Home | Community | Message Board


The Spore Depot
Please support our sponsors.

General Interest >> Political Discussion

Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!

Jump to first unread post. Pages: 1
OfflineJOEBIALEK
Stranger
Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 20
Last seen: 8 years, 9 months
Reform or Revolution?
    #4356593 - 06/30/05 08:18 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I had the opportunity the other day to watch a most enlightening program broadcast by UCTV. The one-hour program was called "How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?" presented by President Clinton's former labor secretary Robert Reich.

"Inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity in America is wider now than it's been since the 1920s, and by some measures since the late 19th century. Yet the nation seems unable or unwilling to do much of anything to reverse these trends. What happens if we allow the trends to continue? Will they "naturally" reverse themselves? Or will we get to a point where disparities are so wide that we finally find the political will to take action? Alternatively, will the disparities themselves grow so wide as to discourage action, by fostering resignation among the losers and indifference among the winners? And if the latter, where will it all lead?" SOURCE: Goldman School of Public Policy UC, Berkley

The presentation made excellent use of economic graphs to demonstrate how large of a gap has developed between the upper class and the middle class (not to mention the lower class) with regards to income, wealth, and opportunity in the United States between the years 1962 to the present. The trends are alarming to say the least. The speaker correctly points to birthright as the beginning of the disparity that allows for advantages in everything from diet and healthcare to education and connections. Being born into a middle-class family myself, I have truly benefited from my birthright in terms of these advantages right from the starting gate. Some people would argue that many a poor person has risen up by their "own boot straps" but I would argue that in today's society, most (not all) poor people can only rise up with a good pair of athletic shoes or a willingness to sell drugs. Otherwise they have to remain content with working in the service industry for comparatively lower wages than their upper-class counterparts. Mr. Reich further points out that one of the elements keeping our society glued together is the belief or perception by the lower class that opportunity in this country still exists and that if one is willing to work hard, they can be successful.

The speaker talks of two potential outcomes for this growing disparity. He uses the metaphor of the rubber band to illustrate his point. Our society will either "snap back" with a series of reforms supported by all three classes and the government to regain a sense of fairness when it comes to income, wealth, and opportunity in the United States. This has occurred at least once before in the history of our country during a time referred to as the progressive movement. The other potential outcome is for our society to "snap break" whereby this country exists with two entirely different societies. The problem with the latter outcome is that it often leads to the arrival of a demagogue who plays upon the emotions of the middle and lower classes all for the hidden intention of personal gain. We have seen this all too often in history with the likes of Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin etcetera. Mr. Reich suggests somehow that the upper class are not a group with malicious intent but rather are nothing more than a naive self-indulgent class of people who don't know any better. Here I beg to differ. I believe the upper class is guilty of a careless disregard for their fellow countrymen. They have the arrogance to believe they are superior and deserving of extravagance regardless of how they attained it and regardless of how it affects the rest of society. Once again, history shows us what happened to those monarchs who behaved the same way. Do I think there will be a violent revolution in this country? I hope not. Do I prefer a new progressive movement over even a peaceful revolution? Absolutely. My fear however, is that we are already rapidly approaching the point of "critical mass" beyond which there is no turning back. The question today before the American people is what are YOU prepared to do?


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineBleaK
paradox
Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1,583
Last seen: 2 years, 11 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: JOEBIALEK]
    #4356627 - 06/30/05 08:32 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

JOEBIALEK said:
The question today before the American people is what are YOU prepared to do?




i will not reproduce, i will not drive, i may kill myself, and i may kill others.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleAnnapurna1
liberal pussy
Female User Gallery
Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: JOEBIALEK]
    #4359035 - 07/01/05 12:12 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

The other potential outcome is for our society to "snap break" whereby this country exists with two entirely different societies. The problem with the latter outcome is that it often leads to the arrival of a demagogue who plays upon the emotions of the middle and lower classes all for the hidden intention of personal gain.




we are already far past that breaking point..with bush&co as the demagogues...


--------------------


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleSilversoul
Rhizome
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: JOEBIALEK]
    #4359060 - 07/01/05 12:20 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Unequal distribution of income isn't necessarily such a bad thing. There can be an unequal distribution of income and still be a higher standard of living for everyone. The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba, tend to have pretty much everyone be equally dirt poor. Of course, you don't want it to get like Saudi Arabia either, where a small elite are filthy rich from oil money while the rest starve in the streets, but a good equilibrium lies somewhere in between.


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Invisiblemoog
Stranger

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1,296
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: JOEBIALEK]
    #4359078 - 07/01/05 12:25 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I think there's a lot more important things to be concerned about in this world than disparity of wealth. But maybe that's just me.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleSilversoul
Rhizome
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: moog]
    #4359092 - 07/01/05 12:30 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

moog said:
I think there's a lot more important things to be concerned about in this world than disparity of wealth. But maybe that's just me.



Indeed. I'd worry much more about the erosion of our civil liberties.


