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Eat The Rich!

Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 01 Sep 2018, 17:08:58

Looker – “I do hope that our species may someday evolve into a softer course whereby we take into consideration the interests, wants and needs of EVERYBODY.” You mean like the “softer course” the USA has followed to get to where we are today? LOL. Do I have to recount the blood, lives shed, pain, etc that delivered us the society we have today? Do you really envision a softer course for any African nation of downtrodden and abused that will simply hand them a free and vital economy as we have? An economy that requires significant effort on our part to just maintain?

Sounds like you would like to see the wealthy and powerful to travel around the globe and do some “nation building” for the less fortunate. IOW construct some “softer courses” and hand the final product over to the locals.

Very generous of you. LOL.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 01 Sep 2018, 21:25:19

Much of that wealth consists of numbers in hard drives, and the value of those numbers are maintained only with increasing production and sales of goods and services globally.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 01 Sep 2018, 21:57:45

Rockman, glad you recognize what we have in fact NOW. And what we have now is the antithesis of that "softer course". We have rabid selfish interest on the parts of individuals all the way up to countries. The appeal for the softer course has been uttered by many through the annals of history. Persons not understanding or condoning the Wars and pillaging and enslaving of others. I always reach a brick wall in conversations when the conversation reaches this point. People are perhaps rightfully so cynical that we can ever be anything other than the way we have been up till now. Perhaps that is true. In which case humanity in reality is akin to animals living in the jungle observing the law of the jungle ie. killed or be killed.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 05:23:54

Onlooker,

I think thats a pretty good observation. I personally don’t see humans as much evolved over our chimp relatives, we have learned a few tricks that we have built upon but our internal workings are pretty primitive.

It’s a lot like Ibon’s OP, where he hopes that after the bottleneck we will evolve into something beyond what we are today.

I’m not wild about these conclusions, it’s just where my observations take me.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Cog » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 05:37:06

Mapping our own genome and sending probes out of the solar system is a bit more than tricks.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 06:58:49

And accomplished by only a extremely small segment of the population. Outliers.

Also they demonstrate skill in narrow sets. Extreamly few have a wide grip of matters and issues, especially when projecting into the future.

My comment was meant for the statistical norm, the common voter.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Cog » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 20:21:15

I disagree. Those two feats would have been impossible without millions of others cooperating to build on the scientific progress we have made over the last millenia. From the guy who builds the computers to the janitor who keeps the labs clean, we share in our own small part in those feats of science. Try giving those projects to a troop of chimps and see how far they progess.

Humans aren't chimps. We are unique on this planet and most likely the universe.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby GHung » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 21:32:53

Cog wrote:I disagree. Those two feats would have been impossible without millions of others cooperating to build on the scientific progress we have made over the last millenia. From the guy who builds the computers to the janitor who keeps the labs clean, we share in our own small part in those feats of science. Try giving those projects to a troop of chimps and see how far they progess.

Humans aren't chimps. We are unique on this planet and most likely the universe.


....and we, clever apes that we are, wouldn't have produced those (b)illions of cooperating clever apes without a goldmine of resources and energy to fuel that mass cooperation.

Too many apes. Not enough planet. There's the rub.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 11:53:33

onlooker, you have claimed that the wealthier countries with higher standards of living are exploiting the less fortunate in less developed countries. I would like to hear more about that, because to my knowledge, have I ever exploited anyone. For example, if I buy an article of clothing that was created in say - Bangladesh - by factory workers who do in fact work long hours under less safe conditions than they would in our country, how have I exploited anyone?

I believe that my purchases here gave those clothing mill workers a job, and then many more jobs resulted from the transport, distribution, and marketing of that product here in the USA. I think that all such people are happy to be employed and thus earning an income, eating in a place where you would starve without such jobs existing.

Since I brought the topic up, didn't the overpopulation that plagues these less developed countries happen because we gave them medicines to reduce infant mortalities, without doing anything to change a high existing birthrate based on a deady environment?
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 12:20:45

In reality, the exploiting is woven into the very fabric of the world wide Economy and commercialization and industrial processes. We know that the countries who modernized first were the ones who exploited the fossil fuels first and were the same ones who were in some cases already the "rich" countries, specifically Western Europe and North America. When you take a close look at how this all came about and has become more entrenched you come to understand the power of money and the advantages it affords. You also see that greed and exploitation done intentionally ie. slave trade as one outstanding example. Whether you wish to call it our primate instincts or Capitalism makes little difference. It is exploitation done systematically and ruthlessly. It is akin to a parasite. Class differences are so embedded in our societies all over the globe that we take it for natural or normal.

