Neoliberalism does not make people happy. This is the flaw with the modern West. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15139597
Despite the apparent "wealth" people have.
Despite the technological and medical advancements.
Despite the lack of war.

I cannot help but feel what can only be described as an EXISTENTIAL ANGST in the modern West.
People are angry, frustrated, unhappy. The latest PS5, the latest tired Hollywood flicks, the latest Iphone or other meaningless gadget, fails to give anyone lasting happiness.

People long for spirituality, long for Christianity, Buddhism, nature, anything they can get a hold of that removes them from this God forsaken materialistic world, ruled by technocratic capitalists.

COVID has exposed these fault lines even more deeply.
Already years ago, writers like Yukio Mishima discussed the meaninglessness of the modern neoliberal societies and how "no one can die heroically anymore".

Even Islamic terrorism fails to lastingly rouse an apathetic Western population.

What do you think? Do you feel the same angst in Western civilisation?
The same ennui? Everyone is angry, frustrated.
The only ones who seem to gloat are the empowered females, and even they seem to not really enjoy life anymore, and neither do the leftist utopians.

The real question is where is this going?
Are we going to see a final collapse soon?
#15139637
Yes, I see what you are talking about.
Someone blamed a lot of this on TV. That watching TV all your life "makes people not react to what they see with action. This is because a lot of it is fiction and the rest is not really right in front of us. So, we learn to do nothing." However, the BLM protests showed that street protests are now possible in America.

Based on many youtube videos of economists like Mark Blyth, Steve Keen, and the MMTer Stephanie Kelton,
I believe that the root cause of the anger and angst is the flat (real) wages in the West since the late 70s.
That these flat wages resulted from "the powers that be" (TPTB) adopting the Neo-liberal economic theory as gospel.
They then based all gov. policy decisions on this economic theory.

The problem is this theory was based not on facts, reality, economic history, or experiments. It was all based on deductive logic, that starts with unproven assumptions and proves things with those assumptions. All such deductive systems are only as good as the assumptions. If they are true, then fine. However, most of the Neo-liberal assumptions are obviously false. This means under the rules of deductive logic that none of its conclusions were ever proved.

In fact, the entire theory is useless. We have had over 40 years of seeing it being used and so far very few of its predictions have come to pass. If this was a theory on dam building it would have been replaced long ago. Also if it was on building elevators, buildings, bridges, etc. All the failures would have been obvious and the comp. that used them sued out of business.

Just a few examples of predictions that didn't come to pass---
1] That the EU would quickly bounce back after the GFC/2008 if austerity was applied to show the people that their taxes in 10 years would not be raised to pay back the deficit spending that otherwise would have been used in the now.
. . . Austerity was applied, and the result was 20% (real) unemployment in Spain (and many other nations) just before the pandemic. Etc. 'Real" here means if you also count all adults who want a full time job and do not have one. It is even higher if you also include all those who have a full time job but still live in poverty. [I can point to poverty, because the EU treaties promised "prosperity" and poverty is not prosperity.]
2] That Japan would soon be insolvent, with high interest rates on its bond sales and high inflation if it kept deficit spending starting in about 1992.
. . . Japan did keep deficit spending for the next 28 years and now its national debt is about 135% of GDP, the BoJ holds about 40% of those bonds, its inflation pre-pandemic was under 0.5%, and the interest on its bond sales was also under 0.5%.
3] That in very early 2007 it was said that economists had figured it a out and had finally implemented to proper policies to avoid any more recessions. That monetary policy and deregulation was just what was needed.
. . . Then in late 2007 the problem signs 1st started, by early 2008 Neman Brothers went under, and in late 2008 the GFC hit.
4] After the GFC/2008t was predicted that the economy of the US and world would see a "V" shaped recovery. That Neo-liberal economics predicted this.
. . . Instead we saw a very slow recovery. the economy didn't really recover for many workers *at all*. They were trapped in gig jobs making poverty incomes.

I do not now call for the end to Capitalism.
I do call for the end of Neo-liberal economics.
I do call for it to be replaced with the better economic theory known as Modern Monetary Theory, MMT.
I do call for certain economic policies to be enshrined in the US Constitution so that they can't be undone by a new rise of capitalists who are selfish and want it all.
These include --

1] That the US Gov. shall have a Soc. Sec. system that will be paid for by borrowing if necessary. That this is a "contract", that can only be broken if the US Gov. is bankrupt, but since it can create dollars at will, it can never become bankrupt.
2] That the US Gov. shall have 'fine' health care for all that is completely free. If some want 'super fine' health care they can buy supplemental insurance, etc.
3] That the US Gov. shall see to it that every adult has a good job even if the Gov. has to hire them to do some socially useful thing like plant trees or holding an umbrella over a man planting trees.
4] That unions shall have a right to organize workers to oppose the economic power of corps. that comes from ownership with the solidarity power of unions. Hoping that this balance of power can be about right to serve the common good.
5] That all corps. that operate in the US shall do it in the interests of the common good and not just for the owners. That corps. may not make campaign contributions or that such contributions are taxed at a 90% rate.
6] That all media in the US shall operate in the common good. They shall not lie to their viewers. That any (or at least certain designated) viewers can sue them for lying to them during "news shows". Or some such enforcement mechanism. The standard claim is for legal fees plus $50,000 or more if the dollar value of the damage is more.
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I need to go , I'll proof read it later.

