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Thread: 2012 Elections - Page 43







Post#1051 at 04-25-2011 02:11 PM by The Grey Badger [at Albuquerque, NM joined Sep 2001 #posts 8,876]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Running through these posts. . . . . .

We all know we have to start spending less on health care. We have no alternative. Here are two relatively extreme ways to deal with the situation.

1. Go to single-payer, and do substantial research, out in the open, on what treatments work and what don't, and reach some decisions, on a national basis, on what is worth paying for, particularly in the latter stages of life. Also make some sensible decisions as to how often certain tests (prostate antigen, mammograms for instance) should be given. In short, do cost-bendfit on just about everything the medical profession does and base treatment on the results. Also, start a public health care company to work on vaccines and drugs that will do a lot of good without making a lot of money.

2. Let the insurance companies decide who to insure, how prohibitive to make the cost, and what to treat.

(2) is the Ryan plan. Let's be blunt: it's another form of death panel. The Ryan Plan has passed the House of Representatives. The terrible thing is that no one is speaking up for (1).
Going by the little black box theory of "examine the results", I find that the results for the Ryan Plan and for the Chinese developers buying up banana farms in order to build a resort (in the Beyond America forum, China thread) have the same results -- the resources needed for the masses to sustain life are sacrificed to line the pockets of the very rich.

This tells me that the well-being, and the very existence, of the masses, is not only of no concern to them, but seen as a positive evil.

Tracing this back one step further, as to why this should be (ignoring simple short sighted toddler level grabbing everything in sight) I can only come up with the infamous dictum of Ebenezer Scrooge.

If you're looking for good will towards people in the executive classes, you'd better be checking the negative numbers.
How to spot a shill, by John Michael Greer: "What you watch for is (a) a brand new commenter who (b) has nothing to say about the topic under discussion but (c) trots out a smoothly written opinion piece that (d) hits all the standard talking points currently being used by a specific political or corporate interest, while (e) avoiding any other points anyone else has made on that subject."

"If the shoe fits..." The Grey Badger.







Post#1052 at 04-25-2011 02:37 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Running through these posts. . . . . .

We all know we have to start spending less on health care. We have no alternative. Here are two relatively extreme ways to deal with the situation.

1. Go to single-payer, and do substantial research, out in the open, on what treatments work and what don't, and reach some decisions, on a national basis, on what is worth paying for, particularly in the latter stages of life. Also make some sensible decisions as to how often certain tests (prostate antigen, mammograms for instance) should be given. In short, do cost-bendfit on just about everything the medical profession does and base treatment on the results. Also, start a public health care company to work on vaccines and drugs that will do a lot of good without making a lot of money.

2. Let the insurance companies decide who to insure, how prohibitive to make the cost, and what to treat.

(2) is the Ryan plan. Let's be blunt: it's another form of death panel. The Ryan Plan has passed the House of Representatives. The terrible thing is that no one is speaking up for (1).
You might want to read James Kwak's solutions for Medicare.

So what should we do? Most importantly, we have to recognize that there are two separate problems, and they are not equal. The primary problem is health care inflation. The secondary problem is the long-term Medicare deficit. Thatís a secondary problem because itís largely a result of the primary problem. Of these two, the Medicare deficit is the easier problem to solve: index the payroll tax to actual health care costs. This should automatically solve the Medicare deficit because as Medicareís costs go up, its funding will go up at the same rate.*

more here.


James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1053 at 04-25-2011 03:43 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
1. Go to single-payer, and do substantial research, out in the open, on what treatments work and what don't, and reach some decisions, on a national basis, on what is worth paying for, particularly in the latter stages of life. Also make some sensible decisions as to how often certain tests (prostate antigen, mammograms for instance) should be given. In short, do cost-bendfit on just about everything the medical profession does and base treatment on the results. Also, start a public health care company to work on vaccines and drugs that will do a lot of good without making a lot of money.
I believe this is what is necessary, but as long as the prevailing mindset is that everyone should always get the "very best care" on demand then costs will keep going up because the high-tech gadgetry like MRIs are very expensive and we because we are a nation of hypochondriacs. The utter outrage people expressed when a report came out saying that women under 50 should not have routine mammograms because it is a waste of resources is a perfect example of this.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#1054 at 04-26-2011 10:45 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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I don't think it's because we're a nation of hypochondriacs at all, because most of us trust our doctors. I think it's a combination of medicine for profit, on the one hand, and fears of malpractice, on the other. But I'm not really sure how to balance those two factors. Let me give you an example.

