Debate Now America is no longer a Republic. Partisan bickering is how we lost it.

iamwhatiseem

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  1. I turned 50 today. Something I say all the time is one of the greatest threats to the American way of life is: the diminishing number of people that remember what America was before the investor class, and the corporatist takeover of America.
    People under the age of 45, maybe 40 at the youngest, simply were not around to remember their cities/towns and neighborhoods filled with small businesses and privately owned establishments.
    People under 40-45 only remember McDonalds, Starbucks, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, Super-Walmart, chain gas stations, chain retail stores everywhere. Earning every location in America the name "Anytown, USA".
    Small business-America has been under a direct assault from every angle. And with that are vanished opportunities.
    People forget that it isn't a lack of money that is the problem for most people - IT IS A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY.
    In America's economic golden era between the 1950-60's, what made it so great was not Wall Street, not central banks and sure as hell not the government - but OPPORTUNITY for everyone. Educated or not educated, there was solid, good paying jobs absolutely everywhere. Jobs with benefits that we can only dream of today, virtually everyone had a pension. Virtually everyone earned a living wage.
    Not so today.
    All made possible by our government. We are not a republic any longer. We are a Kleptocracy. By definition... a government that exist to promote the wealth of themselves and the ruling class. The ruling class in America is Wall Street, central banks and super corporations. Their interest have ruled this country fr the past 30 years - PERIOD.

    Like I have said many times on this forum - the parties do not matter. They only exist to divide the people. No matter who is "in power" - it is never us. We do not benefit either way.
RULES of DISCUSSION
1) This is NOT a discussion about political parties. It is not a discussion to post your view of how everything was ruined by Democrats or Republicans respectfully. Rather, your thoughts on how we have lost this country to corporate interest, and other special interest. Or if you do not believe that it is/has happened.
2) It is also a discussion about partisan bickering, and how it diverts attention away from what is really happening. How the powers that be use party politics to divide us, and can we ever stop it.
3) Also a discussion of specific legislation that has contributed to the "fleecing of America" to increase the wealth of the few. WITHOUT pointing fingers at the party that YOU believe is responsible.

I truly hope we can discuss this.
 

B. Kidd

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An addiction to 'identity politics' is how we lost it...........oh!, and social engineering.
 

Foxfyre

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I don't know if it is partisan bickering or self-serving interests that have brought us down, Iam, but for purposes of this discussion, I'll assume 'partisan bickering' and 'self-serving interests/rhetoric' are pretty much the same thing. :)

Some months ago I started a thread to review concepts in Peter Schwiezer's book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Youre Money, Buy Your Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. It didn't attract a lot of attention and I hated that because I found the whole concept he prsented intriguing and really did want to talk about it.

But you may have hit on one component he missed and he was very thorough. I am more and more convinced that the permanent political class--those elected professional politicians, those they appoint, the bureaucrats, and the corporate interests that keep them in business--have a vested interest in keeping the people divided, at each other's throats, and utilizing the volatile talking points and code words the PPC assigns to the people to use. If they can keep us attacking each other, we are less likely to focus on anything they are doiing. We dutifully defend anything our group does and attack anything their group does just as they train us to do.
 
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iamwhatiseem

iamwhatiseem

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If they can keep us attacking each other, we are less likely to focus on anything they are doiing. We dutifully defend anything our group does and attack anything their group does just as they train us to do.
Bingo. My emphasis.
This forum proves it everyday. People are consumed by it. So intent on the constant fight that they fail to realize that NEITHER side represents them.
I love this video....not because he is 100% correct, he isn't, but that for once someone speaks out on how we are all getting screwed by BOTH sides and no one is talking about it because everyone is focused on the other guy.

 

C_Clayton_Jones

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"America is no longer a Republic. Partisan bickering is how we lost it."

Disagree.

America is currently a Constitutional Republic.

The Republic will be lost if we ever abandon the rule of law and replace it with the bane of 'majority rule.'

The 'partisan bickering' may have incapacitated the democratic process, but citizens' inalienable rights remain immune from attack by the states and local jurisdictions, safeguarded by the Constitution, its case law, and the right of all persons to seek relief from state and local government overreach in the Federal courts; as the rule of law remains paramount, the Republic will endure.
 

Derideo_Te

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Yes, I am one of those old enough to recall those days too.

