Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Occupy Wall Street and the sad state of American protesting (Page 8)

  This topic comprises 20 pages: 1  2  3  ...  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  ...  18  19  20   
Author Topic: Occupy Wall Street and the sad state of American protesting
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
A new constitution or a revised one isn't going to happen, and given the political climate, I'd be scared to death if we tried it.
ok liberals, revoke roe vs. wade, agree that waterboarding isn't torture, dismantle the EPA, get rid of that silly concept of 'separation of church and state,' commit to voucher systems for public schooling, recriminalize marijuana, have a federal 'right to work' law to undo the unions, and we might not block parts of your campaign finance reform in the new convention.
A terrifying thought. But on the other hand, I think constitutional amendments to facilitate real campaign finance reform and replace the electoral college with direct election of the President would be a good starting place. I also think that the overwhelming majority of Americans would support such amendments.
Posts: 12587 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Annie
Member
Member # 295

 - posted      Profile for Annie   Email Annie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have nothing original to add to this discussion except for this political cartoon I just drew.
Posts: 8503 | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*snort* Of course it appeals to my politics, but I got a giggle out of it, Annie:)
Posts: 16181 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
I have nothing original to add to this discussion except for this political cartoon I just drew.

I love it Annie.
Posts: 12587 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cracked offered this summary today:
quote:
Oh I get it. The banks have done the wrong, but got all the money anyways. The people who aren't the banks are currently away from the money, and in many cases, the jobs. The government does nothing to stop the banks and the wrongs, and even does the wrongs for the banks when the banks ask. Finally, there's something wrong with taxes and that should be different.

Posts: 36839 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Parkour
Member
Member # 12078

 - posted      Profile for Parkour           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't forget ending capitalism.
Posts: 696 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
talsmitde
Member
Member # 9780

 - posted      Profile for talsmitde   Email talsmitde         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking of summaries:

Huffington Post reported today that on the 15th, OWS created a working group tasked with organizing a national general assembly to meet beginning July 4, 2012 in Philadelphia. The announcement is here.

Though, as one commenter below pointed out, this has not been approved by the movement as a whole and is not in any way an official announcement, but elsewhere I've seen it greeted with a fair amount of excitement.

[ October 18, 2011, 10:37 PM: Message edited by: talsmitde ]

Posts: 99 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To be fair, I have no idea how anything could be approved by the movement as a whole.
Posts: 36839 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Im excited to see the nonpartisan independent political party
Posts: 11002 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a crazy long list, but the idea of an assembly convening in Philadelphia brings a smile to my face.
Posts: 13749 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish they'd stop using "non-partisan" to describe everything in that announcement.
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did it irk you as much when the Tea Party and those covering it asserted its independence and non-tie-ins with the GOP?

(A few of the questions I've posed to you feel, to me, like I might be coming off as badgering-it's not my intent. I think it's largely the intersection on posting times and topics.)

Posts: 16181 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not really, no. I'll tell you why, and you tell me if the difference is just an excuse I'm making due to bias.

First of all: I guess if "partisan" is strictly pertaining to the Republican/Democrat, then I am actually not nearly so bothered in this situation. And there is some logical sense to that interpretation of the word, that I had not considered. I have generally used "partisan" to refer to the left/right dichotomy at least as much as the two current parties. I'm not the only one to use it this way, but I've also never paid much attention to whether or not it was a generally acceptable usage. What do you think?

Assuming the usage holds up, then I would say that the Tea Party is undeniably right wing/libertarian, (and by my definition undeniably partisan!) but not beholden to the Republican party. Their goal was always to reform or replace the Republican party, though. There's no question which side of the fence tea partiers fall. And I definitely get irked when people try to pretend it's a centrist movement, and co-opt public support (the same way I get irked at the "99%" label). It's not. The one unifying principle of every tea party I have seen has been small, limited government, which is fundamentally a right-wing position.

