Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 23, 2018

What The Party 'Strategists' Say Is Not What The Voters Want

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.


Here is what the strategists currently say:

Staying out of the single-payer debate, party strategists say, could help Democrats in the general election, when they’ll have to appeal to moderates skeptical of government-run health care. Earlier this year, the DCCC warned candidates about embracing single payer, hoping to avoid Republican attacks on “socialized” medicine.

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want:


Reuters/Ipsos poll - June/July 2018 - bigger

The 'strategists' say the voters can not have the nice stuff they want. Their arguments lost the elections. If the Democrats want to win again their must tell their voters to demand more nice stuff. Some people get that:

Progressive insurgents believe Clinton’s defeat, on top of losing control of Congress and most state governments, proved them right. They aspire to overthrow conventional wisdom that Democrats must stay safely in the middle to compete.

Democrats have been fixated for 20 years on this elusive, independent, mythical middle of the road voter that did not exist,” said Crystal Rhoades, head of the Democratic Party in Nebraska’s Douglas County, where a progressive candidate, Kara Eastman, is trying to wrest a competitive congressional district from a Republican.

“We’re going to try bold ideas.”

Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have. The party establishments angle for the ever elusive 'liberal' center. They move the parties further to the right and lose their natural constituencies, the working class. This gives rise to (sometimes fascist) 'populists' (see Trump) and to an ever growing share of people who reject the established system and do not vote at all.

This phenomenon is the micro version of a much larger trend. Liberal globalization, as promoted by the party 'elites', promises but does not deliver what the real people need and want. Liberal globalization turned out to be a class war in which only the rich can win. A revolt, locally on the level of voters, and globally on the level of nations, is underway to regain a different view.

Alastair Crooke recently outlined the larger trend within a global, 'metaphysical' perspective.

The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration. Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute.

Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump. Neither LGBTXYZ identity policies nor other aloof 'liberal values' will increase the income of the poor. To win back the necessary masses the Democrats and social-democrats in Europe will have to shun, or at least de-emphasize such parts of their program.

It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight.

Posted by b on August 23, 2018 at 02:30 PM | Permalink

Comments
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Corporations and their lobbyists pay big money to influence both parties to ignore the will of the proletariat in favor of the one percent. If the candidate does not deliver the goods to his rich benefactors, he will lose his funding.

Therefore, a candidate can talk a populist game, but if he tries to implement anything of value to the proles, he will be ousted as quickly as possible.

In this way, For the money, the Democratic Party that championed the working man (to a degree) helped the Republicans to sabotage Labor Unions.

Now the D party is a champion of LGTBQ.

Could be difficult to win back the blue collar working man.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 23, 2018 2:54:27 PM | 1

Thanks b, your last sentence is right on target. It's been a class war for many decades. Most of the Dems have been playing "good cop, bad cop" for many years now. They talk progressive, but in the end they opt for the rich man's money.

At present, the oligarchs own everything in the U$A. Giant corporate interests own the Govt., the Media, & the voting systems. No matter the good intentions of a few, if the people don't hear it or see it, it never happened.

It'll take torches and pitchforks to make a change, and, I just don't see that happening until we hit rock bottom.

Posted by: ben | Aug 23, 2018 3:01:06 PM | 2

'Immigration increases the available work force.'

Does it? In theory maybe...Is that what's happening in Germany or Sweden? I didn't think so...

Perhaps, you should say: When immigrants feel like assimilating, instead of living off of freebies in their own 'no-go' shia law enclaves, then in theory they should increase the available work force.

Posted by: rico | Aug 23, 2018 3:06:21 PM | 3

"The progressive Democrats...."
Uh-oh! No such thing.

"Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump."
God...German working people also understand this and voted for Hitler or, rather for the Nazis.

Without a true labor party all the narrative that you mentioned is taking place within capitalist's class, i.e. State Ideological Apparatus.

I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"

Posted by: partizan | Aug 23, 2018 3:15:20 PM | 4

It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight.

US Old Left is dead. While issues of national identity and culture do matter--a great deal.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Aug 23, 2018 3:17:11 PM | 5

P.S.--Even with massive voter turn-out this Nov., we have no way of knowing what the real vote is, since our voting systems have never been vetted. The machines are privately owned by corporations, and they refuse vetting on grounds that their systems are proprietary information. No problem huh? Except for this..

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142428-hacking-a-us-electronic-voting-booth-takes-less-than-90-minutes/

Paper ballots, counted by hand in full view of the public, might change things.

Works for Canada.

Posted by: ben | Aug 23, 2018 3:19:54 PM | 6


"Immigration increases the available work force."

It does also increase "race to the bottom" wages, i.e. reserve army of labour force - Precariat.


'

Posted by: partizan | Aug 23, 2018 3:22:43 PM | 7

The western fiat faction requires perpetually increasing inputs of capital, commodities and labor - labor population must increase or the debt ponzi falls. Thus, as long as we have declining birthrates in the West, immigration will continue regardless of what the peasants want...

I agree that it is a class war, but it is one we have already lost. We are at the end of the oil era, yet our financial economic system requires perpetual growth, how do you think this will work out? (It won't)

People should be thinking of how they are going to keep their children from starving in a couple of years, the rest is just noise...

Posted by: rico | Aug 23, 2018 3:27:31 PM | 8

The "Democratic" party is completely captured by its FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) funders on Wall Street and the corporate class. The DNC crowd will stick to their losing guns election after election while not offering any benefits to working people. Further, they would rather continue to lose elections than adapting to the will of the people--hence their ridiculous focus on Russiagate and other phantoms rather than offering real programs of substance that would attract voters.

Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 23, 2018 4:01:40 PM | 9

@ rico...

The capitalist migration policy intentions are not just to have.. "Immigration increase the available work force", but rather to saturate the labour market. That way they keep the cost of labour down by having more people compete for the jobs than there are available thus bringing the labour costs down. This leads to the kinds of ethnic ghetto's wherein rampant unemployment for the vast majority is a way of life, which in turn fosters non integration into the country's larger society and hence we get what you are referring to as some."living off of freebies in their own 'no-go' Shari law enclaves"

Solution? STOP bombing other countries back into the stone age, creating millions of destitute refugees and after that, simply regulate immigration according to the available jobs and workforce a country can reasonably accommodate and thereby successfully integrate any newcomers from other lands.

Posted by: RayB | Aug 23, 2018 4:14:06 PM | 10

Well said! A few minor points:

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their DONORS, not to their voters.

Remember: the donors don't care if the Republicans or Democrats win, as long as their agenda prevails. And most Democrats and most Republican politicians don't care about their party either, as long as they can retire and get put on the boards of big corporations and cash in etc.

"The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration." Kudos to you for pointing out the obvious. Be careful though, this kind of talk can easily get you labelled as a racist, a fascist, as "literally Hitler" and Vladimir Putin's homosexual lover. Bottom line: the Democrats give lip service to supporting higher wages, but in reality they support low wages, hence their opposition to moderating the rate of immigration.

Posted by: TG | Aug 23, 2018 4:37:55 PM | 11

My last reply on the previous thread serves well as a beginning comment here:

"IMO, too many assets that elevate/enhance one's life experiences need to be made into publicly owned utilities, social media communication platforms being one as I explained above. If the Outlaw US Empire's people can finally get universal healthcare for all enacted, then other realms of the for-profit arena can be targeted as a tsunami-sized political wave is building that will make such changes possible provided the insurrection's sustained for decades to forestall the forces of Reaction. It's really the only political direction capable of making America great for the first time in its history--Being a Great Nation contains a moral aspect the USA has never attained and is nowhere near close to attaining anytime soon."

The Class War's been raging for centuries--millennia actually. But as Michael Hudson notes at the end of his autobiographical interview, something deliberate was done to alter the course of political-economy:

"[Marx] showed that capitalism itself is revolutionary, capitalism itself is driving forward, and of course he expected it to lead toward socialism, as indeed it seemed to be doing in the nineteenth century.

"But it’s not working out that way. Everything changed in World War One."

(I highly suggest reading the rest of that passage.)

Elsewhere Hudson has shown Marx expected the contradictions within Capitalism to spawn its antithesis--Socialism--in a natural, evolutionary manner; but, clearly, the forces of Reaction stepped in to arrest that path as Kolko illustrated in his Triumph of Conservatism. However, popular ideas within societies forwarding the evolution to socialism needed to be constrained and harnessed--the populism of the late 19th Century couldn't be allowed to resurface as it was the #1 threat to elite control. And so began The Great Reaction as soon as WW1 ended.

Unfortunately, Capitalism's contradictions arose to temporarily derail the Counter-Revolution as the Great Depression ushered in a return of dynamic Populism within Europe and especially the USA. WW2 provided a golden opportunity to finally crush dynamic Populism once and for all as the forces of Reaction emerged from their closets within FDR's administration and tools were forged to enable societal control, which included the newly emerging forms of mass communication and indoctrination.

