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Age of Disorder
#21
(09-10-2020, 04:44 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Where the violence comes from depends a lot on whose ox is being gored, so to speak. It depends on which party controls the state. Right now the right-wing is still in power, and is stoking racism, and that allows racist cops to kill and maim black folks, which means that BLM and antifa rise up, and leads to occasional riots (aided by rightwing provocateurs hoping for a fascist reaction, which Trump supplies).

But if Biden wins, and a Democratic Party regime continues in power (in spite of Biden having picked the wrong VP), and the needed legislation to curb gun violence is passed, then the gun nuts may be the major source of the violence, stoked by the other right-wing obsessions over xenophobia, white identity culture, christian fundamentalism/anti-feminism and anti-abortion, tea-party style opposition to taxes and pro neo-liberal entitlement, etc. The militias then could be the major source of violence, and would be suppressed by the liberal state, just the reverse of a reactionary state suppressing antifa and BLM riots.

On the whole we Americans, center-right to center-left, loathe political violence here or overseas. There have been people who failed to recognize this, and such has proved catastrophic to their causes or to themselves personally. The bombings and execution-style slayings by the KKK likely hastened the success of the Civil Rights movement, and even if foreigners did the violence to foreigners, as with Kristallnacht or with the Anfal campaign (the gassing of Kurds in Iraq, such bode ill for the images of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

Reactionaries are wise to stick to stupid expressions such as "The Zoo has an African Lion..." well, we know the rest. There are people still stupid enough to fall for those. 

It is still possible that well-endowed heels will fund violent attacks upon the Left when the ballot no longer serves them. Private, politicized militias responsible to no legitimate authority are a bane to democracy; in case anyone thinks this strictly a right-wing phenomenon, the Commie coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948 occurred in part due to well-armed, highly-politicized, Commie militias that made resistance pointless.
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
The Golden Age in most people’s minds didn’t actually begin until the war ended although reforms took place throughout the 1930s.  This time around we have yet to find a leader with the “I welcome their hatred” attitude toward today’s corporate chieftains although Bernie Sanders may have come close. Had Obama been able to follow through on some of his campaign rhetoric me might have come close to being the new FDR.

I sense that political leaders of all stripes are not seeing the central situations clearly. Trump in retrospect may have been wearing rose-colored glasses when he created the slogan “Make America Great Again”.  On the surface at least few are erring on the side of giving him the benefit of the doubt. And yet he still may be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat because so many don’t feel that Biden is clear-headed enough for the Presidency.

Interactions with others may feel confusing because everything seems so muddled, much more so than the so-called malaise of the Carter years. We have a much worse social malaise today although few choose to call it that. It is as if the top 10 percent and the lower 90 are speaking a different language.
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#23
I suspect Obama was more focused towards being a solid first black president than on pushing an agenda he did not seem in a good position to achieve. In doing so he may have not achieved what some people wanted to, but he set a solid something to build upon.

Much of the problem was that America was great during the tax and spend liberal era, but there were too many racist wanting to stay above minorities to value the working poor. Thus, unions were crippled, benefits were limited, racist violent policing was pushed, jobs were sent overseas, and the division of wealth was exaggerated. Problems were ignored to keep the desired small government and low taxes.

I'm hoping that the absolute need to get rid of Trump will give the Democrats enough time to show their agenda is a cost effective one. There may not be enough racism around to continue America as un great. We will see how the conservatives remake themselves, if they can seriously fight the progressive agenda. They might become a fringe minority of freaks still rallying around a Trump who is much scorned by most, or they might get rid of the obvious elites and racist affiliations that are playing a large role in taking the Republicans down.
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#24
(09-11-2020, 09:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-11-2020, 05:43 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: "[P]rogressive redisritibution of wealth" isn't an actual solution, anyway.  What's needed is a systemic change from rewarding capital investment to rewarding working.  That took 17 years, from 1929 to 1946, last time around.  We're party way through that, but we've got at least 5 years to go, and a war to get through first.

