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The New Gilded Age

For discussion of religion and politics

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LordMortis
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LordMortis »

Rip wrote:But there was a vote for those candidates to make them the choice for the Republicans and Democrats. Not to mention you are free to vote for a Green candidate or a Libertarian one or any number of other political parties that are in no way prevented by law from campaigning and being elected.
Libertarians were locked out of the Michigan race presidential election and it's even harder to get on the ballot if you aren't one of the top four or five parties.

The rules are designed to keep the power between two parties. If you exist outside the the two parties the rules are designed to hamper you. The way around being hampered is to use money. Even on the smallest of scales we have gerrymandering designed to keep power between the two parties.

In a way you almost have to admire the Tea Partiers.... Almost...
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Rip wrote: But there was a vote for those candidates to make them the choice for the Republicans and Democrats. Not to mention you are free to vote for a Green candidate or a Libertarian one or any number of other political parties that are in no way prevented by law from campaigning and being elected. The problem is that people misuse or fail to use the power of their vote. That isn't the fault of the system it is the problem of democracy and the people of a democracy itself.
No, it's a fundamental feature of the 2-party system.

People are loathe to risk "throwing away" their vote on a 3rd party, no matter how great, if it means the party they like the least will have a short-term advantage over the one they dislike less.

Rip wrote: Even if no one could contribute but $1 to a political campaign people would still make bad choices and/or fail to participate in the process. The biggest weakness of a government that gives all the power to the people is the people themselves. People have made bad choices and their government is reflective of that.
They would make their own bad choices, not someone else's.

It is only a throw away when a bunch of other people don't vote that way. If we have enough people that want someone other than those two we shall have it. The fact that Americans can't agree on much of anything is our own fault. You can bet if those two parties piss people off enough THEY WILL vote for someone else. There just hasn't been anyone people agree with and like enough to change the status quo. That can always change. Ron Paul came pretty damn close to doing it. Ben Carson is another outsider that has managed to sway a lot of people. Rand Paul has quite a following across the party lines. I think the right person with a socially liberal and fiscally conservative agenda could manage it but it would take a lot of people realizing that their stock party favorite is just talking the talk and will once elected walk the same walk they all have.
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LordMortis
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LordMortis »

LawBeefaroni wrote:People are loathe to risk "throwing away" their vote on a 3rd party, no matter how great, if it means the party they like the least will have a short-term advantage over the one they dislike less.
Wiki implies this barrier is by design but they don't link to a source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_access
Each state has its own ballot access laws to determine who may appear on ballots and who may not. According to Article I, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, the authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of federal elections is up to each State, unless Congress legislates otherwise.

The primary argument put forward by States for restricting ballot access has been the presumption that setting ballot access criteria too low would result in numerous candidates on the ballot, splitting the votes of similar minded voters
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Rip wrote:
It is only a throw away when a bunch of other people don't vote that way. If we have enough people that want someone other than those two we shall have it.
Well, exactly. And no one wants to be the first group of voters tha break away from the pack.

Let's say you have Party A and Party B. Party C comes along with some really great ideas.

Due to the 2-party dichotomy, people in Party A hate Party B and vice versa. Now if you are going to throw your lot in with Party C, you need to know that they will win. If they don't, your vote is lost from Party A and thus gives Party B an advantage. So until there are clear indications that Party C will win, you don't change your vote. And since the 2-party system is deisgned to deny a 3rd party a chance, it's unlkely that you will ever be convinced to change your vote.

You can bet if those two parties piss people off enough THEY WILL vote for someone else. There just hasn't been anyone people agree with and like enough to change the status quo. That can always change. Ron Paul came pretty damn close to doing it. Ben Carson is another outsider that has managed to sway a lot of people. Rand Paul has quite a following across the party lines. I think the right person with a socially liberal and fiscally conservative agenda could manage it but it would take a lot of people realizing that their stock party favorite is just talking the talk and will once elected walk the same walk they all have.
Ron Paul made some noise. But when it came to the actual election, not the news cycle leading up to it, he was a non-factor. Again, because the majority of people won't jump on board until a 3rd party is a favorite. And a 3rd party can't become a favorite until a majority of people jump on board.

