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Author Topic: Occupy Everything!  (Read 1957 times)
Flick James
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2011, 11:14:54 AM »

The solution for economic recovery has always been everybody getting back to work, earning and spending. Why would now be any different?

We live in a climate in the U.S. where people demand immediate results. If people don't see an economic recovery within a couple of years, or within an administration, they panic and start protesting, not realizing that by protesting and not working they are exacerbating the problem. I like how the poll I mentioned earlier indicated that most of the protesters are actually employed. Why aren't you at your jobs then?

The name of the movement is Occupy Wall Street, what are they if they're not trying to shut down the financial system? What is the inevitable result of success? Collapse. And if it goes bad for the U.S., it will go bad for everybody.
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Flick James
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2011, 12:39:42 PM »

I also wonder why we, my own country included, trade with China in essence helping to keep in power a Communist government regime...sending jobs overseas and reducing levels of pay here in doing so both with raw material and in production.

I'll admit I'm no political expert but I know some parties here embrace socialist "ideals" and we have had social programs for many, many years here I couldn't imagine living without. The U.S. admittedly is a whole 'nother place with a far greater population to deal with but those numbers are out there, a large number of dissatisfied folks and if they do organize and get together, serious change may well be looming around the corner...

Well, I personally believe that socialism does work. However, a lot of things have to be just right for it to function well. It tends to work best in smaller populations, amongst people of homogeneous culture, with a strong infrastructure in place, and either abundant resources available or in the vicinity of another country that produces significant wealth. If you start removing any of those conditions, socialism starts to fall apart or turn in to communism. Don't forget that socialism was originally intended to be a stepping stone to communism.

I can tell you exactly why we trade with China and outsource labor to China and outsource services to India. They have enormous populations of people that are more than happy to do the work, while people here are protesting. It is more profitable for businesses to broker and focus on technology development because things are so regulated here that the labor market costs too much. So they outsource it, and it is cheaper, even considering all the money spent on fuel to get it over here, it is still cheaper. That speaks volumes. So the wealth is being made, but it's in brokering and technology, and the labor market shrinks and this is why we have a shrinking middle class and this tiny percentage of people that have most of the wealth. If it were cheaper for companies to produce here, they would.

Another problem is that too many Americans don't want to take a reduction in pay or don't want to do any dirty work or jobs that they see as beneath them. Now many are being forced to. While this is not nice, economic recover won't happen until people accept that they have to tighten their belts and get back to work. We can't all have college degrees and work in a clean office. Some have to do dirty jobs. That's life. Deal with it. Besides, I've always thought there was a good deal of honor in a hard day's work.

Anyway, I think I'm winding down in my input on this thread. I think I've said about all I can.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2011, 10:06:02 PM »

Your input has been great here Flick. I know all about doing an hard day's work and I do have what many might consider a "dirty job". Anyways the thing here too is that banks got away with so much and hose being at the top n big business got away with so much....that plain p'o' ed people off and rightly so. If Obama had followed through on more of his promises, this probably wouldn't even be happening now...still I'm disturbed by the police action I've seen on the news. It doesn't make the U.S. look favorable in the international news, not at all.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 10:08:41 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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Flick James
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« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2011, 11:42:07 AM »

Your input has been great here Flick. I know all about doing an hard day's work and I do have what many might consider a "dirty job". Anyways the thing here too is that banks got away with so much and hose being at the top n big business got away with so much....that plain p'o' ed people off and rightly so. If Obama had followed through on more of his promises, this probably wouldn't even be happening now...still I'm disturbed by the police action I've seen on the news. It doesn't make the U.S. look favorable in the international news, not at all.

They got away with things because there were no consequences for anything. In the real capitalist world, when businesses make bad decisions, they pay the price.