Added a few hours later.
I have a theory. I think that Neo-liberal economics was created in reaction to Nixon taking the US (and therefore the whole world) off the gold standard. This happened in 1971 and Neo-liberalism came along a few years later. If may have existed earlier than 1971, but the TPTB got together and decided to push it because they feared that the US Gov. would go hog wild with spending as soon as the voters realized that there is a magic money tree. Another element in its creation is the inflation that happened after 1971. This was mostly caused by the oil crisis. The oil crisis was caused by the 1973 Middle East War. But, also, by the Arab leaders of OPEC being very conservative and fearing inflation in the dollar which would make them buy less stuff with the dollars they earned by selling oil. So, they increased the oil price by over 200%. This (all by itself) would cause inflation because oil is in everything. IMHO, the Fed. reacted to the oil price spike as inflation and fought it as if the US was still on the gold standard. The Fed. increased interest rates sky high. This was a mistake.
. . . My point with this point is that the goal of Neo-liberal economic theory was not to find the truth. Instead, the goal was to make the US Gov. act as if it was still on the gold standard. Neo-liberal economics let Reagan clim that his tax cut on the rich would increase tax revenues. In fact the US national debt went from $1T to $4T over his 8 years, a 400% increase. If Obama had caused a 400% increase in the debt then it would have gone from about $12T to $48T. [These numbers are from my memory.] In fact, the Repubs and later the Repuds have not used austerity when they had the White House, but called for austerity when the Dems had the White House. Clinton even had a surplus for 2 or 3 years. So, the Repbs and Repuds are the cause of almost all the increase in the so-called national debt. BTW-- the so-called national debt is also equally the totl assets of the American people and corps. This just like the nations banks have "assets" in the form of all the lending notes the own. The borrower gets the cash and the lender gets an asset. In the case of the national debt the lender is the corps. and people and the borrower is the US Gov. If the Gov. can always make the payments by creating dollars (only if necessary), why worry that the people and corps have too many assets?
. . . Why worry? Well we shouldn't, but Neo-liberal economics says we must even though so far no nation since 1971 has gotten in trouble by spending to much unless there was a shortage in production. [Before 1971 doesn't count because then the world was on the gold standard.]
. . . One more thing. The ability of the US Gov. to have the Fed. buy its bonds (and forgive them someday) when necessary is exactly like the nuclear weapons that the US can use when necessary. Just having them makes their use unnecessary because nobody pushes you so far you have use them (either kind of "them").
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#15140247
Steve_American wrote:Yes, I see what you are talking about.
I do not now call for the end to Capitalism.
I do call for the end of Neo-liberal economics.
I do call for it to be replaced with the better economic theory known as Modern Monetary Theory, MMT.
I do call for certain economic policies to be enshrined in the US Constitution so that they can't be undone by a new rise of capitalists who are selfish and want it all.
These include --

1] That the US Gov. shall have a Soc. Sec. system that will be paid for by borrowing if necessary. That this is a "contract", that can only be broken if the US Gov. is bankrupt, but since it can create dollars at will, it can never become bankrupt.
2] That the US Gov. shall have 'fine' health care for all that is completely free. If some want 'super fine' health care they can buy supplemental insurance, etc.
3] That the US Gov. shall see to it that every adult has a good job even if the Gov. has to hire them to do some socially useful thing like plant trees or holding an umbrella over a man planting trees.
4] That unions shall have a right to organize workers to oppose the economic power of corps. that comes from ownership with the solidarity power of unions. Hoping that this balance of power can be about right to serve the common good.
5] That all corps. that operate in the US shall do it in the interests of the common good and not just for the owners. That corps. may not make campaign contributions or that such contributions are taxed at a 90% rate.
6] That all media in the US shall operate in the common good. They shall not lie to their viewers. That any (or at least certain designated) viewers can sue them for lying to them during "news shows". Or some such enforcement mechanism. The standard claim is for legal fees plus $50,000 or more if the dollar value of the damage is more.
.


I find that none of your policies are "better" in any real sense.