We can have a discussion as to how we got into this mess but that is just venting IMO. Your OP clearly identifies the culprits so if we agree then the next step is to discuss how we pull ourselves back out of it.

Firstly let's appreciate that the political process is not our friend because it is utterly corrupted and Congress is a fully owned subsidiary of the corporate special interests.

So what can we do? We can unite because a united people can achieve things that individuals can't. And yes, that means supporting organizations that present a united front. At one stage in American history it was unions that went head to head with the corporate special interests and won. Today those same unions have been targeted by the corporate special interests for extinction and have been denigrated and falsely accused of being a "burden". Yes, they are a "burden" but not on taxpayers. They are "burden" on the corporate special interests because they make them pay living wages with benefits that used to be so common but now are few and far between. The unions were and are effective in reining in the unfettered power of corporate greed that is doing so much harm to this nation today and to the future of our children.

Still with me or have I lost you because I dared to speak the truth to the powers that control your thinking?

The next step that we should take is to make a deliberate and concerted effort to support the remaining individual small businesses and shun the "malling of America" corporations. That means exercising the power in our wallets. Yes, it might cost a couple of dollars more to buy something from a local merchant but you have to think of that additional expense as an investment in your own community. When you spend your dollars in the corporate special interest outlets that money ends up in the greedy hands of people who keep their bank accounts in the Caymans so that they don't have to pay taxes. If you spend a little more at the local shop that money stays in your own community. It pays the salary of someone working in that store who then spends it locally at a farm stall.

These are the small ways we can change our own actions which will make a huge difference if we all start doing them. We need to be united and think and act locally because that removes the power from the corporate special interests and puts it back where it belongs, in the hands of We the People.

Your thoughts?
 
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iamwhatiseem

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My thoughts Deredio?
Number one, you are not offending me because no one controls my thoughts but me.
Truth is, I agree with most of what you say. Almost 100%.
See what happens when party affiliations is not in a discussion? I think most people would find they actually agree on most things.
I absolutely agree that Unions was a tremendous benefit to all Americans, even ones not belonging to a union. Unions helped build the middle class, anyone not seeing that is blind. However, today they are not what they once were. And to prevent this discussion from going into pro-union/anti-union diatribe. That is all I will say.

Now, I am going to give you all a GREAT example of the power of our wallets, and what it can do.
CRAFT BEER.
What is craft beer? It is a movement in this country. It is much more than just the beer. It is a movement against the corporations that took over the entire industry in the 1960's.
Craft beer now accounts for about 8% of the total beer sales in the U.S. Which is phenomenal considering it only represented 2% just 10 years ago.
By 2016 it will hit the 10% mark. What a terrific and wonderful thing.
Even though craft brewers only get 8% of the market share - THEY EMPLOY OVER 70% OF AMERICANS WORKING IN THE BEER INDUSTRY.
What does that tell you?
The corporate brewers who still make 92% of all beer sold in America..only employ just over 25% of the workforce in that market.
No other industry represents what happens when you choose to buy local, non corporate products than the craft beer industry.
It can happen. It IS happening.
Currently the craft beer industry employs 336,000 people and injects $33.9 Billion dollars DIRECTLY into local economies. Craft brewers, as a whole, BUY LOCAL also.
 

Derideo_Te

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My thoughts Deredio?
Number one, you are not offending me because no one controls my thoughts but me.
Truth is, I agree with most of what you say. Almost 100%.
See what happens when party affiliations is not in a discussion? I think most people would find they actually agree on most things.
I absolutely agree that Unions was a tremendous benefit to all Americans, even ones not belonging to a union. Unions helped build the middle class, anyone not seeing that is blind. However, today they are not what they once were. And to prevent this discussion from going into pro-union/anti-union diatribe. That is all I will say.

Now, I am going to give you all a GREAT example of the power of our wallets, and what it can do.
CRAFT BEER.
What is craft beer? It is a movement in this country. It is much more than just the beer. It is a movement against the corporations that took over the entire industry in the 1960's.
Craft beer now accounts for about 8% of the total beer sales in the U.S. Which is phenomenal considering it only represented 2% just 10 years ago.
By 2016 it will hit the 10% mark. What a terrific and wonderful thing.
Even though craft brewers only get 8% of the market share - THEY EMPLOY OVER 70% OF AMERICANS WORKING IN THE BEER INDUSTRY.
What does that tell you?
The corporate brewers who still make 92% of all beer sold in America..only employ just over 25% of the workforce in that market.
No other industry represents what happens when you choose to buy local, non corporate products than the craft beer industry.
It can happen. It IS happening.
Currently the craft beer industry employs 336,000 people and injects $33.9 Billion dollars DIRECTLY into local economies. Craft brewers, as a whole, BUY LOCAL also.
:thup:

Glad that you are willing to reach out and have a discussion without the mindless animosity that prevents us from reaching compromises on what we agree upon.

