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Thread: President Biden's first year in office

  1. #1041
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Indeed. I kinda admire the system American oligarchy has got going for itself. People can vote for whoever they want to represent them (which always comes down to whoever each of of the two party picks), that person can promise literally anything, but upon coming into the office can just ignore own promises entirely and focus on working for the interests of the oligarchy, then if/when he loses next election oligarchy can just pick another one from opposing party and then it looks like its people's fault for electing such candidates and not system's fault at all, isn't democracy wonderful?
    Yes and it has worked quite well. Once a while, the people give the system a shock to remind the elites that they should also look after the common people.
    Thus, the standard of living, the happiness indices, literacy, health indices etc have an upwards trend from 19th century onwards.
    You can bemoan all the horrors of the current system but life in 2021 is better than it was in 1921, and life in 1921 was better than in 1821.

    And that's thanks to the elites being forced by the system of democracy to also look after the little people. Yes, the elite make x100 more than what they did in 1921 while the low economic classes make x3 what they did in 1921. Is it bad? Yes.
    But at least, the low economic classes make x3 what they did 100 years ago.
    Last edited by alhoon; Yesterday at 09:38 AM.
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  2. #1042

    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Also, income inequality isnít all itís cracked up to be in the US:

    We explore the concentration of wealth among households ages 40 to 59 and find that (1) including DB pension and Social Security results in markedly lower measures of wealth concentration and (2) trends toward higher wealth inequality over time, while moderated, are still present. Simulation exercises show that reductions in Social Security benefits significantly increase wealth concentration for the youngest birth-year cohorts.

    https://lindsayjacobs.github.io/pape...pdf?mod=ANLink
    Recent influential work finds large increases in inequality in the U.S. based on measures of wealth concentration that notably exclude the value of social insurance programs. This paper revisits this conclusion by incorporating Social Security retirement benefits into measures of wealth inequality. We find that top wealth shares have not increased in the last three decades when Social Security is properly accounted for. This finding is robust to assumptions about how taxes and benefits may change in response to system financing concerns.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers....668&mod=ANLink
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  3. #1043

    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    Yes and it has worked quite well. Once a while, the people give the system a shock to remind the elites that they should also look after the common people.
    Thus, the standard of living, the happiness indices, literacy, health indices etc have an upwards trend from 19th century onwards.
    You can bemoan all the horrors of the current system but life in 2021 is better than it was in 1921, and life in 1921 was better than in 1821.

    And that's thanks to the elites being forced by the system of democracy to also look after the little people. Yes, the elite make x100 more than what they did in 1921 while the low economic classes make x3 what they did in 1921. Is it bad? Yes.
    But at least, the low economic classes make x3 what they did 100 years ago.
    Life is better or maybe we are just conditioned to assume that it is better? Modern average wage worker works more, is taxed more and rests less then an average medieval peasant.
    Heck, even in comparison to 1970s we are worse of, one HS graduate could afford a house, two vehicles and feed whole family off one income back then, today this sounds like Sci-Fi. Not to mention cheap college/university tuitions.
    Even assuming that it is better (objectively it is not), correlation doesn't mean causation. Almost every aspect of high living standards is a product of technological progress, which in some aspects can be even argued, occurs not because, but despite the efforts of the government. Just look at how US government's history of legislating to prevent newer technologies to threaten already existing domestic industries, especially when it comes to energy sector.
    Democracy simply doesn't "force" elites to look for people's interests. It is there to create an aura of legitimacy for the elites and to prevent disruption from those elites enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.

  4. #1044
    chriscase's Avatar Princess Thunderballs
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    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Remember to keep the discussion impersonal.

    Why is it that mysteries are always about something bad? You never hear there's a mystery, and then it's like, "Who made cookies?"
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  5. #1045
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Democracy simply doesn't "force" elites to look for people's interests. It is there to create an aura of legitimacy for the elites and to prevent disruption from those elites enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.
    The way the elites have to remain in power and prevent disruption in democracy, is look out for people's interests. If they get too far, a Trump or Johnson is elected and reminds them that they can get away with just so much. Both Trump and Johnson were horrible, but they were not the systemic candidates. They were the warning shots. They reminded everyone, including "We the People" that there are other options, that the system in place gives the people the power to bring new elites in power with a bloodless change of regime. So, the current elites should play nice, or at least nicer.



