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Can The Economy Ever Be 'Good' While So Many Don't Have Walls?
#1
Plainly, elections are always about The Economy.  That's what everyone says.  Everyone wants to claim if America-In-General economic terms (whatever that is) is  going well, America Itself is doing well.

Can this ever be the case while there are so many homeless?  It matters not why you believe they are in a box, tent, car or bush.  The fact so many are there.  That's all.  This includes people with 2 jobs who park in the Community areas under watch of the cops at night and then rise in the morning to drive to their job(s) again.  Weekly, monthly, annually.

Drop your voting ballot to answer that simple question.
Don't pervert the question to your political ideology.
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#2
Maybe this is a question we should ask those running for high office and lay it at their feet.
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#3
Mass suffering due to the failure of the economic order to meet basic needs such as housing, food, heat (or in hot climates, air conditioning) and medical care put a lie to the claim that a society is truly prosperous. Opulent splendor and unlimited indulgence by elites in the presence of overt suffering indicate the perversity of social priorities.

People who demonize Stalin or Mao for their ideology ignore what preceded them. Sure, those two were horrible -- but could they have ever arisen in societies not so severe in inequality to the extent that the poor lived in danger as a consequence of poverty? I've seen enough literature about Russia in the latter decades of the Romanov dynasty to recognize an extremely sick society. Maybe if people had not starved under the tsars or the warlords there would never have been a Stalin or Mao.

Mark Twain said of the Terror in the French Revolution that the real terror was the hunger, repression, and stunted lives of the common man during the Ancien Régime. Twain may not have been an accurate historian, but at least he understood that people who used the potential of democracy to bring back old privilege for the recently-ousted elites were many who felt the Terror. Those people did as much to debase democracy as did Maximilien Robespierre.

We have enough prosperity in America to not make human suffering a necessity to achieve some morally-deficient social order. We do not need a socialist revolution; we need a social market system that makes opportunity more a norm than a privilege. We have economic and bureaucratic elites who define morality solely as the reality that they get what they want -- and that such is conservatism. It is in fact anything but conservative in its consequences; if conservatism is to have any validity it must leave the common man with something worthy of preserving. 

Happy nations do not fall for a Vladimir Lenin, an Adolf Hitler, or a Fidel Castro.   
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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#4
(03-03-2020, 09:49 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Mass suffering due to the failure of the economic order to meet basic needs such as housing, food, heat (or in hot climates, air conditioning) and medical care put a lie to the claim that a society is truly prosperous. Opulent splendor and unlimited indulgence by elites in the presence of overt suffering indicate the perversity of social priorities.

People who demonize Stalin or Mao for their ideology ignore what preceded them. Sure, those two were horrible -- but could they have ever arisen in societies not so severe in inequality to the extent that the poor lived in danger as a consequence of poverty? I've seen enough literature about Russia in the latter decades of the Romanov dynasty to recognize an extremely sick society. Maybe if people had not starved under the tsars or the warlords there would never have been a Stalin or Mao.

Mark Twain said of the Terror in the French Revolution that the real terror was the hunger, repression, and stunted lives of the common man during the Ancien Régime. Twain may not have been an accurate historian, but at least he understood that people who used the potential of democracy to bring back old privilege for the recently-ousted elites were many who felt the Terror. Those people did as much to debase democracy as did Maximilien Robespierre.

We have enough prosperity in America to not make human suffering a necessity to achieve some morally-deficient social order. We do not need a socialist revolution; we need a social market system that makes opportunity more a norm than a privilege. We have economic and bureaucratic elites who define morality solely as the reality that they get what they want -- and that such is conservatism. It is in fact anything but conservative in its consequences; if conservatism is to have any validity it must leave the common man with something worthy of preserving. 

Happy nations do not fall for a Vladimir Lenin, an Adolf Hitler, or a Fidel Castro.   

