• http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I feel like anarchists and Capitalists work together, with their negativity towards public institutions.

    I for one enjoy using the Public Library and the bus.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I had tea with a dear friend the other day and the conversation turned to this topic (though it frequently does when I’m a party to a conversation).

    He seemed firmly convinced (maybe even stridently so), that the current problems we have in our society are almost wholly the result of the bad decisions made by those at the bottom of our socioeconomic structure and the welfare which they are offered.

    My relatively gentle defense of those that are the weakest in our system triggered some defensive emotional reaction of his which quite literally caused him to accuse me of always blaming “the powerful” for what’s going wrong.

    I was quite surprised by the “accusation” (which was entirely true) and suggested that the “powerful” are generally more responsible for the state of things in any situation. The alternative being to blame the “powerless”.

    What’s worse, he seemed entirely immune to the idea that people finally get tired of being fucked over and will eventually drop out or lash out when there’s no relief in sight.

    • Guest

      I’m pretty sure that people in positions of privilege are well aware of their status, and it makes them uncomfortable. They have to rationalize the situation.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Over the weekend I had a conversation with a friend who’d been out of work for a couple of years, but had recently found (temporary) work in his field.

      It was pretty bad, the way he left his original job, made worse by the amount of time he had to churn it over in his mind while he was out of work. At one point he was talking to some lawyers about suing his former employer, something about wrongful termination and blacklisting.

      Anyway, when at some point I mentioned my distate for our culture of incompetent elites who viciously crush any underling who may, no matter how inadvertantly or with whatever good intentions, touch upon their shortcomings, I got this response:

      “Dude, if you were qualified to pass judgment on them, you’d be one of them!”

      I guess with some people, “serf mode” is the factory default.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      I tend to think Greedy Psychopaths can be also be manipulated. People discount that possibility.

  • kowalityjesus

    I don’t see how anyone can talk about raising taxes to increase federal revenue when the CIA and Pentagon have a blank check, oil companies and Brazilian cotton farmers are receiving federal subsidies, and congress gives itself a pay raise every year while increasing the debt ceiling by 6.66% of GDP. Inflation and an international reputation for unaccountability is our REAL tax.

    As long as federal govt is printing money, privatizing success, and socializing failure (e.g. fed buying treasuries, no windfall taxes on oil companies and capital losses write-offs, respectively) tax rate issues and who pays them are a red herring.

    History suggests that the only coffers that will fill up by raising the tax rate on the rich are at accounting firms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvqNVs4ix6E

    • bobbiethejean

      Those are all valid points in addition to the fact that our tax system is horribly unfair to the poor and lower classes.

      • kowalityjesus

        It’s akin to proposing that we invest in a hydrogen economy when our infrastructure is so ridiculously inefficient.

        • bobbiethejean

          The way I see it, we’ve got a buttload of things to fix and the broke-ass tax system is just one of them.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Yes, but if you had to pick 1 to begin with (and you must; you do–can’t RESOLVE them all simultaneously), progressive taxation is not a bad choice:

            1. Sets the tone for the overall social contract

            2. Provides immediately tangible payoffs

            3. As a quotidian matter, circumvents a lot of more abstract philosophical matters over which people have a right to differ

            In reality, peace, civil rights and economic equality matters must all be addressed in concurrent campaigns, but taxation is simpler to quantify wholistically in a materialist sense–therefore more realistic possibility of tangible resolution in the near term.

            Peace issues, for example, are crucial, but it’s impossible to reduce national security and human life to mere #’s. If you can’t agree on the easy stuff, you can forget about getting anywhere near the hard stuff.

            Plus, there is actual precedent for more progressive taxation, whereas it’s fair to say that the U.S. has been constantly involved in some level of warfare, open or clandestine, since its foundation.

            I say go for the low hanging fruit first, if only to give people a taste for it.

          • bobbiethejean

            I absolutely agree with you.

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