Class Struggle

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bfgrn, May 10, 2009.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Past Featured Article
    ELECTION 2006



    Class Struggle

    American workers have a chance to be heard.

    [​IMG]
    by JIM WEBB

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006 12:01 A.M. EST

    The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.

    Incestuous corporate boards regularly approve compensation packages for chief executives and others that are out of logic's range. As this newspaper has reported, the average CEO of a sizeable corporation makes more than $10 million a year, while the minimum wage for workers amounts to about $10,000 a year, and has not been raised in nearly a decade. When I graduated from college in the 1960s, the average CEO made 20 times what the average worker made. Today, that CEO makes 400 times as much.

    In the age of globalization and outsourcing, and with a vast underground labor pool from illegal immigration, the average American worker is seeing a different life and a troubling future. Trickle-down economics didn't happen. Despite the vaunted all-time highs of the stock market, wages and salaries are at all-time lows as a percentage of the national wealth. At the same time, medical costs have risen 73% in the last six years alone. Half of that increase comes from wage-earners' pockets rather than from insurance, and 47 million Americans have no medical insurance at all.

    Manufacturing jobs are disappearing. Many earned pension programs have collapsed in the wake of corporate "reorganization." And workers' ability to negotiate their futures has been eviscerated by the twin threats of modern corporate America: If they complain too loudly, their jobs might either be outsourced overseas or given to illegal immigrants.

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009246
     
  2. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Full text here.
     
  3. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    1)Taxes

    The phrase tax cuts for the rich is so popular in many circles that it is a part of our lexicon. Ever since they were passed, Democrats have tried to paint the tax cuts as overly favoring the wealthy. This is of course a dubious arguement for several reasons.

    Paul O'Neill - George Bush's Treasury Secretary

    The president had promised to cut taxes, and he did. Within six months of taking office, he pushed a trillion dollars worth of tax cuts through Congress.

    But O'Neill thought it should have been the end. After 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, the budget deficit was growing. So at a meeting with the vice president after the mid-term elections in 2002, Suskind writes that O'Neill argued against a second round of tax cuts.

    “Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand,” says Suskind. “He says, ‘You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.’ … O'Neill is speechless.”

    ”It was not just about not wanting the tax cut. It was about how to use the nation's resources to improve the condition of our society,” says O’Neill. “And I thought the weight of working on Social Security and fundamental tax reform was a lot more important than a tax reduction.”

    Did he think it was irresponsible? “Well, it's for sure not what I would have done,” says O’Neill.

    The former treasury secretary accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of not being an honest broker, but, with a handful of others, part of "a praetorian guard that encircled the president" to block out contrary views. "This is the way Dick likes it," says O’Neill.

    Everything came to a head for O'Neill at a November 2002 meeting at the White House of the economic team.

    “It's a huge meeting. You got Dick Cheney from the, you know, secure location on the video. The President is there,” says Suskind, who was given a nearly verbatim transcript by someone who attended the meeting.

    He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

    “He (Bush) asks, ‘Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again,’” says Suskind.

    “He (Bush) says, ‘Didn’t we already, why are we doing it again?’ Now, his advisers, they say, ‘Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response.’ And the president kind of goes, ‘OK.’ That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. ‘Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, ‘You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?’"

    But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

    “Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. ‘Stick to principle. Stick to principle.’ He says it over and over again,” says Suskind. “Don’t waver.”

    In the end, the president didn't. And nine days after that meeting in which O'Neill made it clear he could not publicly support another tax cut, the vice president called and asked him to resign.

    With the deficit now climbing towards $400 billion, O'Neill maintains he was in the right.


    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml
     
  4. balatro
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    balatro Rookie

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    Orwell’s Animal Farm was only superficially an indictment of Stalinism.

    The question is whether or not tyranny is a naturally occurring social phenomenon.

    Now, the libertarian Right supposes that the absence of governmental interference in the economy would produce a sustainable “free” market. It supposes that producers in such an economy would never perceive advantage in forming the kinds of cartels that could both harm consumers financially and suppress innovation. This is a level of credulity that would make a socialist utopian cringe.

    If I remember correctly, the Communist Party, unlike the Socialist Party, voiced support for Obama’s candidacy. I have no idea why a communist organization would have sympathy for a Keynesian-Corporatist party’s candidate, apart from possibly believing that candidate to be the best that an institutionalized two-party system had to “offer.”

    Returning to Orwell, in any case, let me just add that a scheming elite and a docile citizenry are for democracy always a lethal combination. That’s a process that could take place under any economic system.

    The economic-political hierarchy was already solidly entrenched at the time of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It subsequently was the case that the populist revolt of the 1890s and other people’s movements were crushed by the iron fist-stealth combination technique of the oligarchy’s institutionalized two-party system. Perhaps, then, it should come as no great surprise that such a system of institutionalized privilege has only grown more powerful with the passing of time.
     
  5. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    Is it truly just a class struggle?

    It is more a run away government full of special interest groups. They are eviscerating the country. The only ones without actual representation for them in DC are the people. The average worker has to join up with another entity which he or she does not actually agree with or support but nevertheless, they have been tossed together, in order to have some type of representation in DC. If you don't join up, you won't be represented. And all this mind you with the old adage your vote counts. What vote? The only representation we have is some special interest group, think tank guru or lobbyist. If I walk into my senator's offices it is of no effect because "as an individual we can't help you". Or I may just recieve a solicitation for a contribution to the senator's campaign fund. Which, both of these things did happen. If I walk into the governor's office with my concerns I'm told they will get back with me. That has been over six years ago and that governor is not governor anymore. He's moved on to bigger and better things like Secretary of Agriculture. I'm sure my concerns were never turned over to the new governor becuase his office ahs not contacted me either. If I go to the FBI to report a crime they tell me, "So what's the problem? You're only one individual I cannot help you." I don't know when our country decided that crimes against individuals do not matter. Do any of you know the answer to that question? When did this country forget that a crime against one individual is a crime against all? When did this country decide that only crimes against corporations count? I have been told I should not "take it personal". They did it to me personally how else can I take it? I know I am not alone here. I see it all over the web from other people and what they are going through. How do the people as individuals start counting again?
     
  6. wihosa
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    wihosa VIP Member

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    Government "of, by and for the people " is being stolen away by the big money "contributers" to political campaigms. The financing of campaigns in this way is little more than bribes to our elected "representatives".
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Class doesnt exist. Pretending it does is going to do nothing but destroy this country. But then, thats the point. Divide the people and through blood and violence seize power.

    What ever happened to "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal"?

    This class crap defies what America stands for. Let's stop pretending these structures our enemies have created matter and truly return to the point where we are all created equal.
     
  8. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    So do you think Jim Webb wants to destroy this country?

    "Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy."
    President John F. Kennedy - April 27, 1961
     
  9. Seraega
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    Seraega Member

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    All men are created equal but some get to live a life of luxury while others spend their entire life trying to make ends meet. Yea... that's equal.
     
  10. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If he is going to divide people up rather than treat people as equals, then yes.
     

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