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Bloggingheads 11-20-2011 12:25 AM

Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 

chiwhisoxx 11-20-2011 12:51 AM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
that second topic is a joke, right?

Sulla the Dictator 11-20-2011 02:00 AM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
This diavlog must have occurred in one of Dr. Who's parallel universes, where it was the Tea Party that was outnumbered by the media as opposed to OWS. The Tea Party put 200,000 people in Washington DC. It put ten thousand people in the middle of the desert in Searchlight Nevada. People here probably don't know what a remote dust hole that place is. Unless the unions supply bodies, the occupy movements can barely muster a thousand people.

Also, OWS isn't "global". OWS is the American left finally adopting the politics of the International Left. The foreign left has been more active than our domestic version for a long time. David Roberts seems to have this entirely mixed up.

ginger baker 11-20-2011 02:31 AM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Bravo David! Democratic institutions and procedures have been neutralized by the simple facts of the consolidation of public and private power...and the demos is getting really pissed about it. The perceived irrationalism of OWS, warts and all, is thus largely symbiotic to the the globalization of rationalizzm, its systems and schemes, and insofar social and economic crises build in time, resentment (or rage) will only grow. The good ol' social contract has withered away, and people know it. We're perhaps in the midst of a new political founding??? or just a collapse into some techno neo-feudalism???

Parallax 11-20-2011 03:18 AM

Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
An hour of two people lamenting why their fringe ideas (far left environmentalism and dismantling of the national security apparatus) have not caught on. If only the dumb masses realized their brilliance! To be fair Sanchez was much more tolerable than Roberts.

The flip side of poor GOP voters are suffering from a false consciousness is that any wealthy person voting for Dems is equally deluded (I have no data but I am willing to bet a majority of 1% actually vote Democratic). One is then usually confronted with: "but what they do is noble, they are voting against their own interests!". Why can't we use the same logic for poor dumb voters? They think their guns and their religion are more important than electing some Democrat who might or might not better their finances. Since Roberts ignores this possibility I must conclude that he thinks poor people can't sacrifice their material well being for anything else, that nobility is exclusive to the right kind of rich person. In short, he does not view the populace as equals but rather a herd to be managed to want the right things, to vote the right way and to say the right words.

It seems to me that Roberts has been listening/reading too much Zizek. The part where he said the OWS crowd aren't demanding anything and the issue is a deeper problem about the meaning of life, the character of capitalism and some other useless platitude I don't recall. Things are very simple, if US had 7% unemployment instead of 9%, Obama would cruise to reelection, there would not be any of this populist drivel and people would immediately forget the bailouts and bad guys at Wall Street.

Finally when Roberts says things are bad, income inequality is rising, etc. he should stop for a moment and think (it does not come too easy when you are a professional ideological crusader). I doubt Roberts is ready for the full implications of his positions. What would be the global equivalent of OWS? OUS (Occupy US). The similarities are striking: "The world bailed out US and continuous to do so by buying US treasuries even at negative real rates. And if you think about it the whole crisis started in US with the housing bubble. Americans, like Wall Street executives, were greedy, they were not happy with their nice suburban homes with the big garage. They wanted more and they screwed up the world in the process." How does it feel to be part of the faceless inhuman other that needs to be demonized Mr. Roberts?

Florian 11-20-2011 04:41 AM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232268)
It seems to me that Roberts has been listening/reading too much Zizek. The part where he said the OWS crowd aren't demanding anything and the issue is a deeper problem about the meaning of life, the character of capitalism and some other useless platitude I don't recall. Things are very simple, if US had 7% unemployment instead of 9%, Obama would cruise to reelection, there would not be any of this populist drivel and people would immediately forget the bailouts and bad guys at Wall Street.

No doubt, but the semi-lunatic Zizek would still be right about one thing: the system of consumer/financial/state capitalism that exists in the US and Europe is doomed----à plus ou moins longue échéance---sooner or later. It is just not reasonable to think that a world with a population 7 billion (and likely to reach 10 billion by 2050) can continue on its present trajectory, if that means elevating the "standard of living" of an additional 4 billion human beings to the level of Americans and Europeans. An additional planet or two would be necessary merely to feed the other half what Americans and Europeans consume.

