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Tipping Point?

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  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,547 Senior Member
    I'm about as conservative as anyone on this forum, and I don't have a problem with restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentence and are no longer on parole or probation.  I see no reason to punish any further than what the legal system has already mandated.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    Only two states (Iowa and Kentucky) still practice total felon disenfranchisement.  All the rest allow it to end to some extent after parole, probation, or release.  Florida, for example, won't allow a felon's rights to be restored if the crime is murder or sexual in nature.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Let me give a real life example of this "capitalism" that everyone seems to be talking about. In Thomas Jefferson's day (since he was mentioned) all anyone had to do in this country to distill and sell liquor was to pay a tax to the goobermint based on production. Today? I need permission from various local, state, and federal units... PLUS the blessings of the church across the street (if they object, they can shut it down-- so much for separation of church and state) to get my distillery off the ground. I need permission to use the land for that purpose, permission to renovate and add on to the building (fire, mechanical, plumbing, electric, structural locally plus heath (state) and layout/security/storage/equipment (federal). I wasn't allowed to design and draw up the plans-- I was required to hire a state licensed architect to do that. I am forced to hire state licensed mechanical, plumbing, electrical contractors-- all of which have huge barricades to entry in the profession as a way to limit competition and artificially inflate their rates.

    Does this sound like a mafia racket yet? But wait, there is more! I am only getting started.

    I need about $300k to make that happen. I am going to need access to some capital. How do I do that? Can I call up my banker and ask her for a loan like the good old days? Hell no. I can't call up the bank and get a few hundred million for renovations like the Jared Kushners and Donald Trumps can today. I have to play by little people rules. I have to write a complete business plan with projections and everything else, I have to have pristine personal credit and cannot use the excuse that bank that put a poop stain on my credit report for paying them 30 days late is the same bank that owed me thousands of dollars at the time either (true story-- if they pay me late, I am supposed to be grateful and they suffer no penalties. If I pay them late, they screw up my credit for the next 7 years. How is that fair?). Plus I have to offer personal assets and they go up my ass with a microscope. After that, maybe I have access to some capital.

    So I get the capital, build the building... now I need local, state, and federal licenses. In addition, am required to carry insurance from a state regulated agent and have to have bonds in place to cover the tax liability beforehand on any potential booze I may manufacture. Up until we get to this point, it is against the law to sell, let alone produce a single drop of booze. All that! What if I find out that I hate making booze and suck at it? I had to do all that first to find out?

    Now I can make booze, but I can't sell it yet. What does that take?

    I need federal permission before I can use the booze recipe. I need state and federal permission before I can use the label. If I want to only sell directly from my tasting room, I have to store the bottled product in a certain way and that is about it. If I want to make my products available to liquor stores in Michigan, I have to buy my own truck to ship it to a state licensed distributor (there are only 3 in Michigan and you have to do things on their terms) and sell the booze directly to the state where it will be stored in the distributor's warehouse. I have to pay a fee to the distributor and the state then sells the booze to the liquor stores (the state marks up the product, then the stores are required by law to sell at a minimum price). Once sold, the state cuts me a check.... then there are 49 other states and the District of Columbia that has all their own set of stupid rules if I want to sell outside of Michigan.

    Why do these stupid laws exist? The reason is because large producers lobby the government to put up all of these stupid barriers to keep little guys like me out of the market. For a large multi-national corporation like Brown-Forman (think Jack Daniels and others), this is not an issue. For me, it is like climbing a mountain.

    The question isn't if you have the freedom to work for "The Man" and can go down the street to work for another "The Man", the question is what barriers are in the way to become "The Man" yourself? There are lots of them and the elites have stacked the deck against you to maintain their status and hold you down. The idea of this being a capitalist society is a freaking joke, a lie, and an illusion.

    The whole capitalist/socialist argument was simply cold war propaganda that they jammed down little kids' throats-- you were lied to! I reject the premise.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    This is what we call capitalism? For real? It completely pissed me off writing my last post. Oh, and if I wanted to make wine... maybe make a cheap wine suitable only for bums and maybe put a sexy model on the label to help sales? It wouldn't be as hard to do as liquor, but the barriers are still there. It is a pain in the ass to do business in this "free" "capitalist" society.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    Assuming some possible agreement of inevitability, the question then is, what form will the revolution take?