I feel like my answer was all over the map there. I hope it was semi-clear. The tea party was fundamentally right wing. The OWS is fundamentally left wing. If either say they are nonpartisan, I call BS. If either say they are not the same thing as the Democratic/Republican parties, I think that's fine. So, saying they want a nonpartisan delegation, but also saying that it's a foregone conclusion that this delegation will put in place heavy restrictions on capitalism, is just disingenuous. You can want the restrictions, but be honest about who you are!

PS: Don't sweat it, Rakeesh. I may get my panties in a twist when I feel like you're picking on me, but that's really on me. So, I definitely appreciate you clarifying that you're not doing that, and as far as I'm concerned, we're cool. I like you a lot. [Smile]

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I guess if "partisan" is strictly pertaining to the Republican/Democrat, then I am actually not nearly so bothered in this situation.
This is certainly the only way in which I use the word. I am, for example, strongly partisan, but I am not particularly liberal.

quote:
The OWS is fundamentally left wing.
Why do you think so?
Posts: 36839 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The signs, statements, people, and demands that I have seen there. Signs like "one day the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich." People identifying as socialist or communist. Demands like a $20.00 minimum wage and guaranteed wage regardless of employment, or a state monopoly on health services. I've seen the occasional libertarians, because OWS is protesting crony capitalism. But they are, unsurprisingly, rare, probably because the way OWS is protesting crony capitalism is by demanding we dismantle capitalism, or at the very least by demanding more government interference by picking winners and losers, which is a very non-libertarian approach.

I assume you disagree that the OWS movement is left-wing? Why? Alternatively, why did you not have the same problem with my characterization of the tea party as right-wing?

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
natural_mystic
Member
Member # 11760

 - posted      Profile for natural_mystic           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Assuming the usage holds up, then I would say that the Tea Party is undeniably right wing/libertarian, (and by my definition undeniably partisan!) but not beholden to the Republican party. Their goal was always to reform or replace the Republican party, though. There's no question which side of the fence tea partiers fall. And I definitely get irked when people try to pretend it's a centrist movement, and co-opt public support (the same way I get irked at the "99%" label). It's not. The one unifying principle of every tea party I have seen has been small, limited government, which is fundamentally a right-wing position.

No dispute with your thesis- just a few quibbles. I'm not sure what beholden means here. In particular, I don't see the Tea Party being where it is today without the cheer leading of Republican operative Roger Ailes' network, or former Republican senator Dick Armey's organization, or Republican ally American's for Prosperity logistical support etc.

Also, by small government, I take it you mean low taxation. Many of the tea partiers have no problem having the federal government dictate womens' reproductive rights. This observation, of course, does not detract from your thesis about the Tea Party being right-wing; they are libertarian when it suits them.

Posts: 644 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Signs like "one day the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich."
Again, why do you think this is fundamentally leftist? Is it really true that only leftists are conscious of class struggle?

quote:
I assume you disagree that the OWS movement is left-wing? Why? Alternatively, why did you not have the same problem with my characterization of the tea party as right-wing?
I think the Tea Party as it was originally intended was not a right-wing movement; it became right-wing when it was co-opted about a year later by the usual suspects and marginalized its libertarian elements.
Posts: 36839 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's not. The one unifying principle of every tea party I have seen has been small, limited government, which is fundamentally a right-wing position.
Small limited government is a right wing slogan not a principal they follow. For the past 30 years the Republican party has been the party of big military, strict penalties for blue collar crime, large prisons, and police power. They've promoted Christianity in the schools, the war on drugs and laws against abortion, porn, sexual freedom and homosexuality. They've supported sin taxes, restrictive immigration laws, centralized regulation of school curricula, and corporate welfare. And the Tea Party seems to support all those things. With that kind of record, its ridiculous to say "small limited government" is a right wing principal.

It's also ridiculous to call the republicans "fiscally conservative". The federal Deficit sky rocketed under the last 3 republican Presidents, during good economic times.

What the republicans are against isn't big government, its anything that interferes with the rich getting richer. Its anything with a hint of redistributing wealth, unless that redistribution favors the already rich. So the republicans are against progressive taxes (but they love sales tax on food), they're against welfare, against national health insurance, against unions, against the minimum wage, against environmental regulations, against health and safety regulations, and against economic regulation in any form.

