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Fragile Bird

US Politics: What goes up, must come down!

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38 minutes ago, karaddin said:

 

I do understand the concern that too many Americans won't vote for Sanders, but that just indicates that a lot of [mostly white] Americans would rather vote for a fascist who largely maintains the corrupt economic status quo than risk actual change. It doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of other Americans who have it bad and desperately want that change.

And just because those people want wholesale revolution does not a socialist nation make. You just pointed out that the biggest demographics in this country tacitly support fascistic policies.

Personally, I'll start with someone who lets the kids out of the cages and isn't hell bent on accelerating climate change.

The choice Sanders and his rabid fanatics have pushed on us is everything or nothing. They will get nothing. There's no path to these reforms he's promising. No amount of wishful thinking will get Joe Manchin voting M4A. No amount of youthful engagement will see a supermajority in the Senate, if we can get it back at all.

And if Democrats did pass something? Actually managed to produce and pass a bill? Let me tell you about this thing called the Supreme Court. 

Edited by Jace, Basilissa

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12 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I'm actually kinda surprised at seeing people even resistant to the idea that there may be a lot of people left behind by the economy. Last I looked even though the job numbers had recovered since the GFC there was a large shift towards minimum wage in a lot of the new jobs which represented a large cut to the middle class.

People underestimate inequality in the US, how it works and what it means, including working-class Americans.

That's why the link posted by Ormond AND Simon's analysis can both be correct. Americans (and I'm saying this seriously) tend to be hard-working and independent, they don't like blaming outside factors for their own woes, that's "un-American." So when you dive in the numbers you realize there's a colossal discrepancy between what people perceive and the reality. In other words, most Americans underestimate how serious poverty is in the US.

I posted this UN report here when it came out:
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/38/33/ADD.1

And this article gives you an overview of the debate (tip of the iceberg I might add):
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/25/trump-team-rebukes-u-n-saying-it-overestimates-extreme-poverty-in-america-by-18-million-people/

It's also worth noting that the Trump administration's policies will make everything worse (of course). Basically the US's GINI coefficient is already one of the worst of all OECD countries and it keeps getting worse. It mostly started in the 1980s under... Reagan (of course).

Why the discrepancy? I personally think the answer is, again, propaganda. Americans are tought that the system is fair, that it rewards hard-working individuals, and that people who don't make it are responsible for their own failures. So when people hit poverty they blame themselves and -weirdly enough- keep thinking the system is fair ; there is also more poor-shaming in the US than in other Western countries.
Even when shit hits the fan (as in 2008) Americans will tend to blame everyone and everything (immigrants, the swamp... etc) except the socio-economic structure itself. Because for all intents and purposes, most people believe that a market-based approach to labor and the economy must be fair. Conservatives even tend to think that the market is natural, the spontaneous order of things, the best way to organize a human society, and that it definitely cannot do wrong. But honestly, even liberals can be reluctant to do more than tinker with the entire system, either because they also believe in its fairness, because they don't see any credible alternatives, or -quite often- a bit of both.

Hey, I did manage to explain anti-capitalism 101 after all, yeah! :commie:
 

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6 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Substantial? 95% of Republicans say they support Trump. Most NeverTrumpers have actively gone over to his side or are now claiming that if it isn't someone they really like they'll vote for Trump anyway. 

Maybe? I prefer to go off the election results that actually occurred.  "Falling in line" seems kinda of meaningless if Republicans won't do it during presidential elections.  If the three million or so Republicans that went Never Trump in 2016 come home that is bad news for 2020.

4 hours ago, Fez said:

Not entirely true. For someone only a year or two away from retirement (or already in their retirement), its definitely worth a talk with their financial planner about the odds of a bounceback vs a risk of future loss and whether they should cut and run to protect remaining assets.

Anyone else, yeah, just sit tight. Unless, like me, you're looking at buying in and need to gauge when the right time to jump in is. Other than my retirement, I've been sitting mostly in cash for a couple years for fear of getting caught up in a Trump bubble (and I didn't have the funds to get in at the start of the bubble). So I've been waiting for a recession to start so that I could buy low during its depths.

Don't time the market.

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I find it difficult that there is so much denial in this thread that the US has the strongest economy in the world and has had a strong economy for years. Were there difficult times under Obama? Well of course, he inherited a shit show. But there have literally dozens of quarters of growth in jobs and economic numbers in the last 10 years.

As Sanders said last night, the truth is the truth.

And as for people being left behind, has there ever been an economic recovery that didn’t leave some people behind?