I spent last weekend at my niece's wedding and I sat next to a doctor in his 30s who works for the VA--a really nice guy. I told him one of my own recent health care stories, which I may have shared here already. In early November '08 I was mountain biking and managed to stick a tree branch into my abdomen (I didn't see it coming out of the log I was jumping). It didn't actually go into the lining--indeed, it only looked like a scrape, although it hurt like hell. I was in a bad way when I got to the ER, practically in shock, but they got me out of that quickly. They got my blood pressure back up and cat-scanned me. There was no evidence of serious internal damage. But, that evening, with me somewhat drugged up with pain killer, the surgeon, a nice guy, came in to discuss the situation.

"The safest thing to do," he said, "would be to operate and see if you've done any damage."

I was more or less ready to give in, but fortunately my wife was there, with years of ER experience herself, and I asked for a moment to talk it over with her. "Look," she said, "he's a surgeon. That's what they do." That was enough to get my brain working again, and when he came back, I said, look, there's no evidence that I did do any harm, so let's wait. And by the next day it was clear there was no need for any serious intervention.

Now when I told this story to my dinner companion on Saturday, he immediately started talking about what could have happened "in a court of law." Without any prompting from me. And that is the way most of them are thinking. The possibility of a lawsuit is an excuse to do procedures and order tests based on worse case scenarios. When I hurt myself skiing in France a couple of months ago, I could see that the attitude there was entirely different. They made quick, common sense judgments, and treated you based on the obvious probability, which was, once again, that I hadn't done anything life-threatening.

This whole culture must change if we are going to safe substantial amounts of money.







Post#1055 at 04-26-2011 11:16 AM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
I don't think it's because we're a nation of hypochondriacs at all, because most of us trust our doctors. I think it's a combination of medicine for profit, on the one hand, and fears of malpractice, on the other. But I'm not really sure how to balance those two factors. ...
This whole culture must change if we are going to safe substantial amounts of money.
I think that you have nailed the problem but changing culture is extremely difficult. We may have to experience a catastrophe first.







Post#1056 at 04-26-2011 07:11 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
I think that you have nailed the problem but changing culture is extremely difficult. We may have to experience a catastrophe first.
Hmmm. What would that look like? I'm curious, I can't imagine it myself.







Post#1057 at 04-26-2011 08:41 PM by The Grey Badger [at Albuquerque, NM joined Sep 2001 #posts 8,876]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Hmmm. What would that look like? I'm curious, I can't imagine it myself.
It would look like an epidemic of "We can't afford this nonsense" on a nationwide scale.

Pat, whose parents could have given you chapter and verse.
How to spot a shill, by John Michael Greer: "What you watch for is (a) a brand new commenter who (b) has nothing to say about the topic under discussion but (c) trots out a smoothly written opinion piece that (d) hits all the standard talking points currently being used by a specific political or corporate interest, while (e) avoiding any other points anyone else has made on that subject."

"If the shoe fits..." The Grey Badger.







Post#1058 at 04-26-2011 10:06 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Many chronic illnesses cannot be evaluated and diagnosed without extensive tests. This is not to say that way too many doctors want to run too many tests and surgeons too often want to operate needlessly.

I just caution sweeping the issue of too many medical tests with an either/or remedy because it could be disastorous. For instance, many women's lives under the age of fifty have been saved because of early detection of breast cancer. Mammograms are an inexpensive way to detect cancer in the earliest of stages. Treating advanced stages of breast cancer costs thousands. Discernment is in order when deciding when testing is prudent and when it favors the pockets of the doctors, or profits because of procedure denials by the insurance industry. The old saying holds true in some respects; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Doing the opposite of too many tests is not always a wise decision. Finding a middle ground may prove to be the balance that can be a win-win for all involved.
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#1059 at 04-26-2011 11:21 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Hmmm. What would that look like? I'm curious, I can't imagine it myself.
I don't have anything specific in mind, just something of large magnitude such as a world war or a world wide depression.The country and the Congress now seem too divided to agree on anything serious.







