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U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey offers death-penalty bill for cop killers
#21
(12-30-2019, 11:37 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: We can trivially control retirement age and hours per week.  Productivity is way up from the progressive era (New Deal through Great Society).  We can measure incomes for the elite, the middle class, and the poor, and roughly change them through taxes.

The progressive approach would be to use the increase in income due to productivity to maintain or somewhat increase what the poor and middle class receive.  During the conservative era (Nixon through at least Trump), they instead increased income to the elites, thus increasing the division of wealth.  Working class income crashed, and the elites got an ever increasing piece of the pie.

In the progressive era, we were willing to change things like retirement age, hours per week and minimum wage.  They seem to have frozen these half way through the progressive era, allowing only minor changes to minimum wage.  The average amount of labor done over a lifetime of work should make the income of the poor and middle classes sufficient or somewhat more than sufficient.  The increase in productivity is more than sufficient that with the variables we can control things will be more than sufficient.

A large part of the problem is that labor is no longer a rare resource, jacked in price by the laws of supply and demand.  It would have to be artificially increase in value by government action.  The greedy people that have call this socialism.

I don’t mind the elites taking the surplus.  It is just that most of us should be allowed a healthy income rate.  There would be more than enough to go around if the elites weren’t greedy, controlling the government, and grabbing all the income for themselves.  They insist on a system that is not working on a large scale and in the long term.  That doesn’t matter if you are looking only at yourself, and only in the short term.

We have to radically adjust the basic numbers we do control.  Even the supposedly radical ‘socialist’ Democrats worship too deeply retirement at 65, and the 40 hour work week.  To fix the economy, they will have to be open minded about things that have long been frozen.

The question is whether the elites take a surplus as a reward for service to customers or for exploiting scarcity that they have created and manipulated. Note well that the Right has learned that it can turn Big Government into an ally. The American Right used to believe in minimal government; it now finds that Big Government can be an enforcer of economic brutality.

Big Business has concentrated more of the economy in fewer places, which is a boon to profiteers in real estate in those places. (OK, it's great to be a landlord in Silicon Valley, where one can lease dreary apartments reminiscent of Stalinist flats for exorbitant amounts, but not in Detroit). It has pushed an escalation in credentialing while making college education more expensive -- so expensive that one goes into huge debt and effectively becomes a serf in search of a master upon graduation. Or -- maybe one holds onto the near-minimum-wage job that one had to hold while in college just to keep debt from being even worse. 

Much of the problem is that as we leave an era of industrialism as a solution to poverty, poverty remains because people can no longer solve their economic distress by simply becoming more productive. Even poor people now often have more stuff than they really need. On the other hand, people pay more in rent and commuter costs than ever before, and debt becomes a cost of getting a job that does not have one on the brink of hunger -- or living under the dictate of "work and pay, work and pay, work and pay", consigned to an economic hell that never ends until one finds something worse in the nursing home if one is reasonably obedient -- or prison if one rebels in any way.

History has shown plenty of examples of arrogant, rapacious elites who insist upon getting everything not necessary for animal-like existence of everyone else. All of those examples are repugnant, and none of them ends well.
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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#22
(12-30-2019, 12:00 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: The question is whether the elites take a surplus as a reward for service to customers or for exploiting scarcity that they have created and manipulated. Note well that the Right has learned that it can turn Big Government into an ally. The American Right used to believe in minimal government; it now finds that Biog Government can be an enforcer of economic brutality.

I would disagree only to include many of the Left as part of the problem. Many establishment Democrats accept big money and would continue an Industrial Age economy that assumes a scarcity of labor. Even the so called radicals are too timid.
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#23
The world is an Orwellian nightmare now. The US is not a democracy. The government and illegal immigrants don't obey the law. You are on camera constantly, the Gestapo is everywhere, you must give your fingerprints to drive, you are being tracked by license plate readers, you'll be groped if you travel or go to a ball game, you must wear a microchip if you go to Disneyland, you cannot use the Internet if you don't have a phone and you can't get a phone without a facial scan, everything is illegal, the government is wiretapping you, you don't have free speech, you don't have religious rights, guns are banned, the government can steal your property, the government can extrajudicially assassinate you and torture you, cash is illegal, and you cannot escape because the border is closed.
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