Kaiser, I sense you do feel bad for the less priviledged in some of these poor countries. I just ask that you take into account how what and who you are, owes so much to the circumstance of your life into which you were born and grew up. When in economic threads, some resort to saying well I earned my money and my lifestyle so I resent anyone who questions what I have, I have to smile and say that indeed you worked hard but what you have is even more a product of your particular circumstances. You were born in a rich country, you were born to a white middle class family etc. etc. I do not necessarily resent the rich. What I do resent is the profound inequity and inflexibility of the entire system that is designed to reward simply those with money and penalize those without. It is so rigid that it scarcely accounts for anything other within the rich diverse nature of who we are as homo sapiens.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 15:41:29

onlooker, I don't deny being born into a rich country. But think of how the rich countries came to be. About 15,000 years ago, everybody on every continent was appproximately equal. Then cultural differences took hold. Those you call "rich countries" are also those with work ethics, and generations of accumulating what is called "capital".

If we believe the Paleo Anthropologists (and I do believe them personally) then mankind the species was once one or more species of plains ape in South Africa. That very area of the world is obviously the one where there has been the most time to accumulate capital - up to several hundred thousand years. Yet South Africa is rife with violence, inequity, racial strife, and unequal achievements. There are for example, multiple examples of where successful and thriving farms and ranches were taken from White land owners and then subsequently failed under Black ownership.

Then there is the afore-mentioned clothing mill in Bangladesh. When exactly are you expecting that those oppressed workers will organize and sieze the means of production, as was done in Europe in the Middle Ages? When do you expect Chinese laborers to strike and force their government to negotiate wages?

What you call "the rich countries" are those with a Work Ethic, which is a cultural thing. It pretty much is what seperates "Western Civilization" from anything you will find in the native cultures of Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Pacific Islands. Those "rich countries" have had the work ethic the longest, and those countries that lag in acquiring our culture and work ethic - such as for example the Middle East - also remain pestholes.

In fact there is no place on Earth that had as much petroleum (aka "black gold") as some countries in the Middle East. They also have a laughable work ethic, which caused the largest squandering of wealth in History, pumping and selling so much oil and yet failing to develop irrigated farms and ranches for food animals.

Now to focus on the USA where we both live for a moment. Which group has done more to oppress minorities here in the USA than any other? Which group actually encourages lazy and shiftless behavior, in the name of "multi-culturalism"? Which group has single-handedly done more to ensure that black/brown/whatever skin color people cannot compete in the USA, by not allowing them to overcome their lack of a Western work ethic?

Why that would be the Democrats, who have not really changed that much since the days when we called the solid Democratic South the "Dixiecrats". Their main weapon of oppression would be LBJ's "War on Poverty".

The modern success stories of Capitalism have to be the high tech billionaires. Yet I never met a one who qualified for the term "idle rich". Instead they are among those with the strongest work ethics, working 70-80 hour weeks. I know this because my house is right under the approach to the San Jose International Airport, and the noisiest plane that uses it is Larry Ellison's (#8 wealthiest person in the World) infamous vintage Gulfstream V which blasts it's noisy way through the sky regularly, even though it does not meet noise standards.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 17:10:44

Cog wrote:I disagree. Those two feats would have been impossible without millions of others cooperating to build on the scientific progress we have made over the last millenia. From the guy who builds the computers to the janitor who keeps the labs clean, we share in our own small part in those feats of science. Try giving those projects to a troop of chimps and see how far they progess.

Humans aren't chimps. We are unique on this planet and most likely the universe.


Unique? To this world so far, sure. In the universe? Neither one of us knows.

And I disagree to your assessment. But can’t respind ATM.

OK, I may have a couple of moments of peace.

VERY briefly, humans have some unique traits or capabilities but we are not hugely different from chimps. The is a very great deal we share.

My personal theory is we diverged when we developed agriculture. AG led to writing, which allowed us to store and efficiently pass on information. That is the crux of the matter, the “trick” we have learned.

Granted that humans have parlayed this skill to create a complex culture. On the surface we appear to be very different, but it’s really just a small change that gets magnified.