Instead what we see is Party A blaming Party B and Party B blaming Party A. We see a new party in the White House every 4 or 8 years, and we see entrenched incumbents and tight races making people feel like there is some kind of choice.

We have both kind of music, Country and Western.
We have a choice of beverages, would you like Diet Coke or Regular Coke?
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LawBeefaroni »

LordMortis wrote: Wiki implies this barrier is by design but they don't link to a source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_access

The primary argument put forward by States for restricting ballot access has been the presumption that setting ballot access criteria too low would result in numerous candidates on the ballot, splitting the votes of similar minded voters
Of course it's by design, it's a core of the 2-party system.

And let's face it, if you're against abortion and want a balanced budget you're exactly like the other person who is against abortion and wants a balanced budget. Regardless of the fact that one of you wants legalized marajuana and the other doesn't. Close enough, here's the party you get to vote for. We'd hate for you to get confused by a party/candidate that is more in-line with your complete set of values.
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LordMortis
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LordMortis »

LawBeefaroni wrote:Instead what we see is Party A blaming Party B and Party B blaming Party A. We see a new party in the White House every 4 or 8 years, and we see entrenched incumbents and tight races making people feel like there is some kind of choice.

We have both kind of music, Country and Western.
We have a choice of beverages, would you like Diet Coke or Regular Coke?
And don't forget that we have much of the government, pseudo government, and lobbying machine that stay in place every 4 or 8 years working to stay in place through both party A and party B. How much harder would be for them to stay in place if we seriously let party C into the mix.

I can remember in high school I got an interview with Ron Paul for president in 1988 for my high school radio broadcast. I got it all set up and then I couldn't air it because I didn't have the means to give equal air time Micheal Dukakis and George Bush. Somehow equal opportunity rules only apply (applied?) to democrats and republicans. That's changed a little over the last 30 year though. You do see more non democrat/republicans getting invited to debates and forums than you did 30 years ago. Though I fear it's largely out of seeking ratings and not out of a growth in culture.

BTW, Paul sent me a really cool press packet for the interview, too. I bet my mom still has it somewhere.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Holman »

Here's a question for our Canadian or English or other Parliamentary-gov't-nation OO'ers: Does your system really feel all that different from the U.S. two-party system? Does it really result in more attention to nuance and less to Big Interests, or does it devolve to the same binaries when things actually need to get done?

I tend to think that we already have three or four or five actual parties in the U.S. It's just that the smaller ones get merged into two during the Primaries, so they're invisible in the General Election.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Kraken »

malchior wrote:Based on a quick read they are building on someone's else methodology for ranking political influence and how different models of democracy map into them. Their innovation was approximating the influence of different interest groups into that methodology to track a wide range of political interests (almost 1800 different issues). One of the results was that they have good data (via extensive polling) on the American public's policy preferences and they believe that they conclusively found that it is little to no impact on policy formation.
Thanks for doing my legwork. Today's one of those rare days that I had to put in a solid 8+ hours.
GreenGoo wrote:
More/less votes isn't going to change whether a system is more or less representative of the population as a whole.
That's the unavoidable consequence of our winner-take-all system, vs. a proportional parliamentary system.
Rip wrote:
But there was a vote for those candidates to make them the choice for the Republicans and Democrats. Not to mention you are free to vote for a Green candidate or a Libertarian one or any number of other political parties that are in no way prevented by law from campaigning and being elected.
Candidates don't get on the ballot without big money backing. As malchior said, our system theoretically allows for a grassroots populist insurgent...but practically speaking, that never happens. And the more money there is in politics, the less possible it is to win without any.

Elections ratify candidates who were preselected by the oligarchs and who will answer to them when in office. Everything else is stagecraft.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Zarathud »

I don't care as much about the number of parties as their leverage. Money is the ultimate leverage against an individual's vote.