That actually underestimates the length of the progressive pro worker time.  Strong unions, strong benefit and in general benefits towards the workers continued through LBJ.  Reversing that has barely begun.

I agree, and would actually argue that the second half of that period actually mended the ills of the Gilded Age -- and then it ended.  We Boomers missed the forest for the trees, and acted against our own interests by being the antiestablishment types we were.  That opened the door to the rapacious behavior of the New Right and, later, the neoliberals.  So yes, we're to blame, but in no position to right those wrongs except joining with the Millennials. It's going to be their show from now on.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#25
(09-11-2020, 10:39 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: I suspect Obama was more focused towards being a solid first black president than on pushing an agenda he did not seem in a good position to achieve.  In doing so he may have not achieved what some people wanted to, but he set a solid something to build upon.

Much of the problem was that America was great during the tax and spend liberal era, but there were too many racist wanting to stay above minorities to value the working poor.  Thus, unions were crippled, benefits were limited, racist violent policing was pushed, jobs were sent overseas, and the division of wealth was exaggerated.  Problems were ignored to keep the desired small government and low taxes.

I'm hoping that the absolute need to get rid of Trump will give the Democrats enough time to show their agenda is a cost effective one.  There may not be enough racism around to continue America as un great.  We will see how the conservatives remake themselves, if they can seriously fight the progressive agenda.  They might become a fringe minority of freaks still rallying around a Trump who is much scorned by most, or they might get rid of the obvious elites and racist affiliations that are playing a large role in taking the Republicans down.

Again, I agree.  Obama couldn't be the change President because it would have devolved into violence then, and still may.  On the other hand, the light has finally turned on the so-called conservatives, and they don't look very good at all.  Will that trigger a reassessment on the Right?  My Magic 8-Ball is fuzzy on that one.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#26
(09-11-2020, 10:09 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: The Golden Age in most people’s minds didn’t actually begin until the war ended although reforms took place throughout the 1930s.  This time around we have yet to find a leader with the “I welcome their hatred” attitude toward today’s corporate chieftains although Bernie Sanders may have come close. Had Obama been able to follow through on some of his campaign rhetoric me might have come close to being the new FDR.

Obama was simply not a populist. He was too pragmatic for that, and of course he could hardly get away with anything suspect. 


Quote:I sense that political leaders of all stripes are not seeing the central situations clearly. Trump in retrospect may have been wearing rose-colored glasses when he created the slogan “Make America Great Again”.  On the surface at least few are erring on the side of giving him the benefit of the doubt. And yet he still may be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat because so many don’t feel that Biden is clear-headed enough for the Presidency.


Trump's language is that of the scammer, basically telling people what they want to hears. He competes in his promises and gets the cash. One must be that to burn people. To that end one uses vacuous phrases that the customer interprets as what he wants while the scammer gives much less than the customer expects. 

The most basic rule of economic exchange is that quality for quality is the only good deal. Trash for trash is a wasted effort. Fleeces (good exchanged for trash) degrade the ability of one participant to make further deals  .  Good for good, quality for quality: such requires that someone make or do good to encourage much the same. 

Cheats and swindlers do not create wealth. They typically spend it recklessly; they do not invest their loot. It often goes onto the gambling table, up their noses, or up the crotches of whores. They do not create wealth; they devour it.  

Quote:Interactions with others may feel confusing because everything seems so muddled, much more so than the so-called malaise of the Carter years. We have a much worse social malaise today although few choose to call it that. It is as if the top 10 percent and the lower 90 are speaking a different language.