Quote:

Finally when Roberts says things are bad, income inequality is rising, etc. he should stop for a moment and think (it does not come too easy when you are a professional ideological crusader). I doubt Roberts is ready for the full implications of his positions. What would be the global equivalent of OWS? OUS (Occupy US). The similarities are striking: "The world bailed out US and continuous to do so by buying US treasuries even at negative real rates. And if you think about it the whole crisis started in US with the housing bubble. Americans, like Wall Street executives, were greedy, they were not happy with their nice suburban homes with the big garage. They wanted more and they screwed up the world in the process." How does it feel to be part of the faceless inhuman other that needs to be demonized Mr. Roberts?
Ironic isn't it?

cragger 11-20-2011 10:06 AM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232268)
... their fringe ideas (far left environmentalism ...

How odd that something as inherently small-c conservative as preservation of the biosphere that supports human life is considered a far left fringe idea. Or perhaps it's opposition to wealthy elites stealing from others by pushing external costs upon them that is a far left fringe idea. In either case, representative of a pathological system.

miceelf 11-20-2011 10:20 AM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 232271)
How odd that something as inherently small-c conservative as preservation of the biosphere that supports human life is considered a far left fringe idea.

Or even on a smaller level. The notion that we should avoid wasting stuff. As someone brought up by conservative parents whose worldviews were defined by the depresison, the notion that conservativism means wasteful consumption just seems very strange.

badhatharry 11-20-2011 11:49 AM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Why listening to liberals gives me a headache and makes me want to punch something.

Notice the little head toss as David describes white privileged people. I guess he really hasn't had a gander at the participants in OWS.

I'd like to see some statistics that show that Tea party rallies were significantly smaller or even larger than the OWS protests. I looked but couldn't find much. But for David to say that the media outnumbered the tea party protestors seems quite hyperbolic.

badhatharry 11-20-2011 11:52 AM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 232271)
How odd that something as inherently small-c conservative as preservation of the biosphere that supports human life is considered a far left fringe idea.

Well that's because it's only the far left that would be willing to swallow whole the idea of settled science and its subsequent radical prognostications and prescriptions.

benjy 11-20-2011 02:24 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Excellent discussion. What I like so much about it, as indeed so many diavlogs, is that it goes much farther away from the binaries that simplistic discussions get trapped in, and flushes out more of the various factors involved in determining how and why the world works the way it does. And that there are good and bad elements contained within the same entity, society or individual, like, you know, OWS, America, capitalism, etc... To take an example from this dv, while much of the dissatisfaction among OWS with the current order of things is understandable, one thing that does seem adolescent about at least some of those involved, is if they really think they're going to somehow make a new egalitarian society. To actually believe that bespeaks such a naivete about why things are the way they are now, and how people are. (I forget who said about revolution that "we cannot make new men"). People do change somewhat over time, but it's not as though aliens came down and imposed the situation we have now on us--it developed the way it did because people are the way we are, and vary the way we do in abilities, circumstances, etc. That doesn't make everything ideal or right or good, but it does mean there's a limit to how much we can change things, since we cannot make new people; and there is a certain organic wisdom contained in the way things are, precisely because they evolved as a process, due to the interplay of various factors and forces, as opposed to the danger of discarding all that in a fell swoop and installing a new regime in power, with the possibility of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Fortunately we're pretty far from having to worry about that at the moment, but as we all know the twentieth century provided some salient examples. But of course that doesn't mean there are no important problems in the world, whether of corruption, injustice, collective action, damage to the natural world, or what have you; and part of the way we address those problems when the political system becomes arthritic as Julian put it, is sometimes by physically amassing and protesting in the street, and that can have an important effect on the process, whether it be by calling increased attention to a problem, or shaming as Ann and Glenn said in their last discussion...

One point I really liked hearing made in this dv, which I don't hear discussed nearly as much as its explanatory relevance would warrant, was David's point that even when democracy is working as well as it can, you inevitably get somewhat of a mush since people have such divergent views. And as Julian said, there are always going to be collective action problems, in which small groups of people have very big incentives to try to influence policy, often in opposition to the interests of the great majority of people who each have a much smaller interest in the issue, but whose sum total interest is much greater than the small group's total interest. The question is, given that fact, what's the best way to achieve the optimal democratic outcome, i.e., the mush that would give the greatest total satisfaction among the entire population. (Obviously not a precisely measurable quantity, but for the purposes of discussion lets suppose that when Congress's approval rating is at 9% we're in sub-optimal territory, even with recent factors like the polarizing effects of the internet thrown in the mix, bhtv notwithstanding).