For example look at primitive humans that have not developed AG, say for instance the tribes of terra del fuego. They were obviously human, but existed st such a low state of development that even Darwin note that they were only barely human. They did not have the trick. They were wonderfully physically adapted to their environment, they would swim in ice covered water and went nearly naked in the snow and wore no shoes. Yet they were smart, fully developed humans and could adapt to English practices and Customs easily.

Without the “trick” the differences between us and chimps allears small indeed. The “trick” is very powerful, it has allowed us to do many things, but it does not increase the biological distance between us and our kindred species.

I don’t excpect or seek to change your mind, just letting you know my thinking.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 18:25:57

Christians have a very hard time with your assessment Newfie.

I agree with your post. That trick is the ability to tinker. The fossil record indicates that when we came out of the trees and became bipedal that is when the brain increased in size dealing with a far more complex environment than our previous arboreal one. The large brain and apposing thumb that can grasp and build tools. To elaborate on your post the "trick" started with simple tool making that through the ages got more sophisticated all the way up to agriculture. That was the biggy because all the way up to agriculture the "trick" that tinkering, was done within intact eco systems. Yes there were pleistocene extinctions due to humans but the ecosystems humans lived in remained intact. It was agriculture that we see the beginning of altering and manipulating landscapes. Then the "trick" notched up to another level up to the egyptians, chinese, new world mayans and aztecs and incans. those were the first large organized city states. And then the industrial revolution.

We share over 96% of our DNA with chimps. Besides putting a grass reed in a log to extract termites and using stones to break open hard seeds they don't do tricks...... except with eachother when the alpha male isn't looking!

Chimps and Bonobos share with humans the ability to play politics and subterfuge.

Read any of the books from Franz de Wall about humans and primates and where we fall in relationship to them if you are interested in this subject.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 19:03:01

Well, what about since Civilization got going specifically the influence of Culture upon us collectively. Kaiser likes to focus on our technological potential. I prefer to focus on our potential as feeling emotional beings. What of that my fellow posters? Ibon entertains a new cultural transformation after going through the bottleneck of consequences to our overshoot. Can we progress or evolve to become more benign compassionate loving beings? Why does it matter. Well because we have shown up till now a rather disturbing penchant to harm and exploit each other. So, whether or not we figure out how to survive and then prosper during and after the turbulent times to come, can we configure a more harmonious social convenant? I believe we can but it must involve a comprehensive cultural change involving all participants.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 20:46:38

Ten years later: Still screwed

“If you look at average numbers, the economy is doing great," he added. "If you differentiate the economy by who’s doing well, it stinks.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/40465 ... 2008-crash

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

To answer your question, ol, I have long thought that such a deep cultural transformation is what is needed. I still think that, but, while I have never been particularly optimistic about that possibility, I am even less so these days.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 20:56:03

Reminds me of that short story I read in primary school, i.e., "The Most Dangerous Game."
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 03 Sep 2018, 21:00:13

Scheer and Quart discuss the evisceration of the middle class, the rise of the precariat and the "class ceiling" in the USA:

" ... the delusion of a middle class is supported by the people who basically control the narrative. They write the big stories, they run the magazines, they run television. They’re the tenured professors. And they’re not experiencing the extreme anxiety of the precariat"


'And your book is really about the suffering of people who did everything right by the normal standards of the meritocracy. They paid their taxes, they worked hard, they went to school, they took the opportunities there. And you know what? They were conned into a life of poverty and desperation."

"Yeah, I mean, they were conned. And some of the con still continues. You know, you have $1.5 trillion student debt. You have, an income inequality thrumming under all this ... And you have this whole world of counselors and coaches and certificate programs that, I think of them as like vultures on the carcass of the middle class. "

" I think once you realize that you’re part of a precarious class, you might vote with others that are also precarious. Middle-class and working-class people voting together and finding common cause–that’s the hope. "

"the rise of Trump is best understood by the gap between the elite and suffering middle class, or the disappearing of a real middle class."

" a trap that people fall into, and they can’t get out of it. And they get desperate in how they vote. "

" ... this is the most powerful, corrupting message this society puts out: if you fail, it’s your fault. And you better go to a self-help group, or you better have a better attitude, or embrace your inner blah blah blah. And the whole idea that maybe the game is rigged–rigged–is, you know, that’s considered radical and negative thinking."