I respectfully asked not to politicize the material.  Why bring a sanders rally to this thread?

do you have your own thoughts? respectfully.  and please anyone address the actual question instead of holding a news conference for your candidate
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#5
(03-03-2020, 06:54 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Maybe this is a question we should ask those running for high office and lay it at their feet.

can we do that by speaking openly what we think of such a thing.

can we really judge that we are moving forward from the 2008 mess when so many fell into the cracks?

the sheer number of people is not being recognized.  as if we all just accepted that it's OK for all these thousands to be living without a dwelling.

why is no one talking about it? 

we all see them, now, even in the suburbs and small towns.  we drive by them every day.  many are hidden from view by local resources.  is it possible local resources are keeping them from view purposefully?

in the 1930s they were camped on the National Mall.  As if in outrage by their mere existence.  now, we all have seemed to have accepted it maybe due to ideology?

nothing to fear but fear itself

and the dirty bum laying in the grass represents that fear, we are being taught to look away lest we stop purchasing and stocks remain low.
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#6
(03-04-2020, 01:45 AM)TheNomad Wrote:
(03-03-2020, 09:49 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Mass suffering due to the failure of the economic order to meet basic needs such as housing, food, heat (or in hot climates, air conditioning) and medical care put a lie to the claim that a society is truly prosperous. Opulent splendor and unlimited indulgence by elites in the presence of overt suffering indicate the perversity of social priorities.

People who demonize Stalin or Mao for their ideology ignore what preceded them. Sure, those two were horrible -- but could they have ever arisen in societies not so severe in inequality to the extent that the poor lived in danger as a consequence of poverty? I've seen enough literature about Russia in the latter decades of the Romanov dynasty to recognize an extremely sick society. Maybe if people had not starved under the tsars or the warlords there would never have been a Stalin or Mao.

Mark Twain said of the Terror in the French Revolution that the real terror was the hunger, repression, and stunted lives of the common man during the Ancien Régime. Twain may not have been an accurate historian, but at least he understood that people who used the potential of democracy to bring back old privilege for the recently-ousted elites were many who felt the Terror. Those people did as much to debase democracy as did Maximilien Robespierre.

We have enough prosperity in America to not make human suffering a necessity to achieve some morally-deficient social order. We do not need a socialist revolution; we need a social market system that makes opportunity more a norm than a privilege. We have economic and bureaucratic elites who define morality solely as the reality that they get what they want -- and that such is conservatism. It is in fact anything but conservative in its consequences; if conservatism is to have any validity it must leave the common man with something worthy of preserving. 

Happy nations do not fall for a Vladimir Lenin, an Adolf Hitler, or a Fidel Castro.   

I respectfully asked not to politicize the material.  Why bring a sanders rally to this thread?

do you have your own thoughts? respectfully.  and please anyone address the actual question instead of holding a news conference for your candidate

It is not my purpose in this post to pick one politician over another in the Democratic Party. I did not specifically mention any American other than Mark Twain.

Economic realities have political consequences.  History well expresses that reality. Even without a revolution, there will be serious consequences -- wasted talent, children who feel cheated all their lives even when they grow up... Every society churns out people who out of their own narcissism and cruelty wish that they could be another Lenin, Hitler, or Mao... but if people like what they have or expect improvement in their lives through their own efforts, such   sick dreamers have no chance. When opportunity is a norm and not a privilege, life is better for far more people. Maybe not those who profiteer off human suffering -- but f--- such people.  

One cannot escape the economic culture, one that has developed over forty years and that used to be very different. This is in part a consequence of the generational cycle in which Boomers who have always had things good have decided that any economic failure makes such people deserving of even more failure and hardship. The Silent and GI elites were not like that. To be sure, there are many Boomers who have never oppressed and exploited and would never do so if they had the chance. Such Boomers got kept out of the economic elite because the elites did not trust them.   The generational cycle suggests that the political culture will change without prompting from those who wield the power.
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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#7
Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?
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#8
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

A quick google brought up 552,830 homeless one night in 2018. That is about 17 per 10,000 people. If one’s heart is small enough, and of course you happen not to be one of the half million, you can ignore them.