Big Money and the Political Machines it built within the USA became prominent soon after its Civil War. Those plus the oligarchical controls built into the USA's governmental organization ensured that Commonfolk would have a very difficult time trying to govern themselves and promote their own interests. The changes made to the system after the very nearly won success of the Progressive Populists greatly aided the forces of Reaction as did the imposition of Prohibition and the Red Scare--Populist successes were a mixed bag during the 1930s as very reactionary laws were also introduced--The House Un-American Activities Committee in 1938 and The Smith Act in 1940. By WW2's end, the foundation for Keynesian Militarism and its in-built [monies get redistributed upward, not downward, automatically] Class War was laid along with the basis for Big Money's recapture of government. Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system. It's been ongoing since 1938--80 years--and must be excised from the body politic if the Outlaw US Empire is ever to go straight and become a law abiding global citizen amongst the community of nations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 4:41:54 PM | 12

Part of a world wide Trend. Populism is too simplistic, there are better analyses.

In Europe Somewhere vs Anywhere is a great way to show what is happening, and I'm pretty sure it is the same in US. Good book too.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCM_Y4H2wEd1tjl3mLg2_xKNrzPiI2eO9c02O11-pzwfpqABUX

There should be plenty of summaries all over the internet but briefly
Somewhere:
Think local, not global
Economic liberal (high taxes, generous health views)
Socially conservative (not very pro LBGTX, anti immigration)
Less likely to be University educated
Have done poorly in last 35 years of growth but widening inequality
Anti-establishment
Are roughly 60% of population - and the biggest voting block

Anywhere:
Think global,
Economic conservative (low taxes, anti-redistribution)
Socially liberal (pro LBGTX, believe "our values" means something)
Probably University educated
Have done very well in last 35 years of growth and think they deserved it all
Pro-establishment
Are roughly 25% of population - and completely dominate the media

A lot have worked out that this new segmentation has overtaken traditional politics. But David Goodhart explains it all so well in his book.

Posted by: mdroy | Aug 23, 2018 4:45:53 PM | 13

All the countries with single payer health systems have a small military. I live in Canada and when military spending is broached the peopple always want the money to be spent on health care. I personally doubt that the NATO countries will actually drastically increase there defence budgets against the voters wishes. No western country outside the USA feels threatened so why spend more on defence?

It is up to the American people to make similar choices when they vote.

Posted by: Ed in Kanata | Aug 23, 2018 5:01:26 PM | 14

thanks b.. the whole political system as it presently stands in the west is not working.. it is one step up from the system in places like saudi arabia and etc... i go back to psychohistorians main view that until we get beyond predatory finance, we are all essentially screwed..

folks talk immigration but in the forest industry here on the westcoast of canada, machines have replaced workers.. this is just one example.. robots and etc. etc. are working towards the same end.. a corp that can get a robot or machine to do something will go that way based on long term costs. none of the political parties i know of are addressing the impact of technology on job opportunities.. in fact they are all cheer leaders for technology while talking of growing the economy and etc. etc...

so we just keep ''growing the population'' while skipping over addressing the private finances elephant in the room.. at some point the world is going to have to change or not survive.. the political class here in canada is abysmal.. it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it..

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15

I read this article then discovered b had written a similar one based on the same polling results. But is the long-denied desire within the Outlaw US Empire for universal healthcare an actual revolt against what b describes as "liberal globalization"? What I see is a global revolt against the Outlaw US Empire's gross illegalities and immoral hegemony which also contains an ideological battle with nations embracing Win-Winism while rejecting Zerosumism, which can also be interpreted as rejection of the Millenia-long Class War. Globalization continues on, actually increasing its velocity through the twin Eurasian projects--BRI & EAEU. IMO, the Eurasian projects have the potential to force Capitalism to finally evolve into Socialism, which is what Winwinism embodies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 5:14:25 PM | 16

Today's middle is yesterday's right. Party strategists are reflecting the views of their pay masters. Both parties dial for the same dollars. Those dollars come from billionaires who what to protect their wealth and power. Both parties parties parties reflect this sad reality.
US Health care, despised by everyone in the U.S. ;doctors, nurses, patients and pharmacists, is not the only thing that needs reform. How we select and elect those who allegedly represent us is unacceptable. Private money is more important than humanity and no one can guarantee that those elected actually won.


Posted by: CDWaller | Aug 23, 2018 5:26:31 PM | 17

The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. Unemployment is low, and relatively good paying jobs in less popular geographical areas are not getting filled. Wages are low because the forces of regulation making them higher have been weakened, and unionization has declined. It has to be questioned whether the individual worker has ever had bargaining power over wages. It's been the collective power of governmental action and union action that has worked for the benefit of higher wages.

Posted by: Spike | Aug 23, 2018 5:30:25 PM | 18

When will yanks learn there's helicopter money for everyone. The money tree exists. You have it. What's your specific retardation?

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 23, 2018 5:40:05 PM | 19

Thank you for your comment, Karlof. Deep comments like your and those of Paveway and a few others are what make the comment section an occasional joy to read.

What's happening now in the USA is no longer democracy or capitalism at all. It's military plutocracy. The elections and voting process are a sham and certainly have been since G.W. Bush "won" the election vs Al Gore. Strangely, last year's showdown between Killary and Trump was probably the first live election in a while where the establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Killary seemed to scare a few powerful people - she'd spent too much time in Washington, was too ruthless and had too many of her own people in institutions or available as ANTIFA brownshirts. She failed a few final interviews and some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Trump a last minute real shot at the ring.

People all over the Western world have woken up to diminishing incomes, higher bills (education/medicine/utilities - all of which you can't avoid if you have children) and much worse employment opportunities even for the very motivated but only modestly capable (if you have 110 IQ or lower and didn't grow up inside a business household, your chances going into business for yourself are very low and you are likely to just dig yourself or your family a deeper hole). This is not what the people were promised during the last five elections (whether in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or France). The game is up.

Only by setting us at each other's throats can the establishment maintain its place for another decade or two. It seems they are prepared to take this risk. The Hunger Games were a surprise huge world wide hit (the films are rather boring and not particularly well made, despite a good performance in the lead role). The close similarity between that dystopia and what we live now with NFL football (literally knocks the brains out of your skull, may cause sane people to commit suicide or murder their wife and children) or even Premier League Football or Tour de France where the contestants even now are mad roiders, compromising both personal integrity and long term health in pursuit of yellow vest.

Marx and then the Soviet Union scared the capitalists at the start of the twentieth century. National Socialism scared them even more. The Western Establishment have built a system and a plan to put off the revolution. How long can they hold us under? This is the fascinating question which The Hunger Games set out to answer.

Rome seemed invincible for centuries. History has been sped up by a factor of at least five in the last hundred and fifty years. The fall of the USA will take decades, not centuries. This time who will pillage DC? Will it be the Visigoths, Gauls the Iberians, the Slavs, the Avars or the Huns?

Sadly, the sooner the better. So much harm has been wreaked by our Modern Rome and so much ill is wrought every day (right now: Yemen, East Ukraine, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, hidden wars in Africa, Palestine - literally millions suffer or die for the sake of military or corporate profits) that there is no choice but its destruction. Out of abject misery its citizens may learn to choose their rulers more carefully and guard their political process from unscrupulous usurers.

Posted by: Uncoy | Aug 23, 2018 5:40:26 PM | 20

Hey, I worked In Canada For CN on the running trades for 37 years. I'm 65 plus so CCP and Old Age pension both kick in on top of my CN pension which leaves me able to indulge in all my bad habits.

I lease a new car every four years and my Buick Regal turbo goes back this January.

I live in an upscale apartment with all the amenities

I've been sick lately but have been receiving excellent healthcare. You don't get bills. Nada.

I'm a senior and my meds have been costing $4.11 per prescription.

So you'll have to excuse me if up I'm not up for a revolution right now.

How 'bout you james? You ready to take to the streets?

Posted by: peter | Aug 23, 2018 5:58:09 PM | 21

Even as one who opposes single-payer health care (all monopolies cause problems, be they private or public) I have to agree with b in principle. The rich are doing to us now what they did to Russia in the 1990's. We of the working class don't deserve to have our interests protected because we're "deplorables."

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Aug 23, 2018 6:04:26 PM | 22

Ben@6. You must not have voted in Canada lately. Last two votes at provincial and federal levels had votes counted by machines. In Ontario any ways.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Aug 23, 2018 6:04:45 PM | 23

Oh please; we've had EIGHT years of earnest-sounding, well-intentioned advice to Obama to do the right, progressive thing. As if he ever needed it; the Democrats, and similar "liberal" movements in Europe, Canada, etc, know exactly what they're doing, which is simply what the donors want. It's not about the strategists, and it's not about winning elections either--at least not in the first place.

Continuing to pay attention to this zombie party only supports it; when it's burned to the ground, that's when you may be having an impact.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Aug 23, 2018 6:12:19 PM | 24

@12 karlof1... thanks for the link to the autobiography on michael hudson. i really enjoyed reading about him and didn't realize all that he has done over the course of his life. it motivates me to read one of his books.. thanks.

@13 mdroy... that also looks like a good book.. thanks..

@21 peter.. i think the question is this: when's it all going to come crashing down? i think uncoy is right.. it is coming down sometime within mine or the younger generations lifetime.. young folks view things very differently then you... the fall will force many to alter their present day view and drop with the smug attitude that seems so pervasive with those who think they have it all..