We confused the ends with the means. We thought that high profits and other compensation for a few while others get much poorer would serve as incentives for investment. We were told that if Big Business could slash wages and inculcate more fear in the workplace, then people would become more productive to the extent that the oppression would be worth the suffering through greater prosperity overall that could salve everything -- and encourage people to start their own businesses if they so hated the boss. The problem? Start a new business and you will be taxed just as hard as a plutocrat, one thing can fail and you fail as a result, and Big Business has the advantage of being able to expend huge amounts of money on lobbying, political payoffs (as campaign contributions), and advertising. We got more monopoly or near-monopoly instead. Monopoly creates profits for a few through gross shortages. Monopolistic profiteering makes the cost of living higher than otherwise. 

Maybe we believed it because realistic alternatives were out of reach. Elites have consistently done everything possible to ensure that they alone offer the viable alternatives. Neoliberal economics well served people who cared only about themselves but wielded inordinate power (Boomers at their worst, demanding, ruthless, and unaccountable) over everyone else.

Neoliberal economics either breaks or entrenches itself in a New Serfdom whose profiteers have the audacity to call "freedom". Such may be the consummation of this Crisis Era.
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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#27
(09-12-2020, 08:43 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(09-11-2020, 09:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-11-2020, 05:43 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: "[P]rogressive redisritibution of wealth" isn't an actual solution, anyway.  What's needed is a systemic change from rewarding capital investment to rewarding working.  That took 17 years, from 1929 to 1946, last time around.  We're party way through that, but we've got at least 5 years to go, and a war to get through first.

That actually underestimates the length of the progressive pro worker time.  Strong unions, strong benefit and in general benefits towards the workers continued through LBJ.  Reversing that has barely begun.

I agree, and would actually argue that the second half of that period actually mended the ills of the Gilded Age -- and then it ended.

I expect lack of reading comprehension from Bob, but you can do better.  I'm citing 1929 to 1946 as the period of change, not the age of organized labor.  The age of the industrial barons collapsed with the 1929 crash, and there followed a period of groping for solutions, with socialist and Communist movements opposed by the remnants of the industrial baron culture.  After 1946, with the excesses of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act trimmed by the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, there was a period where organized labor was the most powerful force in the economy, and yes, that lasted through not only much LBJ's, but also much of Nixon's administration, until it came crashing down with the oil shock of 1973.

Empowerment of labor was important in 1929, and when its form was stabilized in 1947, it took a form that was useful for decades.  However, ossification of the regime in the face of a changing economy, along with the development of Arthur Okun's "invisible handshake", which provided union members with benefits at the cost of nonunionized consumers, caused it to be counterproductive by the 1970s.

This is similar to what happened with the neoliberal regime.  Supply side economics was sound, but since it was established in a period of labor surplus with shortages of savings and capital, the implementation ended up focusing on increasing the supply of capital.  Ultimately this empowered the owners of that capital - in particular Silents and Boomers with fat retirement accounts - at the expense of workers.  By 2008, the neoliberal regime had clearly become counterproductive; there was plenty of savings and capital, but workers had been frozen out of the pie for decades.

Redistribution isn't the solution, since it would just consume the capital without fixing the system.  A return to labor unions in their 1950s and 1960s form is likely not the solution either, since work today isn't the one size fits all assembly line activity that characterized the labor union period.

Likely the solution will involve immigration restrictions so that employers can't just import cheap labor, along with, at a minimum, tax mechanisms to distribute more of the benefits of productivity to workers, and less to nonworkers, such as savers, investors, and those on means tested welfare.  The details of the solution will likely take another 5-10 years to figure out - or to luck into - though.
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#28
(09-12-2020, 04:37 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I expect lack of reading comprehension from Bob, but you can do better.  I'm citing 1929 to 1946 as the period of change, not the age of organized labor.  The age of the industrial barons collapsed with the 1929 crash, and there followed a period of groping for solutions, with socialist and Communist movements opposed by the remnants of the industrial baron culture.  After 1946, with the excesses of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act trimmed by the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, there was a period where organized labor was the most powerful force in the economy, and yes, that lasted through not only much LBJ's, but also much of Nixon's administration, until it came crashing down with the oil shock of 1973.

