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  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default "The middle classs must be artificially created by the government"

    An inveterate leftist acquaintance of mine remarked that "the middle class must be artificially created by the government". The underlying theme of his claim was clear: it is impossible for a society to improve the quality of life for the average citizen without empowering the government to control the economy.

    Ad hominems aside, this claim reveals stark ignorance of the history of the nascent stages of the modern society. Although the industrialists of the 19th century were notorious for providing factory workers with exiguous compensation and subjecting them to deplorable work conditions, the standards of living for ordinary citizens have improved.

    Prior to the emergence of these opportunities, a significant portion of the population engaged in mere "subsistence farming" where a minor decline in productivity often resulted in famines that wiped out entire villages. To find evidence in support of this claim, one must look no further than the Irish Potato famine.

    The grown child explained that the middle class must be artificially created by the government because the business elites invariably use technology to exploit the work-force. While that is true, the technology also empowers ordinary citizens to find more rewarding work.

    This example is not limited to the 19th century United States and Britain, but also various nations of the developing world. For all of its affronts to human dignity, the proliferation of sweatshop labor across Southeast Asia empowers ordinary civilians to work in factories as opposed to prostitute themselves or engage in the commerce of begging.

    The middle class in China and India is a phenomenon of the late 20th century. To be sure, it was not "artificially created" by the government. It is almost entirely a product of industrialization quite similar to the one that took place over a century ago in Western Europe and North America.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  2. #2
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    One really can't knock the kool-aid from the hand of an inveterate lefty. They'll just pick up another cup. In order for such a person to recognize the error of his thinking, he'd have to move to Venezuela or some other lefty run hell-hole like Detroit.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  3. #3
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    One really can't knock the kool-aid from the hand of an inveterate lefty. They'll just pick up another cup. In order for such a person to recognize the error of his thinking, he'd have to move to Venezuela or some other lefty run hell-hole like Detroit.
    And the vast majority of top-elite universities are run by notorious leftists. But maybe you think we can compare a fascist-like country like Venezuela with Harvard or Berkeley? Thus, reasoning like you are would eventually lead us to nowhere. Bad faith will lead us to nowhere.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  4. #4
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    So, let's be devil's advocate.

    The reason why there is a middle class is because the government decided to step in and make people who live in lower conditions more comfortable. The government was able to fund projects, increase wage and work standards, and to create better working conditions. The standard reaction is that when government does not intervene, money will naturally flow in one way, towards the top. We already see this happening, whatever your standard of middle class is, the 1% contains the vast wealth compared to the vast majority of the U.S. A high percentage of Americans earn less than 70k, even though 70k is the magic number for families to be happy AND be "middle class. That is excluding working condition of other nations because the U.S. living standard is different to begin with, much like 30k in Alabama is different from 30k in California.

    Tax in the 1930's was at an all time high, at about 75% for the richest members of America, a lot of this money was used to fund the New Deal and the upcoming World War II, all that money ushered American in building crazily and it would soon be able to open up more possibilities for average to poor Americans in he work force for decent rates.

    In the 1960's and 1970's the government continually created social safety, continue to support military expenditure, at those times, the pay would come close to middle class (these days, with inflation, the dollar is worth 1/3rd of it's value today than it did 40 years ago.)

  5. #5
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    And the vast majority of top-elite universities are run by notorious leftists.
    This is unfortunately true.

    And from personal experience I have discovered they are vicious towards those who don't share their ideology.

    And I have formed the opinion that they are not liberal democrats.

    They substitute ideology for critical thinking.

    And worse, they have formed an historic alliance with the Islamists.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The underlying theme of his claim was clear: it is impossible for a society to improve the quality of life for the average citizen without empowering the government to control the economy.
    Are you sure? I would read this as saying that the division of wealth will grow ever larger without empowering government... and it's not control the economy (production/consumption) as much as influence (wealth taxes, income taxes, consumption taxes).

    It feels like you are knocking down a strawman.

  7. #7
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail!
    And the vast majority of top-elite universities are run by notorious leftists. But maybe you think we can compare a fascist-like country like Venezuela with Harvard or Berkeley? Thus, reasoning like you are would eventually lead us to nowhere. Bad faith will lead us to nowhere.
    Lefties are authoritarian types. If given enough power, lefties become fascists. We saw that with FDR and his micro-managing of the economy and the internment of Japanese Americans.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  8. #8
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    Lefties are authoritarian types. If given enough power, lefties become fascists. We saw that with FDR and his micro-managing of the economy and the internment of Japanese Americans.
    Bad faith and pointless sophisms will lead you to nowhere. Being authoritarian has nothing to do with being conservative or leftist.
    Once again, do you genuinely think that Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Yale or the MIT are managed by would-be fascists?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  9. #9
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail!
    Being authoritarian has nothing to do with being conservative or leftist.
    Once again, do you genuinely think that Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Yale or the MIT are managed by would-be fascists?
    Let me put it this way. President Obama and the Ivy league professor have much more in common with Castro and Putin than with Jefferson or Reagan.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  10. #10
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    Let me put it this way. President Obama and the Ivy league professor have much more in common with Castro and Putin than with Jefferson or Reagan.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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