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 6:16:11 PM | 25

A fascinating topic tonight and so much to ponder on with so many thoughtful comments.
In case anybody didn’t hear it Warren Buffet some time back came out with: “There is a class war and we have won it.”

b. references Crooke’s article. The poor folks over at zerohedge were hopelessly lost when the article was put up there; some of them got very angry when concepts such as the enlightenment celestially orbited way beyond their limited spheres. Maybe it stank of culture or gay paintings or something. Who knows. But maybe they had a point.
Rather than the enlightenment I see the creation of empires as the starting point - at which the English excelled. What the English did was to literally sacrifice their pawns (pawns = peons = peasants) for the greater game when they kicked their peasantry off the land in the enclosure movement (they always think up a nice word for a disgusting deed). Scientific methods began to be employed on the new larger farms sufficient to feed a burgeoning industrial proletariat. But it was this one revolutionary act that kickstarted the British-US empire that has ruled us for so long.

Psychohistorian’s stress on the importance of private finance is of course correct but it is just part of an imperial equation where finance + military = empire or vice versa.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 23, 2018 6:47:49 PM | 26

I am inclined to agree with Spike @ 18 that immigration by itself does not keep wages low. In Australia (where I live), unemployment is low in comparison with other countries. There are sectors where more workers are needed: more nurses are needed and more primary and secondary school teachers are needed. English-speaking countries in particular are short of medical and nursing staff to the extent that they are drawing (poaching?) such people away from Asian and African countries that need these people.

At the same time young people who might consider careers in nursing and medicine are dissuaded by the cost of pursuing degrees as universities increasingly rely more on charging on students for university education as government funding dries up.

Yet registered nurses earn an average annual pay of about A$65,000. Lower level nurses earn less. Average annual income in Australia (as of 2nd quarter of 2018) is about $82,000.

https://nurse.org/articles/registered-nurses-salary-facts-and-how-to-earn-mor/

https://www.livingin-australia.com/salaries-australia/

In Australia, wages growth has not kept pace with the cost of living since the 1980s when the unions struck an accord with the then Labor government under Bob Hawke. The result is that households have turned to credit cards to finance spending. Most households as a result carry large amounts of debt and have very little savings. At the same time, we have had steady if not very large levels of immigration.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 23, 2018 6:55:03 PM | 27

This was a wonderfully provocative article although the comments seemed to exhibit a sense of hopelessness. Which is certainly understandable. The whole thread brought me back to 47 years ago when the Jefferson Airplane came out with their "Bark" album which included a great revolutionary anthem titled "War Movie." Were I more tech savvy I would make it so you could click on it right now. We don't hear anything on the radio today that can inspire like that. But we do have the internet with its blogs like this one. And there's Bernie Sanders who has brought us closer to a tipping point. We're making progress toward a revolution. There's still a bon chance. Let's fight.

Posted by: Chas | Aug 23, 2018 7:07:58 PM | 28

For a century and a half, the primary purpose of the Democratic Party has been to crush leftist/socialist movements. Eugene Debs knew this a century ago. The SDS knew this 1/2 century ago. Bernie Sanders knew this until 2016.

Faux Newz's "Fox and Friends" did a survey after the Koch Brothers funded "study" of Bernie's Medicare For All plan. Going on the misleading figure, they asked "Is Medicare For All worth the $32 Trillion it will cost?"

73% said YES!

All up and down, policies which we'd label "progressive" or even "socialist" are widely popular with USAmericans. From ending these wars to cutting military spending to increasing taxes on the rich and corporations to tuition free public education through college or trade schools, and on and on.

Right now, Sanders is still the most popular politician in the US by a country mile. Were he, Tulsi Gabbard, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nina Turner, and other well-respected politicians with records of electoral success to join together and create a new party, it would instantly be the most popular party in the country.

Then, all we'd have to do is establish legitimate election systems.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 23, 2018 7:08:20 PM | 29

james @25--

Hudson's first magnum opus was SuperImperialism, but please get the updated version as the first is somewhat dated. What I think is his crowning achievement--he seems to think so too--is his newest, …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption — From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year, the culmination of almost 40 years of research. Funny how its only been reviewed by Brits. When you read the entire autobiographical interview, you'll see there're several other joint books he's produced prior to debts I'd consider getting via a university library--it's 5 volumes @$150 each new--although he says he's going to rewrite them with debts being the first volume in the series. That I don't have any of those volumes or even knew about them is rather embarrassing given my fields of study. Here's Hudson's introducing the series via a lecture:

"The five colloquia volumes that we’ve published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding."

Earlier in the thread, you mentioned immigration, population growth and automation. Are you aware that China scrapped its family planning policy despite their goal of instituting a high degree of robotics into their manufacturing system? CCP leaders seem to believe their system can provide resilient support for 1.3-1.5 Billion people, whereas we see the USA growing increasingly dysfunctional trying to keep 330 million content.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 7:11:22 PM | 30

@28 chas... war movie here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma9lGs_-OH0

@30 karlof1.. yes - he talks of those books in the autobio interview, but i don't see them listed on amazon for example.. nor is his latest book - and forgive them their debts' listed either.. i suppose the reason for the last title is it is yet to be released.. release date is in nov 2018.. http://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/and-forgive-them-their-debts/

i was unaware of that change in policy in china.. i wonder how they envision everything - greater population and continued work opportunities, in the face of automation? for me - people need greater resources in order to continue to survive.. as i understand it - eating meat is making a much bigger carbon footprint then not.. the chinese with their new wealth are very much into eating pork and meat... i can't see how it all works out for the planet, while i do think china would have thought this thru... i suppose it will remain a mystery to me how they envision the intersection of these diverse interests and developments.. thanks again for your comments..

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 7:22:53 PM | 31

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15

"it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it.."

Exactly! And it is the very same supra-national banking cabal, trans-national corporations and Zionist racial supremacists in each of these "democracies" that are calling the shots. They are the loci of power, not the political facades of nation-states.

Clearly, the US military is used by this "loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires" to enforce their will on those who foolishly believe their governments should serve their own citizens. But it is not the US, or even primarily the 0.01% of the US who are calling the shots. The PTSB have no allegiance to any nation-state (with one glaring exception). But they use nationalism to divide the 99% of the world into bite-sized, easily edible pieces.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 23, 2018 7:30:11 PM | 32

karlof1 @ 12
Thanks for the link - I've long admired Hudson's work and his insights. Even though I majored in economics, I've learned a lot of basic stuff from him that was not covered in grad school.

Tannenhouser @ 23
I was surprised to see my ballot fed into a machine when I voted in the last Ontario election. No idea why anyone thinks that's a good idea.

peter @ 21
Both my wife and I are over 65. The health care she's been getting has been very good and the prescriptions are affordable.

Currently reading "Listen, Liberal" by Thomas Frank. I highly recommend it.

Posted by: spudski | Aug 23, 2018 7:35:40 PM | 33

I provided this link in my above comment to james, but I had yet to read the entire lecture. It's very important and quite germane to this discussion as this excerpt shows:

"It’s very funny: If you go into Congress – I was the economic advisor to Dennis Kucinich – you go into Congress and there’s a big mural with Moses in the center and Hammurabi on his right. Well, you know what Moses did? He gave the law. Leviticus, right in the center of Mosaic law, canceled the debt. What did Hammurabi do? Debt cancellation as well. You’re not going to see Congress canceling the debts like that. If you look at the Liberty Bell, it is inscribed with a quotation from Leviticus 25: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land.” Well now we have translation problems again. The word really isn’t liberty: The real word means Clean Slate. It means freeing society from debt, letting everybody have their own basic housing and means of self-support. And by striking coincidence, what does the Statue of Liberty do? She’s holding aloft a flame. And in the Babylonian historical records, when Hammurabi would cancel the debts they would say: “The ruler raised the sacred torch.” So here you have a wonderful parallelism. It’s been written out of history today, It’s not what you’re taught in Bible school, or in ancient studies, or in economic history. So you have this almost revolution that’s been occurring in Assyriology, in Biblical studies and Hebrew studies, and it’s all kept up among us specialists. It hasn’t become popular at all, because almost everything about the Bronze Age and about the origins of Christianity is abhorrent to the vested interests today."

My reaction: Wow! I'm figuratively kicking myself for not diligently reading all of Hudson's essays--this was from January 2017. Just imagine what might occur if the global public decided to demand the genuine Old Time Religion!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 7:44:03 PM | 34

Yes exactly, a class war. Basically elites vs the rest of us. Maybe 10% of non elites go along for the ride and puck up some crumbs. Another 20% do alright for s time until they get replaced by cheaper and younger and struggle to survive to reach social security without losing their home due to medical bankruptcy. The rest its basically a struggle to survive from day 1 with these people living from paycheck to paycheck or just checking into one of the Prison Industrial Complex Apartments

Anyways, with the Democratic Party behind even Trump in the latest popularity polls (31% vs 38%) they stay the course and maintain their pro elitist policies. Both parties are puppets of the elites, differing on only on social issues that divide and distract from the major issues of importance to the elite class

So long as both parties go along with the neoliberal imperialistic agenda there will be rewards, even for the minority party. Best to be a minority party with plenty of funding than one without funding

Meanwhile life expectancy has been stagnating and now declining in US since 2010 (actually declined in 2015 and 2016 and most likely 2017) while most developed countries except UK are rising. Health care costs still the source of most individual bankruptcies although bankruptcy laws have been changed to ensure most lose their home in going that route (unlike owners of corporations like Trump)

Real median incomes are much lower than the early 70's when adjusted with the pre-1980 CPI. CPI post 1980 has been adjusted to mask the impact of neoliberalism and enhance it by lowering COLA's and keeping money cheap to fuel asset inflation which does not impact the new CPI as much

Its not just in the US, this is going on globally, some places faster than others

Posted by: Pft | Aug 23, 2018 8:25:15 PM | 35

Spike 18

"The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. "

There are plenty of countries that do not rely on large scale immigration and yet "someone" is doing those jobs there.

