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Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
we could just democratize capitalism....
Now we're getting somewhere, but what do you mean? Flesh that out and let's follow that line of reasoning.

I've always considered ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) to be a way of democratizing capitalism. Minimum wage guarantees are another, very small, way of doing so. Executive pay limitations, too. Progressive tax schemes. I'm sure there are more comprehensive approaches.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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One way to cleanup politics would be to make political claims, ads, etc. part of the laws that control defamation. Right now, apparently, anybody in the public eye, including politicians, can be lied about with impunity which, as far as I am concerned, is just crazy. This allows anybody who lies well to lie their way into a job. Its especially true when the politician being lied about refuses to call out the liar (Hillary is a great example of that one).

I once had an employee who ran the post office at McNeil Island (husband was in charge). She told me that if I wanted to hire a salesman the best choice was somebody who had done more than 10 years in prison. I seems that the social workers , over time, train the inmates to lie. The better they lie the more perks they can bamboozle out of staff I think. She told me there was this young kid who actually convinced her that he was pregnant and she REALLY knew that couldn't be true.

Anyway, clean up our lies against defamation might be a really good place to start a cleanup?

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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I got extremely mad about Bloomberg's and Schultz's BS, calling Medicare for all "unaffordable" and "un-American", because it demonstrated that they are either stupid (unlikely), or dishonest (probable). Here's a good explanation as to why: The media is badly botching the Medicare-for-all debate. (WaPo, subscription).

Let me start with an obvious observation: Bloomberg and Schultz are both billionaires. Billionaires are not like us. But Schultz started life poor. He certainly knows better. Or, maybe, money causes myopia. Schultz calls himself "self-made". That's a clue. It automatically ignores all of the circumstances that assisted his success.

But more importantly, to be successful in business one should be aware of the ecosystem in which one's business exists. Here's why their basic argument is stupid. And I mean STUPID: The majority of the countries in which they do business have universal healthcare. If they were "bankrupt", how are they doing business there? If they are bankrupt, how are they kicking our collective butt in health care outcomes and costs?


Simply put, I'd like to see just one of these right wing moguls explain to us why what we're doing right NOW IS affordable (which it isn't) and why they are sure it will remain affordable (which it won't) or at the very least, prove that it will NOT become even MORE unaffordable. (which it most definitely WILL)
If they could prove that what we are doing RIGHT NOW will become substantially CHEAPER in the next ten years, I will eat a MAGA hat dipped in poodle piss.


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ESOPs look great on paper, but every one I ever participated in screwed me over royally. From a wise investor viewpoint, having all your money invested in the same company you work for is idiotic: If the company fails, you lose your job AND all your savings! It's much smarter to cash in all company stock you get as soon as you can and buy index funds.

Now of course, if you worked for Google or Amazon that would have cost you. But how many of us work for Google or Amazon?

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Quote:
People are running up credit card debt and not saving for retirement because it's the only way to cover existing expenses.

But that does NOT cover existing expenses, unless they plan on living in a cardboard box upon retirement. Running up credit card debt does not increase your income or lower your expenses. It increases your debt, so it makes the situation worse. Blaming this on neoliberalism is fanciful thinking. People need to adjust their income/expense expectations to be realistic. Sure, try to change the system, ask for that raise, etc. but socialism is not going to give us all new cars every year and $6 Starbucks lattes every day.

Socialism would make life a lot better for the homeless, the mentally ill wandering around in the streets hungry and cold, the disabled living on SSI, minimum wage workers, students racking up massive debts, etc. But it wouldn't dramatically change the lives of the middle class. I believe it's a good thing, an ethical thing, but I am not looking forward to any "socialism goodies" for me personally.

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Quote:
So, we really are just electing the wrong people.

I think that's a pretty important summation. We don't need "Christians" so much as we need "Christ-like people". (You find as many of those in synagogues, mosques, and among atheists, as in churches.) Jimmy Carter may have actually been the best President we have ever elected, from that point of view. And I am not a Christian in any sense that would be recognized by any church.

Maybe reporters have to start asking candidates ethical questions. Trump would have failed that test miserably.

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I'm probably too late to benefit from any socialist goodies beyond existing Social Security, Medicare and VA... but my sons aren't!

I learned an early and painful lesson about living within my means and saving for the future when I was a young Lieutenant. When my wife left work after our first son was born, we continued to live as if we had two incomes, making up the difference with credit cards. In a year we had accumulated an enormous debt - the problem with having "good credit". I put together a 5-year plan to pay it off (completed in 3 1/2), with saving and scrimping. The habits I learned in that period governed the rest of my working life and allowed me to retire early, and comfortably. But.. that comfort is anchored by the expectation that SS and Medicare will be available when I am eligible.

That doesn't at all mitigate my enthusiasm for a comprehensive overhaul and expansion of our social security systems. I'm a believer in the Green New Deal.

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When the rents due and your out of inspection on the car cuz of a 'check engine' light is burning and your backed up on the electric you aren't thinking about PIA' a elementary course in debt economics. Your trying to make it thru the week.
It's why Direct mail Debt loan operations like Obama's former Treasury Secratary now runs relies on the poor to cash those checks. It's a tilted economic system favoring the rich and upper middle income that puts downward pressure on the poor.

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"Today, there’s literally nobody on the right between those frantically accommodating Donald Trump, on the one hand, and us on the other. Except for our brave friends in exile from the Cato Institute now trying to build something in the ruins at the [centrist] Niskanen Center. There’s simply no political place for neoliberals to lead with good policies that make a concession to right-wing concerns."

Full VOX interview
Sheesh, I don't know what surprised me more. The political ideology that never speaks its name, neoliberalism, being discussed so openly or the fact that the article was found at VOX .
Either way, it is a suprising admission from the inside of how empty and full of sh!t the Neoliberals were/are. It came as a shock to see one break from a market fetish they have been so committed to and, based on 2018 primary campaign experience, still are.
For one on the inside to call it out for being both politically and economically bankrupt ideology is refreshing. I wouldn't trust em, though. No matter how much of a 'come to Jesus' moment they are having. They've damaged the party and country enough with there self serving politics.

Last edited by chunkstyle; 03/05/19 02:33 PM.
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Then there's this: How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich (npr). Worse, this administration skews its support to "Republican" States - Texas, Alabama, Mississippi - and away from "Democrat" States (California, Puerto Rico). Politico; WaPo

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