That's why Citizen's United and McCutcheon will be disastrous -- the Supreme Court added more power to national parties who can convince rich donors to contribute the maximum to EVERY candidate and convince corporations to weigh in on elections. The discontent voters in your state can't organize against the wealthy donors in every other state or corporations. A few wealthy individuals and corporations can now intervene nationally to protect their interests. It's going to be a game changer.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

Zarathud wrote:I don't care as much about the number of parties as their leverage. Money is the ultimate leverage against an individual's vote.

That's why Citizen's United and McCutcheon will be disastrous -- the Supreme Court added more power to national parties who can convince rich donors to contribute the maximum to EVERY candidate and convince corporations to weigh in on elections. The discontent voters in your state can't organize against the wealthy donors in every other state or corporations. A few wealthy individuals and corporations can now intervene nationally to protect their interests. It's going to be a game changer.
If it wasn't then it would be wealthy organizations, wealthy unions, etc. The only alternative is to make it so only individuals can contribute, only directly, and only a small amount. Or just make contributions themselves illegal and give every candidate identical budgets.

Which one do you propose?
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Pyperkub »

Rip wrote:
Zarathud wrote:I don't care as much about the number of parties as their leverage. Money is the ultimate leverage against an individual's vote.

That's why Citizen's United and McCutcheon will be disastrous -- the Supreme Court added more power to national parties who can convince rich donors to contribute the maximum to EVERY candidate and convince corporations to weigh in on elections. The discontent voters in your state can't organize against the wealthy donors in every other state or corporations. A few wealthy individuals and corporations can now intervene nationally to protect their interests. It's going to be a game changer.
If it wasn't then it would be wealthy organizations, wealthy unions, etc. The only alternative is to make it so only individuals can contribute, only directly, and only a small amount. Or just make contributions themselves illegal and give every candidate identical budgets.

Which one do you propose?
Ban Advertising, ala GB... or (and I just thought of this, so I haven't thought it through):

Require Ads to be submitted by a petition of locally registered voters. Mail, TV, Internet, Radio, etc. Get some sort of local control back to communities, as well as reducing the barriers to entry of requiring a ton of cash and no support. Reduce Campaign Costs, and restore Local Control.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Zarathud »

I have no problem with limiting contributions to individuals, and putting low contribution limits on any organization -- businesses, unions or otherwise -- to avoid end-running the decisions of individuals or the individual limitations.

501(c)(3) charities already face strict limits. Social welfare organizations can also be limited although I would permit issue advocacy that does not identify any particular candidate and other long-standing political activity exceptions. Eliminate PACs and other devices used to hide contributors, like those that former Utah Attorney General John Swallow used to hide his contributors, attack his opponent and demand "pay-to-play."

People and organizations should report their contributions to have accountability. That means CEOs can face backlash from the market or marketplace of ideas for their liberal and/or conservative contributions.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

And what of unions, lobbyists, and other entities that use back end bribes and down the rode jobs and crazy speaking fees? How about candidates that spend their own money?
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Re: The New Gilded Age

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I hear Condi Rice takes a $150,000 speaking fee. Ron Paul demanded a $50,000 speaking fee to speak to CPAC in 2013. All of the politicians are taking speaking fees. And why you do hate capitalism and the thought of being paid for your time after becoming popular?

Candidates who spend their own money are called out on it on the campaign trail, and (at least in Illinois) often prove to be poor candidates. Watch for Dubin to beat perennial self-funded Obwereis soundly -- Oberweis is already trying to equate his $1.3 million gross income with Durbin's $280,000 because they're both millionaires.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