1 & 3) You demand that the government merely spend money with no guarantee of productivity, even if this creates inflation, which depreciates the value of the worker's money. Such policies hurt the worker who saves and invests by literally making his assets worth less.
Worse, you bizarrely demand that the government pay people to do nothing of value, which is hardly a useful endeavor. Such actions prolonged the Great Depression.
2) Government run health care inevitably leads to diminishing services, as the government tries to circumvent basic rules of economics.
4) This assumes that only workers have interests that are worth protecting. Worse, such policies are often used against the worker too, in essence just giving government control over the businessman and worker alike.
5) The idea that forcing businesses to not make money will improve the economy is irrational on its face. Further, the idea that government can ban businesses from making contributions is contrary to our entire system. This point is unconstitutional.
6) Having government as the arbiter of media is also unconstitutional. That Donald Trump would have the power to censor all media that proclaimed Biden the winner shows the obvious flaw in this idea.

Despite claiming not to want to abolish capitalism, all of your solutions seem like pure socialism.
#15140255
Wolvenbear wrote:
I find that none of your policies are "better" in any real sense.

1 & 3) You demand that the government merely spend money with no guarantee of productivity, even if this creates inflation, which depreciates the value of the worker's money. Such policies hurt the worker who saves and invests by literally making his assets worth less.
Worse, you bizarrely demand that the government pay people to do nothing of value, which is hardly a useful endeavor. Such actions prolonged the Great Depression.

My rely: It is up to the local govs. to see that something socially useful is done by the workers in the JGP of #3. Soc. Sec. is currently funded by the FICA tax and the trust fund. You are asserting that deficit spending to pay any short all of Sec. Sec. *will* cause inflation. Yesterday I watched a video by some Austrian Economists and they did the same, they as much as said straight out the deficit spending IS the definition of inflation. You and they are ignoring the example of Japan that has had a huge deficit every year for 28 years and no inflation. Bullshit, such actions didn't prolong the Great Depression, not spending enough did that. As soon as WWII started and the US Gov. started massive deficit spending to get the Army and Navy ready for war, the Depression ended.

2) Government run health care inevitably leads to diminishing services, as the government tries to circumvent basic rules of economics.

My reply: Bullshit, every other western or advanced nation has done this and the people love it. This goes for Canada too, despite a few rich Canadians coming the the US for better care.

4) This assumes that only workers have interests that are worth protecting. Worse, such policies are often used against the worker too, in essence just giving government control over the businessman and worker alike.

My reply: the large corps. don't need any help they, have power enough to currently crush the workers. So, to save the workers from possible future Gov. run unions you give them no help against the corps. in the now.

5) The idea that forcing businesses to not make money will improve the economy is irrational on its face. Further, the idea that government can ban businesses from making contributions is contrary to our entire system. This point is unconstitutional.

My reply: Obviously you are unaware that this was the plan of the Founders. This was they way they set it up for many decades maybe until after 1900. Corps. were required to operate in the pubic interest and they were banned from making campaign contributions until after I was 20 years old. These were the laws they wrote from 1779 on.
. . . the IVX amendment didn't make corps. people until 2009. they made a mistake in the wording. It says "person" and obviously they meant natural persons who had been slaves. They didn't mean the personhood of corps. that was conferred on them in English Common law before 1607, so that corps. could be sued for breach os contract and sue themselves for whatever. The 2009 USC decision was and is bullshit. Corps. are the slaves of their shareholders. They can't vote. They still by law could not make campaign contributions after 1870. In fact, I sort of remember, that they could not when I was a kid. they had to pay an exec. and let him make the contributions. Repubs say they are for "original intent", well that decision shows Repubs are dishonorable liars, because if the intent in 1868 was to make corps. more like people, the law makers had their chance to change the laws soon after 1868 about how corps should operate and they didn't in even one state.


6) Having government as the arbiter of media is also unconstitutional. That Donald Trump would have the power to censor all media that proclaimed Biden the winner shows the obvious flaw in this idea.

My reply: Here I agree it would require an amendment. And yes, there would need to be safe guards. You do realize that this was sort of the system I grew up with. Because Radio and TV had to have licenses to use the airwaves. And, they were required to operate in the public interest. I remember ads every so often when the TV stations had to renew their licenses and had to call for public comment. It didn't give the Pres. the power to ban the mention of his opponent in any election in my life.

Despite claiming not to want to abolish capitalism, all of your solutions seem like pure socialism.

My reply: Obviously you don't know the technical definition of "Socialism", which is "an economic system where the main sources of production and mining, as well as the railroads are owned by the Gov." The Repubs use the word incorrectly all the time.
.