And here I think David misses a couple possible solutions when he despairs of the democratic process not working in the area of the environment, the broader point being applicable to any issue. First, in spite of all of the small group influence and corruption problems which exist, he outlines how a majority of the House and Senate were in fact able to be persuaded/cajoled/whatever to vote for the type of legislation he would advocate. (Since its another discussion altogether, I'll defer to his expertise on whether the bill would have been a net plus in this area, assuming also that it wouldn't have been perfect given that no sausage mush that makes it through Congress ever is). But just in terms of the functioning or not of democracy, a majority of congresspeople and senators supported a bill which he feels would address the issue at least somewhat adequately. So its not that the democratic process, even with all of our current influence of moneyed interests, is hopelessly far away from at least somewhat dealing with a collective action problem; its just that due to the filibuster rule and various senate procedures, a minority of senators were able to block the bill. Theoretically, that's not an intractable or insoluble problem to address--of course I understand that practically, given the power interests and Congresspeople that we have, it would be difficult to change, but that doesn't mean it couldn't or shouldn't be addressed.

And similarly for the second issue, of money in politics corrupting the process and giving small groups of big donors very disproportionate influence to their percentage in the population, the core of the problem isn't complicated intellectually speaking. There's only two choices, keeping money out or putting more money in. And here it seems like most of the energy and effort is concentrated on the wrong option, trying to keep money out; basically its like water going downstream, when the interests involved are strong enough, its going to be very difficult to stop it from reaching its destination. (Not to mention the first amendment issues involved, again not germane to my main point here so I won't get into the weeds of it). Anyway, whatever one's view on what should happen in terms of money in politics being limited, it doesn't seem that's what is happening, or seems likely to happen with anything short of, say, a constitutional amendment.

But the other option seems to me to be incredibly under-discussed; i.e. putting more money into the system in order to give candidates who don't want to have to raise money from wealthy donors, industries and interests a chance to compete on a level financial playing field. I've heard both Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin say that public financing would be one of the single biggest things we could do in order to address the root problem, and of course Larry Lessig indefatigably trumpets the cause, but in general this is one of the major shortcomings that I see in the public discussion, even intelligent discussion. Again, it's there to an extent, and Lessig was on Charlie Rose just the other day, but it seems to me that the problem of money in politics is discussed exponentially more than this basic potential solution to the problem. Maybe its partly that people enjoy kvetching about the government, and they like to imagine that it wouldn't be a generally unsatisfying mush to most people if but for the influence of evil rich people, but it would seem that as in any area of life, at some point you either need to focus on what steps could improve the situation, or you need to just accept that it is what it is...

And again, as with the filibuster rule, I'm under no illusions about the difficulty of getting this Congress to actually pass something like the Fair Elections Now Act, but in theory the problem isn't insoluble, or really even complicated. Lessig had a good idea I hadn't heard about the mechanism by which to carry it out, that each taxpayer would get to devote $50 of their taxes to fund the campaign of any candidates who didn't accept private donations over a certain limit. Just $50 from each taxpayer would total $6 billion, a couple billion more than total campaign spending for 2010, so it would enable candidates who funded their campaign publicly to compete with those who didn't. A plus of Lessig's suggestion is that people could designate their contribution to whoever they wanted, and hopefully therefore wouldn't object to their tax dollars going to support candidates they don't support, a complaint I heard Nick Gillespie make once (even though of course lots of government money goes to things many people don't support). Or the details could be worked out in some other way--if the political will were there, its not an intractable problem. It would certainly seem logical to use a tiny fraction of our federal budget to help ensure the integrity of the rest of it, and our legislative process, in light of how dissatisfied so many people across the spectrum are with the current situation; it would be worth that low a level of funding even if it were just to remove the appearance of corruption and to restore faith in our institutions...