Zarathud wrote:I hear Condi Rice takes a $150,000 speaking fee. Ron Paul demanded a $50,000 speaking fee to speak to CPAC in 2013. All of the politicians are taking speaking fees. And why you do hate capitalism and the thought of being paid for your time after becoming popular? [
I am more concerned with politicians being bought off by being paid after being elected. Clinton gets over $500K to speak. Not to mention cushy jobs that elected officials and longtime bureaucrats get cushy jobs or even worse media jobs to continue politicking under the guise of news.
Before Bill Clinton entered the White House in 1992, he earned a salary of $38,167 as Governor of Arkansas. Actually, his base salary was $35,000, the additional $3,167 came from a handful of speaking engagements he performed the prior year around Arkansas. His wife Hillary was the real breadwinner of family at the time, bringing home a salary of $188,547 as an attorney at the prestigious Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. In fact, Bill Clinton really only worked in the private sector for a grand total of two years his entire life prior to being elected President! As we all know now, Bill Clinton eventually went on to serve two terms as one of the most popular American Presidents in history. He also went on to become one of the most highly sought after and expensive public speakers of all time. Just how much money has Bill Clinton has made off speaking fees since 2001? An astonishing $106 million
http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articl ... ince-2001/
“Today, some examples of those spinning the other way, taking media jobs after working for Obama. Ronan Farrow, who held several jobs in Obama’s State Department, gets an MSNBC show as does Joy-Ann Reid, who toiled in the press office during Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“The more common news media to Obama revolving door is just one more sign of the far from adversarial relationship between the two, where the Obama administration treats news outlets as free recruitment services and journalists look to the administration for cozy jobs where they can push their liberal views without the pretense of journalistic strictures.”
http://washingtonexaminer.com/revolving ... le/2544496
Candidates who spend their own money are called out on it on the campaign trail, and (at least in Illinois) often prove to be poor candidates. Watch for Dubin to beat perennial self-funded Obwereis soundly -- Oberweis is already trying to equate his $1.3 million gross income with Durbin's $280,000 because they're both millionaires.
Either money is the ultimate leverage over individual votes or it isn't. Make up your mind.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Zarathud »

Bill Clinton is extremely charismatic and highly in demand. He's the rockstar of speakers.

But how about how FOX News hired nearly the full roster of potential Republican candidates for the presidency as commentators? Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and even Herman Cain. At least Bill Clinton needs to jingle the hat a little.
Rip wrote:Either money is the ultimate leverage over individual votes or it isn't. Make up your mind.
Dubin doesn't need his own money, he's a political leader who can fundraise.

But the issue raised here is the complaint against the 2 party system. Self-funded candidates dominate the primaries in the Illinois Republican Party, but that leverage doesn't translate into state-wide votes. It does control who runs. For example, Rahm Emanuel filed a campaign report touting his $7 million war chest and coast-to-coast political fundraising. One potential challenger reported only $203,000 in his campaign fund at the start of the year.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Rip wrote:
Zarathud wrote:I hear Condi Rice takes a $150,000 speaking fee. Ron Paul demanded a $50,000 speaking fee to speak to CPAC in 2013. All of the politicians are taking speaking fees. And why you do hate capitalism and the thought of being paid for your time after becoming popular? [
I am more concerned with politicians being bought off by being paid after being elected. Clinton gets over $500K to speak. Not to mention cushy jobs that elected officials and longtime bureaucrats get cushy jobs or even worse media jobs to continue politicking under the guise of news.
Before Bill Clinton entered the White House in 1992, he earned a salary of $38,167 as Governor of Arkansas. Actually, his base salary was $35,000, the additional $3,167 came from a handful of speaking engagements he performed the prior year around Arkansas. His wife Hillary was the real breadwinner of family at the time, bringing home a salary of $188,547 as an attorney at the prestigious Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. In fact, Bill Clinton really only worked in the private sector for a grand total of two years his entire life prior to being elected President! As we all know now, Bill Clinton eventually went on to serve two terms as one of the most popular American Presidents in history. He also went on to become one of the most highly sought after and expensive public speakers of all time. Just how much money has Bill Clinton has made off speaking fees since 2001? An astonishing $106 million
Please, that's the best you can do? He's in great demand and gets paid accordingly. This isn't some ex-fed chief getting $500K to "speak" at a dinner for 5 mega bank execs. This is Bill fucking Clinton packing a house. And I hate Bill fucking Clinton. But it's no different than Madonna or Miley Cyrus getting a $1M take from selling out an arena concert.