Posted by: T | Aug 23, 2018 8:32:16 PM | 36

@worldblee 9

"Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago."

This is the essence of the problem. Whose problem to solve is it? The average American citizen.

Anyone can use social media and crowdfunding to start a huge popular campaign for a specific objective.

True representative democracy. What's not to love about that?

All the nonsense about 'revolution' blah blah then becomes redundant. Once there are multiple parties representing multiple interests, deals have to be done. Government becomes far more careful and conservative.

Problems don't disappear, but at least there is an intelligent airing of the issues. Fiscal prudence becomes front and centre. Individual welfare is also elevated to a central concern. Everyone then recognises that tax money requires healthy businesses that pay their fair share.

Try it! In spite of the initial barrage of fear, uncertainty, doubt, you will come to a much more engaged and civil society.

Posted by: Loz | Aug 23, 2018 8:32:48 PM | 37

The psyops against the American people have been nothing short of astounding.

"Trickle down!"

"Multi-culturalism"

"Globalism"

"Efficient Markets"

"War on Drugs! War on Terror! Russian interference!"

Each of these may have been reasonable in moderation but were pushed to the extreme via the oligarch-fed elite of BOTH political Parties. Starting with Bill Clinton, the Democrats sold out the people they used to represent. They have done MORE than simply block change, they have poisoned the well via divisive identity politics.

Obama is the poster child for the Democrats "Third Way" disaster. He proved to be a tool of neolibs and neocons alike, masking their evil agendas with a big smile, slick slogans ("YES WE CAN!") and clever quips ("If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"). No bankers went to jail for the 2008 GFC, a trillion dollar fraud estimated to total a YEAR of global GNP, instead his administration "foamed the runway" for Bank home foreclosures (mostly of lower income people that couldn't fight back).

Obama promised to include a public option as part of his 'signature' healthcare initiative ("Obamacare") but instead produced a boondoogle for insurance companies which has proven to be the epic failure that progressive critics said it would be.

Mis-allocated resources of an oligarch-centered public policy has created a supreme clusterf*ck, the magnitude of which has grown with every new can-kicking initiative.

IMO USA probably loses 30% of GDP to such things as:

- overpriced healthcare;

- a bloated military which is largely useless (who are we going to invade? who is going to invade us?);

- a police state that imprisons more people than any other Western democracy largely due to misguided social policies (why not regulate drugs and prostitution illegal? why not provide good training/jobs and workplace childcare?);

- terribly inefficient transportation system where everyone strives for "the American dream" of commuting dozens of miles from their suburban home via a big SUV;

- education costs that have skyrocketed due to failed govt educational policies;

- a pampered executive and "investor class" that siphons billions - inequality is at record levels and CEOs make dozens of times more pay then the average worker;

- while the US govt recognizes that climate change is real, they have decided to address it gradually and accept the cost of 'mitigation' (defensive measures like sea walls, when necessary).

No one trust the government to fix anything. And fixes that are contemplated or in the works will take decades to effect any meaningful change.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23, 2018 8:55:53 PM | 38

The saddest part may be that most people can't see that they've been played.

Americans used to be free thinkers. Now most of them are in an unhealthy relationship with one of the two parties. Like the jealous, emotionally abusive partner they are, each party plays on the fears of their 'base'.

Societal Stockholm Syndrome. Is that a thing? It is now.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23, 2018 9:13:01 PM | 39

Immigration, in the grand scheme of things, don't bring wages down mainly for two reasons:

1) it doesn't actually change the total number of human beings in the face of the Earth, it just reallocates them to one or another specific corner of it. Since modern capitalism is already global, even Steven.

2) in capitalism, labor power moves according to a reverse osmosis pattern: it goes from the corner of the Earth with less capital (in money form, therefore money-capital) to the corner of the Earth with more money-capital. So, for example, if 1,000,000 Mexicans immigrate -- legally or illegally, it doesn't matter to capitalism -- to the USA in one year, it is already presupposed the USA already has a wealth differential vis-à-vis Mexico that can accomodate 1,000,000 more people than it in one year. This movement is also known as "job hunt": people go where jobs are.

The only case mass immigration really distorts wages is when movement of labor force is not induced by capitalism, but by a black swan, natural, catastrophic event, e.g. if the hotspot in Yellowstone burst tommorow, and the American population somewhat manages to evacuate to, let's say, Mexico, then Mexico receives, in a matter of months, 400 million people thanks to a process the capitalist society didn't forsee. Then we have a so-called "humanitarian crisis", i.e. a crisis not induced from capitalism's inner metabolism.

As for the German case, it was a miscalculation by Merkel. She had just arrived from a huge victory in Greece (her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, had just put the socialist government of Syriza on its knees), and she was cocky. She decided to move fast and, enjoying the favorable wind from the Aegean, called for 1 million Syrians to come to Germany.

At that time, there was a rumor stating most of the Syrians that were fleeing the war were middle class, affluent Syrians who could afford the trip to Europe -- those were doctors, engineers, businessmen, etc. etc. It is a known fact the German bourgeoisie uses mass immigration from the Middle East as a leverage against the German powerful unions since the Turks offered themselves. So, if Merkel acted impulsively in the execution, the plan was old and had their approval with good antecedence.

Problem was Merkel appeared to be badly advised by the BND (or the CIA?).First, immigrants can only force wages down if they are willing to work. Those "affluent Syrians", if they existed, either were intercepted and coopted by Turkey and Saudi Arabia (where they had to stop first, before going to Europe via Greece or Italy), or were a very tiny minority. Most of the refugees were either already indigents, bandits, housewives with little children or even some terrorists. They were not capable, nor willing, to "assimilate", i.e. to work for German capitalists under German Law. So, it backfired.

Posted by: vk | Aug 23, 2018 9:13:21 PM | 40

Is this a joke??
Has anybody read the article from this Crooke that B is referring to in his post? This is really the worst crap. So enlightenments is just a « totalitarian » ideology made to help the Europeans rule the world? And Russia is just an old regime nation promoting blood based brotherhood fighting them ? In a word the eating-babies communists versus the Teutonic aryan Knights??
And then, I find an approving reference to the old stinking theory of « workers vs immigrants » to explain low wages ? Btw, where have you seen democrats elites being «  against restrictions on immigrations » ? Didn’t know that US under Obama was open door...
I don’t recognize this website anymore! Let’s hope the CIA is just fooling with me !

Posted by: Godot | Aug 23, 2018 9:23:06 PM | 41

"Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have."
It is plain wrong to mention social-democratic parties in connection with the u.s. Dems. They are a Wall street party very much at the right of even the most rightist, neoliberal social democrats in Europa.
And no. Immigration is definitely not the cause for the work place competition. Not in the usa at least. Most of the Latinos coming from the south do jobs u.s. citizen do not want, especially in agriculture. And; the immigrants are not only workers, they are consumers too and as such they raise the GDP and indirectly create additional work places. The capitalist system works best if the population is on a steady, not too pronounced rise. (It is different with inner-EU immigration though.)

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 23, 2018 9:24:46 PM | 42

On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety. The main reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/unxerempoyment rates

Posted by: Pft | Aug 23, 2018 9:30:42 PM | 43

Accidentally posted before completion, sorry

Posted by: Pft | Aug 23, 2018 9:31:33 PM | 44

On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety.

One reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/underemployment rates, far greater than official figures.

Then you have the destruction of unions in the private sector. The few remaining unions are coopted from within by union leadership

A principal cause of the above reasons may be globalization which has led to the outsourcing of jobs to countries with lower wages

And of course you have minimum wages which are much lower in real dollars than they were 40 years go as both parties became corrupted by the neoliberal elite.

As for immigration. Illegal immigrants
tend to work in jobs not very appealing and are low paying but may suppress technical innovation to make up for a low labor supply in this area at the cost of some higher paying jobs

Legal immigration tends bring in professional labor who are willing to work at lower wages in the hope of getting a shot at the American dream (or European Dream).


I feel both forms of immigration are minor impacts. The main purpose for the elite is to create divisions within the society. Divide and rule. Which is why neither party has sought to stamp it out entirely. Its simple really, jail time for anyone hiring an undocumented worker and enforcement. Go after the corporations who hire them and not the worker.

Posted by: Pft | Aug 23, 2018 9:48:32 PM | 45

A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.

...

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want:

B: I haven't agreed with a whole lot of your posts lately, but this one I think you nailed. Wish you would say a little more about Green Energy and AGW.