WELL, I see that my bias against over-simplification leads me to type a bit much once I actually get started. One final and brief question I wanted to ask related to how wonderful bhtv is, and the discussion of funding in the recent commenter klatch--would a subscription service for regular bhtv viewers make a dent in the budget issues? Bloggingheads has contributed so much to my intellectual life and understanding of the world that I'd certainly be willing to chip in if it would help ensure that it could continue to exist. (I know the donate button's there, but I assume that's not gonna bring in the level of funds needed). Maybe there could even be a certain subscription level where you could submit diavlog requests about public financing that would receive a bit of extra consideration? ;)

Wonderment 11-20-2011 03:12 PM

Fallacy
 
The Occupy Movement is NOT saying our VIEWS are held by 99% of the population. That is a misrepresentation of Occupy and a fallacy from which both of these guys seemed to argue.

The movement is based on the premise that 1% of the population (the "Power Elite," as C. Wright Mills might have put it 70 years ago, or the "establishment," as the 1960-1970s protest movement put it) holds excessive power, privilege and influence. But that doesn't mean that the remaining 99% of the population think alike or have identical class interests.

So the whole Sánchez idea that the protesters became a primordial group of 100-200 people and then think that their ideas are universal and commonsensical is a straw man. No one thinks that.

One of the interesting things about Occupy is that there is a broad range of opinions and strategies co-existing, which leads to another mistake by Roberts, who assumes the movement is too radical for mainstream candidates or the Democratic Party. I was at an Occupy event on Nov. 6. While it was broadly left-liberal, the majority were Obama voters who will vote for him and support other mainstream candidates again. They will only expect candidates to more strongly support the ideas emerging from the movement. These protesters, for the most part, don't have to be urged to join the political process; they're already participating in the political process (just like Tea Party activists) and will continue to do so as lifelong citizens.

harkin 11-20-2011 03:31 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 232273)
Or even on a smaller level. The notion that we should avoid wasting stuff. As someone brought up by conservative parents whose worldviews were defined by the depresison, the notion that conservativism means wasteful consumption just seems very strange.

When I hear far-left envrionmentalism I think of Al Gore saying we need to conserve to save the planet while using as much energy as mulitple familes, or greenies saying we need to stop our dependence on middle-eastern oil as they do everything they can to stop drilling in alaska and pipelines from Canada. Or the ultimate - Chernobyl going catastrophic and the one-party state playing classical music on the TV and radio instead of informing the locals.

uncle ebeneezer 11-20-2011 03:33 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
When Tea Partying was all the rage, we sure seemed to hear alot about how the core motivations were protecting the constitution and stopping gov't overreach. Given what is becoming a more common occurrence, events like we saw at UC Davis, the deafening silence in response by Tea Party supporters suggests that some parts of the constitution (right to peaceful protest) are not nearly so American as others. To the people who were screaming about We The People and 2nd Amendment Solutions over healthcare reform just a few months ago: where's the outrage over the government spraying peaceful protesters (seated with their heads down) in the face with pepper-spray? Where's the concern over one of the fundamental principles of our beloved Constitution?

bjkeefe 11-20-2011 04:21 PM

On a related note ...
 
Quote:

Finally, a Constitutional Amendment for the 99%

Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) offered the strongest constitutional amendment introduced in either House of Congress so far to rectify the imbalance of power between the corporations and the people in our democracy.

As the struggle in the streets intensifies, and Occupy Wall Street refuses to remain silent, it’s good to know there are champions in Congress who have stepped up to the challenge of amending the US Constitution. It’s called OCCUPIED: Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy, here.
Read the rest at NationofChange or at Campaign For America's Future.

bjkeefe 11-20-2011 04:21 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 232293)
When Tea Partying was all the rage, we sure seemed to hear alot about how the core motivations were protecting the constitution and stopping gov't overreach. Given what is becoming a more common occurrence, events like we saw at UC Davis, the deafening silence in response by Tea Party supporters suggests that some parts of the constitution (right to peaceful protest) are not nearly so American as others. To the people who were screaming about We The People and 2nd Amendment Solutions over healthcare reform just a few months ago: where's the outrage over the government spraying peaceful protesters (seated with their heads down) in the face with pepper-spray? Where's the concern over one of the fundamental principles of our beloved Constitution?

Good post.

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 04:24 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 232292)
Or the ultimate - Chernobyl going catastrophic and the one-party state playing classical music on the TV and radio instead of informing the locals.