Posts: 12587 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Destineer
Member
Member # 821

 - posted      Profile for Destineer           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Demands like a $20.00 minimum wage and guaranteed wage regardless of employment, or a state monopoly on health services.
The second demand was what Milton Friedman wanted, and Hayek, I think.
Posts: 4357 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
natural_mystic
Member
Member # 11760

 - posted      Profile for natural_mystic           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
It's not. The one unifying principle of every tea party I have seen has been small, limited government, which is fundamentally a right-wing position.
Small limited government is a right wing slogan not a principal they follow. For the past 30 years the Republican party has been the party of big military, strict penalties for blue collar crime, large prisons, and police power. They've promoted Christianity in the schools, the war on drugs and laws against abortion, porn, sexual freedom and homosexuality. They've supported sin taxes, restrictive immigration laws, centralized regulation of school curricula, and corporate welfare. And the Tea Party seems to support all those things. With that kind of record, its ridiculous to say "small limited government" is a right wing principal.

It's also ridiculous to call the republicans "fiscally conservative". The federal Deficit sky rocketed under the last 3 republican Presidents, during good economic times.

What the republicans are against isn't big government, its anything that interferes with the rich getting richer. Its anything with a hint of redistributing wealth, unless that redistribution favors the already rich. So the republicans are against progressive taxes (but they love sales tax on food), they're against welfare, against national health insurance, against unions, against the minimum wage, against environmental regulations, against health and safety regulations, and against economic regulation in any form.

I think Dan would respond that this is what distinguishes the Tea Party from the Republican Party. However, the proliferation of anti-abortion bills since the Tea Party-fueled Republican successes of 2010 suggests that they (the Tea Party) are also prone to carve out exceptions to small government orthodoxy when it suits them.
Posts: 644 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hm, we may be hitting a bit of a snag on definitions. And I'll freely admit, I'm probably the one with the wonky definitions, as I have a pretty weird view of stuff. So, my apologies!

I consider myself right-wing. Even conservative! I don't agree with traditional conservative stances on... homosexuality, abortion, or immigration, off the top of my head. There's probably more. Basically, I'm a non-isolationist libertarian. But I still consider that, essentially, "right-wing," because I'm of the opinion that economic freedom is a bigger issue than any of those. I consider people in favor of a heavily regulated economic system to be essentially "left-wing."

So, I would say the tea party has been fundamentally right wing pretty much since it's inception, just as OWS is the reverse.

Re: the class struggle thing... well, if we want to go there... yes? I reject the premise that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's a myth. But I really hope that we can address the other things I said and not just focus on this one sentence because, well, I think this part alone could become a big debate.

Natural Mystic: Despite being in favor of abortion rights myself, I think your characterization is flawed. Pro-Lifers believe an unborn baby is a person with full rights, thus aborting them is murder. Reproductive rights don't enter into it. If you agree with their premise, then their conclusion is not antithetical to a small government any more than laws against murder are. Making it a debate about reproductive rights is very common, but I think it moves the goalpost to a meaningless discussion. If a fetus is a person, pro-lifers are right. If it's not, they aren't. That's the discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, guaranteed minimum income is actually a pretty frequent call from the most economically liberal (which generally aligns with what we call the conservative end of the spectrum, at least superficially). I consider it one of the most important reforms we should eventually adopt.

But if you go that direction you really should get rid of the minimum wage -- which one would hope wouldn't be a problem; what justifications there are pretty much just disappeared, after all.