    The elites were always enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else, that's why they are elites.
    But in the current system there's much more upwards mobility than when you have a feudal society or when you have authoritarian forms of Government (like the many hardcore dictatorships around the world - leftwing or rightwing). So, you have self-made multi-millionaires. Oprah is a rugs to riches story and she's not the only one.
    Furthermore, in the current system of "an aura of legitimacy" through presenting you similar-agenda candidates and telling you to choose what interests you support ... most people agree to a large degree with the choices Heathen Hammer. They may be right or wrong and they probably have very different priorities than you. But they are given a choice between "System" and "System Change". In much of the west the people choose the "System" because they're content enough.
    In USA, the parties rely on the average joe to pick the candidates. In multi-party countries, the small parties that get in coalitions influence the agenda. That YOU disagree with the vision the elites have for the country doesn't mean the majority disagrees.
    If they did, they would send warning shots. THere are enough crazies and populists and clowns out there, hanging in the periphery of the system ready to be the new elites. So the current elites HAVE TO play nicer.

    Back in the 19th century, the employees were at the complete mercy of the employer. There was no 8h workday, there was no minimum wage, there was no recompense if you lost fingers in the dangerous job and couldn't work anymore. The factory owner was living the life while the employers were enjoying much less privileges than they do today, with crushing work-hours and insecurity that they were one mistake away from being thrown to the streets. And that mistake didn't have to be their own. If their superior made a mistake that required the factory to close, the workers would lose their jobs. With no severance pay.

    In comparison to 1970s, USA is calmer, more powerful, more prosperous and more egalitarian. I honestly doubt that the average 1970s graduate could afford a house, two vehicles and feed a whole family off one white collar job or even a blue collar job. There were certainly some blue collar workers that made a lot of money in the 1970s and there are many Blue collar jobs that pay well in 2020s. I don't see a reason why the technician that fixes your AC in 2020 would be worse paid than in the 1970s.
    What is different is that your family would want more things than in the 1970s. Your daughter would want a new iphone. Your son would require a much more expensive student loan. Your car costs more. I don't disagree with those. BUT:
    Your daughter has an iphone in case she needs to call you to pick her up when the school bus broke down. Your son will receive a much better education than in 1970s (except if you send him to a progressive castle to be 're-educated' to a multi-gendered, pink-haired, vegetarian weirdo). Your car is faster, safer and more efficient.
    Last edited by alhoon; Yesterday at 08:09 PM.
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  6. #1046
    antaeus's Avatar Simplism
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    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    In comparison to 1970s, USA is calmer, more powerful, more prosperous and more egalitarian. I honestly doubt that the average 1970s graduate could afford a house, two vehicles and feed a whole family off one white collar job or even a blue collar job.
    I can't speak for the US, but that was indeed the case in much of the Anglosphere. My parents bought their first house in Australia on a construction apprentice and part time retail assistant wage, with a couple of years of saving, as late teenagers. My partner's parents did the same from a similar income bracket from Manchester in the UK.

    But I also think that is not quite the right approach to make to measuring intergenerational wellbeing. I have visited 40 countries, mostly on student and retail income, my parents didn't have that opportunity. Wellbeing measures and purchasing power are very generationally subjective. Which I guess, is also your point.
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  7. #1047
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Indeed. My OTHER point is:
    Nobody from the progressives here helps me find an appropriate demeaning name for DeSantis.
    Bidet's advice that masks are no longer needed for the vaccinated cost thousands of lives. DeSantis' suggestion to go unmasked in schools would be likewise bad and as stupid. He deserves a similarly insulting name.
    alhoon is not a member of the infamous Hoons: a (fictional) nazi-sympathizer KKK clan. Of course, no Hoon would openly admit affiliation to the uninitiated.
    _______________________________________________________
    Beta-tester for Darthmod Empire, the default modification for Empire Total War that does not ask for your money behind patreon.

    Developer of Causa Belli submod for Darthmod, headed by Hammeredalways and a ton of other people.
    Developer of LtC: Random maps submod for Lands to Conquer (that brings a multitude of random maps and other features).