Yeah, because the USSR had such an active and effective environmental movement....

bjkeefe 11-20-2011 04:33 PM

Re: On a related note ...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 232299)
Quote:

Finally, a Constitutional Amendment for the 99% [...]
Read the rest at NationofChange or at Campaign For America's Future.

And on another related note, I'd like to hear Julian respond to this (via):

Quote:

In Must-See Video, Bill Moyers Slams Rule By the 1%: “Plutocracy and Democracy Don’t Mix”

chiwhisoxx 11-20-2011 04:35 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 232293)
When Tea Partying was all the rage, we sure seemed to hear alot about how the core motivations were protecting the constitution and stopping gov't overreach. Given what is becoming a more common occurrence, events like we saw at UC Davis, the deafening silence in response by Tea Party supporters suggests that some parts of the constitution (right to peaceful protest) are not nearly so American as others. To the people who were screaming about We The People and 2nd Amendment Solutions over healthcare reform just a few months ago: where's the outrage over the government spraying peaceful protesters (seated with their heads down) in the face with pepper-spray? Where's the concern over one of the fundamental principles of our beloved Constitution?

"deafening silence?" did any tea parties endorse what happened at UC Davis? this thing *just happened*. we don't know all the facts yet. it's not peoples job to jump up and endorse or condemn everything that goes on in the united states, believe it or not. your post also isn't helped by wild hyperbole; "screaming about second amendment solutions" was literally one person. I don't think you want to play the double standard game with OWS vs. the tea party, because the most deafening silence I notice is in regards to rape and sexual assault.

sugarkang 11-20-2011 04:44 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232268)
Things are very simple, if US had 7% unemployment instead of 9%, Obama would cruise to reelection, there would not be any of this populist drivel and people would immediately forget the bailouts and bad guys at Wall Street.

I don't think it's as easy as you make it sound and I don't think you're giving Roberts enough credit (though, I largely disagree with him). Increased employment would mitigate the worst portions of discontent, but the discontent has been brewing for quite some time. Also, I read that 70% of OWSers are employed. The issue here is one of a perceived unfairness, however misdirected it may be.

The solution has to be NGDP targeting to boost the economy so that the have nots become haves; or at least have shit to do. If NGDP is tried, but fails, then the stagnation hypothesis is likely true and there actually isn't a solution. I'd buy lots of handguns.

Parallax 11-20-2011 05:06 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 232269)
No doubt, but the semi-lunatic Zizek would still be right about one thing: the system of consumer/financial/state capitalism that exists in the US and Europe is doomed----à plus ou moins longue échéance---sooner or later. It is just not reasonable to think that a world with a population 7 billion (and likely to reach 10 billion by 2050) can continue on its present trajectory, if that means elevating the "standard of living" of an additional 4 billion human beings to the level of Americans and Europeans. An additional planet or two would be necessary merely to feed the other half what Americans and Europeans consume.

Obviously we have different views on Elvis of cultural studies. I think his ideas about capitalism, like the idea that China presents a new kind of capitalism have to be ignored but the parts where he criticizes the academic liberal consensus including the environmental movement is pretty relevant and to the point.

Moreover the idea that human population is a limit on growth is the old Malthusian argument that has been disproved time and again. The world population has almost doubled (a 100% increase) since 1970 and billions of people have much higher standards of living. Now what stops the same happening in 40 years with a much smaller relative population increase (43% increase)?

Parallax 11-20-2011 05:17 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 232271)
How odd that something as inherently small-c conservative as preservation of the biosphere that supports human life is considered a far left fringe idea. Or perhaps it's opposition to wealthy elites stealing from others by pushing external costs upon them that is a far left fringe idea. In either case, representative of a pathological system.

The fact that I called it far left environmentalism and not environmentalism should be an indication that I have no problem with saving the planet (although anytime someone says they want to save the planet I am tempted to repeat this). I have said this before that we should replace the payroll tax with a Carbon taxes which itself should be tied to the rate of increase in global temperatures (if the temperatures go up sharply so does the Carbon tax). An idea Obama could have easily passed with his stimulus package but his technocratic temperament, his aversion to change how we pay for SS and his myopic focus to score a symbolic and historic victory in the form of passing Obamacare prevented this from happening.

You want far left environmentalism? Start with Peter Singer. There are a lot of leftists who think human life is not worth much when it comes to saving the planet.