I hadn't noticed the OWS people calling for a guaranteed minimum income, though, and I've perused several popular sets of candidate demands. Which is too bad, because I think few of the measures they are talking about actually address the inequality issues they say motivate them.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Re: the class struggle thing... well, if we want to go there... yes? I reject the premise that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's a myth. But I really hope that we can address the other things I said and not just focus on this one sentence because, well, I think this part alone could become a big debate.
That, recently, the rich have gotten richer in a way disproportionately faster than they have gotten richer relative to the less rich in the past is indisputable. That the rate of increase in wellbeing of the middle class has, in the same period, been lower than in the several decades previously is also indisputable.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
natural_mystic
Member
Member # 11760

 - posted      Profile for natural_mystic           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Natural Mystic: Despite being in favor of abortion rights myself, I think your characterization is flawed. Pro-Lifers believe an unborn baby is a person with full rights, thus aborting them is murder. Reproductive rights don't enter into it. If you agree with their premise, then their conclusion is not antithetical to a small government any more than laws against murder are. Making it a debate about reproductive rights is very common, but I think it moves the goalpost to a meaningless discussion. If a fetus is a person, pro-lifers are right. If it's not, they aren't. That's the discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not disputing there are ways to rationalize this. Look- if I believe that animals are nearly-persons, and should enjoy the same protections against torture that people do, then government is just doing it's job regulating the way animals are treated. However, I don't see this being a popular small-government position. ETA: to what extent can you incorporate other (far from self-evident) beliefs before the principle of "small government" is lost, and it becomes, as Rabbit said, simply a slogan?

[ October 20, 2011, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: natural_mystic ]

Posts: 644 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


Re: the class struggle thing... well, if we want to go there... yes? I reject the premise that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's a myth. But I really hope that we can address the other things I said and not just focus on this one sentence because, well, I think this part alone could become a big debate.

I am not sure how you can reject that premise. The rich have tools that they can use to get rich (health, education, safety, starting capital) that the poor do not. How could it not be easier for the rich to get richer and harder for the poor to keep from getting poorer? It is kind of how nature works. Take a herd of deer. Barring intervention, the healthier, stronger animals will get more and better food and get even healthier and stronger. The weaker animals can't compete and get weaker. As humans accumulate wealth, they have an advantage in the competition for wealth.
quote:


Natural Mystic: Despite being in favor of abortion rights myself, I think your characterization is flawed. Pro-Lifers believe an unborn baby is a person with full rights, thus aborting them is murder. Reproductive rights don't enter into it. If you agree with their premise, then their conclusion is not antithetical to a small government any more than laws against murder are. Making it a debate about reproductive rights is very common, but I think it moves the goalpost to a meaningless discussion. If a fetus is a person, pro-lifers are right. If it's not, they aren't. That's the discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

You are missing a big part of the discussion. If you re-phrase it as, "If the fetus is a person who has taken up residence in another person and will be using their organs for a while", you will be closer to understanding the debate.
Posts: 10471 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Re: the class struggle thing... well, if we want to go there... yes? I reject the premise that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's a myth. But I really hope that we can address the other things I said and not just focus on this one sentence because, well, I think this part alone could become a big debate.
It's not a myth. Having heard you flat-out contradict what is, well, objectively accurate so far as statistics can show us...what *would* convince you it wasn't a myth? Direct economic evidence that the wealth of the top tiers grows at faster rates than the lowest doesn't seem to cut it. What would?
Posts: 16181 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm curious to know why you think that it's a myth, Dan.
Posts: 916 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Taking poor get poorer literally might be Dan's contention; the poor in the US have consistently improved in how well off they are for quite some decades. And most of that increase has been because of the operation of free markets, because most of that increase is from the increasingly cheap availability of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

In fact, even in recent years the growth in how well off (note: not the earned income; a lot of the growth recently has been in gov't programs and price drops at the low end) of the poor hasn't been too bad relative to the rich. The middle class is the segment that's had much more lackluster growth than previous periods.

And a herd of deer, boots, seriously? Human ecology isn't remotely like a herd of deer.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Taking poor get poorer literally might be Dan's contention; the poor in the US have consistently improved in how well off they are for quite some decades. And most of that increase has been because of the operation of free markets, because most of that increase is from the increasingly cheap availability of food, clothing, and consumer goods.
Ah, I'll bet that is what he means.
Posts: 916 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:

And a herd of deer, boots, seriously? Human ecology isn't remotely like a herd of deer.