Post#1060 at 04-26-2011 11:58 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Rose1992 View Post
Food and fuel prices were going to go up no matter who was in office, what they did, or who is in the supporting cast. I cannot believe why a partisan label should even be addressed to resource based problems such as these.
You are right. Our politicians have little control over the economic fundamentals except to facilitate or botch things. If the Republicans had control of the three branches of the US Government, then they would be seen largely as puppets of the international oil cartel. To the extent that the Democrats are in charge of the Presidency and the Senate, they get criticism for not yielding enough to Big Oil.

We need to wean ourselves off petroleum as the default source of energy. The Democrats seem to recognize the need to do so; the Republicans seem to believe that the only 'energy problem' that America has is that people aren't even more dependent upon petroleum. Energy costs do not limit themselves to fuels; they are a huge component of the costs of anything that requires growing, harvesting, processing, and transportation. The ultimate result of failure to address the follies upon which American energy policies are predicated will be shortages, higher prices, and mass deprivation.

Much of what we consider prosperity results from cheap energy.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1061 at 04-27-2011 06:20 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Here's one early prediction of the Presidency (Larry Sabato) based on the assumption of a 50-50 split of the popular vote.
Last edited by pbrower2a; 04-27-2011 at 06:23 AM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1062 at 04-27-2011 06:46 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Now my critique: Michigan is better described as "likely D". Basically, Michigan is Minnesota with more blacks. I'd move Indiana and North Carolina from "tossup" to "Lean R" because President Obama can't win Indiana without also winning Ohio, or North Carolina without winning Virginia. All other states that went for Dubya at least once went into the tossup category category if Obama won it, so I would put New Mexico and Nebraska's Second Congressional District into the tossup category. I'd also move Arizona from "likely R" to "Lean R" because John McCain won the state with much less of a margin than one expects of a Favorite Son. Georgia and Montana were within 5% of going for Obama, so unless the political realities change to the benefit of Republicans, so I would put them in the "Lean R" category. Finally I would move South Carolina and the Dakotas into the same category with Texas -- "Likely R".

If 2012 is an electoral disaster for the Republicans, then one can easily imagine every tossup going for President Obama with the possible exception of Indiana, with President Obama picking up Arizona, Georgia, and/or Missouri. But electoral disasters offer little drama.

So here's how I rate them in a 50-50 split:

Safe R -- 89
Likely R -- 53
Lean R -- 47

Tossup -- 81

Lean D -- 30
Likely D -- 30
Safe D -- 182
Last edited by pbrower2a; 04-27-2011 at 06:51 AM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1063 at 04-28-2011 09:51 AM by Weave [at joined Feb 2010 #posts 909]
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'Bam losing Pennsylvania?

Obama has a 42% approval rating in Pennsylvania right now. Over 50% believe he shouldnt be re-elected. Of course he can turn it around given the right conditions. But losing Pennslyvania is like a Repub losing Florida, its over......

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ia_109689.html







Post#1064 at 04-29-2011 09:05 AM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Maybe I should have posted this is Pat's thread about the Elephant in the Living Room.

As the folowing article points out, in the past forty years we have experienced the growing gap between the rich and the poor. This issue is now becoming apparent as more families and individuals are finding it hard to keep their heads above water. In this light, Decision 2012 is proving to be a volatile season.

Decision 2012 will be a $2-3 billion exercise in evasion of the distributional elephant -- no partisan reference intended -- in the national living room. We have seen accelerating upward re-allocation of income and wealth since the late 1970s. America is now 40 years into one of the world's boldest experiments with upward redistribution. The national economy is showing severe signs of strain from decades spent on the present course. Before we get to the sea change and how it will influence the election, let's take a look at the changing fortunes of higher and lower earners.


Decision 2012: Urgent and Unsaid

Link listed below if you are interested in the author's graphs of income disparity.

by: Max Fraad Wolff

We have often honored election traditions in American politics. This is particularly true of those election cycles that fall every four years when The Congress and White House are at stake. Over the last few decades we have developed an unfortunate tradition of ignoring income equality and associated issues. The deafening silence on this issue has -- not accidentally -- coincided with the precipitous decline of middle and lowering earners' share of the pie. Our limping, wheezing middle and lower classes are now very angry. What separates this mighty mass of folks, is what they are most angry about. Some years social issues and coded appeals to good ol' days dominate. Occasionally millions are roused with a passion for one path forward versus another. For some, lower services are preferable to higher taxes. For others, more services and different tax burdens offer the solution. Either way, we generally elide direct discussion of income and wealth distribution.