...they bailed out the banks for destroying the economy. Right? And they didn’t bail out homeowners. They didn’t do anything fundamentally to help homeowners who lost their houses, not through any failure on their part, because the game was rigged by these, basically, thieves on Wall Street. So, I mean, isn’t it really cutting to the chase the issue, are you going to blame yourself, or are you going to blame the system?"

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-c ... iat-audio/
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 04 Sep 2018, 06:40:35

dohboi wrote:" I think once you realize that you’re part of a precarious class, you might vote with others that are also precarious. Middle-class and working-class people voting together and finding common cause–that’s the hope. "
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-c ... iat-audio/


That was a good article. Thanks for posting it.

It got me to thinking a bit. Trump tapped into grievances and created scapegoats. He gave a voice to the growing disenfranchised middle class but blamed scapegoats. For whatever its worth the emergence of Trump broke the silence.

Now going forward the above quote is key. Exciting peoples grievances gives voice but does not address the core issues as outlined in the article. Creating scapegoats also does not address the core issue.

The declining middle class has been holding on to the belief that there is some way out of their precarious situation so up until now they have not been able to fully admit to themselves that even though they did everything right under the promise of meritocracy they are stuck and squeezed as the author named her book. Which is a term I also used in a previous post here describing the american psyche at the moment.

The next stage moving forward after anger and after blaming scapegoats doesn't solve the problem is the aligning of all of those who feel themselves in a precarious situation and directing this toward the origin of the problem, those that are rigging the system.

So I do see emerging in the short term a coalescing of the disenfranchised, breaking through racial barriers and even political ideological barriers. The disparity of wealth of that top 1% or 10% is now becoming so glaring and the precarious situation of a broad spectrum of middle class and poor is now becoming so chronic that bridges will start to be formed that were previously unheard of.

Just like Trump did not rise in a vacuum so will this new trend not rise in a vacuum. The disparity will eventually pull together what have been apposing forces.

Trump tapped into the anger. But tapping into grievances and creating division and scapegoats has a short shelf life. It doesn't address core issues.

The disparity of wealth and the precarious situation of a large segment of the population feeling squeezed is creating a huge kinetic energy in the collective.
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Re: Eat The Rich!

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 04 Sep 2018, 07:00:22

One of the points that KJ often brings up is how privileged US citizens are compared to the rest of the world. Having lived in many countries that are economically much poorer than the US I have also thought a lot about why do countries so much poorer than the US have citizens who are so much happier and not feeling squeezed as that author points out.

Here in Panama for example the wages are so low compared to the US but the cost of living for basic goods and services is a fraction. An indigenous farm laborar earning $ 12 a day has a smart phone and chats using Whatsapp staying connected to his family for a fraction of the cost that one would pay in the US. This is just one example. I buy food for my staff. A single farm worker weekly food bill is around $ 15. No processed food, its rice, corn, beans, plaintain bananas, a couple pounds of chicken or cheap cuts of beef, potatoes, onions, a bottle of oil, salt, sugar and flour.

Here is what I realized. In each market in each country the economy develops around the purchasing power of the majority. So here in Panama the cell phone providers tap into a market of the vast majority earning under $ 20 a day. So they come up with a product, cheap smart phones for around $ 35 and little phone cards you can load that come out to about a monthy phone service of around $10 - $ 15 a day. The phone companies here set up the same microwave towers and communications system like 4g etc like in the US and provide solutions accordingly.

In the US every sector of the economy is trying to maximize and squeeze the vast majority for whatever they can. Phone service, cable service, health care, drugs. Or food. All processed and expensive in pretty packaging and boxes! This has caused an inflation that is never actually reported accurately. This creates this insane situation as the author pointed out that a family of 4 living in San Francisco is considered low income earning $ 117,000 a year. Imagine If I would tell this to my Panamanian contacts here who earn under $ 20 a day?

Because of how rigged the system is rewarding the top 1% the US middle class is being raked over the coals like no other middle class anywhere else in the world.

There is a pressure mounting regarding this inequity. It's not happening here in Panama or even in other richer countries like in Europe or Canada. But it is happening in the USA. For a good reason. No other market in the world fucks over their citizens as egregiously as you see in the USA with the current disparity. Maybe Venezuela.... ha ha ha

Anyway, the pressure is mounting folks. That big feeling of being squeezed is not going away. And that squeeze is happening because the system is rigged.
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