This is one of the differences between red and blue. Does making life better for more really hurt those who have no need? Is there a floor below which you should strive to provide protection? Some hearts are just harder than others.
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#9
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?


1. The situation is worse than it used to be. Maybe one can blame population growth, atomization of American life, weakened labor unions,  monopolistic trends in the American economy, or perverse priorities among leaders in both Parties. Maybe most people's expectations are simply too high.  

2. Does one live where work is available or where the housing is cheap? Housing is incredibly cheap in much of the Mountain and deep South. Think of how easily one could buy a house in a coal-mining town in West Virginia where the coal seams are worked out. Try making a living in such a place. In contrast, one can easily live in much of the country for the 3000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment apartment in Silicon Valley.  If you live in Silicon Valley and work in a store or a fast-food place, then you are damned to live in some crowded conditions ("Twelve in one room in A-MAY-ree-kah!").

3. People have often lived in vans, trailers, and houseboats. 

If I am to judge how prosperous a country is I do not look at how well the elites live. Such people will always get paid enough if they have genuine merit to live very well. I ask instead how well does someone with a job fairly similar across national lines (barbers, schoolteachers, carpenters, accountants, mechanics, and of course factory workers) lives. People in the largest job categories not connected to enforcing the rules of the political order (a secret policeman in North Korea is not quite the same as a state trooper in .....) better reflect the quality of life between societies or between times in the same societies. I can remember when it was possible to get factory work in a small Midwestern town and be a breadwinner with  a mortgage despite having no more than a high-school diploma. That seems to be over. It is arguable that people with low-level supervisory jobs in  high-cost areas are not doing as well as  their grandparents were doing as factory workers in Youngstown, Ohio fifty years ago. There is good reason for Youngstown, Ohio hemorrhaging its population. 

Something has deteriorated. The proof of the validity of capitalism as an economic order is that one does not have to own the business to prosper. Consider the failure of Commie states -- in many of them, only the Communist Party hacks and their enforcers did 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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#10
(03-04-2020, 11:58 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

A quick google brought up 552,830 homeless one night in 2018.  That is about 17 per 10,000 people.  If one’s heart is small enough, and of course you happen not to be one of the half million, you can ignore them.

This is one of the differences between red and blue.  Does making life better for more really hurt those who have no need?  Is there a floor below which you should strive to provide protection?  Some hearts are just harder than others.

Indeed a key difference between red and blue is that the progressives care about the 0.17%, but don't care about the 30% that are working and struggling to make ends meet and to get the best education for their kids.  In contrast, conservatives understand that 30% represents more than 100x as many people as 0.17%, so they care more about the 30%.
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#11
(03-04-2020, 08:49 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 11:58 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

A quick google brought up 552,830 homeless one night in 2018.  That is about 17 per 10,000 people.  If one’s heart is small enough, and of course you happen not to be one of the half million, you can ignore them.

This is one of the differences between red and blue.  Does making life better for more really hurt those who have no need?  Is there a floor below which you should strive to provide protection?  Some hearts are just harder than others.

Indeed a key difference between red and blue is that the progressives care about the 0.17%, but don't care about the 30% that are working and struggling to make ends meet and to get the best education for their kids.  In contrast, conservatives understand that 30% represents more than 100x as many people as 0.17%, so they care more about the 30%.

Let's put it this way -- the ICU treats people in (at least apparent) life-threatening situations. That's for a heart attack, and not for a sunburn. That is for severe burns and not for a minor burn such as one that I recently got (I leaned over a frying pan and touched the hot handle with my bare arm. I did not go to the emergency room for that). Homelessness is potentially a dangerous situation. Homeless people are often vulnerable to criminals.  

To be sure, some people are at fault for being homeless even as a transitory situation (such as being kicked out of a family home for being abusive or strung out). Some are runaways either from a pathological household or from such a horrible situation as human trafficking. Some are people with big problems -- drifters who cannot connect with any community at all, people who belong in drug rehab or mental institutions, people on the run from the law... Some have the problem of being priced out of local housing. One might be able to write in Traverse City, Michigan for a firm in New York City, but one cannot work remotely as a shop clerk. Some people are simply priced out of local housing. Some are in transition after a disaster (a fire sweeps through an apartment complex... and the former residents are then homeless).