Yes, craft beer is definitely one of the ways for us to take back the economy. Another is disruptive technology. That is already happening in the Android marketplace and I can see it expanding in the future. The business model is sound in that it requires minimal overhead and the marketing model is just as inexpensive. Right now the majority of the apps are not business focused but if there was an app that allowed a craft beer manufacturer to track his market share and find new markets what would it be worth to them?
 
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iamwhatiseem

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:thup:

Glad that you are willing to reach out and have a discussion without the mindless animosity that prevents us from reaching compromises on what we agree upon.

Yes, craft beer is definitely one of the ways for us to take back the economy. Another is disruptive technology. That is already happening in the Android marketplace and I can see it expanding in the future. The business model is sound in that it requires minimal overhead and the marketing model is just as inexpensive. Right now the majority of the apps are not business focused but if there was an app that allowed a craft beer manufacturer to track his market share and find new markets what would it be worth to them?
Disruptive technology can be awesome. For instance I am a cable cutter.
I use internet-based video for everything I watch. Netflix/Vudu/Hulu/SlingTV
For less than half the price of cable - I get waaay more, most commercial free.
Currently just over 19% of U.S. Households have kicked the over priced cable option. Predictions are it will reach as high as 50% before the end of the decade.
Disruptive technology is almost always a good thing, usually correcting either greed and/or inefficiencies in a market.
 

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Let's not forget that the engine that changed America from agrarian society to an economic superpower was unbridled capitalism. Now that we have changed to a government regulated system, power has shifted to the political arena. Same players, but much less efficient.
 

Derideo_Te

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Let's not forget that the engine that changed America from agrarian society to an economic superpower was unbridled capitalism.
And what was the result of that "unbridled capitalism"?

Children working 18 hour days in coal mines and women dying of radiation poisoning? The air choked with toxic fumes and the rivers catching fire?

Even with all of the regulations that have been enacted this nation is still an economic superpower so it is a fallacy to claim that it is hurting corporations.
 
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iamwhatiseem

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Let's not forget that the engine that changed America from agrarian society to an economic superpower was unbridled capitalism. Now that we have changed to a government regulated system, power has shifted to the political arena. Same players, but much less efficient.
We don't have anything that represents a free market in America today.
Corporations have the government making regulations that HELP them, while creating unnecessary regulations, miles of red tape and ridiculous requirements that serve only to keep others out of the industry.
Another reason why Small Businesses are becoming extinct.
 

Foxfyre

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Let's not forget that the engine that changed America from agrarian society to an economic superpower was unbridled capitalism. Now that we have changed to a government regulated system, power has shifted to the political arena. Same players, but much less efficient.
But was that capitalism really unbridled? I have always supported the federal government's enforcement of RICO and anti-trust laws that prevent the various states or commerce and industry operating across state lines from doing physical or economic violence to each other. That is a legistimate function of central government as I see it.

But when government assumes the power to pick winners and losers in order to achieve partisan advantage, you're right. Same players but much less efficient in achieving a thriving economy. IMO it is government meddling that was the destruction of the mom and pop business and ushered in the era of big box stores.

Government regulation of everything from wages to benefits to hours worked to OSHA rules to tax structures etc. etc. etc. can be more easily accommodated by big business, most of whom were already doing all that because of their unions or whatever. And they welcomed the rules because they knew it would hurt their competition from the little guys. Which it did. Too often the small employer simply could not accomodate all the mandates, rules, and regs and still make a sufficient profit to keep their doors open.
 