  8. #1048

    Default Re: President Biden's first year in office

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    The way the elites have to remain in power and prevent disruption in democracy, is look out for people's interests. If they get too far, a Trump or Johnson is elected and reminds them that they can get away with just so much. Both Trump and Johnson were horrible, but they were not the systemic candidates. They were the warning shots. They reminded everyone, including "We the People" that there are other options, that the system in place gives the people the power to bring new elites in power with a bloodless change of regime. So, the current elites should play nice, or at least nicer.



    The elites were always enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else, that's why they are elites.
    But in the current system there's much more upwards mobility than when you have a feudal society or when you have authoritarian forms of Government (like the many hardcore dictatorships around the world - leftwing or rightwing). So, you have self-made multi-millionaires. Oprah is a rugs to riches story and she's not the only one.
    Furthermore, in the current system of "an aura of legitimacy" through presenting you similar-agenda candidates and telling you to choose what interests you support ... most people agree to a large degree with the choices Heathen Hammer. They may be right or wrong and they probably have very different priorities than you. But they are given a choice between "System" and "System Change". In much of the west the people choose the "System" because they're content enough.
    In USA, the parties rely on the average joe to pick the candidates. In multi-party countries, the small parties that get in coalitions influence the agenda. That YOU disagree with the vision the elites have for the country doesn't mean the majority disagrees.
    If they did, they would send warning shots. THere are enough crazies and populists and clowns out there, hanging in the periphery of the system ready to be the new elites. So the current elites HAVE TO play nicer.

    Back in the 19th century, the employees were at the complete mercy of the employer. There was no 8h workday, there was no minimum wage, there was no recompense if you lost fingers in the dangerous job and couldn't work anymore. The factory owner was living the life while the employers were enjoying much less privileges than they do today, with crushing work-hours and insecurity that they were one mistake away from being thrown to the streets. And that mistake didn't have to be their own. If their superior made a mistake that required the factory to close, the workers would lose their jobs. With no severance pay.

    In comparison to 1970s, USA is calmer, more powerful, more prosperous and more egalitarian. I honestly doubt that the average 1970s graduate could afford a house, two vehicles and feed a whole family off one white collar job or even a blue collar job. There were certainly some blue collar workers that made a lot of money in the 1970s and there are many Blue collar jobs that pay well in 2020s. I don't see a reason why the technician that fixes your AC in 2020 would be worse paid than in the 1970s.
    What is different is that your family would want more things than in the 1970s. Your daughter would want a new iphone. Your son would require a much more expensive student loan. Your car costs more. I don't disagree with those. BUT:
    Your daughter has an iphone in case she needs to call you to pick her up when the school bus broke down. Your son will receive a much better education than in 1970s (except if you send him to a progressive castle to be 're-educated' to a multi-gendered, pink-haired, vegetarian weirdo). Your car is faster, safer and more efficient.
    Not sure about Johnson, but if Trump was a warning shot, he clearly was never heard, as elites seem to double down on reasons why Trump got elected in the first place.

    Upward mobility was present in every type of recent regime from modern "liberal democracies" to fascist and communist dictatorships of past century. It is certainly not something that makes the upper class more legitimate and largely is limited. Few and in between rags to riches people within the elites are heavily outnumbered by people who simply inherited their wealth or had connections to succeed. Most elections don't provide people with "system change" choice. You can vote for two sides of uniparty, but you can't vote against Blackrock or Vanguard who are in far more control then those sides, which is my point why democracy is largely a farce. In USA and most of West, you don't get to choose who will be on the ballot. That YOU agree with vision of the elites doesn't mean that majority does. There is simply no outlet to voice discontent, since elections are nothing more then choice of which representatives of the elites would you like to pick, but you can't pick between elites themselves.

    I think we can all agree that most of Americans are worse off now, then in 1970s. Average HS graduate could afford a house back then, now he can't, which is the point Doesnb't matter that US is now more "powerful" if you can't buy a house, and egalitarianism is worth nothing if 60% of your income is stolen to fund megacorporations, foreign wars and welfare to unemployed people who can just vote for whoever gives them welfare. Post-secondary education costs weren't artificially inflated back then either, same with healthcare.

    I think the roots of the problem is that corporations and elites influence politics too much to the point where system is no longer truly democratic as voice of a lobbyist far outweighs voice of anyone else. We need some kind of caste system, that would prevent bankers and corporate CEOs from exerting too much political influence. I think finance class needs to lose some rights. Hindu caste system comes to mind, where merchants and tradesmen were forbidden from interacting with royal people.

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