    I'd like to see the two party monopoly of our government toppled. (at the ballot box)

    I think alot of people are real close to wanting the same. Trump tapped enough of them to get elected, but he still had to do within the embracing arms of the RNC.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    That's completely ridiculous, Jerm. I have zero patience with the regimented/regulated BS myself. And, as I'm QUITE sensitive to Church/State separation - what does the Church across the street have to do with anything? I'm surprised it would be that way in a northern state.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Fortunately they are a pretty cool church. The chairman of the church committee contacted me through my distillery Facebook page and after explaining to them what we are doing, they welcome the new investment in the area. The whole 1000' of a church thing is a state law-- I am sure it was put there only to limit the options for people like me to purchase affordable real estate because once you get into any area with any real population density, it becomes very difficult to find property that is not within 1000' of a church.  
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    ...once you get into any area with any real population density, it becomes very difficult to find property that is not within 1000' of a church.  
    Not a problem in most areas of California.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,787 Senior Member

    The whole capitalist/socialist argument was simply cold war propaganda that they jammed down little kids' throats-- you were lied to! I reject the premise.
    You are too hung up on the labels.

    There is virtually no difference in the effects on the middle class and working poor between the the socialism you deny and the elitism you accept as the problem. What we are living in now is the remnants of capitalism...not the culmination of any sort of American dream of capitalism.


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    If what I described is socialism to you... we are somewhere on the same page. Down with socialists!!!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #42
    Just so we are clear Bisley... what I am describing resembles more of a Russia or Ukraine situation. What I am hearing you say sounds more like Venezuela to me. And if the choices are between a Russian and Venezuelan economy, I would eat the poop sandwich and choose Russia, but I don't want either.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,996 Senior Member

    Nothing narrow-minded about it. I've read Marx, I've read Mao and all the other 'revolutionaries' in-between. I'm of the mindset 'know your adversary' so to speak. The ideologies of Jefferson and Marx are like water and oil (in that order). One compound is pure and promotes growth and new life while the other, oil (Marxism), is a pollutant and kills the living things it touches. The two can never mix. Water always tries to repel oil. 
    Is it just me, or did anyone else read this and think of putting Jefferson and Marx together in a blender to see if they can emulsify into a passable salad dressing?
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    ... you can do that with a bit of egg or Dijon mustard.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,787 Senior Member
    You can spin the class envy angle any way you want, but in the end, the USA is the country that has always operated best when small business has provided working class people with a way to thrive, with total disregard for the fact that the 'already rich' will also benefit. There is nothing to be gained by denying others the ability to thrive...except political capital, that can then be used to control the 'lower classes.'

    American capitalism, when left alone (for the most part), gives the working people an option to work for someone else, with relative security, or bet the ranch on their own wealth creating scheme. It is far from perfect, and has to be tweaked, occasionally. But it feeds the masses and does not give the elitists unlimited power over whomever they can convince are the 'disenfranchised.'

    Any country that promotes the creation of wealth on every level, works under a capitalist system that promotes entrepreneurial incentive across the board. It works every time. But, a  system that gobbles up everything for the elites eventually fails, because when the rich get bored with the ordinary ways of spending their money, they buy politicians.with it, and amuse themselves with parlor games that pit them against each other.

    The main difference (economically speaking) between what leftists believe and what the 'right' believes is that the leftists place their political agenda ahead of all else, whereas the right is willing to let everyone believe whatever they want, as long as it doesn't disrupt business enough to crash the economy.

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    "Universal Basic Income" = "Universal welfare" - and yet another leftist wealth redistribution scheme by the oh-so-benevolent HUGE gov't bureaucracy.
    No thank you.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,105 Senior Member
    My small minded TN redneck residing in my head says that the government is too big for its britches and needs to be seriously backhand slapped away from the slop trough and get the hell out of the way of businesses, big and small.

    Regarding Alpha's 'profit distribution' he forgets one thing. Someone put up the capital to get a business started, and hired workers to make the product, and have to advertise, sell, and improve that product. The workers are "paid commensurate to their input" in the process. Just giving them a larger slice of the pie isn't going to happen without having to raise prices, causing inflation. And their higher wages will put them in a higher tax bracket, and maybe that higher tax bracket will be detrimental to the raise.

    Consider working overtime at time and a half or double time, too. That extra money is taxed at a rate by the IRS that would be from the new YEARLY wage tax bracket you are temporarily in at the time. I've worked MANY weeks with the shifts being 16 hours/day and I can tell you for a FACT that the take home part of that overtime pay will barely make straight time after the IRS screws you over with bracket creep, and you sure as the devil don't get that back when you file your yearly income taxes!