Posted by: jdmckay | Aug 23, 2018 10:06:29 PM | 46

@spudski, who says "No idea why anyone thinks that's a good idea "one things for sure those that do are definitely 'anywhere's' from mdroy's #13.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Aug 23, 2018 10:11:43 PM | 47

I actually think that Obama's first election was for young people in this country at that time the equivalent of the assassination of President Kennedy in my younger years. A blow from which there shall have to be allowed the loss of an entire generation - in my time, that was accomplished by the Vietnam War. And indeed the generation of so-called millenials in the US has been living through an ongoing psychological nightmare of similar proportions.

All the comments do apply, in spades. Thank you, fellow Americans.

The equivalence of which I speak is the shocking about face Obama presented after his inauguration. He could have been a new Kennedy inspiring the young - he chose not to be. For many, that was an assassination of an ideal - some clung on desperately refusing to believe, but most finally knew they had been betrayed.

All I can hope is that there is some decent, anonymous Putin-like figure out there ready to grab hold of power and throw it back to the people where it belongs. It happened there; maybe it will happen here, sometime.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 23, 2018 10:24:28 PM | 48

Other than calling the Trump-phenom quasi or crypto fascist in your post and in the same breath at the end provide justification for the Trump-vote regarding the effect of an illegal work force, you are right, b. There are many things that hurt the left in the global scene.

Do they not notice this or are they willfully biding their time to reemerge in the same putrid swamp so us dumbasses can fawn over her like the Lady of the Lake?

I think the libs in this country, at least, are the real cheerleaders of globalism and a stupifying urbanism that is preaching a false future of free stuff and you don't even have to work for it!

Why would I Joe-taxpayer want to fund a student- loan debt relief program where morons the country over are relieved of any responsibility of their idiotic line of thinking where they believed that an overpriced degree equated to instant playboy lifestyle and on demand oral sex?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 23, 2018 10:40:24 PM | 49

Lower forms of employment to be occupied by natural citizens is absolutely vital to a country's economic culture.

People have said that these are jobs that only Mexicans will take. That is BS. The market would natutally adjust to an actual shortage in labor and pay citizens appropriately for their menial labor. Having an abundance of black market labor prohibits this natural function of a healthy economy.

General Lee knew that slavery was anaethma and a tragedy to America. A correlation could be made about alien labor.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 23, 2018 11:04:29 PM | 50

Undocumented immigrants in USA are more appropriately labeled as "guest workers". They have few rights and are exploited by employers in many different ways while the govt (mostly) looks the other way.

MSM won't call them "guest workers" because applying any term that implies economic exploitation of one class by another in USA is anathema.

Their presence has a very real and meaningful impact. If it seems like "nobody wants" those jobs, its because the illegals accept wages and conditions that unskilled Americans won't. Thus, other choices become more appealing to a US citizen: welfare, drug trade, military, etc.

Those who believe that "nobody wants" those jobs are really drinking the neolib Kool-Aid of "social choice theory" in which:

1) Markets are paramount;

2) Govt itself is a market (for outcomes) in which business is generally the highest bidder on any matter;

3) Workers make a FREE CHOICE as to how much they are willing to work for and what conditions they are willing to work under.

4) Communities make a FREE CHOICE as to how many immigrants they will accept.

But #4 FAILS because poor communities in USA can easily be manipulated to accept immigrants. And these communities (and the US State which subsidizes them) then bear the burden of "guest workers" to the extent that the taxes paid by the poor immigrants fall short of paying for healthcare, education, and other services.

Professional immigrants also have an effect that is much stronger than their numbers might imply. An American employer can easily drive down wages simply by pointing to the availability of foreign-born professionals and noting that they will work for MUCH less. (See studies of software professional immigration.)

A professional immigrant has a path to citizenship if he/she works long enough in the US. Once a citizen, he/she can apply to bring family members to the US. For many, that benefit alone is worth working for less than US workers.

The principal beneficiary of economic immigration is the 1%.
If that were NOT the case, then we simply wouldn't see much support for economic migration. Period. What Ford said decades ago is still true: The business of America is business.

Illegal and legal immigrants may also benefit but that benefit comes at great cost.

Those who pay for these benefits, one way or another, are ordinary Americans.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

I'm not against immigration. I'm not even against economic immigration. But I AM AGAINST a govt that colludes with business against the interests of its people.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23, 2018 11:48:58 PM | 51

Last night I watched an old doco made in 1986 to celebrate the centenary of the englander parliament's passing of legislation which finally put an end to clan leaders who had morphed from being spokesmen for their people into greedy landlords clearing all the crofters (small holding farmers who post the defeat at Culloden had become tenant farmers on holdings which had been in their families for centuries), the doco had been bookended by an interview in Gaelic with the now retired academic who made the doco back in 1986.

I mention it here because the '86 version featured men and women who had fought for the return of their holdings when they came back from the first half of the great euro war in 1918.

After the 1916 battle of the Somme, when the 2nd iteration of the British Army had been wiped out, the first iteration had copped the same fate at the first 'Battle of the Marne', then Englander PM Lloyd George who was desperate to chase up some more cannon fodder had made an offer to the Scots of the Highlands and Islands who were still left, that if they volunteered to fight the 'Austro-German menace' on return they would be given crofters' holdings and title to their land - the second part didn't particularly interest the wannabe crofters - of course englanders somehow imagined that would be the big selling point (pun intended).
Now most of the crofters had been cleared right outta Scotland before 1886. The clan laird, along with his factor some coppers and frequently a detachment of Royal Marines off the gunboat moored in the harbour would descend on a crofters' community drive everyone - men women & children onto the gunboat and shunt them off to the nearest sizeable port. After that the former crofters organised passage to Canada, Australia or Aotearoa. One of my great grandfathers and his brother had a cousin who had made a name for himself in Aotearoa and become a member of the kiwi parliament eventually a minister in cabinet from where he fought to ensure that as much as he could that the englander bureaucrats recognise the rights of Tangata Wheua (the indigenous population). These former crofters understood because they knew exactly how important being secure in the land of your ancestors was and how terrible it was to have some pen pushing pom take that away with ink and vellum. My great grandfather and his bro joined their cousin in Aotearoa.

The reason the law was changed and the reason I post about this here is that when the clearances began, the landlords and their factors were largely unopposed. Crofting was one of the earliest examples of successful socialism in britain (hence the lack of interest in title deeds whose innovation reeked of commoditising crofters' heritage), and socialists as we know are generally a peaceable bunch. It took a couple of generations of outrages before, about 1870, the crofters became convinced they had to fight back. There is no doubt they had been inspired by the success Irish 'rebels' had on exactly the same issue of landlordism.
So the crofters fought and very quickly won - altho the new bill had only stopped any further clearances, it did nothing for those already dispossessed.
In 1918 when the Highland & island diggers returned, needless to say the promised land was not forthcoming (oh what a shock). These blokes had seen many of their cobbers shot blown up and left to rot in the mud, so they didn't need convincing of the neccessity of just taking what is theirs, which is what they did.
They simply moved onto land which corrupt lairds had seized 50 or 100 years previously and began farming. That action and the government response made news everywhere and with the vast tide of public opinion behind the crofter returned servicemen, the then government quickly acceded.

There is no easy way about this; resistance is tough and some will get hurt by the violence which greedies always mete out to those who stand up to them, in the long run however the casualties are far fewer than what occurs if we let greedies stomp us into the sh1t.

Amerika cannot come good unless Joe/Jo Sh1tkicker does fight back. If the sh1tkickers do fight back, they will win - we always do, an important fact to remember when dealing with the apologists for greedies.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 23, 2018 11:48:59 PM | 52

Godot @41--

It seems Crooke's essay went way over your head--it's delves into the commonalities of the Outlaw US Empire's Deep State's Millenarian Mythology with others having the same roots. Ipso facto an expanding populace expands the workforce, thus more competition for a finite number of jobs which drives down wages--Classic economic theory from long ago. Crooke posits the Enlightenment acted as a Reactionary force countering the Renaissance, which is a very debatable topic. And so forth.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 11:51:30 PM | 53

Nemesis @50, the structural problem is that those jobs don't pay a livable wage, and the problem is due to the capitalist owners, not the workers. Stop immigration and the problem will remain because the owners intransigence towards treating their workers properly has been exacerbated by 100 years of free market bullshit.

Posted by: Roy G | Aug 23, 2018 11:53:37 PM | 54

My take on a few of the themes appearing in multiple comments:

1. There are jobs that USAmericans won't do... for the low pay offered. You'd have to beat USAmerican job seekers away with a stick if you offered $100,000 per year to shovel sh*t in the Mojave Desert. Hell, you could probably require them to hand-scoop it.

1a. Therefore, having a pool of "illegal" workers allows capitalists to pay ridiculously low wages for certain jobs, so of course that is a factor in lowering pay on each subsequent step on the wage ladder.

It's not the major factor... that is systemic greed. But it's enough of a factor to provide another wedge to keep us at each other's throats.

2. "Identity Politics" only works because there are at least two "identities" set against one another. It's usually presented as this thing the "liberals" foist on the country, but it's always at least 2 "identities" set into conflict. Who's doing the foisting?