Empowerment of labor was important in 1929, and when its form was stabilized in 1947, it took a form that was useful for decades.  However, ossification of the regime in the face of a changing economy, along with the development of Arthur Okun's "invisible handshake", which provided union members with benefits at the cost of nonunionized consumers, caused it to be counterproductive by the 1970s.

This is similar to what happened with the neoliberal regime.  Supply side economics was sound, but since it was established in a period of labor surplus with shortages of savings and capital, the implementation ended up focusing on increasing the supply of capital.  Ultimately this empowered the owners of that capital - in particular Silents and Boomers with fat retirement accounts - at the expense of workers.  By 2008, the neoliberal regime had clearly become counterproductive; there was plenty of savings and capital, but workers had been frozen out of the pie for decades.

Redistribution isn't the solution, since it would just consume the capital without fixing the system.  A return to labor unions in their 1950s and 1960s form is likely not the solution either, since work today isn't the one size fits all assembly line activity that characterized the labor union period.

Likely the solution will involve immigration restrictions so that employers can't just import cheap labor, along with, at a minimum, tax mechanisms to distribute more of the benefits of productivity to workers, and less to nonworkers, such as savers, investors, and those on means tested welfare.  The details of the solution will likely take another 5-10 years to figure out - or to luck into - though.

The Republican Voodoo Economics scheme of applying stimulus in good times and bad conflicts with the traditional approach of spending in bad times and paying off the debt in good.  Voodoo is good for a few terms, but after that it collapses and you have to let a more responsible party fix it.  The failures were in the ‘it’s the economy stupid’ and 2008 great recession periods.  Naturally, Trump went all Voodoo again, but the coronavirus caused the economy to collapse early with his failure to fight the virus.  I see this effect of the Democrats having to fix Voodoo failures as going a long ways to driving the unraveling see saw.

Now Warren has a bunch of excuses for the bad economic times which amount to Voodoo can’t be made to work in the real world.  This conflicts, sort of, with my belief that Voodoo doesn’t work in the long term.  We could just compromise with an agreement that Voodoo just doesn't work.

This combined with the conservative push to fight labor unions, cut benefits and ship jobs overseas.  In short, stick it to the workers.  The net result is the need for a major change.  The younger generations are indeed getting shafted by the repeated collapses and division of wealth.

I can agree with the tax shifts to — ahem — redistribute wealth.  I could agree with letting the people here earn working wages rather than importing cheap labor.  We likely disagree that this should be done retroactively.  The conservatives and corporations brought the people in.  It seems off to punish them for providing the cheap labor that was wanted.  Rip children from parents and put people in cages?  Alas, the policies of the unraveling are driving a need for jobs.

That is if you assume jobs has to be the prime mechanism for controlling the distribution of wealth.  Productivity is up.  Division of wealth is up.  Labor is becoming cheap, existing in a surplus that drives down wages.  The economy used to be designed to create the luxuries ‘necessary’ to keep everyone employed and the division of wealth maximized, luxuries the virus is teaching us to do without.  Methinks this whole system needs to be rethought.  Methinks even Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have not bothered rethinking, but are staying safely within the box in what even the Democrats are proposing.

Another 5 to 10 years is if anything a short estimate.  My gut feel is that no one will bother rethinking the economy during the crisis years.  Everybody will want to flip into a high mentality.  Heck, some people still think Voodoo does just fine.  What is a collapsed economy after a few terms?  

It may be that we will have an interesting awakening.
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#29
(09-13-2020, 05:52 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-12-2020, 04:37 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I expect lack of reading comprehension from Bob, but you can do better.  I'm citing 1929 to 1946 as the period of change, not the age of organized labor.  The age of the industrial barons collapsed with the 1929 crash, and there followed a period of groping for solutions, with socialist and Communist movements opposed by the remnants of the industrial baron culture.  After 1946, with the excesses of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act trimmed by the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, there was a period where organized labor was the most powerful force in the economy, and yes, that lasted through not only much LBJ's, but also much of Nixon's administration, until it came crashing down with the oil shock of 1973.