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineJOEBIALEK
Stranger
Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 20
Last seen: 8 years, 9 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: JOEBIALEK]
    #4389905 - 07/10/05 04:08 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

good points...


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleKrishna
कृष्ण,LOL
 User Gallery

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 23,284
Loc: oakland
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4390123 - 07/10/05 06:03 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Unequal distribution of income isn't necessarily such a bad thing. There can be an unequal distribution of income and still be a higher standard of living for everyone. The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba, tend to have pretty much everyone be equally dirt poor. Of course, you don't want it to get like Saudi Arabia either, where a small elite are filthy rich from oil money while the rest starve in the streets, but a good equilibrium lies somewhere in between.




actually it is denmark and sweden that have the most equal distribution of income, and the standard of living in scandinavia is higher than any other place i've been to/heard about/researched in the world.


--------------------




Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleKrishna
कृष्ण,LOL
 User Gallery

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 23,284
Loc: oakland
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4390129 - 07/10/05 06:06 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Quote:

moog said:
I think there's a lot more important things to be concerned about in this world than disparity of wealth. But maybe that's just me.



Indeed. I'd worry much more about the erosion of our civil liberties.




good thing you've got food on your plate to be able to be concerned about such things! in my mind, erosion of civil liberties can be directly correlated to disparity of wealth - those that own the majority really don't want the facts to get out, the public to get educated, and the third world to actually take control of their own resources!


--------------------




Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlineexclusive58
illegal alien

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 2,146
Last seen: 4 years, 3 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4390224 - 07/10/05 06:52 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

The Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor (in the US)

"In the era of corporate globalization, billions of workers and poor people around the world learned that a country?s economic growth does not automatically result in rising standards of living for the majority. And the U.S. is no exception. The 13,000 richest families in the U.S. now have almost as much income as the 20 million poorest. "And those 13,000 families have incomes 300 times that of average families," liberal economist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times Magazine.

In the mid-1990s, the United Nations published a report showing that the U.S. had already become the most class-stratified society among all the advanced industrial countries. Now, wealth in the U.S. is even more concentrated in the hands of a few.

"It?s remarkable how little growth has trickled down to ordinary families," Krugman explained. "Median family income has risen only about 0.5 percent per year--and as far as we can tell...just about all of that increase was due to wives working longer hours, with little or no gain in real wages."

In their 1992 campaign for the White House, Bill Clinton and Al Gore liked to point out that the top 1 percent of Americans owned 40 percent of the country?s wealth. They also said that if you eliminated home ownership and only counted businesses, factories and offices, then the top 1 percent owned 90 per cent of all wealth. And the top 10 percent, they said, owned 99 percent! But once in office, Clinton and Gore did nothing to redistribute wealth more equally--despite the fact that their two terms in office spanned the economic joyride of the 1990s. On the contrary, inequality only continued to grow. "


http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/inequal/2003/0801gap.htm


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: exclusive58]
    #4390264 - 07/10/05 07:08 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Since you live in France you are probably unaware that former Enron advisor Paul Krugman is the poster child for economic ignorance. He's a running joke. There's nary a column he writes which isn't Fisked mercilessly because he's such an easy target.

He routinely misinterprets, twists, selectively quotes, deliberately conflates, and outright fabricates economic statistics. He's been caught at it so many times I've come to have a grudging admiration for him. Any normal human would have fled into retirement years ago, but ole Paul just keeps churning out the gibberish and getting publicly humiliated on a regular basis.



Phred


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlineexclusive58
illegal alien

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 2,146
Last seen: 4 years, 3 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4390280 - 07/10/05 07:16 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Unequal distribution of income isn't necessarily such a bad thing. 




hmmm, i wonder what social class you are in for you to say something like that...:rolleyes:


Quote:

There can be an unequal distribution of income and still be a higher standard of living for everyone.




well sure, if you compare that standard of living to africa's standard of living, i guess you can say that...
but the fact is, the more the distributions are unequal, then the more the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. So answer the question man, how unequal can america get before it snaps?

Quote:

The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba, tend to have pretty much everyone be equally dirt poor.  Of course, you don't want it to get like Saudi Arabia either, where a small elite are filthy rich from oil money while the rest starve in the streets, but a good equilibrium lies somewhere in between.




haha, i can't believe you're making that difference between korea and saudi arabia. you really think that there isn't a rich filthy elite that has all the money with the rest of the population starving in the streets in N. Korea? 
"The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba"
:ashamed:


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: exclusive58]
    #4390287 - 07/10/05 07:22 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

but the fact is, the more the distributions are unequal, then the more the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.




That is not a factual statement.

The amount of wealth in the world is not a static quantity. It is a constantly increasing quantity. It is entirely possible for the poorest of the poor to increase their net wealth by 10% at the same time the richest of the rich are increasing their net wealth by 100%.



Phred


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlineexclusive58
illegal alien

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 2,146
Last seen: 4 years, 3 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Phred]
    #4390294 - 07/10/05 07:25 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

i don't know the guy, and he didn't write the article, but i do know the united nations...