I'm adding this, 1 hr later.
In that video of the Austrian economists, they argued that Gov. deficit spending that does NOT cause the CPI to rise is still inflationary because the CPI could fall. The fact that it didn't was caused by the deficit spending. They claimed that this was stealing from the savers.
. . . They don't grasp that deflation is a very bad thing. That when there is deflation, people wait to buy things at the soon to be cheaper price. That corps. wait to make investments because the customers lack money to buy additional stuff and this is why prices are falling. They don't grasp or maybe care that historically the way to break out of a deflationary spiral was for the Gov. to start a war. Starting wars is not a good idea with the Un making it illegal now. Not to mention nuclear weapons.
. . . They pointed out that Pres. Andrew Jackson had paid off the US national debt left over from the Rev. War in about 1836 or 7. They praised that result. They ignored the fact that the perhaps greatest bank panic or depression the US has ever had, had started in 1837 and lasted until the nation went to war with Mexico in 1846 or so. MMTers love to point out that every one of the 7 times the US has had a surplus for about 3 years, it was immediately followed by a recession or bank panic. This includes the Clinton surplus that led to the Dot Com Bubble recession of 2000. MMTers show how there is direct causation going on here, that it is not an accident.
. . . BTW-- the only reason the US could pay off the national debt in 1837 was because it was selling land in the Ohio and Mississippi R. drainages. It was not tax revenues, it was land sales that paid it off.
#15140258
I will respond the same way you did....in the text.

Steve_American wrote:I find that none of your policies are "better" in any real sense.
My rely: It is up to the local govs. to see that something socially useful is done by the workers in the JGP of #3. Soc. Sec. is currently funded by the FICA tax and the trust fund. You are asserting that deficit spending to pay any short all of Sec. Sec. *will* cause inflation. Yesterday I watched a video by some Austrian Economists and they did the same, they as much as said straight out the deficit spending IS the definition of inflation. You and they are ignoring the example of Japan that has had a huge deficit every year for 28 years and no inflation. Bullshit, such actions didn't prolong the Great Depression, not spending enough did that. As soon as WWII started and the US Gov. started massive deficit spending to get the Army and Navy ready for war, the Depression ended.

I didn't say that deficit spending inevitably causes inflation. However, printing mass amounts of money, which you advocated, does. https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/797/ ... on%20goods. You are ignoring the context of your own comments to jump to a strawman. That's a dishonest start. You follow it up by claiming Japan has zero inflation, instead of low inflation, which doesn't help either. You also ignore the context of next to zero economic growth, in which real wages have fallen.
With that out of the way, you simply seem to dodge criticism of your plan because "states will be responsible". But, if they are required to cause people to fill ditches and to hold umbrellas over them, they cannot be. So your promise is self defeating.
Finally, you assert that the failure to spend caused the great depression. That's ridiculous as the government created hundreds of programs and spent ludicrous amounts of money. Moreover, since the War took millions of Americans (approximately 9% of the populous) out of the job market, the drop in unemployment is far less impressive than Keynesians give credit.


My reply: Bullshit, every other western or advanced nation has done this and the people love it. This goes for Canada too, despite a few rich Canadians coming the the US for better care.

Whether "people love it" is irrelevant to if the quality of care improves or diminishes. You're trying to distract from the point. Nor is it true that every western nation has it, Switzerland, which has th highest satisfaction from patients in the world, does not.

My reply: the large corps. don't need any help they, have power enough to currently crush the workers. So, to save the workers from possible future Gov. run unions you give them no help against the corps. in the now.

Well, that again ignores what you were told...I'm seeing a pattern. Historically, the power to enforce has also been used on the workers themselves, and has gone back and forth, hurting workers as much as helping them.
Nevertheless, it is irrelevant to the broader point. The employer has a right to make money, and if the workers refuse to work, it is unreasonable to tell the employer they cannot fire them, or that they HAVE to give them raises.


My reply: Obviously you are unaware that this was the plan of the Founders. This was they way they set it up for many decades maybe until after 1900. Corps. were required to operate in the pubic interest and they were banned from making campaign contributions until after I was 20 years old. These were the laws they wrote from 1779 on.

So, it's plainly untrue that corporations were always forbidden from campaign contributions until you were twenty. In fact, that is an invention of the 20th century, and was banned in 1907, in the Tillman Act. And it was not approved by the Court until the 70s in Buckley v Valeo. https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/articl ... ct-of-1907 They were previously unregulated.
Moreover, most historians who claim that the Founders were inherently hostile to corporations ignore that corporations were vastly different than today. A government sponsored monopoly, often exercising functions that we would today call governmental, is not the same as a run of the mill business, which were not subject to the laws of incorporation. It's like comparing a felony in 1776 to one today. Apples to hubcaps.


. . . the IVX amendment didn't make corps. people until 2009.

Citizens United neither "made corporations people" nor did it legalize campaign contributions. Roberts opinion in CU was absolutely correct. Considering the Founders were unanimous in saying Congress could pass no law on speech whatsoever, and couldn't limit criticism of it at all, the decision cannot reasonably be argued.

