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Signs of America's Demise, and One Way to Survive


#1

Signs of America's Demise, and One Way to Survive

Paul Buchheit

It goes far beyond Donald Trump. He's just simple-mindedly exacerbating a trend. Clear signs of deterioration have been building in our nation, some of them old and some more recent, all of them related to arrogance and greed at the highest levels. Beyond these failings there is one obvious way to begin to reverse the process.

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#2

There is no success possible for the USA without switching our energy production to solar and wind. That is where the new jobs are. Millions of jobs connected with the manufacture and installation of alternatives.

To artificially hold the economy down by delaying this necessary change, Trump literally destroys us.

An old fool who can't understand new things and refuses to learn new things is not much of a leader. The truth seems to be that he would rob our future strength by holding us back so that a few can retain their fossil fuel profits for a few more years past the time when a change to alternatives should have naturally happened.

Trump is like a crooked jockey who pulls back on his horse's reins to make the horse lose the race.

Trump is making us weak and holding our economy back. Instead of raising revenues by creating wealth, the only way Trump can give tax cuts to the 1% is by cutting services and benefits (like Medicaid) needed by the 99%.

Trump the billionaire is our reverse Robin Hood who robs from the poor and gives to the rich!


#3

"a working society needs cooperation among its members."

And that is why "competitive capitalism" is counterproductive to building a vibrant, sustainable society.

There are so many good points made in this article.


#4

The thing is that capitalism may suffer from too much competition (except at the top I think) ...

But socialism suffers from too little competition!

The fashion industry may seem wasteful to a socialist. After all how many jeans manufacturers do we really need? But if we only had one or two versions of jeans, a huge number of jobs from the factory to the advertisers to the high priced shelves in the boutiques and stores et al wouldn't exist.

One of these days Capitalism and Socialism will marry and spawn a plethora of little economic theories running about the house!

Neither works well without the other but like Romeo and Juliet the pair are kept apart!


#5

"Onward toward socialism"

or

Whatever mix the public decides.

Direct Democracy Party

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/direct-democracy-party#/


#6

There has been one constant thing along with the deterioration on our way of life in this country.

Duopoly Rule!

Say what you will but it is my opinion that this country will never move towards equality until the masses...

StopVotingForTheDuopoly!


#7

This guy's all talk. A lotta weasel wording, this guy. Tired corporate wordage cannot be used, if we're talking a real way around the certain (sooner than later) arrival of a mean and nasty, economic scarcity of goods and services - of which We the People, MUST have in order to survive. We haven't had to scrimp and scarf since the Great Depression of the thirties.

So, what do We do? The author gives no solution, just circular, jingoistic tired corporate-worded talk. Like, tomorrow. What if the grocery stores were outa food? And on and on. This subject should remain taboo, unless someone has a real plan of action.


#8

" The Direct Democracy Party (DDP) is a brand new non-partisan political party "

A non-partisan political party.... anybody proofread these things?

BTW, "non-partisan parties" aside. You might wanna think twice about this direct democracy. My favourite example is California Prop 8. Remember how they had to scramble for a judge to revert that? That was direct democracy...

My guess is you've been around long enough to figure out most people don't have the necessary level of IQ to make decisions like that. Hence the elections of representatives who, we hope, do have tye proper IQ. Sometimes we get it right sometimes we don't.


#9

Wake up America and join the 21st century. There's no mystery or need to reinvent the wheel: look to Scandinavia and the EU for models of (a variable measure of) successful pluralism (regulated capitalism for non-essential goods; socialism for necessary goods, for example.).


#10

A much-cited Princeton study concluded, "When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."

And herein lies the problem. The very study the author quotes explains why his "one way to survive" is unlikely to occur. If voting Republican or Democrat has come to this, how does Buchheit expect to enact these changes? The "what" as far needed change is obvious enough - any progressive can make one these lists. We need to move beyond rehashing these lists and get down to the business of how to get it done. Those economic elites aren't about to meekly surrender control of either party. They're not about to let either major party produce a truly populist candidate and they've locked out any third party from contention.