Please enlighten me on what Obama promised to do that he did not. Something tells me it involves even more government intervention to solve a problem created by government intervention.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2011, 01:37:04 PM »

The guilty and criminal should have been brought to justice...some shouldn't have been bailed out at all. The system shouldn't be structured with such a wide divide between earners at the top in big business and those at the bottom, money that just grows in their pockets while everyone else is made to work for less and less income while inflation grows more and more out of control.

I have a lot of friends, some of the best and brightest people I've ever known, involved in the Occupy movement in the U.S.. I've seen a lot of them struggle to keep a job and those who have are often being paid far less than they should be. Yet those right at the top are still being protected and sheltered no matter what they do...
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Flick James
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« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2011, 02:27:35 PM »

The guilty and criminal should have been brought to justice...some shouldn't have been bailed out at all. The system shouldn't be structured with such a wide divide between earners at the top in big business and those at the bottom, money that just grows in their pockets while everyone else is made to work for less and less income while inflation grows more and more out of control.

I have a lot of friends, some of the best and brightest people I've ever known, involved in the Occupy movement in the U.S.. I've seen a lot of them struggle to keep a job and those who have are often being paid far less than they should be. Yet those right at the top are still being protected and sheltered no matter what they do...

Brought to justice for doing what? What crime did the banks commit? Be specific.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2011, 08:12:45 PM »

I don't know if it's a crime in the literal sense (although no doubt some criminal activity did happen too when we're talking big money and big business) but I'm sure some taxpayers feel that money was being robbed from their pockets to bailout huge corporations and help promote a corporatist state without moral repercussions and will likely expect more bailouts in future at the expense of said taxpayers. Money that could have went instead into other infrastrutuce to help the many instead of the few. Is the U.S. a corporatist state?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 08:20:58 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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Flick James
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« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2011, 01:46:13 PM »

I don't know if it's a crime in the literal sense (although no doubt some criminal activity did happen too when we're talking big money and big business) but I'm sure some taxpayers feel that money was being robbed from their pockets to bailout huge corporations and help promote a corporatist state without moral repercussions and will likely expect more bailouts in future at the expense of said taxpayers. Money that could have went instead into other infrastrutuce to help the many instead of the few. Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Well, nobody can be brought to justice unless there is an indictable crime that took place. You can't bring corporations to justice for something the government did. Did the corporations and banks give themselves a bailout? No, the government did. So the only ones that are truly culpable are those in government that gave the money, yes? The corporations didn't rob the money from the taxpayers. Geesh.

Quote
Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Yes.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 02:13:46 PM by Flick James » Logged

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JaseSF
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« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2011, 08:14:12 PM »

They can still pay back the government, couldn't they? And than said money could be used for other important needs, could it not?
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« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2011, 09:14:59 PM »

While driving home from work about a week ago, I noticed a couple of "Occupy" protestors out in front of Town Hall near where I live... and when I say "a couple," I mean two bored looking guys standing out in the rain waving "WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT" signs near a stop light.

I couldn't help but wonder if they were hoping that others would be inspired to join them, or if they'd merely missed the last bus to the "real" protest.
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« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2011, 04:04:30 AM »

I don't know if it's a crime in the literal sense (although no doubt some criminal activity did happen too when we're talking big money and big business) but I'm sure some taxpayers feel that money was being robbed from their pockets to bailout huge corporations and help promote a corporatist state without moral repercussions and will likely expect more bailouts in future at the expense of said taxpayers. Money that could have went instead into other infrastrutuce to help the many instead of the few. Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Well, nobody can be brought to justice unless there is an indictable crime that took place. You can't bring corporations to justice for something the government did. Did the corporations and banks give themselves a bailout? No, the government did. So the only ones that are truly culpable are those in government that gave the money, yes? The corporations didn't rob the money from the taxpayers. Geesh.

Quote
Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Yes.

Geesh.

Too facile, Flick James.

What there should be is a governmental committee to see when the financial sector is doing something that would be damaging, the sort of thing that might damage America and might be illegal. You know, insider trading and things that may be against those anti-monopoly laws.