But don’t respond by saying ‘ do you know how many people are homeless ... go hungry ... have no health care ... are paying off student loans?’ Do you know how many there are in other countries with weaker economies?

What is the rest of the world supposed to say? That we’re going to crash our economies so Americans can have even more? That we should be doing something about your poor and your homeless and your student loans and your health care? You have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world GDP!

The fact is, it seems obvious that a helluva a lot of people are perfectly happy with the status quo. Isn’t one of the most common questions asked in this thread over and over and over again, “why do people vote for Republicans?”  Isn’t that a valid question? But did Clinton and Obama solve all those issues when they were presidents? No, of course not. Wasn’t that because lots of people, including Democrats, were opposed to taking measures to help people?

I have repeatedly said I support Warren. Do I have an antipathy towards Sanders? Of course I do, because first, rightly or wrongly, I think he bears some responsibility for Trump being elected (I am not going to re-argue HRC’s failings), and I really resent Trump having been unleashed on the rest of the world, and secondly, Americans have a phobia about socialism that I suspect makes him unelectable. 
 

But if he wins the nomination and then the election he should be a 1000% better than Trump by any measure. And if he can accomplish even half of what he wants to do, life should be better for a lot of people. It won’t be Saint Bill in the future, it will be Saint Bernie, which will be pretty weird considering he’s Jewish. He could be the most popular president since FDR. 
 

However, I still don’t understand why so many people in the US don’t seem to give a damn about all the issues people angrily came at me with when I said you have the best economy in the world. If you can’t get those people to buy into change, will anything happen? If, as Ormond pointed out, it seems like about 70% are happy with the economy, what are you going to do? 

 

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@Rippounet I didn't want to call anyone out, but I was surprised by one non American in this iteration of the thread, so I just wanted to make the general point that there are a lot of really poor Americans.

@Jace, Basilissa I don't love Bernie even though I am much more aligned with his policies than the average Dem. I didn't want him to run and I thought it was a divisive move after how 2016 turned out. I don't think he can win, but then I've never had confidence that any Dem was going to have a chance in this election. But here we are, he seems likely to win the nomination because the opposition to him within the party couldn't get their shit together and now I'm just hoping for the best, if he's going to be the nominee then stop running attacks on him that will actually help lose the general.

None of these attacks are going to claw it back as long as all the other candidates remain in the race, so if they really want a different nominee then work together and put their personal ambition on hold. If Biden hasn't crushed SC enough to rebound he should drop. Amy too. I like Warren and her performance against Bloomberg in the debate was promising, but I'm still scared of how she'll perform against Trumps approach of pure insult. Pick her or Buttigieg, and I really dislike him, and throw it all behind them. If Sanders still wins after that then none of them were going to do better than him in the general. 

Bloomberg isn't going to put anything above himself so he won't drop regardless but he's not beating Trump either so not worth entertaining as the candidate.

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1 minute ago, Lord of Rhinos said:

Maybe? I prefer to go off the election results that actually occurred.  "Falling in line" seems kinda of meaningless if Republicans won't do it during presidential elections.  If the three million or so Republicans that went Never Trump in 2016 come home that is bad news for 2020.

Again, what are you talking about? Trump got almost precisely the same amount of votes in almost precisely the same places as McCain and Romney did. What 3 million votes are you even referring to? 

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

 

Being rather dispassionate about the whole thing (more than most people here I think) I tend to wonder about how it came to this and what it means for the future. It's not just that the US is conservative anymore, that word isn't strong enough now. If most people don't see that Bernie is a lesser evil compared to Trump I seriously wonder if there's anything to hope from politics anymore. A line of thinking which, paradoxically, makes me like Bernie even more. He'll most probably lose, but he'll have fought for what's right to the very end, in the face of insurmountable odds. I agree he should have sat this one out, found someone younger to carry his legacy, but damn, I really like what he's saying, and if that's not enough for you guys (on this board) then I'm afraid the future will be grim indeed.

This is right along @Jace, Basilissa's longstanding thing about liberals supporting doomed causes. Why is it so fucking noble to get your ass kicked in the service of being the most pure? Stop trying to nurse that fucking goshawk to life and start supporting people who can actually win. 

And ya know, maybe Sanders can win. It's certainly possible, and i"m going to do my fucking damndest to get him to win if he's the nomination, but this tired "well, at least we tried" is going to end up with worse and worse results. 