My reply: Here I agree it would require an amendment. And yes, there would need to be safe guards. You do realize that this was sort of the system I grew up with. Because Radio and TV had to have licenses to use the airwaves. And, they were required to operate in the public interest. I remember ads every so often when the TV stations had to renew their licenses and had to call for public comment. It didn't give the Pres. the power to ban the mention of his opponent in any election in my life.

The idea that the FCC has the right to regulate the media is a strange fiction indeed that is totally at odds with our history. And considering that the court cases show that the government has always regulated content, the promise of safeguards is a hollow one indeed.

My reply: Obviously you don't know the technical definition of "Socialism", which is "an economic system where the main sources of production and mining, as well as the railroads are owned by the Gov." The Repubs use the word incorrectly all the time.


so·cial·ism
/ˈsōSHəˌlizəm/
Learn to pronounce
noun
a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Government control of industry, while left in private hands, is obviously socialism. But, even under your definition, the complete ownership of health care is socialism.
#15140268
1] I didn't mean to imply that the US Gov. would socialize all US healthcare. I mean to socialize all health insurance except supplemental plans for the rich and upper-middle classes.

2] OK, my mistake. The reports I saw included loans that the US Fed. Res. bank has made. So, the $2T of the CARES Actwas increased by $1$ in loans on Mar. 23rd and $2.3T in loans on Apr. 9th. This totals 2.2+1+2.3 = $5.5T of which only maybe $1.143T [300B+260B+669B-(425B not spent)+339.8B = 1.143T] went to the people & local govs. So, 5.5T-1.143T= $4.357 that was given or loaned to corps. Therefore, 1.143T/4.357T = 0.262 or about 25%. This leaves 75% going to the corps owned by the 1%. The 1% have seen their net worth go way up, trillions, they didn't need much help.
As I understand it these loans are being made at almost zero % interest. And who knows if or when they will be paid back. So far they are gifts.

Sources are =>
[quote Wikipedia from CARES Act article] [ The spending primarily includes $300 billion in one-time cash payments to individual Americans (with most single adults receiving $1,200 and families with children receiving more[5]), $260 billion in increased unemployment benefits, the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program that provides forgivable loans to small businesses with an initial $350 billion in funding (later increased to $669 billion by subsequent legislation), $500 billion in aid for large corporations, and $339.8 billion to state and local governments. ] [/q] I put in bold the parts that I used above. I saw a report the about $425B hadnotbeen lent to small businesses and so I deducted that much. My figures may be wrong.

2 links to Fed. Res. announcements thtat are my sources for the amounts of loans.
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newseven ... 00323b.htm . . the one on Mar. 23rd.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newseven ... 00409a.htm . . the one on Apr. 9th.
#15140275
lancer345 wrote:Despite the lack of war.

Neoliberals are known for starting wars. Think of Obama: Libya, Syria, Ukraine. Think of Bush II: Iraq. Think of Clinton: Serbia. Think of Bush I: Iraq, Panama, Mogadishu. They aren't known for being peaceful at all.

lancer345 wrote:People long for spirituality, long for Christianity, Buddhism, nature, anything they can get a hold of that removes them from this God forsaken materialistic world, ruled by technocratic capitalists.

Or for a more balanced life, perhaps? Working all the time gives no time to enjoy the fruits of ones labor. Being unemployed all the time leaves one isolated and without agency--dependent upon subsistence welfare.

lancer345 wrote:Austerity was applied, and the result was 20% (real) unemployment in Spain (and many other nations) just before the pandemic.

Europe doesn't really have a free press--the US has it by right, but most of the so-called mainstream media is controlled by six corporations with coordinating management, and probably oodles of CIA and DIA money orchestrating their propaganda. So people always talk of how great it is to be employed in Europe vs elsewhere without talking about any of the problems--like it's very difficult to switch jobs or careers in Europe.

lancer345 wrote:That Japan would soon be insolvent, with high interest rates on its bond sales and high inflation if it kept deficit spending starting in about 1992.
. . . Japan did keep deficit spending for the next 28 years and now its national debt is about 135% of GDP, the BoJ holds about 40% of those bonds, its inflation pre-pandemic was under 0.5%, and the interest on its bond sales was also under 0.5%.

Japan is a glimpse of what is going to happen throughout most of the West, China and India due to a shrinking and aging population.

See Peter Zeihan:



lancer345 wrote:. . . Instead we saw a very slow recovery. the economy didn't really recover for many workers *at all*. They were trapped in gig jobs making poverty incomes.

Because they rushed through Obamacare on a party line vote, and it had a lot of problems...

lancer345 wrote:I do call for the end of Neo-liberal economics.

