WHY, this may be part of that answer.
    Last edited by Rail Tracer; 06-09-2012 at 02:59 PM.

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