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Old 09-23-2013, 02:11 AM   #31
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I'm pre-1789, nobody is allowed to show any skin outside of their face.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:37 AM   #32
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I am still bewildered by the average Right Winger's love of Big Business/Pseudo Capitalism. How the 1 percent got average struggling Americans to fight to keep them rich is nothing short of astonishing. I am so conservative in my thoughts and actions - but I can't imagine how fighting to keep other people rich (or - making them even richer) is a "conservative" cause.
I've been wondering this myself since I was about 10 years old. As an adult I'm still not entirely sure what the answer is, but I'm leaning toward one of two things. 1) they firmly believe in the whole "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" thing, and honestly think that in the great country that is the u s of a, everyone has a fair shake at going from a childhood on good stamps to becoming a multi-billionaire if they just work hard enough and want it enough. I don't really understand how they can subscribe so fully to this idea when so many of them haven't managed exactly that in their own lives, because if the fairy tale version of the American Dream was a truly plausible achievement for everyone rather than straight rhetoric with some anecdotal evidence to point to and say it is possible, wouldn't they have done their best to attain it? 2) my ultra-cynical side thinks it's because they chose the side of their other opinions--perhaps stance on abortion, gays, gun control, pick a topic any topic--and mindlessly follow any other stances that side holds on which they previously had no opinion, because it's the opinion they're supposed to have on corporate America as a good Republican.

But for the most part, it still baffles me too.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #33
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Increasing wealth and bringing wealthy persons and industries into your population should be a great thing, as it increases your tax base and allows you to fund infrastructure and social programs that help the greater good.

Problem is we can't find a balance between tax and encouraging wealth growth, and we can't find a middle ground between spending on social programs and being fiscally responsible because our leaders, for the most part, are a bunch of ideological twats who have no interest in compromise or the greater good, only the furthering of their party's platform and their own careers.

It makes one want to vomit.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:22 AM   #34
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my ultra-cynical side thinks it's because they chose the side of their other opinions--perhaps stance on abortion, gays, gun control, pick a topic any topic--and mindlessly follow any other stances that side holds on which they previously had no opinion, because it's the opinion they're supposed to have on corporate America as a good Republican.
I think this is true for many people, regardless of political affiliation, although the registered Democrats I know seem more flexible than avowed Republicans I know.

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because our leaders, for the most part, are a bunch of ideological twats who have no interest in compromise or the greater good, only the furthering of their party's platform and their own careers.

It makes one want to vomit.
Same here.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:42 PM   #35
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I've been wondering this myself since I was about 10 years old. As an adult I'm still not entirely sure what the answer is, but I'm leaning toward one of two things. 1) they firmly believe in the whole "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" thing, and honestly think that in the great country that is the u s of a, everyone has a fair shake at going from a childhood on good stamps to becoming a multi-billionaire if they just work hard enough and want it enough. I don't really understand how they can subscribe so fully to this idea when so many of them haven't managed exactly that in their own lives, because if the fairy tale version of the American Dream was a truly plausible achievement for everyone rather than straight rhetoric with some anecdotal evidence to point to and say it is possible, wouldn't they have done their best to attain it?
I do think this plays a big role.

What these people fail to comprehend that economic success is not derived solely or even primarily from a meritocracy. They will, by and large, never be millionaires, nor even wealthy. And the way that they look at the poor beneath them as unsuccessful, lazy, etc. is not altogether dissimilar to how the true upper classes consider them.

The stereotypical middle class tea party type who looks down at the "freeloading" 47% simply fails to realize that to the top 5%, he ain't much better or more successful. They still wouldn't want their kids to go to schools with his. In fact, they'll likely have few opportunities in life to ever mix.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:50 PM   #36
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I've been wondering this myself since I was about 10 years old. As an adult I'm still not entirely sure what the answer is, but I'm leaning toward one of two things. 1) they firmly believe in the whole "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" thing, and honestly think that in the great country that is the u s of a, everyone has a fair shake at going from a childhood on good stamps to becoming a multi-billionaire if they just work hard enough and want it enough. I don't really understand how they can subscribe so fully to this idea when so many of them haven't managed exactly that in their own lives, because if the fairy tale version of the American Dream was a truly plausible achievement for everyone rather than straight rhetoric with some anecdotal evidence to point to and say it is possible, wouldn't they have done their best to attain it? 2) my ultra-cynical side thinks it's because they chose the side of their other opinions--perhaps stance on abortion, gays, gun control, pick a topic any topic--and mindlessly follow any other stances that side holds on which they previously had no opinion, because it's the opinion they're supposed to have on corporate America as a good Republican.

But for the most part, it still baffles me too.
As someone whose (i) father was born into the Great Depression and (ii) mother was a war refugee (WWII) from Eastern Europe, I can tell you that upward mobility exists for those willing to work hard and spend very wisely. Opportunity is there, but it looks a lot like hard work and sacrifice. It is not an absolute guarantee and there (as will most things in life) is a degree of “luck”.

I find that the “American Dream” has been corrupted by a consumption based society that seeks rewards today in place of the potential greater reward in the future. For all the things we didn’t have when I was growing up, I now see the wisdom in those choices.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #37
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As someone whose (i) father was born into the Great Depression and (ii) mother was a war refugee (WWII) from Eastern Europe, I can tell you that upward mobility exists for those willing to work hard and spend very wisely. Opportunity is there, but it looks a lot like hard work and sacrifice. It is not an absolute guarantee and there (as will most things in life) is a degree of “luck”.