And no, you can't say that it worked for the Republicans. For a variety of reasons Republicans are more likely to just accept authoritarian leaders and accept the change and accept the outcome without any real issue. Democrats are not like that, and that is another weakness, but it means that 95% of the Democrats are not going to swarm behind any candidate, much less a fairly divisive one. Hell, we have direct evidence - of the voters who voted for Sanders in 2016, only 74% voted for Clinton in the general. That might suck, and it might not be what it ought to be, but it is the way it is, and yes, it is damned depressing. 

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Just wanted to make clear that I'm not saying the rest of the world should be doing anything, just have compassion for the poor people in America that have never voted for the Republicans, are absolutely fucked by the current state of affairs and may be voting Bernie in the primary because they want change.

A huge number of them are people of colour, there are probably more poor black Americans than there are Australians or Canadians and they do not deserve to be blamed for Trump any more than non Americans. A lot of them aren't voting Bernie anyway though - they have low expectations of their fellow Americans and want to get rid of the corrupt fascist as much as anyone.

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11 minutes ago, karaddin said:

@Rippounet I didn't want to call anyone out, but I was surprised by one non American in this iteration of the thread, so I just wanted to make the general point that there are a lot of really poor Americans.

Oh please, don’t be shy! Of course Canadians understand there are many poor Americans. Certainly in the circles I hang out in we all understand income inequality is a far more serious problem in the US than it is in Canada. That doesn’t change the fact that the US has the world’s best economy. As many Americans love to say, and I don’t just mean Trump, millions of people want to immigrate to the US.

What we don’t understand is why Americans don’t want to change the way things are for the better when there is sooooo much bloody wealth in the US. Can you please explain that? Please?

I have already mentioned the fact that I see discussions on Facebook where friends of friends say no damn way are they going to pay for health care for other people.

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1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

Oh please, don’t be shy! Of course Canadians understand there are many poor Americans. Certainly in the circles I hang out in we all understand income inequality is a far more serious problem in the US than it is in Canada. That doesn’t change the fact that the US has the world’s best economy. As many Americans love to say, and I don’t just mean Trump, millions of people want to immigrate to the US.

What we don’t understand is why Americans don’t want to change the way things are for the better when there is sooooo much bloody wealth in the US. Can you please explain that? Please?

I have already mentioned the fact that I see discussions on Facebook where friends of friends say no damn way are they going to pay for health care for other people.

Because Americans have a lot of really stupid shit going for them.

  • They believe in self-reliance vs. government reliance and largely hate the government doing anything new. Once they GET that policy they tend to like it, but until then? Fuck off.
  • They believe strongly in the version of the American Dream which says that they will be rich if they just work hard. They have been sold this bullshit for generations, mostly by the inheritors of wealth who want to keep them in line.
  • They believe strongly in party identity, and if that party tells them that healthcare is bad, or that socialism is bad, they believe it.
  • They strongly believe that if your life sucks, it is entirely your fault. That is true for anyone outside their social circles, and oftentimes inside it. If you go to jail, if you are poor, if you are hungry, homeless, on drugs, uneducated - all of these things are your fault. And this is even worse, because they'll also blame themselves if things go to shit. 
  • Finally, for the most part white Americans do not protest, because protesting is something minorities do, and they do it wrongly. They just suck it up and deal. 

Basically most Americans don't find it absurdly offensive that the rich are so insanely rich, and most think that that is actually good. And that's really the rub. The inequality that most Americans see every single day, deal with every single day, is just not that offensive to them. 

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1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

Oh please, don’t be shy! Of course Canadians understand there are many poor Americans. Certainly in the circles I hang out in we all understand income inequality is a far more serious problem in the US than it is in Canada. That doesn’t change the fact that the US has the world’s best economy. As many Americans love to say, and I don’t just mean Trump, millions of people want to immigrate to the US.

What we don’t understand is why Americans don’t want to change the way things are for the better when there is sooooo much bloody wealth in the US. Can you please explain that? Please?

I have already mentioned the fact that I see discussions on Facebook where friends of friends say no damn way are they going to pay for health care for other people.

The US is just so big that there are tens of millions that I care about who are, to put it simply, outvoted by

1) Those who value their white supremacy more highly than their economic well being

2) Those who value their economic well being more than opposing white supremacy and fascism, and the well being of the poor

3) The many systemic flaws in the voting system that greatly inflate the value of some votes over others

It's like billionaires, the number of people in question exceed our brains ability to handle them like smaller numbers. The people I am talking about extending compassion to are an entirely separate set of people to the ones you are talking about because there are so many people in their country it can wholly contain both with a whole bunch of people not in either category on top of that.