It's only because people have a "straight identity" that promoting "LGBTQ.. UVXYZ Identity" can get under their skin. It's only because "Christian Identity" has been the principle ideological dumpster since the founding that "Muslim" or "Atheist" or for that matter, up until quite recently "Catholic Identity" gets under their skin.

"Identity Politics" is not something the "liberals" invented to brow beat the majority of any given identity. It's something the 0.01% invented to set us bickering with one another instead of uniting against them.

karlof1, Perhaps you could enlighten we barflies on "Bacon's Rebellion" a century before the American Revolution, and how that set the bar for dividing the working poor into two "identities."

3. Yes, if electoral politics is to be capable of creating substantial change/progress, the entire electoral system must be made legitimate. I'm so glad to see some pointing out that paper ballots counted on electronic tabulating machines are not much better than completely opaque computer voting.

But, even before President CareBear turned the US election system over to the Department of Homeland Security - AFTER President Orange Führer was elected - control over US elections was completely in the hands of the two sides of the One Party. Obviously, their sponsors don't want the US to establish an actual representative democracy. So, how do we establish legitimate elections?

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 23, 2018 11:57:55 PM | 55

..and by treat them right, I mean pay them a living wage and provide decent benefits. One of the great tricks of the owner class is for them to proclaim (with flowery language) how much better their workers have it than slaves back in the Antebellum days.

Posted by: Roy G | Aug 23, 2018 11:58:37 PM | 56

juliania @48--

Yes, Obama proved to be the epitome of a Manchurian Candidate, backstabbing all who elected him--except the elite who prospered--and avoided prison--during his terms. Until a POTUS on his/her inaugural day orders the arrests of all the many lawbreakers from previous administrations, every POTUS will be an enemy of the citizenry and betrayer of the oath of office.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 12:00:48 AM | 57

@54 Roy

That is no doubt true. I was just stressing the natural inclinations of the market to adjust if there is labor scarcity. Globalism has allowed for everything to be sooooo cheap. It is a race to the bottom in costs. To defeat it, we will have to accept higher prices. But this means higher wages.

I was also stressing the spiritually defeating aspect of having a ghost or crypto population of underlings. Bad for the soul. That is the stuff of orientalism. It is hurting the west.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 24, 2018 12:20:42 AM | 58


“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
— Warren Buffett

https://quotefancy.com/quote/57239/Warren-Buffett-There-s-class-warfare-all-right-but-it-s-my-class-the-rich-class-that-s

Posted by: anon | Aug 24, 2018 2:11:44 AM | 59

21

I worked south of the border for 55 years but never vested, so just have SS pension. Every one of those 55 years they took MC deductions out of my paycheck, and still today they are taking MC deductions out of my SS pension, but no doctors are accepting nrw MC patients, so it's worthless. The Medicaid option for poor young adult students in our state is US$1,397!a month. What student has $1,397 sidemoney? Doctors don't accept Medicaid patients either. Now they say 'everyone' wants this government healthcare system, a system for all, while Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty gets free healhcare and a pension for life in their public employee union contract. Medicare will be insolvent before Trump leaves office, so I'm sure Congrees would love MC4All and healthy tax bite to pay for it, then shrug and blame the immigrants and Catholics when the whole shiteroo goes tits up in 2024.

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 24, 2018 2:26:43 AM | 60

The rich are winning because the monetary system is arithmetically skewed that way.

The monetary system is centralized AND is managed behind closed doors by an arbitrary unelected entity.

Western governments run perpetual fiscal deficits as a matter of course.

The combination of the above two premises creates a dynamic that arithmetically transfers profit towards the entity that manages the monetary system.

Progressively increasing fiscal deficits result in ever increasing fiscal pressure that is brought to bear through increasingly complex legislation.

Increasingly complex legislation raises barriers to entry thus monopolizing industry and business

Monopolization eventually results in off shoring which results in increasing unemployment

Hence the concentration of profit and power.

As wealth drains from the periphery to migrate towards the center, your survivability increases as you move closer towards the centers of economic and political power.

Our monetary system cannot contemplate the distribution of wealth.

Our monetary system is predicated on the concentration of wealth.

In order to survive the system, economic entities must ascend the pyramid either by take over or by marriage.

This is an arithmetical identity.

Posted by: guidoamm | Aug 24, 2018 2:32:53 AM | 61

Can greed be good? And if so, what kind?

Insatiable?
Scrooge McDuck-ish (3 cubic acres)?
Tax Haven-ish (? cubic acres)?
Never give a sucker an even break?
Humanitarian?
Benevolent?
Caring and sharing?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 24, 2018 2:33:39 AM | 62

Speaking of cynical pols ignoring the wishes of the citizenry it is really sad to see that many Australians have bought the dummy which has been sold to them.
A classic sleazy pol move, Australians were told yesterday that a stupidly evil and venal bloke by the name of Dutton was to be their next Prime Minister - it would never have happened since the reason for the swap was that the conservatives had decided the incumbent Turnbull was electoral poison as Murdoch et al had been brainwashing the credulous with the claim "Turnbull was a leftie" The claim was far from true since he regularly kissed corporate butt to the extent he has "done a trump" and resurrected polluting coal mining - Oz's richest sheila has massive coal interests and Mal was merely "looking after Gina's interests".
Anyway the population quite reasonably became upset at the thought a queensland copper of the most racist and violence adoring type was gonna be PM.

It was all a wind up and today Craig Morrison a particularly malodorous instance of the "bible bashing bastard" (© G Whitlam) has won office instead. Morrison is much smarter, more corrupt, racist and right wing than the Dutton stooge, yet too many Australians are behaving as if they had dodged a bullet rather that the reality, that they have just copped a massive and likely fatal head-shot.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 24, 2018 3:25:18 AM | 63

An interesting posting b and you end it by saying the rich are winning and we must fight.

That said, you do not provide details about this fight thing you expect us to do against the rich.

You know I support most of what you are writing but I continue to try and get other barflies to focus our textual white noise (fighting) on the structure of the social contract that makes some of the rich the enemy of the rest of us.

I think there will always be a degree of inequality based on human drive, educations, skills, luck, etc. That said, I would like to see a society in which all of us contribute to a global commons that provides the baseline support and balanced "giving back" which also eliminates the extremes of wealth and poverty.

The current "social conversation" about socialism is a sick reminder of how powerful those in control manipulate the narrative. In the America I live in most of the streets are socialistic as are the water systems. As I have referred to before, Tacoma Power is an example of a regional power, water and I think sewage treatment now "socialistic" organization.

Government is by definition a form of socialism when it has not been co-opted by those in control of private finance as in the current Western world. Capitalism is the myth cover for those in control of making decisions through proxy individuals, organizations and nations.

As a society we are in a time where if there was a social will expressed we could demand to replace private finance with a public version with totally different incentives/rules for individuals and organizations. We also have the opportunity to decide what aspects of our common support should be provided socialistically and which should have some level of competition structured in. In case it is not obvious, socialistic decisions that were made before are being rolled back or eliminated.....why?.....certainly not because private folks that must include profit can do it better canard.

The biggest problem that I see with the fight that b wants us to undertake is that the current empire has been, and continues to be, VERY effective at neutralizing individuals or groups that show any sort of "progressive" leadership......and they train the puppets to brag about it ...."We came, we saw, he died".....Hillary Clinton.

I encourage others to think about the single point "solution" that I posit would eliminate the negative incentives of our society. Replace private finance globally with a public solution that is architected to provide economic lifeblood to the masses instead of the current vampires (the "BAD" rich) at the top of our economic food chain.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 24, 2018 3:36:12 AM | 64

The author bemoans the perpetual warfare state, but now believes the very same people who have erected and managed this empire will some how, some way will manage scarce medical resources efficiently, sustainably and justly.

Completely ridiculous. The reason medical care in the US is such as a disaster is because of the government and not in spite of it. To think crooks, cronies, liars and thieves (the government) are going to bring a more just world is plain ignorant.

Posted by: 76239 | Aug 24, 2018 6:06:23 AM | 65

when the system's rigged, anarchy is the only course for direct democracy. let Cynthia McKinney explain it to you, then embrace it, 'cause we know the potential is there...

The rise of the web was a rare instance when we learned new, positive information about human potential. Who would have guessed (at least at first) that millions of people would put so much effort into a project without the presence of advertising, commercial motive, threat of punishment, charismatic figures, identity politics, exploitation of the fear of death, or any of the other classic motivators of mankind. In vast numbers, people did something cooperatively, solely because it was a good idea, and it was beautiful (Jaron Lanier)

Posted by: john | Aug 24, 2018 6:30:34 AM | 66

Great piece until its ending. Yes, class politics are key, but shunning identity politics would be both strategically wrong and mind-blowingly immoral. What the Dems need to do is to keep such issues in balance. They've been forgrounded to a massively wrong extent to keep betrayed progressives thinking that there has been, well, progress.

B,please keep your nasty homophobia in check.