No. Because we do intervene. We fiddle.
Posts: 10471 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If he meant the 'rising tide lifts all boats' it's a myth, I can agree with that. If he means all boats are being lifted in proportion to their size, that's another thing.
Posts: 16181 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not just because of that; because the wealth of a human, which is derived from either the use of force to extract benefit or mutual exchange for mutual benefit, isn't remotely analogous to the well-being of a deer, which is derived from its participation in a herd capable of warning it of predation, access to sufficient resources, and sufficient predation to prevent the herd from growing too large. If that's the sort of mental model you're using for the human condition, it's no wonder where your economics are.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nor do we eat leaves and grass. Seriously. You are going to act like a jerk over an analogy demonstrating that beings who are well off have an advantage when it comes to becoming more well off? Are you disputing that?
Posts: 10471 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Re: the class struggle thing... well, if we want to go there... yes? I reject the premise that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's a myth.
Why do you believe this is a myth?

Consider for example the data on this graph. It shows that when adjusted for inflation, the median household income in the US was completely flat from 1965 to 2000. Over that same period of time, women were moving into the cash economy so most middle class households went from having one income to two. So in 2000 in many households in the bottom half, it took 2 workers to earn the same amount (adjusted for inflation) that one worker earned in 1965.

Over the same time the inflation adjusted per capita GDP grew from $20,000 to $36,000.

How does that not amount to the poor getting poorer while the rich get richer?

Posts: 12587 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
If he meant the 'rising tide lifts all boats' it's a myth, I can agree with that. If he means all boats are being lifted in proportion to their size, that's another thing.

Do you think the rising tide in the US is lifting all boats, check the data I posted above. There was a time when economic growth in the US "lifted all boats", but for the last 40+, the lower half of households has not risen at all despite significant economic growth. That's a big part of the problem. The rising tide is not only not lifting all boats equally, its not lifting all boats period.
Posts: 12587 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Disclaimer: I'm doing this from work and am not taking the time to find stats, just working from memory of what I've read. Soooo if I incorrectly remember a detail, feel free to call me on it. Please don't assume I'm lying to make my point. Also, most of this is discussing trends over the last few decades, not specifically the last year or two.

Fugu13 definitely addressed a large part of what I was saying, so... thanks man! In a literal sense, the poor are not getting poorer. Part of this is in reduced price of commodity goods that make up a large portion of the poor's expenditures, as he said. Increases have also come in general quality of life... when rich people create expensive new technology that improves lives, after a few years the price drops dramatically and it improves the lives of the middle class, and then a few years later the price drops again and it improves the lives of the poor. See: cars, refrigerators, computers, cell phones, etc.

I'm curious how some of you are defining "in proportion" in this context. How do we determine the "right" proportion for increases in wealth? If the rich are getting richer, and the poor are also getting richer but not as rich as the rich are getting, well, that slogan seems a hell of a lot less compelling to me, and I suspect that's why nobody uses it, despite it being more factually accurate.

Most people I discuss this with also use "rich getting richer/poor getting poorer" in tandem with the "shrinking middle class," or with the "stagnation of middle class wages," both of which I think are also grossly inaccurate. Going on the assumption you will ask me how I can say this, I'll elaborate below.

The only way the middle class shrank significantly in the last thirty-odd years was by a significant percentage of them moving into a high enough wage category that they no longer count as middle class. The number of people living in low-income households didn't increase. How is more people doing well a bad thing?

And finally, a commonly cited stat that is supposed to prove middle class wage stagnation is that household median income has not increased significantly over the last thirtyish years, while productivity has. But this only works if you look at household income. On an individual basis median income has improved at a rate commensurate with productivity increases. It's just that more people are living on their own now than were then, because they can afford it.

Again, these stats are mostly from like 2007/2008 if memory serves, and I know things are worse now than they were then but I don't know that we should be talking about a broken system or discussing massive overhauls based on a trend of 3 or 4 years.