Empowerment of labor was important in 1929, and when its form was stabilized in 1947, it took a form that was useful for decades.  However, ossification of the regime in the face of a changing economy, along with the development of Arthur Okun's "invisible handshake", which provided union members with benefits at the cost of nonunionized consumers, caused it to be counterproductive by the 1970s.

This is similar to what happened with the neoliberal regime.  Supply side economics was sound, but since it was established in a period of labor surplus with shortages of savings and capital, the implementation ended up focusing on increasing the supply of capital.  Ultimately this empowered the owners of that capital - in particular Silents and Boomers with fat retirement accounts - at the expense of workers.  By 2008, the neoliberal regime had clearly become counterproductive; there was plenty of savings and capital, but workers had been frozen out of the pie for decades.

Redistribution isn't the solution, since it would just consume the capital without fixing the system.  A return to labor unions in their 1950s and 1960s form is likely not the solution either, since work today isn't the one size fits all assembly line activity that characterized the labor union period.

Likely the solution will involve immigration restrictions so that employers can't just import cheap labor, along with, at a minimum, tax mechanisms to distribute more of the benefits of productivity to workers, and less to nonworkers, such as savers, investors, and those on means tested welfare.  The details of the solution will likely take another 5-10 years to figure out - or to luck into - though.

The Republican Voodoo Economics scheme of applying stimulus in good times and bad conflicts with the traditional approach of spending in bad times and paying off the debt in good.  Voodoo is good for a few terms, but after that it collapses and you have to let a more responsible party fix it.  The failures were in the ‘it’s the economy stupid’ and 2008 great recession periods.  Naturally, Trump went all Voodoo again, but the coronavirus caused the economy to collapse early with his failure to fight the virus.  I see this effect of the Democrats having to fix Voodoo failures as going a long ways to driving the unraveling see saw.

The fault with this suggestion is of course that nobody wants to cut back on government spending in good times. An economic downturn is of course a good time for investments in public works. One must recognize that at the end of the big project (let us say Boston's Big Dig) there just might be a nasty downturn as orders for steel, concrete, and glass and the employment of large numbers of construction workers comes to an end.  


Quote:Now Warren has a bunch of excuses for the bad economic times which amount to Voodoo can’t be made to work in the real world.  This conflicts, sort of, with my belief that Voodoo doesn’t work in the long term.  We could just compromise with an agreement that Voodoo just doesn't work.

This combined with the conservative push to fight labor unions, cut benefits and ship jobs overseas.  In short, stick it to the workers.  The net result is the need for a major change.  The younger generations are indeed getting shafted by the repeated collapses and division of wealth.

The conservative push to enrich elites at the expense of everyone else perfectly fits the ruthlessness, selfishness, and arrogance of Boomer elites that typically did nothing to create wealth. 


Quote:I can agree with the tax shifts to — ahem — redistribute wealth.  I could agree with letting the people here earn working wages rather than importing cheap labor.  We likely disagree that this should be done retroactively.  The conservatives and corporations brought the people in.  It seems off to punish them for providing the cheap labor that was wanted.  Rip children from parents and put people in cages?  Alas, the policies of the unraveling are driving a need for jobs.

The Hard Right does believe in the work ethic but somehow expresses that it is so noble and obvious that it must not be rewarded in solid pay and good working conditions. It may be crude to call such "sadonomics" as I do... regrettably it fits. 


Quote:That is if you assume jobs has to be the prime mechanism for controlling the distribution of wealth.  Productivity is up.  Division of wealth is up.  Labor is becoming cheap, existing in a surplus that drives down wages.  The economy used to be designed to create the luxuries ‘necessary’ to keep everyone employed and the division of wealth maximized, luxuries the virus is teaching us to do without.  Methinks this whole system needs to be rethought.  Methinks even Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have not bothered rethinking, but are staying safely within the box in what even the Democrats are proposing.