Me too, particularly the theories behind them.

lancer345 wrote:That the US Gov. shall see to it that every adult has a good job even if the Gov. has to hire them to do some socially useful thing like plant trees or holding an umbrella over a man planting trees.

Welfare should be tied to doing something socially useful, and with an emphasis on social. Isolation during economic hardship is known scientifically to be the gateway to drug and alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety.

lancer345 wrote:That unions shall have a right to organize workers to oppose the economic power of corps. that comes from ownership with the solidarity power of unions. Hoping that this balance of power can be about right to serve the common good.

There have to be limits on the power to bargain for ever higher wages and benefits. The success of labor unions underpinned the drive to outsourcing. Labor unions need to serve a dual purpose--what is good for the worker, and what is good for the nation.

lancer345 wrote:That corps. may not make campaign contributions or that such contributions are taxed at a 90% rate.

You might be able to tax them, but the have the right to make donation. Anything that requires a constitutional amendment requires massive political support. 2/3 of both houses and ratification by 35 of the 50 state legislatures.
#15140491
Steve_American wrote:Someone blamed a lot of this on TV. That watching TV all your life "makes people not react to what they see with action.


This is a great clue, Steve. Mass media. The alternative reality that people spend more time with than actual "lived reality."

Let me offer some ways that this might play out in real life situations:

...

1. "Sure we are miserable, fat and bored here in the burbs, but the sitcom families on TV are smiling and cracking jokes all the time in their suburban environments, so it must be ME who is defective.

I"ll just take anti-depressants and plant another row of hostas in my garden."

...

2. "Yes, I am gaining weight and losing the ability to connect with other humans in conversations that require empathy and social skills, but computer science is the future and I make good money staring at screens all day. According to Internet sources, his is supposed to be THE smart career choice.

So I'll just get my stomach stapled, spend more time on blogs, and pull up my virtual bootstraps."
#15140643
Steve_American wrote:1] I didn't mean to imply that the US Gov. would socialize all US healthcare. I mean to socialize all health insurance except supplemental plans for the rich and upper-middle classes.


Obviously scale matters. But the underlying problem persists. If the scale of the problem tracks with the scale of the program, there is a connection between the two. And, in any event, there was already socialized medicine for the poor long before Obamacare. So your "solution" already existed.

2] OK, my mistake. The reports I saw included loans that the US Fed. Res. bank has made. So, the $2T of the CARES Actwas increased by $1$ in loans on Mar. 23rd and $2.3T in loans on Apr. 9th. This totals 2.2+1+2.3 = $5.5T of which only maybe $1.143T [300B+260B+669B-(425B not spent)+339.8B = 1.143T] went to the people & local govs. So, 5.5T-1.143T= $4.357 that was given or loaned to corps. Therefore, 1.143T/4.357T = 0.262 or about 25%. This leaves 75% going to the corps owned by the 1%. The 1% have seen their net worth go way up, trillions, they didn't need much help.
As I understand it these loans are being made at almost zero % interest. And who knows if or when they will be paid back. So far they are gifts.


Again, the entire CARES Act was 2 trillion, of which 500 billion was set aside for the rich to get loans...most of which have never been made. Considering the Wikipedia article only says that the 500 became 600, I am uncertain where you are getting your numbers from.

Regardless, this is still 25% give or take of the CARES Act, not 95% or even 80%. Most of the provisions that DID help the wealthy were in forms of tax breaks, not payments, which is a significant difference.

Moreover, the largest criticism, by even liberal commentators, was that the act was not being applied AS IT WAS INTENDED. https://www.npr.org/2020/04/30/84832120 ... -explained
#15140650
Wolvenbear wrote:Obviously scale matters [when it comes to a national health insurance plan]. But the underlying problem persists. If the scale of the problem tracks with the scale of the program, there is a connection between the two. And, in any event, there was already socialized medicine for the poor long before Obamacare. So your "solution" already existed.

My reply --- The socialized medicine for the poor on Medicaid is very substandard and isn't free. The working poor can only go to the emergency room, which is very poor care also.

Again, the entire CARES Act was 2 trillion, of which 500 billion was set aside for the rich to get loans...most of which have never been made. Considering the Wikipedia article only says that the 500 became 600, I am uncertain where you are getting your numbers from.

My reply --- My numbers for aid to the rich mostly came from the 2 links, which detail the loan programs created by the Fed. Res. Bank for the rich and the corps. they own.

Regardless, this is still 25% give or take of the CARES Act, not 95% or even 80%. Most of the provisions that DID help the wealthy were in forms of tax breaks, not payments, which is a significant difference.

My reply --- My, my, you are sure living in a dream land. In my reality tax reductions for the rich are exactly the same as a payment to them. They is no "significant difference".