    Income inequality is just a buzz phrase for 'I want more money because I work here' and the owner(s) is making a lot of money. There's raw materials to buy, consumable and set in place equipment to buy and replace, expansion of the physical factory that costs money, and many other facets to consider, and some products see large swings in sales due to seasonal nature of the product(s). Owning and running even a small business takes a LOT of work those grousing employees don't have to deal with on a daily basis.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member


    Ironically certain "socialist" policies can actually increase entrepreneurship and strengthen our capitalist system. Universal healthcare and universal basic income would actually allow more poor/working class people to take risks and start businesses. If you're not worried about taking a crappy job so you can have health care and eat it's easier to pour yourself into something new and risky. That also helps everyone else, because it creates more jobs and increases competition for employment helping to raise wages across the board. 
    If that would align with gutting our hodge podge of what is welfare today, eliminate social security, and get rid of both medicaid and medicare, those ideas may have some merit and actually save taxpayers money. If we could eliminate some of our existing socialism (that is kicking our asses and will be really kicking our asses later on) with something that may be sustainable, it would be a net gain for the country.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Yes the idea is to replace inefficient and bureaucratic socialism with more efficient and effective socialism (I can hear the heads exploding on that one). You could eliminate medicaid, medicare, most of welfare, reduce unemployment and disability compensation, and you could potentially reduce social security to be merely a supplement on top of the universal basic income. Another net benefit is with a universal basic income you can reduce or eliminate the minimum wage which will also benefit small business by lowering their labor rates and eliminate the high costs of employee health insurance while still increasing the standard of living for those in the lower half of the income spectrum and eliminating the poverty trap that many of our current policies create. Yes it means higher taxes overall, but with universal basic income you could implement a much flatter tax rate structure and you'd eliminate a number of costs (health insurance) that act effectively as a tax.  

    The solutions aren't capitalism or socialism, it's how do we reform both the socialist and capitalist parts of our country to work better and more effectively to achieve the types of things we want them to achieve. Strong growth, innovation, and widely shared prosperity for anyone willing to trade an honest day's labor for an honest day's pay. 
    Those highlighted are all big nooses around a business's neck. Most people do not realize that the money for social security deducted from their checks is only half of it-- the employer pays the other half. That adds to your cost as an employee and is money not going in your pocket.

    Those in denial of socialism-- read your constitution again and you will see some of it in there. It has been here since the founding of the country and makes sense for certain things. Other things? A complete disaster. The trick is to make the socialism serve the purposes of the capitalism, and not the other way around.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,787 Senior Member
    Bisley, you're getting there, although you still seem incapable of escaping from the capitalism vs. communism, left vs. right framing. But for now let's focus on the agreements....

    ...You act like socialism/leftist policies are the only ones that can allow this. This is the current state of affairs and it has occurred almost entirely through free market shareholder capitalism which has morphed into more of a crony capitalist oligarchy. The system as is is not good for anyone except the elites and those that serve them.  

    That's great, Alf - there's nothing that softens me more than a nice pat on the head. Let's get to work, professor!

    Yeah, there are a million problems to be solved, and re-hashing the failures of socialist countries with authoritarian governments really are counterproductive, completely unrelated to the point...right?

    I really like your suggestion for having 'sensible' socialist solutions like Obamacare as a remedy to elitism. Sure, it eliminated all competition among insurance companies, and forced minimum wage earners to purchase expensive plans, and it did help to further subdue an already stagnant economy, but at least it wasn't elitism...right? And even though the increases in my premium cost me $10,000 a year, it really was a fine example of how socialism could fix capitalism...right?

    Gee, I feel great, now. I wish I had renounced the Cold War beliefs of my youth a long time ago.Too bad that the USSR caved - they could have helped us smooth the transition into single payer health care, with much less public outcry.
    .








  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    ... and a partridge in a pear tree ...
    I don't like the excesses of capitalism either, to wit BANKS, over paid doctors, lawyers, and executives, etc, etc - but there is no gov't that has, is, or will be in existence that is a better solution and "social"-anything requires a gov't to function.
    Government is evil, period. A necessary evil to be sure, but evil nonetheless. The best thing possible for a gov't to do, is to get the Hell out of the way and OFF MY BACK as Reagan used to say.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,105 Senior Member
    Universal basic income. Venezuela had something quite similar to that. Freakin' hell yeah! Lets be like Venezuela!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    We already have something very close to it... earned income credit.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    In order for adoption of a policy that's percieved as radical as basic income for all, the entire congressional body would have to be replaced. A POTUS candidate would need to circumvent not only the entire two party monopoly, but also the corporate controlled media spin machine. 

