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What is your theory of where we are headed? Who is going to blink first and will it be soon enough or do you thing we already have past the tipping point?
Just joined via a new friend found in the NZ 9-11 Truth group (he’s the only active member in Auckland). I’m struggling to find a way to introduce this very important topic to friends and neighbors but the awareness level down here is so low that even my wife rolls her eyes when I bring it up. I’m thinking that a short presentation (half hour max) with credible witnesses and a calm delivery might open the door a bit — any recomendations?[/quote]
I would tell them about a quaint presentation you seen on youtube
[quote=dshields]It shows that the top 10% of income earners, those making 114,000 dollars and up paid 70% of the income taxes in 2008. It is probably more now as the income distribution in America is even worse now than it was in 2008. Now I see Obama and other members of the democratic party get on TV on a regular basis and claim taxes should be raised on the rich as they do not pay their fair share. If you believe people making 114,000 a year and up are rich then it looks to me like they are already paying more than their fair share, they pay 70%. [/quote]
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
Those making $114,000 are probably the highest taxed portion of the population. At best, it is disingenuous for those in the top .1% – 5% to hide behind the very bottom of the top 10% as representative of the whole 10% paying outrageous taxes. A more transparent presentation would be the ratio of taxes to income and capital gains of each percentage of the population. Admittedly I do not have those figures but from the huge discrepancy in income between the top .1% – 5% of the population and the rest could easily account for why the top 10% pay 70% of the taxes.
[quote=dshields]Even more disturbing is the bottom 50% only pay 2.7%. This is clearly broken as a small percentage of the population should not be paying a really large majority of the taxes while half the country pays nothing and reaps great benefits from the small percentage’s toil. If we want to do something about revenue we need to do something about the half of the country that incredibly pays nothing. If I was on a revenue hunt I would start there.[/quote]
What is their income and ratio of taxes to income? Would be helpful if broken down in 5% increments.
[quote=dshields]The answer to out of control spending is not more revenue, it is to cut spending. [/quote]
No argument here. In 2008 the US Congress and President gifted 13 trillion dollars to the wealthiest of the wealthy and charged it to the taxpayers. That’s 13 followed by 12 zeros dollars.
How do we get beyond this topic of romanticizing our past lifestyle and lamenting its collapse? The US and the rest of the world are in decline regretting, blaming others and expressing our anger of how we got here isn’t going to change anything.
The usual stages of grief are:
1. Denial and Isolation.
Many of the posters here are somewhere between anger and bargaining. There is nothing to bargain for. Kicking the can down the road is going to make the final reckoning worse. The goal is a simple one (getting there is another story) of transitioning from a life of isolation and greed to one community and sharing.
I am going against my own principal of not posting complete articles because I believe that herein lies the seeds of what is needed
Share or Die: Editor’s Preface (published under a Creative Commons license)
I gave him three dollars. He thanked me, and asked what I did for work. I introduced myself, learned his name (Jeff) and we shook hands. I pulled out a card from my computer bag, and handed it to him as I told him that I publish an online magazine about sharing.
Jeff lit up, “Oh I get that, when you’re homeless, it’s share or die.”
That got my attention and I asked him to explain. Jeff said that a year earlier, his girlfriend drank herself to death alone in a motel room. He said she wouldn’t have died had someone been with her. For him, isolation meant death.
Jeff explained his perspective further, that he had no problem giving his last dollar or cigarette to a friend, that it comes back when you need it. But there are those that just take. You stay away from them.
I asked him about the homeless in Mountain View, which is in the middle of prosperous Silicon Valley. Jeff said there are 800 homeless people in the city, and that each has a similar story.
That conversation got under my skin. I shared it with Malcolm Harris the next day on a call about this book. Half-joking, I suggested Jeff’s phrase, “share or die,” as a title. At the time, I thought it was over-the-top. I wasn’t serious. But, thankfully, Malcolm began using it in correspondence about the book. It stuck.
My conversation with Jeff marked a turning point in my thinking. I had thought of sharing as merely smart because it creates positive social, environmental, and economic change through one strategy.
But Jeff’s story and the directness of his phrase – share or die – broke through my intellectualization of sharing. Jeff helped me see something that I was blind to, even though I knew all the facts – that sharing is not just a smart strategy, it’s necessary for our survival as a species. This has always been so, but today our condition is especially acute – we’re using 50 percent more natural resources per year than the earth can replace. And global population and per capita consumption are growing. It’s now glaringly obvious to me that we need to learn to share on a global scale fast, or die.
But the threat is not only one of biological death. Those like me, who are in no danger of starving, face a spiritual death when we act as if well-being is a private affair and gate ourselves off from the rest of humanity with money and property. We can neither survive nor live well unless we share. It’s my outrageous hope that the young voices in this book do for a generation what Jeff did for me – wakes them to the idea that sharing can save them and the world.
Simply put, our current social decay is a result of every-man-for-himself Neoliberal Capitalism.
While there is certainly some truth to what he says, you don’t think that the welfare state deserves any blame for our social decay?[/quote]
The welfare state is part and parcel of Neoliberal Capitalism. It is akin to:
"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel). From: Wikipedia
[quote]The riots that hit London and other English cities last week have the potential to spread beyond the British Isles. Class rage isn’t unique to England; in fact, it represents part of a growing global class chasm that threatens to undermine capitalism itself.[/quote]
[quote]All these factors can be seen in the British riots. Race and police relations played a role, but the rioters included far more than minorities or gangsters. As British historian James Heartfield has suggested, the rioters reflected a broader breakdown in “the British social system,” particularly in “the system of work and reward.”[/quote]
Sorry guys, satire might be good but you are forcing those who may not wish to read it to scroll through it. Its like you demanding that I read your versions of the news. A link with a brief summary would be much more appreciated[/quote]
I totally disagree…. I hate following links, and often don’t bother because I then have to download all the other crap associated with web pages these days like unwanted flash files and adverts. If I cut’n’paste an article off a website to here, I edit all that un necessary fat from the post to the benefit of everyone who reads it….. of course credits and links should be included in respect of the originator, and in case the reader actually wants to follow the links.
Your arguement is circuitous. You cut out what you consider waste to post what others consider waste. You are going to disregard other views so there is little to gain except to point out that some of us dislike what you are doing.
Sorry guys, satire might be good but you are forcing those who may not wish to read it to scroll through it. Its like you demanding that I read your versions of the news. A link with a brief summary would be much more appreciated
You don’t appear to have any respect authors’ copyrights or your fellow members.
Like using a gun to force people to do things they normally wouldn’t do? Sounds like utopia.[/quote]
Here is a look at the morals underlying capitalism from: "Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren" by John Maynard Keyes in (1930)
For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.
For the record I am not advocating any particular set of morals.