If even a few are priced out of local housing, then many others surely exist on the borderline of that situation. Being close to that level of what most of us consider extreme poverty is itself poverty. Poverty can as much be having extreme needs and not the means. Maybe we have put too much emphasis on building "luxury" housing and not on building housing that poor people need. Maybe the movers-and-shakers have decided that transient hotels are nuisances in many cities. "Luxury" (I hate that word, as it means the vices of excess and waste that hurt others elsewhere),  is almost always marketable for far more than is something 'affordable'.  

I do not have a problem with making things easier for the 30% who struggle for survival under a contemporary paradigm in which most of us exist with a purpose that we wish that we could deny -=- making people already filthy-rich even more filthy-rich. 

We face a harsh economic transition that few foresaw -- the end of the era of scarcity in which meeting unmet needs is a reliable means of making a good living. That allowed factory workers to live well if they made the big-ticket items that many did not yet have. Now such arises from either population growth or replacement, and the manufacture of such things is often done overseas. Services? Many people can put off a carpet-cleaning if someone spills some red pop. Maybe if you are in a bind you can cut the cable and find out what you are missing (really, not much but a waste of time).

It may be an oversimplification, but many people are where the jobs aren't... and the jobs are where housing is inadequate for the number of jobs. To work for New York wages even as a store clerk and face the housing costs of Youngstown, Ohio would be economic bliss. Few get that opportunity.
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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#12
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

"impossible perfection" is a dwelling, you say.

and ignorance ppl "live that way" by choice. 

Both your answers are highly unacceptable even for the age of electricity.  ppl were more reasonable a century ago than you are being in that post.

come more correct?
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#13
(03-04-2020, 11:58 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

A quick google brought up 552,830 homeless one night in 2018.  That is about 17 per 10,000 people.  If one’s heart is small enough, and of course you happen not to be one of the half million, you can ignore them.

We must stop looking at it that a person is not "feeling" when they have such views. 

My post was asking all of us to consider we are being TRAINED to ignore what is right in front of us.  I am unsure if folks drive by homeless tents/boxes with judgment, and every time they think "well, they chose to live there". 

I don't think that's happening.  Although, yes some ppl are thinking that, I'm not concerned with that person's view/ideology.

Are we not being sort of conditioned to think the sheer numbers are not "real"? 

Thousands of people in big cities.  Hundreds in suburbs.

ALL OF THEM.

There is not a big city or suburb where they don't exist.  How are so many of us so accustomed now to say "yeah, that's OK, we have always had "UNFORTUNATES" among us".  And no outrage.  Is it easier to do and say nothing?  Because we can't change it?

But we have an influence when we decide in our minds to accept "the economy" as doing "OK" as we have done for the past few years now, when there are that many people living without walls.

I'm not asking anyone to line up on the corner with protest signs although that would be a good thing.  Only keep it in mind when you decide in some election of some politician: "IS THE ECONOMY DOING OK?".

CAN IT EVER be OK in the situation described by myself and others in this thread.

If you're ignorant, do not post here.  There are plenty of other places to unfurl your blind venom upon fellow mankind.
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#14
(03-06-2020, 12:41 AM)TheNomad Wrote: If you're ignorant, do not post here.  There are plenty of other places to unfurl your blind venom upon fellow mankind.

Warren and I disagree on a lot of stuff, but I would not say he is ignorant.  He attributes blame creatively.  In creating excuses for why imbalances are allowed to continue, he researches his facts with a lot more effort at least than most, especially on the red side.

Emotional rants with no new facts to back them up?  I would be careful on your invitation not to post here.
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#15
(03-06-2020, 12:41 AM)TheNomad Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 11:58 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-04-2020, 09:35 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Of course the economy can be good when there are "so many" homeless.

