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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Income Inequality - November 30th 2016, 07:20 AM

Ah... rant time. Should have added a PG13.
I always try to make it a point on this site to blame the USA's biggest problems... basically on the wealthy. The wealthy own the politicians. The wealthy own the news. The wealthy own the medicine and set their price. The wealthy own a large chunk of the prisons. The wealthy are even coming to own the public education system. And you wanna know something about these five things? They all suck. The reason why the majority of American politicians do stupid things like go to war with Iraq is because they're PAID to vote that way. 6 CORPORATIONS own 90% of our media. Pharmaceutical industries tried to set the price of a fucking Epipen at 600 dollars. Unregulated private prisons allow the owners to use the prisoners as slaves to make money AND they often have state contracts that say, 'if you don't fill up our prison to 97% capacity, we'll sue you'- this incentivizes the criminal justice system to throw people in jail, usually with very long terms for bullshit like weed. In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder is paid off to phase out public schools in favor of charter schools; these schools aren't Montessori, by the way. They're dilapidated, underfunded monstrosities owned by millionaires and billionaires that barely pay the teachers and don't invest at all in the children- these schools are unregulated. And yet they ALSO receive taxpayer dollars, revealing that it's just a massive scam to make money. By the way, the person who paid Rick Snyder to do that is now Donald Trump's Secretary of Education.
You wanna know what else the rich own? The top .1% of households own as much money as the bottom 90%. Also? The 62 richest people in the world own as much as the bottom HALF of the world.
This is completely insane. I know our country has a lot of problems, but THIS^^^^^^^(the income gap) is what I believe is the root of almost all of our problems. You wanna know why people are so pissed off in America? They don't have any Goddamn money! They have a piss-poor education. Their college debt is sky-rocketing. But then we're told on the news that the problem is that our taxes are too high. Or the problems occurred because THAT group stole our jobs (In some cases, like outsourcing, this is true- also a problem the rich caused). But when we propose a solution, like make public college free, or give everyone health insurance, or to raise the minimum wage, we're told by the media and the politicians, "Where are we gonna get that money?" But those jackoffs OWN it all! How is it that we can drop trillions of dollars for endless war in the Middle East but we can't spend 75 billion dollars on free education? What the hell is that? Why can't we do Medicare for all, and SAVE money on healthcare? How is Welfare, which takes up 3% of our tax dollars, too expensive for us? Why in Sam Fuck is there still a clause in the 14th amendment that says slavery is legal for PRISONERS, and then WHY do we question the reason we have the highest incarceration rate in the world? Why does Martin Shkrelli, a billionaire, feel the need to raise the price of an HIV drug from 14 dollars to 750 bucks? Why is CNN focusing on Donald Trump's tweets instead of Paul Ryan trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security? This isn't a rigged economy, it's a fucking time bomb.
More importantly, THIS is right-wing economics. This is Ronald Reagan's wet dream- oh wait, no it isn't, because even he was sensible enough to raise the taxes after he lowered them far enough to cause a temporary economic implosion. But there's barely even a counterweight to this anymore. There's just Bernie Sanders and a few of his friends. And the Democrats aren't full of liberals. They're full of Libertarians who could care less if I'm getting banged in the men's room while they vote the way their corporate donors tell them to vote. They're Republican Light. And then on the other side, you've got the Republican Party that doesn't even try to hide their insanity. "Yeah, we'll help the poor- let us lower their taxes!" The poor pay almost NO taxes, because they have NOTHING to tax. And if that's such a great fucking idea, why has it FAILED for 40 years? And great, now those tax-funded schools your kids went to will be replaced with a crumbling shack, computers for teachers, creationism, and a lunch menu that feeds them 'pizza' for school everyday (there was a story a while back where kids were getting cheese and ketchup thrown on bread for lunch at a charter school every day- they called THAT pizza). THIS is what happens when you keep taxes unsustainably low and then waste what little tax revenue you have on idiotic shit like war on the other side of the planet, against people who don't even own planes. Back before the Republicans went off the crazy train, Dweight Eisenhower had the top marginal tax rate at 91%! Union membership was at an all-time high! And that "unsustainable, Socialist system", as we would call it now, produced the greatest period of economic prosperity in American history.
This is what's wrong with America. The rich own EVERYTHING. Everything else, I feel like, is just a symptom. People are told to blame the wrong people. They refuse to vote for their own interests. And now here we are.
This is a great video about income inequality, just 7 minutes long.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voGNdi7wuX8


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
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Re: Income Inequality - November 30th 2016, 03:50 PM

I often feel like everything else going on is just a distraction. Migrant crisis. Trump. Obama care. Brexit. Anti-Americanism. Far right.