Figure 1 above looks at the percentage of household income that goes to the 40% lowest earning American families versus the income share that goes to America's 5% highest earning families. You can think of the blue area of the chart as representative of 2 in 5 families. You can think of the red area as the share of national aggregate income earned by the most affluent 1 in 20 households. Many in the blue area either do work for, or seek to work for, families in the red area. That is how our servant, oops I mean service, economy works. Way back in the 1960s and 1970s the bottom 40% of households earned almost as much as the top 5% of households. Those days are over. Today the top 5% earn almost twice as much as the bottom 40%. One in twenty households at the top takes home almost $2 in income for every $1 that goes to the 8 in 20 households at the bottom.

Figure 2 above looks at the incomes of various groups. If we take and add the mean income levels of each of the three lowest quintiles, 20% groups, we get an idea of how incomes have changed for the lowest income earning 60% of the economy. If we do likewise for the top 5% of income earners we can see how this group did over the last 40 years. Figure 2 displays a yawning gap between a high income earning few and multitudes on the other end of the spectrum. In short, income distribution has become so stilted, so fast that not talking about it is getting harder and harder.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-fr..._b_854245.html
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#1065 at 04-29-2011 09:18 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
Maybe I should have posted this is Pat's thread about the Elephant in the Living Room.

As the folowing article points out, in the past forty years we have experienced the growing gap between the rich and the poor. This issue is now becoming apparent as more families and individuals are finding it hard to keep their heads above water. In this light, Decision 2012 is proving to be a volatile season.

Decision 2012 will be a $2-3 billion exercise in evasion of the distributional elephant -- no partisan reference intended -- in the national living room. We have seen accelerating upward re-allocation of income and wealth since the late 1970s. America is now 40 years into one of the world's boldest experiments with upward redistribution. The national economy is showing severe signs of strain from decades spent on the present course. Before we get to the sea change and how it will influence the election, let's take a look at the changing fortunes of higher and lower earners.

Decision 2012: Urgent and Unsaid

Link listed below if you are interested in the author's graphs of income disparity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-fr..._b_854245.html
Gosh, Deb, I don't think you can say the issue is being ignored. I see it discussed everywhere I turn. The problem is that no one knows what to do about it that will not do more harm than good.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1066 at 04-29-2011 10:32 AM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
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Quote Originally Posted by Weave View Post
Obama has a 42% approval rating in Pennsylvania right now. Over 50% believe he shouldnt be re-elected. Of course he can turn it around given the right conditions. But losing Pennslyvania is like a Repub losing Florida, its over......

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ia_109689.html
Never stop quoting before it's over:

Lastly, Obama trails a generic Republican candidate by one point, 41 to 40, in a hypothetical 2012 match up in the Keystone State.


Peter Brown, Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac poll, said that President Obama can "take solace from his ability to run a dead heat with a generic Republican despite his current standing with the Pennsylvania public." But, Brown added, "Perhaps this says as much about the popular view of the Republican field

Believe me, it does. Most Pennsylvanians I talk to aren't happy with either party--and that includes Tea Party Republicans. Corbett & Toomey aren't exactly winning over Pennsylvanians (approval ratings are in the 30s & 40s) --and the new budget Corbett is planning is causing a lot of buyer's remorse.



~Chas'88
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."







Post#1067 at 04-29-2011 11:40 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
Gosh, Deb, I don't think you can say the issue is being ignored. I see it discussed everywhere I turn. The problem is that no one knows what to do about it that will not do more harm than good.

James50
First, stop making it worse. This is easy. Undo most if not all of the actions that created the problem in the first place. Here are four simple steps that might get us going:
  1. Number one on my list: eliminate the bias against work, by taxing income equally, regardless of how it's acquired. We cranked-in this capital gains reduction during the high inflation '70s. We don't have high inflation any more, so it's more than time to kill this giveaway.
  2. Next, reduce the gambling-casino environment by making some of the creative financing techniques illegal, and bring others under tighter regulation.
  3. Third, start planning for a better future. We didn't get the current infrastructure through tax arbitrage, and we won't get its replacement that way either. We need to lay-out a future that is achievable, identify how to get there and who pays what share of the cost. Then, we need to start doing it.
  4. Ancillary, but still important, is the need to adjust a few assumptions. "Full employment" is not the level just below the point where working people gain some pricing leverage. Likewise, it isn't the job of the government to subsidize businesses to do what profits alone should motivate them to do.
That's not definitive, but it should make for a good start.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#1068 at 04-29-2011 03:25 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
Gosh, Deb, I don't think you can say the issue is being ignored. I see it discussed everywhere I turn. The problem is that no one knows what to do about it that will not do more harm than good.