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 05:24 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232308)
I have said this before that we should replace the payroll tax with a Carbon taxes which itself should be tied to the rate of increase in global temperatures (if the temperatures go up sharply so does the Carbon tax). An idea Obama could have easily passed with his stimulus package but his technocratic temperament, his aversion to change how we pay for SS and his myopic focus to score a symbolic and historic victory in the form of passing Obamacare prevented this from happening.

What's your argument that this was doable? I don't mean to be passive-aggressive here. I'm genuinely curious. I'm of the opinion that this wasn't feasible at the time, but I could be persuaded otherwise if I hear some reason to think that it was possible.

Parallax 11-20-2011 05:34 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 232306)
I don't think it's as easy as you make it sound and I don't think you're giving Roberts enough credit (though, I largely disagree with him). Increased employment would mitigate the worst portions of discontent, but the discontent has been brewing for quite some time. Also, I read that 70% of OWSers are employed. The issue here is one of a perceived unfairness, however misdirected it may be.

The solution has to be NGDP targeting to boost the economy so that the have nots become haves; or at least have shit to do. If NGDP is tried, but fails, then the stagnation hypothesis is likely true and there actually isn't a solution. I'd buy lots of handguns.

Do you think anything fundamental has changed since 2006 in the way the system works? I think nothing has changed. So what has actually happened? The problem is that most of OWS people thought themselves to be part of 1% and now they have realized that they are not. How many of the OWS crowd are men with no college degrees? After all men with no college degree are by far the biggest losers of the past 5 years. You see OWS crowd had no problem with 1% place and its influence they are upset that the bouncer did not let them in the club. In the words of Tyler Durden:

Quote:

We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war . . . our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
OWS is a lot of privileged White kids dealing with their narcissistic injury.

miceelf 11-20-2011 05:34 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 232306)
Increased employment would mitigate the worst portions of discontent, but the discontent has been brewing for quite some time. Also, I read that 70% of OWSers are employed. The issue here is one of a perceived unfairness, however misdirected it may be.

Well, to put a finer point on it. It would seem to be a problem with quality of job. Work that used to be paid a living wage and some modicum of benefits now gets minimum wage, no benefits and mandatory overtime.

Parallax 11-20-2011 05:40 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 232309)
What's your argument that this was doable? I don't mean to be passive-aggressive here. I'm genuinely curious. I'm of the opinion that this wasn't feasible at the time, but I could be persuaded otherwise if I hear some reason to think that it was possible.

A payroll tax holiday was suggested by many people on the right when people were debating the composition of the stimulus. Obama could have offered to make it permanent, repeal AMT and reduce corporate income tax to 10% in return for the Carbon tax. He was very popular in 2009, he could have gone on TV and said: "even if you don't believe in global warming which one would you want me to tax: your work or what comes out of the exhaust pipe of your car?" A lot of people on the right had on record advocated such policy, the most famous I remember is Charles Krauthammer from Fox News.

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 05:44 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Isn't it more plausible to say that the disappearance of easy consumer credit is what changed between now and 2006? After all, wage stagnation and inequality are a lot less offensive if you're able to consume as if they don't exist. But if you suddenly can't borrow to maintain that consumption, have to pay down the debts that you have accumulated, and are dealing with a labor market as horrific as today's, that'll get people mad. Beyond that, there's a political element to the "we are the 99%" story, namely the widespread perception that the machinery of government only responds to the needs to the privileged few. And that element is much stronger now than in 2006 because of the existence of the financial sector bailouts, the manner in which they were carried out, and the lack of any such bailout for people with underwater mortgages or whatever.

Of course, I have no idea how representative that story is of the actual people camping out in Zuccotti park, but I think it's an awfully plausible account of the people that were driving those early positive poll numbers for the movement.

Unit 11-20-2011 05:47 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 232314)
Isn't it more plausible to say that the disappearance of easy consumer credit is what changed between now and 2006? After all, wage stagnation and inequality are a lot less offensive if you're able to consume as if they don't exist. But if you suddenly can't borrow to maintain that consumption, have to pay down the debts that you have accumulated, and are dealing with a labor market as horrific as today's, that'll get people mad. Beyond that, there's a political element to the "we are the 99%" story, namely the widespread perception that the machinery of government only responds to the needs to the privileged few. And that element is much stronger now than in 2006 because of the existence of the financial sector bailouts, the manner in which they were carried out, and the lack of any such bailout for people with underwater mortgages or whatever.