I find that the “American Dream” has been corrupted by a consumption based society that seeks rewards today in place of the potential greater reward in the future. For all the things we didn’t have when I was growing up, I now see the wisdom in those choices.
There is a certain amount of truth to that. At least there used to be. Yet - things have gotten a little out of whack. For instance, back in 1987 my dad was able to move us into a nice house in Irvine, CA (you know Woodbridge?) making about 72k a year and BS degree. Today, my wife and I live close to Irvine and have a combined income of over 250k, two Master Degrees between us, and over 15 years of experience in our fields - yet we cannot "afford" to buy a decent home by any conventional sense of mortgage to income ratio. Yes, I can pay a ridiculous price for a tiny home - but according to IRS data - our income is at the highest 2 percent - yet we can only "afford" a lower priced fixer upper home (unless I went in WAY over our head for a normal nice house we had in Irvine as a kid). How is this possible?
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #38
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There is a certain amount of truth to that. At least there used to be.
Exactly.

NBC came in here telling is that through hard work, post WW2 his parents flourished. That's the point - we are ostensibly far worse off today and we don't have the same opportunities. Hell you don't have to go that far in time - the house my parents live in was maybe $200K 20 years ago. Today it's $750-800K. In the Toronto suburbs and wages have not gone up significantly at all. If you think it is realistic for today's young people to work as hard as your parents did and enjoy the same standard of living as your parents did, you're really out to pasture.

How many people of your generation bought their first family starter home at $1M? Because that's what my generation is looking at in a number of urban areas. And no, you aren't getting a mansion for that money either, I can assure you.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #39
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How many people of your generation bought their first family starter home at $1M? Because that's what my generation is looking at in a number of urban areas. And no, you aren't getting a mansion for that money either, I can assure you.
Try LA, where a decent home (worth $150-200K anywhere else in the country) will run you $600K at least. And a great deal of what inventory there is, is being bought by foreign investors, cash. It's ridiculous to consider buying a home, unless you happen to win the lottery. And even then, homes that start out reasonably-priced will attract dozens of bids. Three years ago the home across the street was put on the market at $400K; the eventual owners paid $600K to get in, and then had to sink another $200K into it to bring the home up to code. Insanity.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #40
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As someone whose (i) father was born into the Great Depression and (ii) mother was a war refugee (WWII) from Eastern Europe, I can tell you that upward mobility exists for those willing to work hard and spend very wisely. Opportunity is there, but it looks a lot like hard work and sacrifice. It is not an absolute guarantee and there (as will most things in life) is a degree of “luck”.
This attitude is a major reason why we can't accomplish anything. "Upward mobility exists if you're willing to work hard!" is one of the biggest hindrances we have to progress, because it's simply not true in so many cases. There are tons of people who are willing to work hard who aren't afforded the opportunity for upward mobility. If you can't see that, I don't know where the hell you've been during my lifetime.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #41
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Exactly.

NBC came in here telling is that through hard work, post WW2 his parents flourished. That's the point - we are ostensibly far worse off today and we don't have the same opportunities. Hell you don't have to go that far in time - the house my parents live in was maybe $200K 20 years ago. Today it's $750-800K. In the Toronto suburbs and wages have not gone up significantly at all. If you think it is realistic for today's young people to work as hard as your parents did and enjoy the same standard of living as your parents did, you're really out to pasture.

How many people of your generation bought their first family starter home at $1M? Because that's what my generation is looking at in a number of urban areas. And no, you aren't getting a mansion for that money either, I can assure you.
Everyone's answer is put the dream on credit - which only artificially inflates price - which makes the real dream that much more unobtainable for those folks that really do play by the old fashioned rules.

If you look any historical chart, housing and education will eventually fall like a ton of bricks. They are still way above the baseline when compared to average income. The 2006-2010 housing crash was not allowed to complete the cycle - hopefully the next one will.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #42
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I am still bewildered by the average Right Winger's love of Big Business/Pseudo Capitalism. How the 1 percent got average struggling Americans to fight to keep them rich is nothing short of astonishing. I am so conservative in my thoughts and actions - but I can't imagine how fighting to keep other people rich (or - making them even richer) is a "conservative" cause.
It's not a love of Big Business but a love of free enterprise. I don't defend every practice of Walmart or any large corporation but who do you trust to place a value on labor; markets or temporary politicians on a city council?

There many types of pseudo capitalism AEON. I'm not a corporatist either but I fear state-capitalism even more.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:11 PM   #43
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The stereotypical middle class tea party type who looks down at the "freeloading" 47% simply fails to realize that to the top 5%, he ain't much better or more successful. They still wouldn't want their kids to go to schools with his. In fact, they'll likely have few opportunities in life to ever mix.
All the more reason to stop saddling future generations with mountains of debt.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:14 AM   #44
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It's not a love of Big Business but a love of free enterprise. I don't defend every practice of Walmart or any large corporation but who do you trust to place a value on labor; markets or temporary politicians on a city council?
I guess the older I get, I see more importance in a human life and the ability to feed one's family above something as arbitrary as "markets."

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There many types of pseudo capitalism AEON. I'm not a corporatist either but I fear state-capitalism even more.
It seems they've now blended quite nicely - and the funny part is, they got the good ol fashioned hard working Americans to do the fighting for them all the way to their own economic freedom grave.

Don't get me wrong, the Liberals are just as bad...for other reasons...

It's all such a damned mess, but I remain hopeful. I hold on to the idea that technology will eventually trump the ability of certain companies and institutions to manipulate market prices (if you can "print" aluminium then it will undermine a company like Goldman Sachs that is renting trucks to haul around aluminum to keep the price artificially high).
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:57 AM   #45
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It's amazing how people take "the markets" and treat it like another invisible sky friend who does no wrong and is always right and if we'd just get out of the way it would fix everything.
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