thanatos144

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  1. I turned 50 today. Something I say all the time is one of the greatest threats to the American way of life is: the diminishing number of people that remember what America was before the investor class, and the corporatist takeover of America.
    People under the age of 45, maybe 40 at the youngest, simply were not around to remember their cities/towns and neighborhoods filled with small businesses and privately owned establishments.
    People under 40-45 only remember McDonalds, Starbucks, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, Super-Walmart, chain gas stations, chain retail stores everywhere. Earning every location in America the name "Anytown, USA".
    Small business-America has been under a direct assault from every angle. And with that are vanished opportunities.
    People forget that it isn't a lack of money that is the problem for most people - IT IS A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY.
    In America's economic golden era between the 1950-60's, what made it so great was not Wall Street, not central banks and sure as hell not the government - but OPPORTUNITY for everyone. Educated or not educated, there was solid, good paying jobs absolutely everywhere. Jobs with benefits that we can only dream of today, virtually everyone had a pension. Virtually everyone earned a living wage.
    Not so today.
    All made possible by our government. We are not a republic any longer. We are a Kleptocracy. By definition... a government that exist to promote the wealth of themselves and the ruling class. The ruling class in America is Wall Street, central banks and super corporations. Their interest have ruled this country fr the past 30 years - PERIOD.

    Like I have said many times on this forum - the parties do not matter. They only exist to divide the people. No matter who is "in power" - it is never us. We do not benefit either way.
RULES of DISCUSSION
1) This is NOT a discussion about political parties. It is not a discussion to post your view of how everything was ruined by Democrats or Republicans respectfully. Rather, your thoughts on how we have lost this country to corporate interest, and other special interest. Or if you do not believe that it is/has happened.
2) It is also a discussion about partisan bickering, and how it diverts attention away from what is really happening. How the powers that be use party politics to divide us, and can we ever stop it.
3) Also a discussion of specific legislation that has contributed to the "fleecing of America" to increase the wealth of the few. WITHOUT pointing fingers at the party that YOU believe is responsible.

I truly hope we can discuss this.
We stopped when the progressive movement passed the 16th amendment. Now I have educated you .
 

Statistikhengst

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  1. I turned 50 today. Something I say all the time is one of the greatest threats to the American way of life is: the diminishing number of people that remember what America was before the investor class, and the corporatist takeover of America.
    People under the age of 45, maybe 40 at the youngest, simply were not around to remember their cities/towns and neighborhoods filled with small businesses and privately owned establishments.
    People under 40-45 only remember McDonalds, Starbucks, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, Super-Walmart, chain gas stations, chain retail stores everywhere. Earning every location in America the name "Anytown, USA".
    Small business-America has been under a direct assault from every angle. And with that are vanished opportunities.
    People forget that it isn't a lack of money that is the problem for most people - IT IS A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY.
    In America's economic golden era between the 1950-60's, what made it so great was not Wall Street, not central banks and sure as hell not the government - but OPPORTUNITY for everyone. Educated or not educated, there was solid, good paying jobs absolutely everywhere. Jobs with benefits that we can only dream of today, virtually everyone had a pension. Virtually everyone earned a living wage.
    Not so today.
    All made possible by our government. We are not a republic any longer. We are a Kleptocracy. By definition... a government that exist to promote the wealth of themselves and the ruling class. The ruling class in America is Wall Street, central banks and super corporations. Their interest have ruled this country fr the past 30 years - PERIOD.

    Like I have said many times on this forum - the parties do not matter. They only exist to divide the people. No matter who is "in power" - it is never us. We do not benefit either way.
RULES of DISCUSSION
1) This is NOT a discussion about political parties. It is not a discussion to post your view of how everything was ruined by Democrats or Republicans respectfully. Rather, your thoughts on how we have lost this country to corporate interest, and other special interest. Or if you do not believe that it is/has happened.
2) It is also a discussion about partisan bickering, and how it diverts attention away from what is really happening. How the powers that be use party politics to divide us, and can we ever stop it.
3) Also a discussion of specific legislation that has contributed to the "fleecing of America" to increase the wealth of the few. WITHOUT pointing fingers at the party that YOU believe is responsible.

I truly hope we can discuss this.

This is a FASCINATING topic and the OP is extremely well-written, in my opinion.

I am wondering if there is a geographic component to this, meaning, whether some corners of the USA have been "corporatized" faster and earlier than the rest.

What say you?
 
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iamwhatiseem

iamwhatiseem

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This is a FASCINATING topic and the OP is extremely well-written, in my opinion.

I am wondering if there is a geographic component to this, meaning, whether some corners of the USA have been "corporatized" faster and earlier than the rest.