[ October 20, 2011, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh cool, while I was writing Rabbit posted the misleading median household income data!
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've seen the "misleading" allegation debunked however at SA when another sought to claim the data misleading.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Natural Mystic: Despite being in favor of abortion rights myself, I think your characterization is flawed. Pro-Lifers believe an unborn baby is a person with full rights, thus aborting them is murder. Reproductive rights don't enter into it. If you agree with their premise, then their conclusion is not antithetical to a small government any more than laws against murder are. Making it a debate about reproductive rights is very common, but I think it moves the goalpost to a meaningless discussion. If a fetus is a person, pro-lifers are right. If it's not, they aren't. That's the discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not disputing there are ways to rationalize this. Look- if I believe that animals are nearly-persons, and should enjoy the same protections against torture that people do, then government is just doing it's job regulating the way animals are treated. However, I don't see this being a popular small-government position. ETA: to what extent can you incorporate other (far from self-evident) beliefs before the principle of "small government" is lost, and it becomes, as Rabbit said, simply a slogan?
Responding first to the bold: Precisely! Because most small-government types don't think that animals are nearly-people, they think they are significantly removed from people. If you're a vegan libertarian then you would see government restrictions on what can be done to animals as consistent, because you would see animals as near-people deserving of protection. That isn't contradictory.

It comes down to a war of ideas in these situations. It's not about small gov/big gov, it's about what is a person, and what should be given the rights of a person. I don't think animals are people. Nor do I think fetuses are people. So I don't think either of them get much in the way of rights.

But if someone disagrees with me on that, then they can be fully consistent in opposing me and remaining a proponent of small government. These aren't "rationalizations" any more than a libertarian supporting government-enforced punishment for murder or theft is a rationalization. I really think this is getting into philosophy as opposed to politics, but I know I'm a minority on that opinion.

Addition: I think contrasting abortion to drug rights is a great way to look at this. I can't really think of any way a consistent, principled small-government proponent can support the war on drugs. Because there's no war of definitions here. Drugs are drugs, people either have the right to ingest poisons when they choose to do so, or they don't and government can try to force them not to.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I've seen the "misleading" allegation debunked however at SA when another sought to claim the data misleading.

That's cool! I've seen stuff too! Care to... share any of what you saw?
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm on my phone.

Post via HTC EVO, make the smart choice, an android choice.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay. Thanks for the advice, I'll try to remember to make the smart choice in the future.
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
natural_mystic
Member
Member # 11760

 - posted      Profile for natural_mystic           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You're missing my point somewhat. From a bird's eye view you have what appears to be a thoroughly intrusive government action - government dictating the interaction between a private individual and her doctor. This is justified by incorporating a far from universal belief to carve out an exception for extreme government intrusion. In this way you get government creep. At the end of the day you get a government where virtually all actions can be rationalized, yet it is a sizable government. Having carved out all these exceptions, it is hard to take someone seriously when they object to something on the basis of 'small government.'

As for the drugs thing; certainly there are lots of self-identified small government types who are against legalization. I would be curious about their justifications. Also, what are your views on a drinking age exceeding, say, the age at which one can vote or serve in the military? Or drunk driving enforcement?

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Fugu13 definitely addressed a large part of what I was saying, so... thanks man! In a literal sense, the poor are not getting poorer. Part of this is in reduced price of commodity goods that make up a large portion of the poor's expenditures, as he said. Increases have also come in general quality of life... when rich people create expensive new technology that improves lives, after a few years the price drops dramatically and it improves the lives of the middle class, and then a few years later the price drops again and it improves the lives of the poor. See: cars, refrigerators, computers, cell phones, etc.

In a literal sense the poor are getting poorer. They are less likely to be able to get good healthcare (hopefully this will change shortly), less likely to be able to afford to send their children to college, less likely to be able to find affordable daycare for their kids. Ie their access to the resources/mechanisms whereby their kids have a better chance to climb the social ladder is severely limited. But they have a big screen tv, so it's all good.
Posts: 644 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Parkour
Member
Member # 12078

 - posted      Profile for Parkour           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't forget their fridges. Tthese ows types must just be mad about nothing.
Posts: 696 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
You're missing my point somewhat. From a bird's eye view you have what appears to be a thoroughly intrusive government action - government dictating the interaction between a private individual and her doctor. This is justified by incorporating a far from universal belief to carve out an exception for extreme government intrusion. In this way you get government creep. At the end of the day you get a government where virtually all actions can be rationalized, yet it is a sizable government. Having carved out all these exceptions, it is hard to take someone seriously when they object to something on the basis of 'small government.'

