Pro-tax Occupation Protests Held Across U.S. (O.W.S. Thread) - Page 33 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:16 AM   #641
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:30 PM   #642
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:12 AM   #643
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I hate it when the people try and do things. That's the government's job.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #644
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Capitalism’s Triumph | National Review Online

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Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” That statement came not from a tea-party leader or a congressional Republican, but from Bono, singer, celebrity, and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year.

As we mark the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this week, it is worth recalling just how much Bono is right and OWS, at its anti-capitalist core, is deeply and profoundly wrong.

AdvertisementOccupy Wall Street did have a point when it took to criticizing the crony capitalism that helped precipitate the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. But that unholy alliance of Big Business and Big Government, a dog’s breakfast of regulation, guarantees, and bailouts, has nothing in common with free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism.

OWS was and remains hostile to the very idea of capitalism. “Capitalism is tyrannical, exploitative and dehumanizing; it’s intolerable . . . Capitalism IS the problem,” proclaims the main OWS website.

Yet capitalism has done more to empower people and raise living standards than any other force in history.

Throughout most of human history, nearly everyone was poor. Even our wealthiest ancestors enjoyed lower standards of living than ordinary people in America today. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the masses started to enjoy real and growing prosperity.

What was the difference? Capitalism and its offspring, the Industrial Revolution. As Charles Murray explains, “everywhere that capitalism subsequently took hold, national wealth began to increase and poverty began to fall. Everywhere that capitalism didn’t take hold, people remained impoverished. Everywhere that capitalism has been rejected since then, poverty has increased.”

The transformation occurred first in the West, which was quickest to embrace capitalism, but is spreading now to the rest of the world. In the last 20 years, for instance, capitalism has lifted more than a billion people worldwide out of poverty, while the share of people in developing countries living on less than $1.25 a day has been cut in half. In China alone, 680 million people have been rescued from poverty, and the extreme-poverty rate has gone from 84 percent in 1980 to less than 10 percent today. In Africa, inflation-adjusted per capita incomes rose by an astonishing 97 percent between 1999 and 2010. Hunger in India shrank by 90 percent after the country replaced 40 years’ worth of socialist stagnation with capitalist reforms in 1991.

One can simply look at the difference between countries that embrace free-market capitalism, to varying degrees, and those with rigid state-controlled economies. Recall the classic comparisons between East and West Germany before the Wall fell, or now, between North and South Korea.

But perhaps more telling than such extreme examples is the fact that countries in the top quartile of the Cato Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World Index had an average per capita GDP of $31,501 in 2009, compared with $4,545 for those nations in the bottom quartile. The poorest 10 percent of the population in the most economically free nations had an income more than twice the average income in the least economically free nations.

Milton Friedman points out that “the only cases in which the masses have escaped from . . . grinding poverty . . . in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone outside of OWS or the Obama administration. It is capitalism that unleashes and incentivizes innovation, creativity, and discovery. People become rich by providing goods and services that are desired by others. And those who devise new or better goods and services are likely to become richer faster. A third of the wealthy “1 percent” in America are entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses. Nearly 16 percent are doctors or other medical professionals. Lawyers made up slightly more than 8 percent, and engineers, scientists, and computer professionals another 6.6 percent. These capitalists don’t just create wealth; they provide us with the goods and services that make our lives longer, better, and more comfortable.

And capitalism doesn’t just produce wealth, it creates opportunity. In a capitalist system, an individual’s future is not fixed by caste or hereditary social status. Consider that 80 percent of American millionaires are from the first generation of their family to obtain such wealth.

In fact, many of the earliest critics of capitalism disdained it because it allowed merchants and others to rise above what was considered their natural station. Capitalism threatened the old social order. And it still does so today. Race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation are irrelevant, enabling individuals to rise above social attitudes and historical discrimination. To cite just one example, despite America’s deplorable history of slavery and racism, there are at least 35,000 African-American millionaires today.

And finally, it is important to remember that capitalism is based on voluntary interaction and exchange. It is the antithesis of force and violence. Systems based on “spreading the wealth around” inevitably must impose themselves on at least some people. If I dislike Corporation X for some reason, if I think they make lousy products, or are poor corporate citizens, or whatever, I can refuse to deal with them. Try telling that to the IRS.

Certainly this country, like much of the world, has been through a tough few years. But if we want to once again set our feet on the path to growth and prosperity, we would be better off listening to a bit more Bono and a bit less Occupy Wall Street.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #645
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Capitalism is, by my judgment, the most important force in the world for promoting human development. But that doesn't excuse inaction to work against inequality of opportunity. I can very strongly sympathize with OWS's concerns about lack of equality of opportunity. It's a massive problem. But I'm not sure that any increased government redistribution of wealth can be particularly effective in dealing with it, other than, to some extent, things like education spending. I'm worried that the inequality that exists right now (of outcome and of opportunity, as the former is borne by the latter to a great extent) is deeply structural enough to be immune to government forces to fix it, which is scary. But I'm not sure if my pessimism is justified or not. My generation seems like a bit of a lost generation, though.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:24 PM   #646
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Do you think inequality can be eliminated under capitalism?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:27 PM   #647
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Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it first started out. I don't see how anyone cannot agree that there was some shadiness going on with the banks and no one was ever charged with anything.