Posted by: paul | Aug 24, 2018 6:48:14 AM | 67

For anybody who thinks Trump is bad, he's nowhere near the bottom of the barrel for US 1%ers. For instance, Paul Singer of Elliott Management is a far worse shit than Trump could ever be. And what is just as bad is that the puff piece is in that alleged paragon of liberal thought, the fucking New Yorker magazine. In last weeks magazine, the New Yorker featured a puff piece for William Browder, although I suspect the sub-editor who wrote the tease holds another view:

The hedge-fund manager has offered a fable for why the West should confront Putin.

I always thought fables were made up stuff.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 24, 2018 6:51:47 AM | 68

"......The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration. Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute......."

You are missing the long term strategy of the Democrats. Support open borders which floods the market with unskilled labor.....then raise the minimum wage and offer "free" medical and education costs. Finally, encourage identity politics i.e., call Republican racists! What better way to increase the size of the Democratic Party base for future election victories?

Posted by: craigsummers | Aug 24, 2018 8:06:59 AM | 69

"B,please keep your nasty homophobia in check." So speaks a bourgeois twerp yet to learn that just about everyone gay, straight, bloke or woman of whatever colour rates food in the belly and a roof over their heads much higher than some other allegedly essential 'right'. The truly sad thing is too many have to learn this by experience - cos they just aren't capable of discerning the bleeding obvious.
As long as the dems rate a few lower priorities for a few, ahead of the basic essentials for all, they will keep hemorrhaging voters and be left with a handful of ignorant by inexperience ninnies. It doesn't worry me cos I don't have to live in such a corrupt, controlled by a few system, but if amerikans do actually want to attempt to turn their sh1thole into something livable they will need to grasp that reality - else they're just gonna keep pissing into the wind and beating up on each other instead of the real enemy.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 24, 2018 8:10:01 AM | 70

Yes, of course this is a class war. Fight.

Organize and fight. I have been accused throughout my checquered blogging career of being a shill for the Demotardic apparatus. And yes, I do support the apparatus itself, not the Clintons who seized control of the Party and moved it right.

The third party dream is for cynics who masquerade as idealists. The electoral solution, yes a limited a utility in our designed system of gridlock, can only be attained through a major national party. If you mean fighting in the streets by "fight" then of course that is a different discussion altogether but still requires organization and financing to have any lasting effect.

However, even Lenin (there should be a "Godwins" equivalent for framing one's arguments around Lenin or Trotsky) used the existing political process and parties to his advantage in the rise of the Soviets. "Left wing communists" were considered a scourge by the Bolsheviks.

What I see happening in the Demotards that is redeemable is an outgrowth of Occupy, which was created and funded by Labor Unions, and contrary to rightwing fakers like Greenwald was never bought off by the DNC. Bernie's campaign of course only gained traction because he tied himself to the Demotardic apparatus and many of the Occupy activists filled out his rank and file.

Wasting time on the Jill Steins and yes the Ralph Naders only divides and defeats the left. 3rd parties don't work in the US political system. Effect becomes opposite of cause.

If you want examples from the other side, Perot elected Clinton. Teddy Roosevelt elected Wilson. Clinton and Wilson were not "better democrats" as ex-CIA applicant MAMZ might say.

There are several problems of the internet left that dissipates whatever energy is required to organize and fight. The worst is we get herded or herd ourselves into little like minded knitting circles. We educate each other and infotain each other but what grows out of this energy into the surreal world?

We get herded by right wingers such as Greenwald, Justin Raimondo, and yes Trump. I include Assange in that mix too but he done good in some respects, sure, and hardly can be blamed for selling his soul to Russia to stay in the media spotlight during his de facto internment.

Libertarians, if you want to put it kindly. Greenwald supported the Iraq War. Greenwald supported Citizens United. Thankfully, his overall shilling influence (Ron Paul anyone?) has waned some after his blatantly selling out to Omidyar.

The elites today thoroughly control the country through Citizens United. This is simply legitimized corruption instituted for the benefit of corporations. Give unlimited amounts to PACs and reap the rewards when your candidate wins. We know how this works nationally (see Trump, Donald and GOP control of the federal apparatus for details) but we seldom consider how this form of legalized corruption extends all the down to local politics and parties. It impacts your local sewer service, your schools, your road repairs. And its success is self regenerative. It's power of the money grows unseen and unchecked throughout society.

One positive development of Bernie is now we understand the power of the smaller individual donation to counteract corrupt corporate money. Gaining large amounts of small donations requires media attention, law of numbers and thus a major party within which to incubate. Bernie proves the thesis. Is he perfect? No. Is he a socialist? Not really. But he is fighting for working class people.

Now comes word that the Bernie inspired battle against the superdelegates is likely to win a victory....and if so superdelegates will no longer have the ability to vote on the first ballot at conventions. A small but significant step. Opposed by the Congressional Black Caucus, which makes sense from their viewpoint as given the shrinking numbers of blacks relative to latinos and Asians superdelegate power is an important tool of influence for black party leaders.

Yes, Fight. Organize and fight. And please check your idealistic (AKA "cynical") purity at the door. Thank you for this post.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 24, 2018 8:29:53 AM | 71

Psychohistorian @ 64

Yes. Relative to the concept that it's deficits that put money in peoples pockets and surpluses (taxes etc) that take it out

""From a financing perspective, none of these complex accounting structures are necessary. However, governments continue to employ them to obfuscate the way government spending actually works and thus to rationalise the imposition of neoliberal fiscal policies. Politicians know that rising public debt can be politically manipulated and demonised in order to get citizens and workers to accept - demand even - policies that are not in their class interest.""

Chapter 8 A Government is Not Like a Household: An Introduction to Modern Monetary Theory 'Reclaiming the State' (Bill Mitchell)

Posted by: financial matters | Aug 24, 2018 9:19:39 AM | 72

#18
Come out to socal and drive through the parking lots of any Home Depot or Lowes. You will get swarmed by day laborers, the overwhelming majority being latino, bidding against each other to get the day's work- the wages get negotiated down by the workers.

Here in socal, drywall workers used to be among the elite in the construction business. Illegals killed that, wages were pulled down to the lowest common denominator- it's just the way it works.

Not knocking latinos, I live with a lady from Mexico, they are hard workers; employers like them as they do what they are told.

Posted by: morongobill | Aug 24, 2018 10:00:54 AM | 73

Forgot who said it but I am in complete agreement that we will never have single payer here in the U.S. as long as we insist upon being the world's leading warmongerer. Can't pay for both.

Posted by: morongobill | Aug 24, 2018 10:03:16 AM | 74

@psycho just wondering if you might have any ideas as to what the opening and continuing moves might be to "Replace private finance globally with a public solution that is architected to provide economic lifeblood to the masses instead of the current vampires (the "BAD" rich) at the top of our economic food chain." given that violence is a non starter? Pretty sure MOST will not go all Ghandi like here and the BAD rich are definitely coming with sticks at the minimum? Any thought are as always much appreciated.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Aug 24, 2018 10:59:05 AM | 75

On target, b. For more, I’d encourage people to read Wolfgang Streeck’s “Buying Time,” Peter Mair’s “Ruling the Void,” and also check out some of Tom Ferguson’s work, particularly “Right Turn.” They deepen the analysis of the divorce of pol elites from the masses, and develop what many of the posters upthread are saying about the interests pol elites are serving. Of the many ideological finesses that we are subjected to, one of the most ridiculous are analyses of the decline of the Dems that portray it as a result of “mistaken understandings of the electorate.” Dem leaders are quite aware of what the opinion graphs represent. They are trying to maintain their lines of funding from a variety of corporations and that funding is contingent on deflecting and misrepresenting public opinion.

Posted by: Dadooronron | Aug 24, 2018 11:21:46 AM | 76

"Immigration increases the available work force."

According to the official state government numbers, of the 4 millions population of
Guerrero México, almost 3 millions are in the United States! I know many of these
folks personally, the villages in this area have been denuded of my old football friends.

They are all working at least one job. There is no shortage of work for undocumented
Mexicans in the USA, there never has been. DO the 25-30 millions of illegal Mexican
workers in the United States labor market affect employment opportunities for natives?

Well of course, still it is rather late to notice this, since the poor people in the backcountry
have been going to the United States since at the 1950's, there's always a way to get across
- if one has the payment in hand for the passage, that is - or when the employer sends it.

Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 24, 2018 11:25:54 AM | 77

Craig Murray weighs-in on the need for elites to be "scratched" and thus disciplined for their wrongdoings amongst related topics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 11:46:44 AM | 78

Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system.

@karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 4:41:54 PM | 12

Exactly the same feedback loop - corporate largesse - political corruption - corporate profit - has spawned the MIC's ugly sister the PIC (prison industrial complex). There's a reason that 25% of all the world's prisoners are incarcerated in US (for profit) prisons.

(Great post btw!)

Posted by: Ross | Aug 24, 2018 12:06:45 PM | 79

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pushes back against Zerosumism in his argument demanding the EU stand up for itself and provide a countervailing force to "balance" that of the Outlaw US Empire. His op/ed could fuel its own thread; whataya think b?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 12:09:20 PM | 80

I get the emotion behind the immigration "crisis" and how it supposedly affects workers in the US. However, the facts don't support the emotions.

Numeorus studies to support that immigrant workers take jobs Amerikkkans won't do.

Or on the high wage end, immigrants take jobs Amerikkkans aren't as well qualified to do.