James50
Gosh darn, James, I wasn't insinuating that the problem was being ignored. In light of the author's title, I wasn't sure to post it here or on GB's thread of the elephant in the room.
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#1069 at 04-29-2011 05:05 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post


Here's one early prediction of the Presidency (Larry Sabato) based on the assumption of a 50-50 split of the popular vote.
I can't be so optimistic as PBrower2. I think Obama will do very well to get one of the Southeast trio of Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina. And I don't know Michiganders would vote for him. The GM revival hasn't done much for them unless they own stock.







Post#1070 at 04-30-2011 10:12 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
Gosh, Deb, I don't think you can say the issue is being ignored. I see it discussed everywhere I turn. The problem is that no one knows what to do about it that will not do more harm than good.

James50
I can see the disasters of ignoring the intensification of economic inequality. Such will not correct itself on its own. It well serves rapacious elites out for themselves alone, and I can't seen their children becoming a quasi-aristocratic elite. Heirs of tycoons and big landowners will themselves be tycoons and landowners, and I can't imagine bureaucratic elites doing anything to stop their children from seeking to become successors in corporate bureaucracies and elite professions. The only chance that a poor girl has of entering this elite world will be either as a servant or a mistress. Just think of the moral affronts that would create.

Disaster #1: Hunger, malnutrition, homelessness. An elite that treats the common man as 100% expendable when it isn't cheap labor will force extreme poverty upon the proletariat. Such is almost a truism.

Disaster #2: Loss of political freedom. All power will go to the economic elite which will find ways to ensure that people endorse the political and economic elite get complete control of the political process. Either the vote will be rigged (one way would be to ensure that employees vote as their bosses dictate) or multitudes will be formally disenfranchised. People whose politics offend the interests of the elite will be fired even from such professions as teaching or the clergy. Anyone who writes a critical tract about the "new" America had better do so from a safe distance. Finland would be about the right distance.

Disaster #3. Racial and religious strife. Any religious group that shows disdain for the new political order will find itself subjected to persecution except perhaps of members who sell out. Someone who takes the Sermon on the Mount seriously would be in deep trouble in a system that sees the enrichment and pampering of elites as the sole purpose of the life of anyone. It's hardly surprising that subjected people would find the story of Exodus -- ancient Israelites escaping slavery in Egypt -- very attractive if they are slaves, peons, or serfs.

Few blacks, Hispanics, or even Asians are part of the genuine Upper Class in America. Those who have succeeded are still middle-class at most -- and destruction of most of the middle class would hit non-whites hard.

Disaster #4. War. Economic orders of extreme inequality have an unusual proclivity for wars. They rattle the saber against anyone who threatens to offer freedom for peons, serfs, or slaves. Paradoxically it is the nastiest social orders that have the strongest zeal for spreading their rottenness as an objective.

As with labor, cannon fodder is also cheap and expendable in the most rotten social orders. The most bloodthirsty militarists in America were the slave-owners of the Old South. Imperial Russia seems to have never seen a war that it didn't want to enter.

Disaster #3: Political violence. People who show any dissent could be seen as traitors deserving to be shot down, tortured,
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1071 at 04-30-2011 10:30 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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04-30-2011, 10:30 AM #1071
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
Gosh darn, James, I wasn't insinuating that the problem was being ignored. In light of the author's title, I wasn't sure to post it here or on GB's thread of the elephant in the room.
Then why did you set this sentence in bold?: "Over the last few decades we have developed an unfortunate tradition of ignoring income equality and associated issues. The deafening silence on this issue has -- not accidentally -- coincided with the precipitous decline of middle and lowering earners' share of the pie."