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlineexclusive58
illegal alien

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 2,146
Last seen: 4 years, 3 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Phred]
    #4390321 - 07/10/05 07:34 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

true.
what i meant to say was that the trench between the poor and the rich continuously gets wider.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: exclusive58]
    #4390370 - 07/10/05 07:51 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

In free societies there is no "trench". There is a continuum.



Phred


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: exclusive58]
    #4390567 - 07/10/05 08:57 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

If the poorest people were billionaries and the richest were quadrillionaires, would disparity of wealth be a problem?


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleSilversoul
Rhizome
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: exclusive58]
    #4392165 - 07/11/05 01:33 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
Quote:

Paradigm said:
Unequal distribution of income isn't necessarily such a bad thing. 




hmmm, i wonder what social class you are in for you to say something like that...:rolleyes:



Oh, cut the arrogant bullshit!  I'm looking at this purely from an economic standpoint.  The fact is that if those who put in more effort are rewarded for that effort by making more money, then everyone benefits.  If a doctor goes through years of medical school only to make the same income as a janitor, then why should he bother becoming a doctor?  Even Rawls, a very liberal philosopher, recognized this fact, but socialists like yourself are blind to it, which is one of many reasons why socialism doesn't work.

Quote:

Quote:

There can be an unequal distribution of income and still be a higher standard of living for everyone.




well sure, if you compare that standard of living to africa's standard of living, i guess you can say that...



Or that of any communist regime.

Quote:

but the fact is, the more the distributions are unequal, then the more the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.



Wrong.  Unequal distribution can mean that the poor get richer while the rich get even richer than that.  Or it can mean the poor stay where they are while the rich get further ahead.

Quote:

So answer the question man, how unequal can america get before it snaps?



It depends on which scenario listed above occurs.  If the poor actually get poorer, then it will snap.  If the poor get wealthier, but not at the same rate as the rich, then it will not snap.

Quote:

Quote:

The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba, tend to have pretty much everyone be equally dirt poor.  Of course, you don't want it to get like Saudi Arabia either, where a small elite are filthy rich from oil money while the rest starve in the streets, but a good equilibrium lies somewhere in between.




haha, i can't believe you're making that difference between korea and saudi arabia. you really think that there isn't a rich filthy elite that has all the money with the rest of the population starving in the streets in N. Korea? 
"The countries with the most equal distribution of income, like North Korea or Cuba"
:ashamed:



Actually, the elite in N. Korea and Cuba are the politically powerful, and are not that much wealthier than the rest.


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleSilversoul
Rhizome
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Krishna]
    #4392206 - 07/11/05 01:44 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
good thing you've got food on your plate to be able to be concerned about such things!



A red herring if I ever saw one. We are not talking about poverty itself, but rather about the disparity in income. The poor can all have enough to eat and still have a large disparity between them and the rich.


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineSycronica
Seeker
Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 376
Loc: Inside my head
Last seen: 11 years, 2 months
Re: Reform or Revolution? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4392336 - 07/11/05 02:29 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

indifference among the winners?




Indifference is the name of the game. No one that is wealthy gives a rats ass about the people below them. With a few rare exceptions.

Turn off the tv it goes away right?  :nonono:


--------------------
Think for yourself. Question authority.

Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice.

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Jump to top. Pages: 1

General Interest >> Political Discussion

Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
* Reform or Revolution?
( 1 2 3 all )
silversoul7 2,618 59 06/28/04 04:05 AM
by Tao
* Obama's Pinstripe Revolution
( 1 2 3 all )
lonestar2004 2,997 43 05/09/09 12:51 PM
by Falcon91Wolvrn03
* Balance of Power, Propaganda Bullshit, Reform!
( 1 2 all )
nugsarenice 1,969 23 06/25/02 10:05 PM
by pimpadelic
* Bush: Iraq Part of 'Global Democratic Revolution' SquattingMarmot 423 1 11/06/03 06:51 PM
by Psilocybeingzz
* Paul Krugman vs. Bill O'Reilly KingOftheThing 754 14 08/09/04 11:35 PM
by Psilygirl
* Second american revolution
( 1 2 3 4 ... 9 10 all )
Cognitive_Shift 5,831 181 05/11/09 01:16 AM
by ScavengerType
* Social Security Reform
( 1 2 all )
snoopaloop53 1,488 28 03/13/05 04:31 AM
by Psychoactive1984
* Education Reform
( 1 2 all )
GnosticWarrior 2,239 25 05/14/07 04:40 AM
by GnosticWarrior

Extra information
You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
Moderator: Prisoner#1, Enlil
843 topic views. 2 members, 4 guests and 2 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
[ Toggle Favorite | Print Topic | Stats ]
Search this thread:

Please support our sponsors.

Copyright 1997-2016 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

Generated in 0.103 seconds spending 0.003 seconds on 14 queries.