A better agument can be made that exporting industrial production offshore ("middle class" blue collar jobs) ruined the Amerikkkan working class. Or better yet, let's blame the decimation of unions by forces of the right which created a lower paying salary structure for the remaining "middle class" blue collar jobs to the extent the pay is now too low for natives to want to do the work.

Industrial exportation to developing countries is simply the way of imperialism. We see already tariffs don't work. Again, feels good emotionally but a stupid retrograde non-solution in fact. Rather than scape goat immigrants one will need to do away with capitalist imperialism to affect any real change to the global system in order to keep jobs (and expand eductaion/training) home.

Scapegoating immigrants is a sick joke of the fake left.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 24, 2018 12:23:41 PM | 81

Amen to rico, RayB, etc.
The name of the game is to keep labor costs low. Rarely the economists will point out what Greenspan once admitted. The main indicator the Fed uses for inflation is wages. When wages increase (to match the inflation we see), the Fed slams on the brakes on the economy.

Yes the imported workers can find work at low pay. But there are plenty of American citizens who want the work, too. When I lived in Greenville, SC a local chicken processing plant hired illegals. The Charlotte, NC paper did an in depth story series about them. Then enforcement arrived and arrested people including some mgmt. The next day, the news covered locals going in to apply for jobs.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 24, 2018 1:02:45 PM | 82

@ Tannenhouser with the request for steps to get to public finance.

I can only throw out some ideas that come to mind

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,..... Education of the masses in relation to our social contract and the existence of private finance within it. I know I am not the best of educators but look at the time and effort I have spent on this forum beating my one not Samba. We need lots more people that start beating that one note Samba with fervor.....

The education process mentioned above will include discussion of alternatives to how we organize ourselves as a species including what responsibilites one has to society and what support one should get as a minimum and maximum from our collective organization of ourselves.

Will to change comes from knowledge that there is a problem. Our social contract problem with private finance has been obfuscated for centuries and all opposing it have been eliminated or marginalized.

I believe that if you get enough folks beating the one note Samba of public finance, evolution will occur.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 24, 2018 1:03:11 PM | 83

Ross @79--

Thanks for your kudos! Yes, the PIC is only one of several similar "feedback loops" used to redistribute tax dollars upward and exacerbate inequality. The method is rather ingenious as a method to fuel a politico's corruption through a legalized system of bribery. It can also be seen as one manner in which the 99% pays for its own repression. That and the "revolving door" between regulatory agencies and the corporations they're supposed to regulate, which has made a mockery of business ethics and enforcement--none of the financial crashes since 1979-81's Great Recession would have occurred if proper enforcement of laws on the books were administered. No other nation breaks its own laws at the same rapacity as the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 1:04:26 PM | 84

@80 karlof1... that was a sort of feel good article from heiko mass, but i don't think it is getting at the bigger picture.. it is a good start though!

i go back to the idea that was touched on in @13 mdroys post... essentially act locally, as opposed to globally.. working in the community one lives or with the neighbours one has, is the most obvious choice for a wide number of reasons.. for this reason it makes more sense that germany would work with it's neighbours as opposed to the usa which is a continent away..

but i think the linchpin of all of this has been set in the camp bretton woods agreement and especially after the usa went off the gold standard.. the usa is the defacto world currency.. the so called international institutions - imf, world bank, international bank of settlements and etc etc - are all tools for this same pyramid structure with us$ at the top... until that changes - it will be difficult to impossible to force change.. those in power will continue to refuse..

@81 donkeytale.. i agree with you... however immigration is one of the tools used by the globalists to erase a sense of national or local identity as i see it..

Posted by: james | Aug 24, 2018 1:16:26 PM | 85

Positive feedback loops are used in e.g., oscillators, where you want swings from one extreme to the other; negative feedback loops are required for system stability.

Posted by: spudski | Aug 24, 2018 1:19:33 PM | 86

James, nationalism is a tool to suppress freedom and encourage diviseness, war and domination. Nationalism is a tool of the repressive state. Not sure what is local identity but I'm pretty sure nationalism seeks to subsume and destroy local identity.

I don't understand either nationalism or tribalism as forces for the common good of humanity. But I'm open to learn.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 24, 2018 1:40:33 PM | 87

Only imbeciles think immigration increases ONLY the available labor pool. Liars repeat that bull-shibboleth, even though they know immigration also increases DEMAND FOR LABOR and DEMAND FOR SERVICES, both which will offset the increase in labor supply.
So which are you - the imbecile, or the bald-faced liar?

Posted by: David Colpo | Aug 24, 2018 1:49:19 PM | 88

We here in the U$A, don't have an illegal immigration problem, we have an illegal employer problem.

There was a time when employers had to vet, through a system called e-verify. Reagan stopped enforcing that law in the mid eighties, and then they made the program non-mandatory. Well, you guessed it, the gates of immigration were wide open for the employers to hire anyone, citizen or not.

Now illegal immigrants undercut wages across the spectrum, and the greedy business men love it.

That's the sad truth, and the solution is problematic, is it too late to go back to enforcing hiring laws? I certainly don't know.

Thoughts?


Posted by: ben | Aug 24, 2018 2:00:02 PM | 89

@88 donkeytale.. i think you are partly correct on nationalism and probably fully on tribalism.. of course a knife or any tool can be used a few different ways and ideas on nationalism can be used similarly - see erdogan for an example.. i think the idea of acting locally sums it up best.. @13 post kind of articulates how i see it..

Posted by: james | Aug 24, 2018 2:04:04 PM | 90

For the edification of all, on the immigration snafu..

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/penalties-for-employers-hiring-illegal-immigrants.html

Posted by: ben | Aug 24, 2018 2:05:26 PM | 91

my favorite quote from Spock (the Vulcan) is "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". By taking on the identity of LGBTQ and pro abortion groups as well as gun control, the D party has lost a lot of people who have quite different values. those same people would be quite ok with a living wage and decent health care. The Ds have also allowed public opinion to turn against worker's rights due to a very effective campaign of the R party to vilify unions.

many have written about their frustration over a populace that continues to vote against their own best interests. Some of it is because of greed, in that most US citizens believe they are rich or will soon be and don't want to give up the benefits that come with wealth.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 24, 2018 2:20:49 PM | 92

james, thanks. I'll definitely read the link at 13.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 24, 2018 2:25:44 PM | 93

Before injecting immigration into the equation as one source of the problem we have to take into account why the uneducated poor choose to leave their homes, their families and their friends to suffer horrendous journeys where they risk being robbed, tortured, enslaved or killed to go to places where they mostly don't speak the language and know nobody. As far as the U.S. and Europe are concerned the answer is simple: they have no choice. We, the U.S. and Europe, are undermining democracies and economies the world over, bombing cities, villages, schools, roads, markets, factories and hospitals. We, in the West, have starved, killed and wounded migrants' families and friends. We have destroyed their homes, devastated their farms and and stolen their resources. The West is now nothing more than a series of gangster states with their capitalist rulers seeing themselves as gods in the same way pharaohs, Roman Emperors and Aztec rulers saw themselves as gods, while their economies gradually fell apart. In the same way it take far less time to travel from one end of an empire to the other, it now takes far less time for an empire to fall.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | Aug 24, 2018 2:37:09 PM | 94

USG expanded VA to cover its terrorists within Syria. A clear case of using tax dollars to support terrorists and yet another piece of evidence in support of those not filing taxes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 2:39:26 PM | 95

danofsteele @ 93 said:"many have written about their frustration over a populace that continues to vote against their own best interests."

True that, but I think, if b and some posters here, had nightly news show on MSM, that concern could be mitigated.

If it's not seen or heard on the MSM, it never happened. More than anything the people suffer from a lack of real information that differs from the corporate empire's mantra..

Posted by: ben | Aug 24, 2018 2:47:31 PM | 96

Yes the imported workers can find work at low pay. But there are plenty of American citizens who want the work, too. When I lived in Greenville, SC a local chicken processing plant hired illegals. The Charlotte, NC paper did an in depth story series about them. Then enforcement arrived and arrested people including some mgmt. The next day, the news covered locals going in to apply for jobs.

The question remains: how many of those locals stayed until the end of the first work day?

Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 24, 2018 2:59:08 PM | 97

I may have "misunderestimated" @56.

The City of San Francisco is paying $185,000 for people to scoop up human poop.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-22/san-francisco-poop-patrollers-make-185000

Of course, the cost of living in SF Bay Area may require pooper scoopers to be paid more than their colleagues in the Mojave Desert. And of course, the rising homeless crisis shall not be resolved as more and more "excess labor" are created as the Western worker is made obsolete.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 24, 2018 3:19:46 PM | 98

The real electorate is the sea of dollars. Each dollar is a vote - and politicians will do what they can to get those votes.

Posted by: mijj | Aug 24, 2018 3:44:16 PM | 99

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 24, 2018 3:36:12 AM | 65

"I encourage others to think about the single point "solution" that I posit would eliminate the negative incentives of our society. Replace private finance globally with a public solution that is architected to provide economic lifeblood to the masses instead of the current vampires (the "BAD" rich) at the top of our economic food chain."

Great. How?

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 24, 2018 3:52:09 PM | 100

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