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How did people live through the 4Ts without becoming misanthropic?
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(04-08-2019, 11:37 AM)tg63 Wrote: while it's true that the worst in many come out in a 4T (I'm actually finding it rather shocking what has quickly become considered acceptable, esp in leadership), it also brings the best out for many. I'm heartened in my city by the grass roots organizations that have recently coalesced around some key issues, particularly homelessness. Whether it turns into any practical measures, well, we'll see.

We find out at some point what is sustainable and what isn't. Monopoly (or even near-monopoly) and corruption are effective ways of keeping profits high, but at some point people lose all faith in a system that either fails to create money for people outside of the economic elite or the cadre of shysters. As an economy implodes, people find out quickly what they must have and what they can do without. The golf business deteriorated severely in 2008 and 2009 because people realized how expensive it is. People put off replacing aging cars. So the radio doesn't work anymore? Then bring along a boom box. People will find that the difference between 200 channels of cable TV and 25 signals off the antenna is that one  no longer gets televised sports and 24-hour-a-day news coverage, but instead four networks that people really watch, three that few people watch, and a bunch of channels such as MeTV, Antenna, this TV, Laff, Grit, and Bounce that offer reruns of mostly 'classic' TV. Would you rather see reruns of Perry Mason or more on the Kardashian family?

As the economic effects of the Great Devaluation take effect, bureaucratic, monopolistic behemoths collapse due to incompetence and over-compensation to executive elites who are good mostly at kissing up to reactionary politicians. A paleontological analogy may be the Chixcolub disaster that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs; in the aftermath the world opened up to mammals to fill the niches of just about every dinosaur bigger than a modern-day domestic cat. If you ever saw the T. Rex skeleton at the Chicago Museum of Natural History, you will notice that it is close to a stuffed African elephant. Even the elephant would have had no chance around T-Rex. A depression is a wondrous time for starting a business, if only as a faute a mieux situation for people who do not have jobs but can find cheap real estate, inventories, raw materials, and machinery and plenty of people with unmet needs, including a need for a job. Profits are then low because everything is competitive and one has to plow most of the profits back into the business. But society becomes more widely entrepreneurial, and much less monopolistic with wealth and income less concentrated. Government might have a role in alleviating extreme distress for individuals or in addressing regional poverty, but even that ends up going through small business-- often start-ups.

The last 4T so destroyed stock valuations that the economic elites could not buy the political system; this one allowed those elites to do so and give us a profits-first, profits-only, Humanity-be-damned society. We came out of the Great Depression as generally better people than we went into it, and we were better off for such. This time we solidified the positions of people who resemble the pigs of Orwell's Animal Farm. Our economic elites have never been so scummy in ideology and behavior and with no use. At least the Gilded plutocrats were pioneers of such necessary big business as railroads, electrical power, and petroleum, which is more than I can say of today's elites better at grabbing wealth than at creating it.

Does anyone want my idea of making America great again? We were better off when retailing, banking, and much manufacturing were cottage industries unable to buy lobbyists to control the politicians. Opportunity existed in small towns as well as giant cities. Because one could make a genuine living in a place other than a favored metropolis, people didn't have to abandon rural, small-town, and small-city (let alone such urban wrecks as Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis) to go where the money is -- and where rents are stratospheric. We may have paid MSLP at a local store for toys, clothes, housewares, electronic gadgets, and records... but in many ways that is far better than getting stuff from Wal*Mart that will quickly end up in the landfill when it breaks or goes obsolete, let alone having to spend over half one's after-tax income in some expensive cities to hold a responsible job that does not exist in Lima, Ohio -- or Buffalo, New York.  Give people the economic relationships of the 1950s without the white privilege and male chauvinism, but better roads instead of the Blood Alleys of the time and better medical technologies, and most of us would be perfectly happy.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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RE: How did people live through the 4Ts without becoming misanthropic? - by pbrower2a - 04-08-2019, 03:06 PM

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