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1072 at 04-30-2011 11:08 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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04-30-2011, 11:08 AM #1072
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Quote Originally Posted by Weave View Post
Obama has a 42% approval rating in Pennsylvania right now. Over 50% believe he shouldnt be re-elected. Of course he can turn it around given the right conditions. But losing Pennslyvania is like a Repub losing Florida, its over......
The "right conditions" include the continuation of economic improvement -- or the perception that the Republicans seek to throttle economic improvement.

The possibility of an economic boom based on wild speculation is no more; it's like trying to take a swim in the pool that one enjoyed into September or even early October in the Midwest. The only economic improvement that can work -- after the scavenging of assets is over -- is a reversion to what America did well before the 3T. That means long-term, low-yield, hands-on investments that one runs from only with personal ruin: small businesses. You can trust that the economic elites of America are going to do nothing good for any but current Insiders and close relatives.

But the hit has been taken. Any recovery will continue to be slow and steady-- if far from satisfying. We are just lucky that we didn't have as severe and protracted an economic meltdown as that of 1929-1933. The GOP has no miracles to offer -- only hardship on behalf of people who think that people not in their circle are livestock at best and vermin at worst. The age of the shopping mall full of shoppers with money to burn is over. Even Wal-Mart is beginning to see a pinch from oil prices.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ia_109689.html

Republican Governors are vastly unpopular in a swath of states from Iowa to Pennsylvania. Take a look at these stats:
Iowa Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Terry Branstadís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 41%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 45%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 14%

Q2 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Chet
Culver or Republican Terry Branstad?
Chet Culver............................................ ......... 48%
Terry Branstad ................................................ 46%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 6%
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p...PA_0413806.pdf



http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p...se_IA_0422.pdf

Pennsylvania Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Tom Corbettís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 34%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 44%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 22%

Q2 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Dan
Onorato or Republican Tom Corbett?
Dan Onorato .................................................. . 49%
Tom Corbett .................................................. .. 44%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 8%
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p...PA_0413806.pdf


Michigan Survey Results


Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Rick Snyderís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 33%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 50%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 17%

Q7 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Virg
Bernero or Republican Rick Snyder?
Virg Bernero........................................... ......... 47%
Rick Snyder .................................................. .. 45%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 8%

Q8 In the election for Governor last year did you
vote for Democrat Virg Bernero or Republican
Rick Snyder, or did you not vote in the
election?
Virg Bernero........................................... ......... 43%
Rick Snyder .................................................. .. 49%
Didn't vote/Don't remember ............................ 8%
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p...MI_0322925.pdf

Ohio Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
John Kasichís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 35%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 54%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 11%

Q8 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Ted
Strickland or Republican John Kasich?
Ted Strickland ....... 55%
John Kasich .......... 40%
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p...OH_0315513.pdf

Wisconsin Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Scott Walkerís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 46%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 52%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 2%

Q9 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Tom
Barrett or Republican Scott Walker?
Tom Barrett ........... 52%
Scott Walker.......... 45%
Not sure ................ 4%
All of these results are from March and April. The one for Governor Walker is the oldest, and it is terribly outdated. Rasmussen had a later one that I can't quite fish up... but it is even less flattering to Scott Walker.

I have nothing on Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana, as Indiana has difficult regulations against pollsters and I have seen no poll in Indiana since Election 2010.

Take a good look at those approval ratings for the new governors. Barring miracles on their behalf, they are unlikely to undo their first impressions. No GOP nominee for President dares get seen with any of these Governors except perhaps to win a primary in the state -- but guess how that will work in November. State Governors almost never inspire mass protests against their policies.

I'm not going to give you all the details on how every Governor is doing in some states in arguable contention. The Republican Governor of Virginia is doing pretty well, but those in Arizona and Georgia are treading water. The Democratic Governor is doing fine in Missouri, which might be bad news for any Republican nominee for President in 2012.

Now for a huge batch of electoral votes: Florida.

Florida Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Rick Scottís job performance?
Approve .................................................. ........ 32%
Disapprove........................................ .............. 55%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 13%

Q2 If you could do last fallís election for Governor
over again, would you vote for Democrat Alex
Sink or Republican Rick Scott?
Alex Sink.............................................. ........... 56%
Rick Scott............................................. ........... 37%
Not sure .................................................. ........ 6%
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/p..._FL_032913.pdf

Florida looks lost to the GOP in 2012 with this Governor.