#11

I'm not saying that I disagree with you. Rather, I don't hold the same assumptions as you do regarding what a cooperative capitalist model would look like. You seem to have a very centralized vision of how you assume it would look like. I do not. There most certainly can be diversity and cooperation as I see it. It used to be that if you wanted clothes, you made them yourself or you went to a tailor who was better at it than you. Then one day, industrially produced one-size-fits-all clothing ran all the tailors out of business. Now, no one's clothes really fit all that well. There most certainly can be diversity in a cooperative capitalist model. We might just get some improved quality in the products we buy!

Segments of the fishing industry and the timber industry are already having to be cooperative. Gov't agencies manage quotas and seasons for certain fish species. Timber companies are directed by the Forestry Service as to where they can cut timber. The fishing industry doesn't want to fish themselves out of business. The timber industry doesn't want to cut theirs down to the ground. Those are just some real world examples of how to manage a sustainable and cooperative industry. Its already been happening. I hope this helps you to see things as I do.


#12

I was skimming a report on wealth that shows the top saving 1% own on average 166 times more than the average wealth (savings) of the lower 90% -- by Saez and Zucman, both at Univ. of Calif. Berkeley, 2015, "Wealth Inequality in the U.S. since 1913". The 1% of “taxpayer units” own “on average” $14 million, while $84,000 is the average of the lower 90%, a differencial of 166. The 1% owned 42% of all wealth or savings (and 47% if you count tax havens), the top 10% own 77%, and the lower 90% own 22.8% in 2012. I find this difficult, but 90 own 23%; and 1 owns 42%. So 90 on average own (23 divided by 90 equals) 0.255 on average, while 1% own
(42 divided by 1 equals) 42. The multiple is 157 times; the average wealth of 1% is 157 times the average for the lower 90%.

About income: From the same authors, different report, the average income of the top 1% is $1.3 million per adult, and of the lower-earning half, 50%, $16,000 per adult. The report shows that that $16,000 per adult has not changed between 1980 and 2015, it was $16,000 35 years ago, still today is $16,000, while the entire nation has grown its income by 61%. So $2.6 million for a married couple ($1.3 million times 2), and $32,000 for a married couple in the lower earning half. The multple here is 81 times, about half the multiple for wealth. In 1980 the multiple was 27, not 81, so the gap increased by 3 times over 35 years, from 27 to 81. This from a report by Saez, Zucman and Piketty at Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

We need higher tax rates on incomes over $250,000, much higher, and lower taxes on incomes below $125,000, about 85% of the nation. We also need a new National Labor Relations Act that re-legalizes or re-empowers the strike. Unions have no power, the law has been crippled and the result is criplled lower incomes. Courts have changed the NLRA by "judicial amendments". The report on income also shows pre- and after-tax results. The top 1% after taxes get 16% after taxes (22% before taxes). The easiest way to remember is 40-40-20. The top 10% get 39% (47% before taxes), the percentiles 50 to 90 earn 40% of the total, the lower half 20% after taxes and transfers— from the same Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Saez, Piketty, and Zucman. In the 1950s we had a 91% tax on incomes over $1.3 million. Why not again? Why not, just give me an answer! “Trickle down” won’t work as an answer. — originally I made this long comment on an article at CounterPunch, the article -- Lies of Capitalsim at Counterpunch -- is pretty good. — I write a blog, Economics Without Greed. http://benL8.blogspot.com


#13

Excellent summary of the major things that our "leaders" are doing wrong. In other words, practically everything!
They don't give a damn about working families.
They don't give a damn about decent health care for all.
They don't give a damn about quality public education.
They don't give a damn about renewable/sustainable/clean energy.

They don't give a damn about peace. (Both parties, but mostly Republicans)

Americans need to ask themselves; What exactly do these so-called "public servants" really care about?
I agree with Chomsky. Today's Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in the history of the world!


#14

Not just Trump, unfortunately, but also his Republican-controlled Congress.