    IMO opinion the at the time radical social programs of the FDR administration were made possible by extreme national crisis. Something similar or worse would be needed just for a step in such a direction as is being suggested.

    The economic bubbles discussed here are being expertly manipulated to a degree historically unseen. The length and nature of their sustainment appear to my eye as completely unpredictable.

    The expectation of such a change seems unrealistic to me.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,564 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #55
    I guess once we all "get it", and stop "failing to grasp" we'll have attained the equality of genius that the resident expert on everything economics has.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    Has anyone read Marx? Like actually read Marx, and too a lesser extent Kant, not what people tell you his stuff is about, but read his theories and philosophies. After you do, you will not look at America in the same light. America, over the past two centuries has started to validate the Marx's theories on Social Evolution and the eventualities that will come to pass. As Bisley first asked, are we at that tipping point where we are looking at our next revolution? I dunno, but the climate displayed by the pervasive and expanding culture in America says we are not far from it. 


    I prefer the writings of Thomas Jefferson. 
    Why? That statement seems narrow minded, not to offend.

    I prefer Christianity and the American way of life, but you can be sure that I thoroughly understand Islam and the Arab way of life. I'm also pretty well versed in Western and Eastern European History. Why? Because I have to understand the world I live and operate in as it is, and not how I want it to be. Seeing multiple points of view, the ability to assimilate that thinking, and the thoroughly analyze its pieces for applicability and understanding in what places people on the higher tier of Bloom's Taxonomy. Now, I'm not saying I am at that the analytical tier. But, I'm not going to limit myself to a single point of view that may not be applicable. 
    Nothing narrow-minded about it. I've read Marx, I've read Mao and all the other 'revolutionaries' in-between. I'm of the mindset 'know your adversary' so to speak. The ideologies of Jefferson and Marx are like water and oil (in that order). One compound is pure and promotes growth and new life while the other, oil (Marxism), is a pollutant and kills the living things it touches. The two can never mix. Water always tries to repel oil. 



    Now I am even more lost. You realize Jefferson and Marx had astounding similar views on Classes and Human Capital, right?
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    For those looking to dive into the Theories of Marx, you can't simply read The Communist Manifesto. You also have to read his other works to fully understand where he is going, and how he saw things. 

    You also need to read the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 and Capital. I recommend in that order.

    I am not an advocate for Communism. I advocate for Ethical Capitalism, if there is such a thing. However, I will continue to tell you that Marx's theories are a damn lot closer to how the world is, especially when you look at how he viewed class structure and their interaction within the economic system. 

    Also, for those that have only seen the cliff notes that others have "interpreted", Communism is not the starting point. Communism is the end result of the class struggle. Communism is not sustainable either, at some point classes will re-emerge and the class struggle will begin again. We saw this full revolution with the USSR. Lenin artificially spurred the labor revolt and launched Russia into Communism. But as the world's economies evolved and other external factors, Communism became less and less sustainable. Even with being able to leverage the Eastern Bloc nation's industry and food. And, ~70 years later they had a class/capital revolt and the process starts again.  
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Alpha, have you ever considered that those of us that work and earn what we have don't want to finance the livelihood of those that are unwilling to work just so that everyone can a "universal basic income," That really sounds a lot like communism in that everyone lives equally regardless of what they contribute. My parents came to the US in 1958 to escape that.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #59
    Think about the context.... Food stamps, earned income credit, housing assistance, Medicaid, medicare, disability, SSI, social security, Obamaphones, Obamacare, half our prison population, unemployment, Pell grants, subsidized student loans, and all associated state, local and federal bureaucracy... gone! All the costs of those programs and the costs to administer them... gone! We should have a family limit on it too so we don't create baby factories to game the system. All this crap that we are already doing and paying obscene money for... gone.

    But this is the internet and completely hypothetical so it doesn't matter. I am saying in theory, it could work and save the taxpayers money at the same time.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    We already are. Our tax dollars fund more in corporate subsidies than all of the so called entitlement programs put together.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    ...and get rid of that welfare too.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
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