It's just him capitalizing off his inexplicable stardom.

Real abuses are out there. You just have to look for them. Don't fall back on this re-hashed non-issue. Bill Clinton is a rock star. People pay to see him perform.

You don't like Clinton? Here's Hillary at the trough.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Kraken »

A wide-ranging conversation with Bernie Sanders. Worth reading in its entirety, but I'll pull the juiciest bits for those who don't have time:
There’s no question that the Republican Party has become a far-right party, significantly controlled by the Koch brothers and a few others. But the Democratic party has moved, you know. It used to be a center-left party — Truman, Roosevelt — it was the party of the American working class. I don’t think there are many people who think that is the case now. It is far better [than the Republican Party], and there are some great people in the Democratic Party who spend an enormous amount of time and energy fighting for working people, and I work with those guys. But I don’t think anybody would say, as a whole, that the Democratic Party is the party of the American working class.
So all of this speaks to the extraordinary influence of money in Congress. You know, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think that there is anything that Wall Street does not want that will get passed here. It’s just not going to happen. Or corporate America, anything it doesn’t want, it’s not going to happen. In other words, there is not the political strength to take on corporate America or Wall Street. That’s just the simple fact.
So if you look at the grotesque distribution of wealth in America, in which the top 1 percent today own 37 percent of the wealth, and the bottom 60 percent own 1.7 percent of the wealth; where one family—the Walton family, of Wal-Mart—own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent; where the top 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, that smacks to me like oligarchy.

And what it is, is the worst level of wealth inequality that exists among major countries, and worse than any time since 1929, before the Great Depression. That’s wealth. And then if you look at income since the Wall Street crash [of 2008], 95 percent of all new income generated in America goes to the top 1 percent. That smacks to me like oligarchy.

And then, equally important, because of the Supreme Court decisions of Citizens United, et cetera, you now have a situation where the billionaire class can spend as much money as they want on elections. So it’s not only economic, it is now political. These guys can buy elections.

And if the Koch brothers get their way, we will do away with all campaign finance reform. That is now the official position of the leadership of the Republican Party. Which will mean that the Koch brothers won’t have to waste their time doing independent expenditures; they can bring their team of candidates into a room and say, “Okay, you want to run for U.S. Senate in Kansas? Here’s your check for $100 million.” Here’s your check for $100 million, because it doesn’t mean anything to the Koch brothers, their wealth increased by $12 billion last year. So Kansas is a nice state. “Here’s a hundred million. And here is your platform. And here is your media consultant and there is your think tank to write your speeches. We’ll watch you closely, but here’s your check for $100 million and have a nice day.” That’s called buying elections.
we need a political revolution in this country and that’s not just rhetoric. What I mean by that is that we need—and a president certainly can play a very, very important role in this—we need a massive change in citizen participation and in political consciousness. There was a poll that just came out I think yesterday. Gallup tells us that… I believe it is 63 percent of the American people cannot name which parties control the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. So you have consciousness so low, a significant majority of the American people who are very concerned about what’s going on for themselves and their kids, they don’t know who controls the House and the Senate. They can’t name which party controls both bodies. You have what the political scientists tell us is a situation where in this coming election, 60 percent of the American people will not bother to vote. That means 70 -to-80 percent of low-income workers and young people will not vote. So before you can talk about changing America, you have to change the political consciousness and the way that people relate to the political process.

Now, there is a group that relates very strongly to the political process, [and] that is the billionaire class that is now prepared to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates to represent their interests.
at a time when the middle class is collapsing; when we have more people living in poverty than ever before and we have huge income and wealth inequality; when we are the only major nation on earth that does not have a national healthcare system; when we have millions of young people leaving college deeply in debt; when we have the planetary crisis of climate change; when we, because of Citizens United, have a billionaire class now controlling our political process, we need candidates who are prepared to stand up without apology representing the working families of America and are prepared to take on the billionaire class which controls so much of America. I think that’s absolutely imperative that that takes place.