Note well: what I say about the Presidency likewise applies also to House seats in 2012: all will be up for grabs.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1073 at 04-30-2011 11:21 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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This is much of my post in another area in which I participate (also as pbrower2a): Dave Leip's Election Atlas.

Quote Originally Posted by myself
In recent weeks we have paid much attention to how the President rates on statewide approval polls. Such is obviously relevant to whether he can be re-elected. Here I suggest a different approach: how state governors are doing. I am going to figure that a highly-popular Democratic governor might help President Obama get elected in the state, and that a highly-unpopular Democratic Governor would hurt his effort in that state. I will use red for a popular Democratic Governor (one with an approval 'surplus') and orange for an unpopular Democratic Governor (with an approval 'deficit').

In contrast, I would expect a highly-popular Republican Governor (blue) to make an Obama victory difficult in his state, and a highly-unpopular Republican governor (green) to make an Obama victory more likely.

I am going to blank out a state or district with white if it has no governor (DC, obviously) or an independent Governor, and revert a state to gray should the existing governor leave office (death, resignation, new election, or impeachment). Yellow is for a tie in approval or disapproval, whether the Governor is a Democrat or a Republican, Significantly, I am NOT going to rely so much upon raw approval as I am going to rate governors on deficits or surpluses of approval. Some Governors are better known in some states than are some others. A governor with a 37-31 split between approval and disapproval can be doing very well, but one with a 42-47 isn't doing so well. There will be no averaging, and partisan polls will be rejected.

I have no intention, so far, of showing that a Governor (should the case so be) either faces a criminal investigation or mass protests in opposition to his policies. Such will surely show in the likely deficit of support.

Deficit or surplus for a Democrat or Republican:

1% to 4% ... color 20%
5% to 9% ... color 40%
10% to 15% ... color 60%
15% or greater ... color 80%

EVEN 40% yellow

No governor or an independent governor ... white

The map above shows the month in which a State or district is polled. Letters represent months from January (A) to December (L). None shall be shown from before February 2011 except if the Governor has been re-elected or continues from an earlier election (people in the state arguably knew what they were doing).
Unfortunately I can't bring the map along with my prose, but I can lead you to the forum. By all means, check it out.

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/ind...topic=134515.0
Last edited by pbrower2a; 04-30-2011 at 11:24 AM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#1074 at 04-30-2011 11:24 AM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
Disaster #3. Racial and religious strife. Any religious group that shows disdain for the new political order will find itself subjected to persecution except perhaps of members who sell out. Someone who takes the Sermon on the Mount seriously would be in deep trouble in a system that sees the enrichment and pampering of elites as the sole purpose of the life of anyone. It's hardly surprising that subjected people would find the story of Exodus -- ancient Israelites escaping slavery in Egypt -- very attractive if they are slaves, peons, or serfs.

Few blacks, Hispanics, or even Asians are part of the genuine Upper Class in America. Those who have succeeded are still middle-class at most -- and destruction of most of the middle class would hit non-whites hard.
European History 102: 19th Century & Beyond

Lesson 1:

Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Nabucco by Verdi

It is an allegory for the suffering of the Northern Italian people under the rule of the oppressive Austrian Empire. It is a call for Italy to have an unified nation & national identity.

Come out of the Theatre chanting VERDI.

Victor
Emanuel
Regino
D'
Itali

~Chas'88
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."







Post#1075 at 05-01-2011 07:19 AM by '58 Flat [at Hardhat From Central Jersey joined Jul 2001 #posts 3,300]
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Of course Verdi also explained the origin of the Mafia - or at least that of the term itself - in another opera of his:

A woman goes to a church in Palermo to fetch her daughter, who had been praying there all day - but once inside the church, she finds her being raped by a French soldier (Sicily being under French occupation at the time). The mother runs out of the church, screaming "Ma fia! Ma fia!" (Sicilian dialect for "My daughter! My daughter!"). The townspeople instantaneously rise up - and within six weeks rout the French from the entire island.
But maybe if the putative Robin Hoods stopped trying to take from law-abiding citizens and give to criminals, take from men and give to women, take from believers and give to anti-believers, take from citizens and give to "undocumented" immigrants, and take from heterosexuals and give to homosexuals, they might have a lot more success in taking from the rich and giving to everyone else.

Don't blame me - I'm a Baby Buster!
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