What say you?
First, Thank you for the kind words...
Not as much as I used to before 2008, but over the past couple decades I travelled throughout the midwest states, and a few trips to FL and MN.
What I can say is, at least in the Midwest, at least 90% of the growth or new business development has been corporate box stores. Whether that be restaurants, big box hardware, retail chains and discounts stores or even down to plumbing chains and other more traditionally small mom and pops.

Consider....in 1955, the top 5 employers in the U.S. were all builders and producers. Amoco, GM, US Steel etc.
TODAY - Walmart, YUM! Brands and McDonalds are the top three. The top 10 also include retail chains like Target and national grocers.
Seriously?? More people work in retail chains than true industries.
We are no longer a nation of movers and shakers. Builders and achievers...we work at Walmart and Home Depot.
So I don't know if this is geographic or not...by generally the nation as a whole? - absolutely.
 

Foxfyre

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This is a FASCINATING topic and the OP is extremely well-written, in my opinion.

I am wondering if there is a geographic component to this, meaning, whether some corners of the USA have been "corporatized" faster and earlier than the rest.

What say you?
First, Thank you for the kind words...
Not as much as I used to before 2008, but over the past couple decades I travelled throughout the midwest states, and a few trips to FL and MN.
What I can say is, at least in the Midwest, at least 90% of the growth or new business development has been corporate box stores. Whether that be restaurants, big box hardware, retail chains and discounts stores or even down to plumbing chains and other more traditionally small mom and pops.

Consider....in 1955, the top 5 employers in the U.S. were all builders and producers. Amoco, GM, US Steel etc.
TODAY - Walmart, YUM! Brands and McDonalds are the top three. The top 10 also include retail chains like Target and national grocers.
Seriously?? More people work in retail chains than true industries.
We are no longer a nation of movers and shakers. Builders and achievers...we work at Walmart and Home Depot.
So I don't know if this is geographic or not...by generally the nation as a whole? - absolutely.
I happened across this thread this morning and thought it ended too soon.

Revisiting the thread topic, do you (you being anybody who wants to respond) wonder why we are now a nation in which retail and service businesses eclipse the builders and manufacturers that once grounded our economic growth? Should we not consider that it was the increasing concentration of power in a central government--a concept that the Founders intended would not happen--and the resulting ability of government to control more and more of how Americans would do business, commerce, and industry, that resulted in such unintended negative consequences?

Yes OSHA laws have reduced many injuries and hazards of the workplace. Yes the EPA has provided a means to clean up badly polluted soil, water, and air. Yes child labor laws have eliminated one form of child abuse. Yes minimum wage laws, unemployment compensation, mandatory work comp laws, mandatory overtime pay, and now mandatory healthcare insurance etc. has improved the situation of many individuals.

But it has all come at a very heavy price, a price that big corporations who can move most of their primary money making operations overseas can easily afford while the small mom and pop businesses have no such option. We lost our manufacturing base because government meddling, excessive taxes, and regulation drove it to other countries where it could be done more profitably even considering higher shipping costs. And the big box stores gained a huge foothold because they could absorb the government regulations more easily, and each store could operate on a lower profit margin than could their smaller competitors. So the mom and pop businesses are being forced out of business.

Everything is always going to change as civilization advances. But all things are not for the best. I would like to see the federal government busted back close to its constitutional roots and restore the power to the people to order the society they want to have. The transition would be tough, but once we adjusted, I think we would see the old American can do spirit return.
 

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We didn't lose our way because of Partisan Bickering. We lost it because Progressives began undermining American in the 19th century. As they spread through the educational system, labor unions, and government at every level, they corrupted the United States.

It was DELIBERATE.
 

Foxfyre

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We didn't lose our way because of Partisan Bickering. We lost it because Progressives began undermining American in the 19th century. As they spread through the educational system, labor unions, and government at every level, they corrupted the United States.

It was DELIBERATE.
I tend to agree that is what turned the Constitution on its head and opened the door for government to start taking more and more power from the people. I think though that it was the turn of the 20th century when that happened. Instead of the Founders' concept of a government limited to what the Constitution mandated and allowed it to do, Teddy Roosevelt was the first to declare that government could do anything the Constitution did not explicitly forbid it from doing. And from that day onward, we have been sliding back into the authoritarian European form of government and away from the concept of liberty and a people who were set free to live their lives and govern themselves.
 

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