What I have said is that I am giving thought to running for president. I haven’t made that decision. It’s a very, very difficult decision.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by RunningMn9 »

Oligarchs are people too, my friend.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by GreenGoo »

RunningMn9 wrote:Oligarchs are people too, my friend.
In fact, they're kinda the only people that matter. Occupy Wallstreet says hello.

I should mention that I and my family are doing fine to great. Barring major financial catastrophe, we should be good straight through retirement, although retirement is 20 years off still.

I still think the current wealth distribution is wonky and major problems seem like they are just around the corner.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LordMortis »

I've said it before but I would love to see a Sanders/Warren ticket to grooming Warren for president in 10 years.

It's completely fucked up when as a conservative I find the the only two people in Congress I trust are very far left leaning socialists.

I'd like to believe that they'd make a bigger better difference in Congress, but they don't, so give them the executive power.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Drazzil »

Kraken wrote:A wide-ranging conversation with Bernie Sanders. Worth reading in its entirety, but I'll pull the juiciest bits for those who don't have time:
There’s no question that the Republican Party has become a far-right party, significantly controlled by the Koch brothers and a few others. But the Democratic party has moved, you know. It used to be a center-left party — Truman, Roosevelt — it was the party of the American working class. I don’t think there are many people who think that is the case now. It is far better [than the Republican Party], and there are some great people in the Democratic Party who spend an enormous amount of time and energy fighting for working people, and I work with those guys. But I don’t think anybody would say, as a whole, that the Democratic Party is the party of the American working class.
So all of this speaks to the extraordinary influence of money in Congress. You know, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think that there is anything that Wall Street does not want that will get passed here. It’s just not going to happen. Or corporate America, anything it doesn’t want, it’s not going to happen. In other words, there is not the political strength to take on corporate America or Wall Street. That’s just the simple fact.
So if you look at the grotesque distribution of wealth in America, in which the top 1 percent today own 37 percent of the wealth, and the bottom 60 percent own 1.7 percent of the wealth; where one family—the Walton family, of Wal-Mart—own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent; where the top 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, that smacks to me like oligarchy.

And what it is, is the worst level of wealth inequality that exists among major countries, and worse than any time since 1929, before the Great Depression. That’s wealth. And then if you look at income since the Wall Street crash [of 2008], 95 percent of all new income generated in America goes to the top 1 percent. That smacks to me like oligarchy.

And then, equally important, because of the Supreme Court decisions of Citizens United, et cetera, you now have a situation where the billionaire class can spend as much money as they want on elections. So it’s not only economic, it is now political. These guys can buy elections.

And if the Koch brothers get their way, we will do away with all campaign finance reform. That is now the official position of the leadership of the Republican Party. Which will mean that the Koch brothers won’t have to waste their time doing independent expenditures; they can bring their team of candidates into a room and say, “Okay, you want to run for U.S. Senate in Kansas? Here’s your check for $100 million.” Here’s your check for $100 million, because it doesn’t mean anything to the Koch brothers, their wealth increased by $12 billion last year. So Kansas is a nice state. “Here’s a hundred million. And here is your platform. And here is your media consultant and there is your think tank to write your speeches. We’ll watch you closely, but here’s your check for $100 million and have a nice day.” That’s called buying elections.
we need a political revolution in this country and that’s not just rhetoric. What I mean by that is that we need—and a president certainly can play a very, very important role in this—we need a massive change in citizen participation and in political consciousness. There was a poll that just came out I think yesterday. Gallup tells us that… I believe it is 63 percent of the American people cannot name which parties control the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. So you have consciousness so low, a significant majority of the American people who are very concerned about what’s going on for themselves and their kids, they don’t know who controls the House and the Senate. They can’t name which party controls both bodies. You have what the political scientists tell us is a situation where in this coming election, 60 percent of the American people will not bother to vote. That means 70 -to-80 percent of low-income workers and young people will not vote. So before you can talk about changing America, you have to change the political consciousness and the way that people relate to the political process.