Of course, I have no idea how representative that story is of the actual people camping out in Zuccotti park, but I think it's an awfully plausible account of the people that were driving those early positive poll numbers for the movement.

Where's the evidence that consumer credit has disappeared? More likely, people have changed expectations and decided to borrow less (de-leverage).

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 05:49 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232313)
A payroll tax holiday was suggested by many people on the right when people were debating the composition of the stimulus. Obama could have offered to make it permanent, repeal AMT and reduce corporate income tax to 10% in return for the Carbon tax. He was very popular in 2009, he could have gone on TV and said: "even if you don't believe in global warming which one would you want me to tax: your work or what comes out of the exhaust pipe of your car?" A lot of people on the right had on record advocated such policy, the most famous I remember is Charles Krauthammer from Fox News.

I don't dispute that there was some sympathy, but I can't see that getting such a move over the finish line. For starters, a permanent cut to the payroll tax is very different from a holiday, so I could see the AARP and various other groups concerned about Social Security and Medicare getting awfully antsy about such a proposal.

The more serious problem I see is that, as with every other policy designed to combat global warming, the winners and losers are all wrong. The big winners here are either diffused and disorganized (people who pay payroll taxes), aren't citizens (Bangledeshis, citizens of the Maldives) or are in the future (people living in Florida in 2100). Wheres the losers are everybody making their living in the oil or coal businesses, meaning people that are concentrated, organized, and that will have strong preferences on this issue. The interest group math just doesn't add up without an awfully big headwind, and considering how much the Dems had to wheel and deal to keep those middle 3-4 senators on board between 2009 and 2011, I don't see the headwind they'd need.

badhatharry 11-20-2011 08:02 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232308)
I have said this before that we should replace the payroll tax with a Carbon taxes which itself should be tied to the rate of increase in global temperatures (if the temperatures go up sharply so does the Carbon tax).

This is like funding the CHIP program with taxes on cigarettes.

But Jesus Christ! What if the temperatures don't go up!!!! What'll happen to Granny? Will she need to be thrown under the bus?

Quote:

Recent controversy has arisen concerning trends of global temperatures from 1998 to 2009. Lines plotted through specific subsets of years during this period appear to have negative or flat slopes. People have subsequently asserted that global warming has slowed, stopped, or reversed since 1998.


badhatharry 11-20-2011 08:05 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 232314)
Isn't it more plausible to say that the disappearance of easy consumer credit is what changed between now and 2006?

see, Elizabeth Warren should have just stayed out of it.

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 08:06 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Wow Badhat. I mean, I know that you're a dishonest propagandist on this point, but why don't you quote the rest of the paragraph from that site?

Quote:

Lines plotted through specific subsets of years during this period appear to have negative or flat slopes. People have subsequently asserted that global warming has slowed, stopped, or reversed since 1998. Trends over such a short period should be interpreted with great caution, however, because meaningful global trends need to be calculated over at least two or three decades in order to account for natural warming and cooling of the earth’s climate. Global mean temperature can increase or decrease from year to year because of volcanic eruptions, solar activity, and large-scale ocean circulation patterns like El Niño. There are several instances in the temperature record since 1880 where 5-10 year trends appear flat or even negative, and there was a long, level period during the 1940s to 1970s. Nonetheless, the overall trend has been positive, and recent decades are clearly warmer than previous decades. Considering information from multiple years, datasets, and organizations, there is no valid statistical evidence for global cooling, and the weight of evidence still supports the long-term trend of global warming.

badhatharry 11-20-2011 08:20 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 232329)
Wow Badhat. I mean, I know that you're a dishonest propagandist on this point, but why don't you quote the rest of the paragraph from that site?

That's why I linked it so you could read it yourself. I'm just wondering if the planet doesn't warm as expected (which it appears it is not) what will become of the grand Carbon Tax scheme? People who think it's a viable idea should consider all the possibilities, don'tcha think?

