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Thread: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes[W:192]

  1. #151
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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Yes, technically there is a difference. But when we express to others that we have a clear conscience, the implication is that if they did something different than we did, they shouldn't have a clear conscience and we are superior in that regard. I am no different. When I do what I believe to be the right thing, and go out of my way to announce that I did the right thing, I am stating loud and clear that my motives and intentions are commendable; i.e. superior to those who don't share them. There is no shame in that. It is the American way so to speak.

    (It isn't saying that I am superior, but just that my choice was superior to the opposing choice.)

    Seriously, my personal ideology is that if something does not produce the intended results--in fact if we KNOW or don't CARE whether it produces intended results--then there is no nobility or merit in doing it at all. And certainly it is foolish to do it just to have a 'clear conscience'. If anything it should produce a state of guilt within us, not smugness. And certainly, our ethics should not produce a clear conscience when we do something that we KNOW or don't CARE whether it produces intended results.

    When it comes to our vote, we should all be doing our damndest to discern who the superior candidate will be and get him/her on the ballot. And when it comes time to vote for the best candidate on the ballot, our vote should go to the one who will accomplish the most good, or at least do the least harm and who has a chance to win. So yeah, that sometimes means voting for the Republican or Democrat even though they are far less than what we had hoped for.

    To 'throw away' our vote in protest or to make a statement might indeed give us a feeling of accomplishment but we should not have a clear conscience when we do it because we will have failed to make whatever small difference we could. And to vote for the lesser candidate because of reasons other than what is best for all is to create the kinds of oligarchy that are most destructive to this country.

    There is no shame in trying and failing. The shame comes in not trying at all.
    I implied nothing at all. You might have thought I was implying something, but I wasn't.

    I was merely reporting my emotional state the next morning. Smiling when you wake up. It's a good thing. The frigging election cycle has finally reached orgasm, and we can return to normal television programming. It's a good thing.

    But you are correct in your criticism. Hopelessly romantic, but correct.

    It is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all, for sure. I agree.

    But the other side of the coin is that on the national level, and excepting the local level, your actual final choice comes down to just another human. It is rare that a perfect leader comes up through the political process, but it does happen.
    Last edited by Thoreau72; 04-22-14 at 05:57 PM.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    More faux-superiority. Struggling people who aren't as fortunate as you must be defective in some way. They're not ambitious enough. Right. Of course that's it. Nobody is poor for reasons beyond their own control. This is why we cannot make any kind of serious progress in this country. There's large factions that live in a delusion and can't accept the facts of how this country actually is.
    You seem to be debating yourself here rather than responding to my points.

    I never said anyone was 'defective'. In fact I worked much of my youth for minimum wage, as did most of my friends. Whether 'they' are ambitious enough is beside the point. Many are able to support themselves throughout their lives without having ambitions beyond that and enjoy themselves in other ways. Parks, libraries, etc are all free and enjoyable for rich and poor.

    We can be happy with our lives in many ways but being resentful of 'the rich' is not among them.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Obama isn't a socialist by definition... he's just a fascist, socialist, Marxist and capitalist - AT THE SAME TIME.
    Not as unusual as you might think.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Not as unusual as you might think.
    Stupidity is usually... usual.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Why? I don't trust the states any more than I do Washington, in fact, I trust them even less. I trust individual counties, cities and towns even less. When you get down to smaller groups of people with the same mindset, you tend to get more and more abuse.
    The thing is that you can easily move to another of the 49 States. When the Feds screw up you have to leave the country. Not everyone everywhere has the same mindset, even in Washington.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Stupidity is usually... usual.
    Is it your understanding that, for example, Socialists have never been capitalists? Or Marxist Socialists? Or Capitalists? In fact there have been people who have been all of this at the same time, though without necessarily thinking of themselves in that light.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Is it your understanding that, for example, Socialists have never been capitalists? Or Marxist Socialists? Or Capitalists? In fact there have been people who have been all of this at the same time, though without necessarily thinking of themselves in that light.
    Your phrasing is really peculiar grant. Nick stated that Obama was both a socialist and a capitalist. How is that possible? One believes in private ownership and the other is about public ownership. Can you both believe in state control of production and private control of production at the same time? Nope. Can you be a Marxist and a socialist? Sure. Those terms don't actually contradict each other. Can you be a socialist and Marxist and capitalist at the same time? Nope. Show us who has done it.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    You seem to be debating yourself here rather than responding to my points.

    I never said anyone was 'defective'. In fact I worked much of my youth for minimum wage, as did most of my friends. Whether 'they' are ambitious enough is beside the point. Many are able to support themselves throughout their lives without having ambitions beyond that and enjoy themselves in other ways. Parks, libraries, etc are all free and enjoyable for rich and poor.

    We can be happy with our lives in many ways but being resentful of 'the rich' is not among them.
    What you are completely not getting is that the age of climbing the corporate ladder is effectively over. Working hard and getting promoted really doesn't happen anymore. You just work hard and don't get paid enough to live on. There is no transitional early job >> better jobs dynamic. There is no amount of ambition that will take a person from fry cook to any salaried position. There is no promotion from stocking shelves. That was how things worked in your youth, but that's not how it is now. And being blind to that change isn't going to magically unmake it.
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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    What you are completely not getting is that the age of climbing the corporate ladder is effectively over. Working hard and getting promoted really doesn't happen anymore. You just work hard and don't get paid enough to live on. There is no transitional early job >> better jobs dynamic. There is no amount of ambition that will take a person from fry cook to any salaried position. There is no promotion from stocking shelves. That was how things worked in your youth, but that's not how it is now. And being blind to that change isn't going to magically unmake it.
    Then how do you account for all those who are succeeding? I agree that it is much tougher now. The current government has built in so much additional risk and expense for employers and has done almost nothing to help the economy recover, so much opportunity that would otherwise exist is currently sidelined. Nobody is going to risk almost everything they have to start up or expand a business when the odds of losing it all are so high.

    But thinking that if the rich had less, then everybody else would have more is the most damning and stupid component of modern day American liberalism that exists. It is as absurd as thinking that if you take water from the deep end of the pool and pour it into the shallow end, there will be more water in the shallow end. And thinking if they would just raise the minimum wage, the poor would be somehow richer, is almost as foolish. There will be anecdotal incidents of success in that regard yes, but overall you just make it that much harder for those willing to work for a living to have opportunity to do so. And the more people go on government assistance, the worse the economy will be, and the less incentive there is for the private sector to generate wealth which in turn provides less tax revenues for the government to use to provide assistance to those not working.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    The thing is that you can easily move to another of the 49 States. When the Feds screw up you have to leave the country. Not everyone everywhere has the same mindset, even in Washington.
    HOW can a person with no bank account, a few dollars in their pocket and no transportation "easily move" to another state. Because we have a park with some shelter next to our office building, I get to meet homeless people fairly frequently, some of them are nice, some of them have addiction problems and a couple I've met even had jobs but working at minimum wage in a city with high rents makes it a bit difficult to find a place to live.

    Why is Costco more profitable than WalMart even though Costco base salary is approximately twice as much as a Walmart worker receives?
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
    ~ James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

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