From a distance, it really just looks like your average people are being antagonized into fighting with each other instead of paying attention to far greater problems that are incoming. As soon as cheap loans were back on offer, people went back to forming queues around the block just to buy an I-phone. Almost nothing had changed after 2008 in most people's attitudes. As oblivious as ever.

I've said it several times already, that I found it surprising how after the 2008 crash... almost all talk about it in the mainstream news appeared to quieten down even just 6 months after it happened, despite it's consequences still having very significant impacts even today.

It feels like there are bigger things going on, and people are being distracted with things like the migrant crisis, so they have something else to be angry at besides the high-up financial establishment. Whether the migrant crisis was even provoked in the first place, in order to distract people from problems greater by several magnitudes, crosses my mind often... that the entire right-wing has been played this way and sent on a wild goose chase. That's only a theory though.

The one common thing between people on the right and left of politics that I've noticed, is both agree that the financial elites have been playing elaborate games. But both at the same time appear to be to preoccupied with fighting each other instead.

It's hard to talk about this without resorting to conspiracy theories, but it's hard also to not believe some conspiracy theories either. My understanding of actual economics is very average at best, and it's something I intend to work on. But I've put a lot of work into increasing my understanding of how such people think, and what effects that sort of power has on even just the average human mind... and it troubles me. The methods which such high-up people use to get their way, can be very discrete and elaborate. An example which you quoted several times was president Nixon's "War on Drugs" which he apparently admitted was really about disenfranchising minority groups, black people, some liberals, etc. (the left in general).
________________________________________________

You must admit that's creative. I recently got into an argument with people online over whether only "educated" people should be allowed to vote. That's another creative way to abuse power, the way I see it. By excluding certain social groups from the voting process, you decrease the government's accountability to those groups. The fewer people the government is accountable towards, the more powerful/autocratic it becomes. So what do you do? You increase the number of "uneducated" people in your country, by decreasing public spending in education. Wealthier households would be able to afford private schools, whereas the majority of poorer households would receive poorer education and remain excluded from the voting process.

That's one way to screw the system.

Another (which has often been used in the past, and present), would be to directly infiltrate the education system itself with a curriculum advocating a specific political agenda. If only "educated" people were allowed to vote, such an effort would yield massive results. That would be in other words, indoctrination. Today's college students are overwhelmingly liberal, although I'm divided on whether this was a deliberate effort by government to "indoctrinate" anyone. I doubt it. I actually think it's more to do with market forces, but that's a different debate. It crosses my mind that this theory bouncing around on the right, blaming "Cultural Marxism" for today's left-wing bias in education, might just be another tool to get the right wing to hate liberals, when really the cause of the "problem" could just be the Federal Student Loans system issuing loans to students, regardless of employment prospects of the courses they attend. Such freely available loans, will also cause college tuition fees to go up... much like freely available mortgages caused a housing bubble. Or "Cultural Marxism" might also be to blame for this. Most likely there are several factors, but in a capitalist economy most things are driven by money, so I'm usually more likely to believe that is the cause.

.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.



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Re: Income Inequality - November 30th 2016, 07:11 PM

I have more to add, but I'm in class right now- but Richard Nixon started the war on drugs, not Carter. Carter was the last truly liberal president, but he was a poor communicator and generally wasn't very good at management. And because he didn't feel like obliterating Iran for the Iran hostage crisis, people thought he was weak... and elected Reagan. In my opinion, Reagan is the worst president we've had in the last 50 years, except for maybe Bush Jr. I say that because Reagan set such a dangerous precedent for the economy because of his deregulation and tax cuts, and we're still told to worship him.


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

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Re: Income Inequality - November 30th 2016, 08:52 PM

Yea, Nixon. I slipped on that detail.

.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.


   
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