Moreover, the largest criticism, by even liberal commentators, was that the act was not being applied AS IT WAS INTENDED. https://www.npr.org/2020/04/30/84832120 ... -explained

My reply --- Yes, well, in my reality Trimp is the leader of the Repud Party and that makes all Repud Senators just as guilty, unless they yelled long and loud about Trimp failing them and more importantly the American people. There were constant complaints about the fact the almost no small business loans were reaching them. The Repud Senators ignored the complaints from at least June 1st until Aug. 15th, that is for 2.5 months. They didn't complain loud or long, so they are guilty in my eyes.

One other thing. It said the the PPP program of small business forgivable loans started at $500B. The report dated Aept. 15th said just $18 B had been spent and most of that was admin. costs, IIRC. Doing the math --- 500-18= $482 that was not spent, 482/500 = 96.4% of the appropriation was unspent. You blame Trimp. I blame all Repuds at the Federal level and the Dems in the House, who also didn't complain very loud.
#15140821
blackjack21 wrote:


According to Zeihan, we "must increase our population" for the current system we have to work.

Beyond what your intent was in providing this video info, it also demonstrates how humanity got to over-population. The elites (mafias) have invented many systems (rackets) that required population growth, and so here we are, still listening to *the same people* who forced humanity - like cattle - to use their genitals to create worker slaves.
#15140961
Pants-of-dog wrote:Can either of you please define how you are using the term? Thanks.

I'm speaking specifically to the New Democrats, Democrat Leadership Council and so forth, and the Third Way folks in the UK that effectively divorced themselves from the concerns of labor following the Reagan/Thatcher era. They have similarly abandoned allegiance to the nation-state for allegiance to a "rules-based world order," which they love to talk about and think exists in actual fact. They are best personified by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, and their successors. They have their counterparts on the continent as well. Their pseudo-opposition is the neoconservatives, who are basically a cosmetic difference on wedge issues but otherwise support the core ideas of neoliberalism.

Their rhetoric is similarly predictable. For example, if you suggest restoring more steel production to North America, they will say such things as, "That is yesterday's industry. We need to invest in the industries of tomorrow," while ignoring the fact that they have undermined blue collar working class labor, and further ignoring that it is rather easy to restore production and erect tariffs. Yet they prevaricate endlessly, because they want a world where a "World Trade Organization" has ruled that such and such cannot be done, and hope that voters are too stupid to realize that a "World Trade Organization" is just a corporation that can be liquidated at any time and bi-lateral trade relations restored to the control of nation states.

QatzelOk wrote:According to Zeihan, we "must increase our population" for the current system we have to work.

The current welfare state is a tax-and-spend model that depends upon an expanding population so that tax burdens do not lead to a tax revolt and revolution.

QatzelOk wrote:The elites (mafias) have invented many systems (rackets) that required population growth, and so here we are, still listening to *the same people* who forced humanity - like cattle - to use their genitals to create worker slaves.

Populations were already expanding, because of cheap food. What they were doing was creating a social safetey net they couldn't afford. Dramatically increasing taxes during a depression is a really bad idea. So they punted the can down the road. Now there are some real problems. There are twice as many government employees today as there were at the height of the New Deal. Government is bloated. While the US population is increasing, in most of the West it is not.

This means that they will not be able to sustain consumption-based economies.

Blaming the elite for over-population is a double-edged sword. Overpopulation is due to a collapse in infant mortality, vaccinations, anti-biotics, and probably most of all and greatly underrated, clean drinkable water and sewage systems. People are whining ridiculously about coronavirus, but considering you'd have that many deaths from flu, cholera, typhus, small pox, polio, tuberculosis, etc. in the past, that's all gone now. Hell, just from your typical jobs back then, it wouldn't be uncommon to get black lung disease, emphysema, staff and strep infections, tetanus, etc. So much of that is just gone now. Much of it now is self-harm: smoking cigarettes, marijuana, crack and meth; drinking alcohol, consuming stimulants, injecting opiods, etc. Now, you could blame the elite for some of that, but for the purposes of a broader discussion, it's probably more constructive to rob yourself of agency and blame all your problems on other people.
#15140965


"I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great War, no Great Depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we've been all raised by television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't and we're slowly learning that fact. and we're very very pissed off.”


We even have our own fight clubs now:

https://youtu.be/wGmR1PPULP4?t=377

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPJVEDmtWrE
Last edited by Unthinking Majority on 04 Dec 2020 03:08, edited 2 times in total.
#15140968
@blackjack21

Thank you. I see that you are not using the same definition I was taught.

    Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism[1] is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with economic liberalism and free-market capitalism.[2]:7[3] It is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society;[4][12] however, the defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice have been the subject of substantial scholarly debate.[13][14] In policymaking, neoliberalism was part of a paradigm shift that followed the failure of the Keynesian consensus in economics to address the stagflation of the 1970s.[15][16]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
#15140970
Everyone needs to struggle through their own "hero's journey". Everyone needs to struggle and sacrifice for something larger than themselves. Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning, and to dream.