What has happened is that those who were in a position to call attention to corporate malfeasance conveniently decided never to push the matter. In many cases, once these stalwarts of democracy didn't decide to push charges, they quit their positions and took very lucrative positions amidst the very same companies they were investigating.

Nothing illegal has happened because the people who were supposed to be investigating them thought it would be better to join the Dark Side.

It's the graft, just in more high-falutin' tunes.
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Flick James
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« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2011, 12:17:17 PM »

I don't know if it's a crime in the literal sense (although no doubt some criminal activity did happen too when we're talking big money and big business) but I'm sure some taxpayers feel that money was being robbed from their pockets to bailout huge corporations and help promote a corporatist state without moral repercussions and will likely expect more bailouts in future at the expense of said taxpayers. Money that could have went instead into other infrastrutuce to help the many instead of the few. Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Well, nobody can be brought to justice unless there is an indictable crime that took place. You can't bring corporations to justice for something the government did. Did the corporations and banks give themselves a bailout? No, the government did. So the only ones that are truly culpable are those in government that gave the money, yes? The corporations didn't rob the money from the taxpayers. Geesh.

Quote
Is the U.S. a corporatist state?

Yes.

Geesh.

Too facile, Flick James.

What there should be is a governmental committee to see when the financial sector is doing something that would be damaging, the sort of thing that might damage America and might be illegal. You know, insider trading and things that may be against those anti-monopoly laws.

What has happened is that those who were in a position to call attention to corporate malfeasance conveniently decided never to push the matter. In many cases, once these stalwarts of democracy didn't decide to push charges, they quit their positions and took very lucrative positions amidst the very same companies they were investigating.

Nothing illegal has happened because the people who were supposed to be investigating them thought it would be better to join the Dark Side.

It's the graft, just in more high-falutin' tunes.

Great, then if the government agencies assigned to investigate and prosecute crimes are incompetent, then I'm right back to the premise I've been providing all along. Corporations are ALWAYS going to exploit opportunities. That is what they do in the endeavor of seeking a profit. If they don't behave that way then our economic sector doesn't do as well. Any way you slice it, government intervention, either through active interference or incompetence, is to blame, facile as that may seem.

As for anti-trust laws, they're a joke. Monopolies happen from time to time in a laissez faire free market. So be it. They never last. In a free market, if a company manages to establish and maintain a monopoly, it took a lot of talent and ingenuity and hard work to get there, and good for them. But monopolies in a free market can't last indefinitely. Competitors cannot be kept out forever. There are only two ways a firm can have a true monopoly: by exclusive patent or by government intervention. Exclusive patents eventually run out and allow competitors into the market. Government intervention is tougher because it is impossible to get rid of. Government intervention causes coercive monopolies, the very kind of monopolies that anti-trust laws are supposed to prevent.

I have yet to have anybody present a real-world scenario to me in which entrepreneurs created a coercive monopoly through the free market. Coercive monopolies are ALWAYS due to government involvement. One of the oldest examples in American history is the railroad expansion of the 1800's. People say that capitalism was to blame for the enormous power and coercive monopolies on rail transportation that the big railroad companies held. Nonsense. They had such power because the government subsidized westward expansion, giving unfair advantage to the companies they subsidized.

I challenge you to find me an example of a coercive monopoly created by capitalism. I doubt you'll be able to find one. Sooner or later, they all come down to some kind of government involvement that, had it not been there, the coercive monopoly or crisis would not have happened.

Don't get me wrong, the government SHOULD be investigating and prosecuting criminal activity in the corporate world. But let's not sugarcoat things. The government is again having to solve a problem that they themselves created, while businesses get the finger pointed at them as the cause of the problem. I would much rather slowly dismantle the anti-trust laws, the Federal Reserve, and any other form of government intervention in business and let companies stand or fall on their own. This is exactly what the big corporations DON'T want. Trust me, the last thing the big corporations want is to upset the corporatist culture we live in now, and be forced to compete in an organic free market. The economy may experience very slow growth, but at least it would be real growth, not an illusion of growth manufactured by credit expansion backed and encouraged by politicians looking to make their administration look like they're good for the economy, constantly blowing up that credit bubble until it pops. And now look at the mess we're in. And who will yet again be called in to save the day? The same government f**ked it up in the first place. And on and on it goes.