Now, there is a group that relates very strongly to the political process, [and] that is the billionaire class that is now prepared to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates to represent their interests.
at a time when the middle class is collapsing; when we have more people living in poverty than ever before and we have huge income and wealth inequality; when we are the only major nation on earth that does not have a national healthcare system; when we have millions of young people leaving college deeply in debt; when we have the planetary crisis of climate change; when we, because of Citizens United, have a billionaire class now controlling our political process, we need candidates who are prepared to stand up without apology representing the working families of America and are prepared to take on the billionaire class which controls so much of America. I think that’s absolutely imperative that that takes place.

What I have said is that I am giving thought to running for president. I haven’t made that decision. It’s a very, very difficult decision.

Yep. I vote strictly third party these days, if I vote at all.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Kraken »

From Robert Reich.

Image

You can see that we went off the rails in the Reagan administration, recovered slightly under Clinton, and then lost it completely under Bush (although control of Congress is more relevant than the white house).

Depressing any way you slice it.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Kraken wrote: You can see that we went off the rails in the Reagan administration, recovered slightly under Clinton, and then lost it completely under Bush (although control of Congress is more relevant than the white house).

Depressing any way you slice it.
The entire system is designed to funnel wealth up from the bottom. Laws, financial systems, markets, even retail...all of it. It's a really well-built system, actually. Have to admire it for that.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by GreenGoo »

I think the key part, the clever part, is that it has the bottom coughing up its wealth willingly to the top.

It's probably easier in a corrupt country to simply take what you want if you are in a position of power, but then you'll often end up with your head on a pike. This way...well. Are you a socialist? No? Then get to consuming.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Holman »

You can also clearly see what drove the post-war sense of success and middle-class possibility.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Kraken »

GreenGoo wrote:I think the key part, the clever part, is that it has the bottom coughing up its wealth willingly to the top.
True, but this graph is about income, not wealth. The top doesn't need the bottom anymore.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Drazzil »

GreenGoo wrote:I think the key part, the clever part, is that it has the bottom coughing up its wealth willingly to the top.

It's probably easier in a corrupt country to simply take what you want if you are in a position of power, but then you'll often end up with your head on a pike. This way...well. Are you a socialist? No? Then get to consuming.
This way you will still wind up with your head on a pike, but it will take longer and be on pay per view, ITunes and Amazon Prime.

I'd pay 1.99 to see THAT download. :D :twisted:
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by GreenGoo »

Kraken wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:I think the key part, the clever part, is that it has the bottom coughing up its wealth willingly to the top.
True, but this graph is about income, not wealth. The top doesn't need the bottom anymore.
Absolutely. I started to make another comment that wasn't valid when I realized it was income.

Sorry for confusing the matter.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Pyperkub »

And the fruits of the new Gilded Age:
Hilton left his seat five minutes after takeoff, even though the "fasten seat belt" sign was still on, authorities said. Another flight attendant said Hilton rose from his seat at least 20 times during the 10½-hour flight, court documents said.

Read the federal complaint (Warning: profane language)

When Hilton became enraged because a flight attendant was following him, he shouted several times that "I am going to f------ kill you!" and used other vulgarities, court papers said.

Passengers became frightened and disturbed, authorities said.

Hilton yelled several times, saying "I will f------ own anyone on this flight; they are f------ peasants."
Ah, entitled drunken rich assholes who see most people as serfs. He later passed out and woke up in handcuffs ;).
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by hepcat »

The little shit is having his lawyer tell everyone that it's the fault of ambien.

I've been taking ambien on occasion for years. At absolutely no point has it caused me to drive a car without my knowledge, make a phone call without my knowledge or do any damn thing without my knowledge.