The struggle through the hero's journey is why through our human history we embrace myths like Beowulf, King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter etc. They tap into our psyche. As children we fantasize through these stories about what we may become and achieve. Any big goal we aspire to is like "slaying the dragon", because it involves risk, and sacrifice, and sweat and tears.

Like the hero, we also need a village (community) from which to venture forth and return. If there's no village we feel disconnected socially and spiritually. We also have a need to fall in love with the princess (or prince). We all need to be a part of a family, within a community of friends and neighbours.

We also need children in our lives within our village. Maybe they're our own, or our nieces/nephews, or our grandchildren. Children are the fountain of youth that spiritually renews us continually, through which we can pass on our wisdom, and through which we become immortal despite physical death. The greatest gift we can give our parents are grandchildren, because they keep the spirit young even as the body & mind ages, and gives someone retired & now seemingly useless to society a reason to get up in the morning, because somebody needs them.

In modern society we have removed ourselves from our community, we go home and stay inside our homes and rarely talk to our neighbours. Children also bring neighbours together, because children on the same street want to play together and this forces the parents to interact. Likewise, we can text our friends instead of picking up the phone, or pick up the phone instead of hanging out. We can meet a girl online instead of approaching them in person at the local dance hall (now a club/bar).

Life has become so abundant and easy that the hero's journey is becoming less necessary, and leaves a hole in our spirit. Far less war and violence in our society means men decreasingly have to be warriors or protectors, so they sit at home watching UFC or football. Women now work, so men no longer have to be providers. Fewer couples are having children, so less men have to be fathers. Men are becoming more aimless, and spend more time in fantasy worlds of video games, porn, internet etc.

Most women have strong caregiving instincts, but many have either stopped having children or reduced how many they have in order to have a career. So instead they get dogs or other pets so they can be a "mommy" to fill the spiritual void, and dress them up in cute outfits like a child. If women work and do have kids they're sent off to daycare to have strangers help raise them while placing their elderly parents in retirement homes.

The family unit has been eroded by the vast increase in divorce and the % of children born out of wedlock, and smaller overall families mean less aunts/uncles around to fill the void of missing parental figures, especially fathers, as young men flock to someone like Jordan Peterson to fill the role of father figure they have been missing.

So now everyone's on drugs/weed and anti-depressants trying to figure out what the hell went wrong with their lives, while a culture with fertility rates below replacement levels does its best to literally destroy itself.
#15140979
Unthinking Majority wrote:Everyone needs to struggle through their own "hero's journey". Everyone needs to struggle and sacrifice for something larger than themselves. Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning, and to dream...

This is copied and pasted from what source?

Is it a faux Obama speech that you wrote for a High School model government?
#15141019
Unthinking Majority wrote:Life has become so abundant and easy that the hero's journey is becoming less necessary, and leaves a hole in our spirit. Far less war and violence in our society means men decreasingly have to be warriors or protectors, so they sit at home watching UFC or football.

The above quote is written with absolutely no understanding of why people "sit home and watch TV" instead of the normal interaction they used to have before the European pirate Elites showed up and told everyone how to live their lives.

Perhaps a bit more *understanding of anthropology* would help Tony to be able to add some useful content to his dramatic rhetoric.

This research into Anthropology involves either reading books, or time travel.
#15141065
QatzelOk wrote:The above quote is written with absolutely no understanding of why people "sit home and watch TV" instead of the normal interaction they used to have before the European pirate Elites showed up and told everyone how to live their lives.

Perhaps a bit more *understanding of anthropology* would help Tony to be able to add some useful content to his dramatic rhetoric.

This research into Anthropology involves either reading books, or time travel.

People sit at home and watch TV to escape the burdens of their own lives. It's no different than alcohol or cigarettes or reading novels or whatever other method anyone uses to feed the neurotransmitters in their brain.

You come home from a hard day's work, you sit in your lazy boy, crack open a beer, stuff some yummy junk food into your mouth, feel the neurotransmitters pump happy signals across the synapses, and escape.

Nobody has ever forced anyone else to watch tv, eat chocolate, drink alcohol, shoot heroin. People voluntarily do it because it feels good. Some people would rather escape reality than climb to the top of the mountain, because it's hard and tiring and scary. I realize you're much more interested in blaming someone. You can blame the wealthy white man throwing up advertising all around us, but we still have to make the purchase ourselves. We have free will. We have a sword to fight back and a steed to ride as we choose our own path.

We can also sit on the internet everyday blaming other people for all of life's problems while taking no responsibility ourselves and feel the same hit of dopamine and serotonin to escape our miserable existence. Go out and slay a dragon bro.

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