1.  "So many" is still a tiny number compared to the total population.  The economy can be good without reaching impossible perfection for every person.

2.  A significant proportion of the homeless choose to live that way over their available options to live in a home.  Why should we deny them agency to make their own choices?

A quick google brought up 552,830 homeless one night in 2018.  That is about 17 per 10,000 people.  If one’s heart is small enough, and of course you happen not to be one of the half million, you can ignore them.

We must stop looking at it that a person is not "feeling" when they have such views. 

My post was asking all of us to consider we are being TRAINED to ignore what is right in front of us.  I am unsure if folks drive by homeless tents/boxes with judgment, and every time they think "well, they chose to live there". 

I don't think that's happening.  Although, yes some ppl are thinking that, I'm not concerned with that person's view/ideology.

Are we not being sort of conditioned to think the sheer numbers are not "real"? 

Thousands of people in big cities.  Hundreds in suburbs.

ALL OF THEM.

There is not a big city or suburb where they don't exist.  How are so many of us so accustomed now to say "yeah, that's OK, we have always had "UNFORTUNATES" among us".  And no outrage.  Is it easier to do and say nothing?  Because we can't change it?

But we have an influence when we decide in our minds to accept "the economy" as doing "OK" as we have done for the past few years now, when there are that many people living without walls.

I'm not asking anyone to line up on the corner with protest signs although that would be a good thing.  Only keep it in mind when you decide in some election of some politician: "IS THE ECONOMY DOING OK?".

CAN IT EVER be OK in the situation described by myself and others in this thread.

If you're ignorant, do not post here.  There are plenty of other places to unfurl your blind venom upon fellow mankind.

Wise people recognize their ignorance and find it embarrassing. Maybe "the economy is doing okay" if profits, executive compensation, and securities prices are bloated even if millions live in fear of the elites of ownership and administration. But that establishes that "the economy" means only the elites of ownership and administration.

Let's start with the executive elite, a group that has come to resemble a Soviet-style nomenklatura in its rapaciousness and exclusiveness. As is true of all oppressive elites, no matter how egalitarian their promises were when they took over, they eventually tend to  pass down power through some sort of inheritance. Of course a college professor wants his son to be a college professor and not a short-order cook (if the real power is in the intelligentsia) and a physician wants her daughter to consider medicine (OK, law would be fine) -- but definitely not a hairdresser. Well, directors of the "Vladimir I. Lenin Steelworks" probably did not want their kids to do the dangerous hard work of steelworkers even if the system pretended to laud the worker in the "classless society".

Small business used to be the norm in much of the American economy -- in retail, banking, and even manufacturing; that is over. Concentration of industry has become the norm except where Big Business can't do well, as in small towns and among minority populations. Greater concentration of industry means more tendency toward monopolization (thus profits increase) and a narrowing of opportunity (perfect for keeping wages low). For most of the capitalist era, wages tended to pace productivity; that is over. To put it as cynically as possible -- business executives are paid extremely well to treat workers horribly.

I remember when the typical business executive was often someone who got a start on the shop floor, demonstrated loyalty to his company (I remember when the advice to young workers was "Don't be a job-jumper; employers see that as a sign of disloyalty"), developed some ability, and got ahead. By the time he was an executive his house was paid off, his kids were in college, and he was too old to know what to do with a sports car. Today the executives race from tailor-made internships to becoming lords and masters while sports cars still attract them. 

Today I see our economic elites no better than feudal lords and aristocrats of the Bad Old Days -- or in more recent times, a Commie nomenklatura.  I can say this: we have traces of a cultural legacy of either religious teachings or liberal education that demand that people in authority must show responsibility toward people not in the elites. 

So what do we do? My college major was economics, and my conclusion is that imbalances solve themselves in calamity: famines, depressions, hyperinflation, or revolution.
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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#16
(03-06-2020, 05:19 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: So what do we do? My college major was economics, and my conclusion is that imbalances solve themselves in calamity: famines, depressions, hyperinflation, or revolution.