Or maybe we could just base the tax on projected possible warming. We could get Michael Mann and James Hansen to head up the whole enterprise with the appropriate salaries attached, of course. I'm sure Goldmann Sachs would like that. Carbon credits for sale!!

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 08:28 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 232331)
That's why I linked it so you could read it yourself. I'm just wondering if the planet doesn't warm as expected (which it appears it is not) what will become of the grand Carbon Tax scheme? People who think it's a viable idea should consider all the possibilities, don'tcha think?

You have a point there. Selectively quoting the source to imply a meaning that the source itself contradicts by the end of the paragraph you quoted and then not linking to the source would be even more dishonest than what you actually did, which was itself dishonest. And look, you immediately proceed to state that global warming isn't happening - in the course of arguing about whether or not you dishonestly cited a source that confirmed that global warming is happening.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 232331)
Or maybe we could just base the tax on projected possible warming. I'm sure Goldmann Sachs would like that. Carbon credits for sale!!

Getting in touch with your inner whatfur, huh? What exactly is this word salad supposed to mean?

Parallax 11-20-2011 08:44 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 232327)
This is like funding the CHIP program with taxes on cigarettes.

I am not arguing for the CHIP program but would you eliminate all cigarette taxes and raise income tax rates in every bracket?

Don Zeko 11-20-2011 08:51 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 232333)
I am not arguing for the CHIP program but would you eliminate all cigarette taxes and raise income tax rates in every bracket?

Other things being equal, you tax what you want less of. If people all stop smoking and the cigarette taxes don't raise any money any more, that's a success. The need to find a new source of tax revenue because we've gotten people to lead healthier lives is the kind of problem that we want to have. Same goes for taxing carbon.

Parallax 11-20-2011 08:53 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 232327)
But Jesus Christ! What if the temperatures don't go up!!!! What'll happen to Granny? Will she need to be thrown under the bus?

First you are not restricted to pay for granny using the Carbon tax alone. I am proposing that we make official what has been long unofficial, that is the trusts are a joke.

Carbon tax would replace the current FICA taxes at their current levels. The increases in case the temperatures increase are on top of that and could be compensated with income tax cuts. So even in your fantastic hypothetical when the temperatures decline nothing bad happens.

Parallax 11-20-2011 08:58 PM

Re: Values Destroyed: The Fringe Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 232316)
I don't dispute that there was some sympathy, but I can't see that getting such a move over the finish line. For starters, a permanent cut to the payroll tax is very different from a holiday, so I could see the AARP and various other groups concerned about Social Security and Medicare getting awfully antsy about such a proposal.

Obama managed to pass a bill that actually cuts Medicare!! How can he fail to pass a more centric bill that just changes its funding source??

Quote:

The more serious problem I see is that, as with every other policy designed to combat global warming, the winners and losers are all wrong. The big winners here are either diffused and disorganized (people who pay payroll taxes), aren't citizens (Bangledeshis, citizens of the Maldives) or are in the future (people living in Florida in 2100). Wheres the losers are everybody making their living in the oil or coal businesses, meaning people that are concentrated, organized, and that will have strong preferences on this issue. The interest group math just doesn't add up without an awfully big headwind, and considering how much the Dems had to wheel and deal to keep those middle 3-4 senators on board between 2009 and 2011, I don't see the headwind they'd need.
I will just mention that a big drop in corporate income tax plus the abolition of the FICA taxes (half of which is payed by employers) can be persuasive to some of the people you cite as the losers of the bill.

Simon Willard 11-20-2011 09:55 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 232293)
To the people who were screaming about We The People and 2nd Amendment Solutions over healthcare reform just a few months ago: where's the outrage over the government spraying peaceful protesters (seated with their heads down) in the face with pepper-spray? Where's the concern over one of the fundamental principles of our beloved Constitution?

Oh pshaw. I can't tell you where the outrage is. But if there is no outrage you should conclude that the public is actually unsympathetic with the actions of the protesters. After all, it's not like they were unable to make a public statement of their views. And you certainly can't claim that protesters who take an try to hold a park (public or private) in violation of law are acting under the umbrella of some "fundamental principle" of the Constitution.

uncle ebeneezer 11-20-2011 10:54 PM

Re: Values Added: Occupy, Inc. (David Roberts & Julian Sanchez)
 
Ahh, so peaceful, civil disobedience merits police brutality. Got it.


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