As for the drugs thing; certainly there are lots of self-identified small government types who are against legalization. I would be curious about their justifications. Also, what are your views on a drinking age exceeding, say, the age at which one can vote or serve in the military? Or drunk driving enforcement?

Ah, okay, I see what you mean. To a certain extent I agree, when you make rationalizations for why gov intrusion into "X Issue You Really Care About" is okay then you can do this ad infinitum and end up with lots of government intrusions. I do still think the abortion one is sort of sticky because to many people they literally see it as killing another human being that should have full rights as a human being, and that's why I say it becomes a discussion of philosophy rather than politics. I mean, saying it's a decision between a woman and her doctor leaves the proposed 3rd party out of it. That's like saying if you and I plan to kill Fred, and the government stops us, it's interfering in a personal decision between you and I.

I have never seen a similar justification for ostensibly small-government types who favor illegalization of drugs, though. I doubt it exists. Ditto for drinking ages (or any ageism, really) and ditto again for homosexuality. These are issues where the only "victims" are the people engaging in them, and I can't see how anyone can argue otherwise. What other victim could there be?

Drunk driving enforcement's really interesting for me. I mean, drunk drivers are indisputably operating a death machine and endangering other people. The minarchist in me still doesn't like the idea of government intrusion, but the minarchist in me usually takes a backseat to the realist in me. How different is drunk driving than, say, a guy shooting his rifle in random directions from his porch? Both are sort of his right/his property etc... but he's also actively endangering everyone around him. Overall I'm fine with this being considered a crime.

quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Fugu13 definitely addressed a large part of what I was saying, so... thanks man! In a literal sense, the poor are not getting poorer. Part of this is in reduced price of commodity goods that make up a large portion of the poor's expenditures, as he said. Increases have also come in general quality of life... when rich people create expensive new technology that improves lives, after a few years the price drops dramatically and it improves the lives of the middle class, and then a few years later the price drops again and it improves the lives of the poor. See: cars, refrigerators, computers, cell phones, etc.

In a literal sense the poor are getting poorer. They are less likely to be able to get good healthcare (hopefully this will change shortly), less likely to be able to afford to send their children to college, less likely to be able to find affordable daycare for their kids. Ie their access to the resources/mechanisms whereby their kids have a better chance to climb the social ladder is severely limited. But they have a big screen tv, so it's all good.
So... this is interesting. I think there is compelling evidence to suggest that most of the goods and services I listed are cheap because of market forces, while the two key services you listed both have severely inflated prices. Would you agree with that? We probably disagree on why the prices are inflated, but I'm wondering if you also disagree on my premise so far.
Edit: You mentioned more than two services, but the Big Two I was referring to were healthcare and education costs, in case it wasn't obvious.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
Don't forget their fridges. Tthese ows types must just be mad about nothing.

For sure! This is totally what I'm saying.
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dan, you talk about full rights as a human being for fetuses. For what other human being does full rights include the right to use someone else's body as a host? That is the part of the discussion you are missing. That is why it isn't as simple as "is it a human being or not".
Posts: 10471 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, sure, but the host also invited the other "human being" to live there. (Except when they didn't, but even a lot of pretty staunch christian right conservatives still are willing to allow for a rape clause)

I have to say I am semi-uncomfortable with us continuing down this avenue too far, because I don't really want to get into a full blown abortion debate... especially one where I take the devil's advocate role of a pro-lifer. That sounds... exhausting.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Parkour
Member
Member # 12078

 - posted      Profile for Parkour           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
Don't forget their fridges. Tthese ows types must just be mad about nothing.

For sure! This is totally what I'm saying.
trollwarring already? Seems a little early for that.
Posts: 696 | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hm? I was just providing a sarcastic reply to your sarcastic comment. I don't think a little friendly sarcasm = a troll war, do you? I think this discussion has been pretty awesome and civil so far.
Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 20 pages: 1  2  3  ...  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  ...  18  19  20   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2