No plagues? Good. I was worried for a bit. Rolleyes
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#17
Perhaps several people waving placards with what you put in boldface near homeless encampments or other areas of impoverishment is sorely needed. Would it be a significant wake-up call?

Not only are the days gone for the things you mentioned, but also for dreams of being able to expand your horizons by dabbling in mystical, spiritual or creative pursuits, which were very prevalent in my coming of age years. And, speaking of coming of age, are you seeing a subtle attempt to return the age of majority to 21?
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#18
(03-06-2020, 05:08 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Emotional rants
I would be careful on your invitation not to post here

Neither was evident.  Never said who was ignorant.

Is as does, perhaps?

Are you just too afraid to address the actual questions in the post?  This, instead of saying who you will vote for or who/what is your closest political narrative. 

It's too easy ^^ why not break from the herd?
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#19
(03-08-2020, 12:17 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Perhaps several people waving placards with what you put in boldface near homeless encampments or other areas of impoverishment is sorely needed. Would it be a significant wake-up call?

Not only are the days gone for the things you mentioned, but also for dreams of being able to expand your horizons by dabbling in mystical, spiritual or creative pursuits, which were very prevalent in my coming of age years. And, speaking of coming of age, are you seeing a subtle attempt to return the age of majority to 21?

To whom or to what are you responding/'splainng? 

It's just so vague.  I almost want to be like "why did that person bother hitting the keys?"

As they say Mop Up Your Area First
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#20
(03-08-2020, 12:17 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Perhaps several people waving placards with what you put in boldface near homeless encampments or other areas of impoverishment is sorely needed. Would it be a significant wake-up call?

It isn't that simple. I could see some ghastly solutions, depending on the ideology. "Get them out of sight so that we don't need to look at them" could mean at the extreme sending them to concentration camps at which they are 'reformed' through labor -- if they are to have the privilege of survival. Such implies the criminalization of homelessness. Giving homes to the homeless is at most a temporary solution for those with big problems -- especially if the problem is pyromania.

Poverty is much of the cause, whether chronic unemployment or wages too low for settled living in the community. Where I live, the big farmers typically offer some sort of housing (like a room in a farmhouse on a farm that the farmer vacated when selling out to a bigger farmer... it is temporary housing, but it is far better than being exposed to the elements. Some farmers have built ground-level apartments suitable for families. 

Employers who hire workers at abysmal wages might at some time be expected to provide housing for such workers. The alternative is to pay a living wage. Maybe we will have the expectation that anyone who employes workers for minimal pay has the responsibility to look out for their welfare. 

If you want a structural cause for economic change that leaves multitudes out of work, then it is the decline of manufacturing as a share of American economic activity. American workers in manufacturing still had an economic advantage before the rise of the container vessel.  It is not so much that the container vessel is efficient, but instead that it can be sealed all the way to some inland warehouse rather than being sorted out at some dock (and, yes, longshoremen were infamous for taking their cut of the stuff being sorted out). Pilferage used to be an implicit cost of importing anything small enough to steal. As long as that cost was significant, manufacturing in America was usually the best solution for all concerned. Today a port facility is where a container vehicle is transferred from a ship to rail or to trucks. Longshoremen no longer get to put their hands on the clothing, electronic goodies, toys, bicycles, ... whatever. The advantage to manufacture in very poor countries remains.     


Quote:Not only are the days gone for the things you mentioned, but also for dreams of being able to expand your horizons by dabbling in mystical, spiritual or creative pursuits, which were very prevalent in my coming of age years. And, speaking of coming of age, are you seeing a subtle attempt to return the age of majority to 21?

Economically -- yes. If one needs a college degree just to get clerical work, then 21 is an economic 'coming of age' even if a cultural 'coming of age' through identity with mass culture happens decidedly earlier. Apprenticeships in skilled trades also take some time. In other things -- the legal age for tobacco use is now at 21. But note well: the hours spent at work are likely to fall because we no longer need to work so many hours to make the things that we used to. (Economic rents are a different matter, and those are likely to fall in any economic meltdown).
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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