Problem was, extremists took over OWS and turned it into a movement with no real goal but to cause chaos. The behavior of the Occupiers certainly didn't help getting the original message across either.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #648
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Do you think inequality can be eliminated under capitalism?
I don't think inequality will ever be eliminated under any system, capitalistic or communist. Human beings don't function that way, because societies everywhere are far too complex on many different levels (income, ethnicity, individual identity, etc.) for any kind of equality to be practiced.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #649
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Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it first started out. I don't see how anyone cannot agree that there was some shadiness going on with the banks and no one was ever charged with anything.

Problem was, extremists took over OWS and turned it into a movement with no real goal but to cause chaos. The behavior of the Occupiers certainly didn't help getting the original message across either.
Which extremists? My impression was that it was always a liberal oriented movement and any radical left involvement was minor.

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I don't think inequality will ever be eliminated under any system, capitalistic or communist. Human beings don't function that way, because societies everywhere are far too complex on many different levels (income, ethnicity, individual identity, etc.) for any kind of equality to be practiced.
Although I (unsurprisingly) disagree about the 'human nature' thing I don't want to turn this into another definition argument given I've already been through it numerous times.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:47 PM   #650
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Do you think inequality can be eliminated under capitalism?
No, but I also don't think that eliminating inequality altogether is a desirable goal.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:57 PM   #651
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No, but I also don't think that eliminating inequality altogether is a desirable goal.
It's not possible yet.....yet
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:23 AM   #652
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Which extremists? My impression was that it was always a liberal oriented movement and any radical left involvement was minor
That is your impression but you weren't in the area on a regular basis, like myself and friends and co-workers. I don't know where you got your information from, but I wonder if it mentioned any of the public defecating, harassing anyone who walked by, and banging on drums late into the night. It may have started out as a liberal movement - like I have stated numerous times - but the radicals did take it over, and turned it into a movement with no clear goals. It may never had any clear goals in the first place, but the original message regarding the banks got lost in the noise.

And if you really want to know which extremists, I'd say they were people who protest for the sake of protesting, along with rich kids who wish they were poor.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #653
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OWS's overarching goal seems pretty simple and understandable to me: to fix the vast income inequality that exists in this country. Trouble is that there were some idiots who participated in the movement, giving it a bad image, and that "fix income inequality" does not at all translate easily into policy.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #654
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OWS's overarching goal seems pretty simple and understandable to me: to fix the vast income inequality that exists in this country. Trouble is that there were some idiots who participated in the movement, giving it a bad image, and that "fix income inequality" does not at all translate easily into policy.
Right, but how? What ideas did they have to fix income inequality? Granted, maybe some had ideas, but as we've noted, those who hurt the movement ruined any attempt for those ideas being heard.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:51 PM   #655
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OWS's overarching goal seems pretty simple and understandable to me: to fix the vast income inequality that exists in this country. Trouble is that there were some idiots who participated in the movement, giving it a bad image, and that "fix income inequality" does not at all translate easily into policy.
What is the proper level of income inequality? To the contrary, I thought OWS overarching goal was over simplified and horrifically vague.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #656
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What is the proper level of income inequality?

here's a good place to start: Gini coefficient - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

it's interesting that the countries with higher pre-tax Gini coefficients tend to have much higher levels of violence (i.e., South Africa, Brazil, Mexico). and countries with safer, healthier populations (the Nordic countries) have lower indexes.

this nicely ties into the question of "why" mass shootings seem to happen more in the US than other countries, and the profile you highlighted of the shooters having a sense of aggrieved entitlement. it seems that in a winner-takes-everything society, combined with the loosening of social safety nets (to enable more cash to flow upwards via tax cuts) and family/community connections (churches, unions, women's clubs) this exacerbates exactly what you were pointing to.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #657
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What is the proper level of income inequality?
That's an age old question and we can never come up with an exact "level" - but I do think we can start by implementing some barriers between Big Business and DC.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:34 PM   #658
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That's an age old question and we can never come up with an exact "level" - but I do think we can start by implementing some barriers between Big Business and DC.


and demanding a simplistic answer to a complex issue is another also a way of avoiding acknowledgement that we have a problem.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #659
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and demanding a simplistic answer to a complex issue is another also a way of avoiding acknowledgement that we have a problem.
So, you don't think some barriers between Big Business and DC would help? While I don't think it will solve everything, I do think that when a company can essentially bribe politicians (through campaign contributions and future seats on a board of directors) to create laws and regulations that improve their profits - then we have a conflict of interest.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #660
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So, you don't think some barriers between Big Business and DC would help? While I don't think it will solve everything, I do think that when a company can essentially bribe politicians (through campaign contributions and future seats on a board of directors) to create laws and regulations that improve their profits - then we have a conflict of interest.
I absolutely do think it would help.

A great place to start would be overturning Citizens United.

My comment was more directed at the first part of your post.
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