We are also at the point in which more production does not result in more happiness. Even if I should get flush with cash I am not going to buy a bunch of consumer schlock  just because it is cheap. 


Quote:Another 5 to 10 years is if anything a short estimate.  My gut feel is that no one will bother rethinking the economy during the crisis years.  Everybody will want to flip into a high mentality.  Heck, some people still think Voodoo does just fine.  What is a collapsed economy after a few terms?  

It may be that we will have an interesting awakening.

We need to even out the prosperity in America by class and region.
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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#30
(09-12-2020, 04:37 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I expect lack of reading comprehension from Bob, but you can do better.  I'm citing 1929 to 1946 as the period of change, not the age of organized labor.  The age of the industrial barons collapsed with the 1929 crash, and there followed a period of groping for solutions, with socialist and Communist movements opposed by the remnants of the industrial baron culture.  After 1946, with the excesses of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act trimmed by the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, there was a period where organized labor was the most powerful force in the economy, and yes, that lasted through not only much LBJ's, but also much of Nixon's administration, until it came crashing down with the oil shock of 1973.

Empowerment of labor was important in 1929, and when its form was stabilized in 1947, it took a form that was useful for decades.  However, ossification of the regime in the face of a changing economy, along with the development of Arthur Okun's "invisible handshake", which provided union members with benefits at the cost of nonunionized consumers, caused it to be counterproductive by the 1970s.]/quote]

I was arising adult during the end phase of this period, and I can say without much need for reflection that New Deal economy ended with a whimper. By the late '60s, the business barons were finally working a meme that had traction: why support unions when you don't get the full benefit unless you're a member, and why pay for them if you can get a free ride? If that seems contradictory, it didn't matter at the time. The same can be said for the great idea of tax cuts paying for themselves. Both were intellectually lazy and emotionally satisfying. Offshoring rarely got a mention.

Bretton Woods got the ball rolling in '68, and the oil crises of '73 and '79 finished off the New Deal model.

[quote='Warren Dew']This is similar to what happened with the neoliberal regime.  Supply side economics was sound, but since it was established in a period of labor surplus with shortages of savings and capital, the implementation ended up focusing on increasing the supply of capital.  Ultimately this empowered the owners of that capital - in particular Silents and Boomers with fat retirement accounts - at the expense of workers.  By 2008, the neoliberal regime had clearly become counterproductive; there was plenty of savings and capital, but workers had been frozen out of the pie for decades.

Let's agree to disagree about Voodoo Economics. The Kennedy tax rate cut from 90% top nominal rate to a 70% top nominal rate made sense once growth had pulled the national debt ratio to 28% of GDP. Reagan just ran with that and destroyed the balance between capital and labor entirely. But why not? He was a GE guy for decades.

Warren Dew Wrote:Redistribution isn't the solution, since it would just consume the capital without fixing the system.  A return to labor unions in their 1950s and 1960s form is likely not the solution either, since work today isn't the one size fits all assembly line activity that characterized the labor union period.

Likely the solution will involve immigration restrictions so that employers can't just import cheap labor, along with, at a minimum, tax mechanisms to distribute more of the benefits of productivity to workers, and less to nonworkers, such as savers, investors, and those on means tested welfare.  The details of the solution will likely take another 5-10 years to figure out - or to luck into - though.

I suspect that the neo-union movement will not be focused on individual companies or even industries, but some as yet unknown measurement of equality, or the lack of it, and be extractive through the tax system or some other modality that make sense. I've always favored taxation to create a massive sovereign wealth fund that would provide dividends to the entire population. We'll see if that happens, or not for most of us.

The next round of solutions are up to the people most affected: Millennials and whatever you wish to call the generations that follow.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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