The Occupy Wall Street movement may have a confused and scattered body of people involved, but don't kid yourself, the underlying ideology, as loose as it is, endeavors to bring the whole thing down and replace it with direct government control of EVERYTHING. So, quite literally, they want communism.

Was that less facile?  Wink

 
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tracy
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« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2011, 12:30:07 PM »

While driving home from work about a week ago, I noticed a couple of "Occupy" protestors out in front of Town Hall near where I live... and when I say "a couple," I mean two bored looking guys standing out in the rain waving "WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT" signs near a stop light.

I couldn't help but wonder if they were hoping that others would be inspired to join them, or if they'd merely missed the last bus to the "real" protest.
That reminds me of a good many years ago when I was still living in my home town. The KKK decided to have a rally there to boost support. All that showed up were two guys who stood on the court house lawn holding up signs and occassionally calling out to passers by. A big line of cars started to circle the court house just to see two "real Klansmen" and many were yelling out insults. One gave up after an hour,leaving one pretty uncomfortable guy to wait it out another hour before retreating. It was talked about for days....a lot longer than they were there!

Sorry about the change of subject....carry on!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 12:32:11 PM by tracy1963 » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2011, 12:37:13 PM »

I think the Reverend nailed it.  These folks are mad at everybody that has more than they do, because it's just not fair!  Most of them seem to be in violation of numerous civic codes, others have crossed the line into vandalism, arson, and assault.  The Oakland bunch was particularly thuggish.

Time for that Napoleonic "whiff of grapeshot"! BounceGiggle

     Also, you have some of what you saw in the 60's, priviliged young people who develop a sense of guilt over having so much, who feel a skewed obligation to "level the playing field".

     In any event, they're an impediment, and should be dealt with, not showcased on what passes for the news these days.
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« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2011, 01:15:19 PM »

Coercive monopolies are ALWAYS due to government involvement.

There is something to be said for that. I just think of the current telecommunications industry in Canada. We pay through the nose for telephone, internet, etc., and the little companies that try to offer better deals or cheaper alternatives run into, among other things, regulations that make it impossible to charge significantly less than the big players.

And anti-monopoly laws are among the most unenforceable. There are a number of industries where there does not appear to be a whole lot of active competition between the major players. It might be illegal for competing companies to form unofficial cartels and fix prices, but it's a hell of a thing to prove. Think about that the next time you're buying gas.

As for the question of responsibility, a good way to think of big business is as a dog. A dog can be friendly and well-behaved, eager to please and conditioned to do the right thing most of the time, but it's always driven by its instinctive needs. It knows nothing of long-term consequences or how its actions affect others. Its strongest impulse will always be to do what will provide immediate reward. Leave a plate of food on the coffee table while you run for the phone, and the dog is going to eat it. Some dogs might do it right away and some might fight the urge, not because they know right from wrong, but because they know what brings punishment or reward. Most will give in sooner or later. Dogs need to be fenced in, walked on a leash, kept away from temptation and never completely trusted around food or garbage or anything that might be nice to eat or chew. A dog will do as much as it can get away with, and it's up to the owner to consistently train that dog, constrain it as necessary, and take care not to make it too easy or tempting for that dog to misbehave. If it does misbehave, the owner takes the bigger share of the blame. The dog is just doing what it does.

So it is with corporations. They do as much as they can get away with in pursuit of short-term profit. If they are not adequately monitored and the rules are not consistently enforced, they will misbehave. And if you give them a big chunk of cash, they will gobble it up without a second thought. So yes, if big banks created a mess and then squandered a huge bailout, the greater fault is with the people who should have made it harder for them to do so.
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