Honestly, the little shit needs to be unceremoniously dumped on his ass by his parents, forced to get a job and learn how to be a cog in the machine instead of thinking he's the owner of the machine.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Enough »

He's one of those embarrassing rich kids of Instagram. :roll:
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by LordMortis »

hepcat wrote:The little shit is having his lawyer tell everyone that it's the fault of ambien.
I am a fan legalizing pretty much every drug but making crimes committed on these drugs doubly severe. Drinking and driving, *meh*. Speeding while drinking and driving, driving erratically while drinking and driving, etc... Nial them to the wall. I would treat ambien the same way. If you are uncontrollable asshole on ambien, then the last place you should be taking it is on a plane. If you don't know if you are an uncontrollable ass hole on ambien then then on a plane is not the place to find out. You're still culpable.

"But I was on drugs" should never be an excuse for a criminal act. Ever.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Defiant »

Wealthy tech founders and the automation of middle-class jobs are often blamed for increasing concentrations of wealth in fewer hands. But, a 26-year-old MIT graduate student, Matthew Rognlie, is making waves for an alternative theory of inequality: the problem is housing
https://medium.com/the-ferenstein-wire/ ... 2a3b423e0c
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Little Raven »

/. "She climbed backwards out her
\/ window into Outside Over There."
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by geezer »

Defiant wrote:
Wealthy tech founders and the automation of middle-class jobs are often blamed for increasing concentrations of wealth in fewer hands. But, a 26-year-old MIT graduate student, Matthew Rognlie, is making waves for an alternative theory of inequality: the problem is housing
https://medium.com/the-ferenstein-wire/ ... 2a3b423e0c
At first glance, this makes a lot of sense to me.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Kraken »

Thought this was a good graphic from today's Globe. Click to make it REALLY big. The accompanying article is an interesting, if not especially eye-opening, look at the normal people who serve Aspen's elite.

Enlarge Image

Hmm, it looks like the labels didn't come along with the graphic. I added a link so that you can see it properly.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

Look at that big drop at the end for the bottom 90%. You can thank QE for a lot of that one.

Something that article seems to ignore.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49031991
Last month, the Bank of England issued a report that must have made Fed chairman Ben Bernanke squirm.

It said that the Bank of England’s policies of quantitative easing – similar to the Fed’s – had benefited mainly the wealthy.

Specifically, it said that its QE program had boosted the value of stocks and bonds by 26 percent, or about $970 billion. It said that about 40 percent of those gains went to the richest 5 percent of British households.
Economist Anthony Randazzo of the Reason Foundation wrote that QE “is fundamentally a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy. It is a primary driver of income inequality.”
The reason is simple. QE drives up the prices of assets, especially financial assets. And most of the financial assets in America are owed by the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans.

According to Fed data, the top 5 percent own 60 percent of the nation’s individually held financial assets. They own 82 percent of the individually held stocks and more than 90 percent of the individually held bonds.

By helping to reinflate the stock market in 2009 and 2010, the Fed created a two-speed recovery. The wealthy quickly recovered much of their wealth as stocks doubled in value. But the rest of the country, which depends on houses and jobs for their wealth, remained stuck in recession.
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Zarathud »

So would you agree that the federal government should have used fiscal policy instead of monetary policy? Paul Krugman has long argued the limits of monetary policy and that government spending on infrastructure projects was the preferable policy option, despite the opposition of the Republican party to "increasing the deficit."
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Re: The New Gilded Age

Post by Rip »

Zarathud wrote:So would you agree that the federal government should have used fiscal policy instead of monetary policy? Paul Krugman has long argued the limits of monetary policy and that government spending on infrastructure projects was the preferable policy option, despite the opposition of the Republican party to "increasing the deficit."
Somewhat. QE is a nice short term shock tool, not something you should do long term (more than a year or two) IMHO. I would have liked to see them spend a little less and yes to have spent most of what was spent on infrastructure and/or creating true wealth over paper wealth. If you ask me QE is nothing but trickle down theory in another wrapper. Fooled us twice if you will.
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