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Double post but I'm also going to throw the myth of American exceptionalism in as well. That does some really weird things to how many Americans assess things. If other countries have it and America doesn't, then it must be bad because America would have it if it was good. That one strikes across the ideological spectrum.

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14 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

People underestimate inequality in the US, how it works and what it means, including working-class Americans.

2 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

 

Basically most Americans don't find it absurdly offensive that the rich are so insanely rich, and most think that that is actually good. And that's really the rub. The inequality that most Americans see every single day, deal with every single day, is just not that offensive to them. 

I agree with these (as much as a non-American outsider can). As someone who has lived in Australia all his life and has travelled a fair bit in other English-speaking countries (New Zealand, Canada, UK, but mostly the USA), the poverty in America is always striking to me and something that is distinct to the US.

Homelessness and poverty does exist in those other countries too, and in any big city you're going to see instances of it, but in the USA it seems far more prevalent. And because it's so prevalent, it's become normalised in the American zeitgeist. I guess it's the lack of social safety nets (compared to the other English-speaking countries) that means it's also a far more visible problem.

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30 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

70% are happy with the economy,

70% are not happy, not by a frackin' long shot.

The people who are happy with it are very well off and smugly think they are safe from everything.  Most people are very insecure and anxious for very good reasons, starting with, o, just say, one serious illness, that will lose them their homes, their jobs and everything.  You just don't understand what this country really is going through.

Also we come at you because you seem to believe that despite everything we have been posting here for years that we don't care.

You're like the guy in the virus thread who goes silly because we in the USA take it pretty badly that the Trumpistas have just told us we have nothing to worry about from the virus, while anybody competent and with ideas and expertise to deal with it were fired by him long ago. Why are you dragging trump into this discussion, he howls like a banshee.

But don't worry, like Warren and Castro and Booker, Bernie shall be taken out and it the election will be safe for billionaire old white men.

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9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Certainly. And I only got involved in this because Lollygag's posting multiple links about Sanders seemed to me to be doing the former and not the latter. My original point was that throwing all these links here was completely unnecessary since everyone here must be keenly aware of Sanders's electoral vulnerabilities. Of course, since these threads move faster than a bullet-train, such a simple point quickly got lost in my development(s) and by the time I wrapped up the exchange I wanted to have it probably looked as if I was arguing something different.

Must be? They weren't and that's clear if you go back and read them. Look at the posts early in the previous thread and then towards the end of it too. I've had to clarify that Bernie's not a capitalist which a number of Sanders supporters here were insisting was the case. I had to resort to pulling up video both from the 1980's and last fall where Sanders himself says he's not a capitalist. There's also unawareness about his jello numbers early in this thread. His history with authoritarians seems to have been unknown here and @Darzin posted this which had Republican ammunition that wasn't known either. Many on this thread seem to have their heads in the clouds about how this will all be perceived by the middle and also about what the Republicans will do with this data in a general elections.

PEOPLE HERE WERE NOT ADEQUATELY RESEARCHING THE CANDIDATE THEY SUPPORTED AND MANY HERE ARE STILL IN DENIAL ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THIS INFORMATION.

The only thing I really blame Sanders for is not doing anything these past 5 years to shore up his vulnerabilities and to not define himself leaving the Republicans to do it which will result in 4 more years with the House thrown in too.

 

Granted The View freaks out about everything, but this is a big deal.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/whoopi-goldberg-goes-off-on-bernies-castro-remarks-says-theres-nothing-groovy-about-a-dictatorship?ref=home

Edited by Lollygag

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10 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

 

  • They strongly believe that if your life sucks, it is entirely your fault. That is true for anyone outside their social circles, and oftentimes inside it. If you go to jail, if you are poor, if you are hungry, homeless, on drugs, uneducated - all of these things are your fault. And this is even worse, because they'll also blame themselves if things go to shit. 

Oh yeah the other piece of the puzzle is prosperity Christianity. Birdie - I assume your Catholic belief is at least within the same ballpark as my parents and the particular strain of Christian just doesn't compute from that Catholic viewpoint, but there are a large slice of evangelicals who very much believe that your current state on Earth is decreed by God as punishment or reward for your inherent evil or virtue. 

If you're virtuous then you'd be rich, if you lose your job then you must be sinning. When you overlap that view with racism you get some extra awful ideas.

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1 minute ago, karaddin said:

Oh yeah the other piece of the puzzle is prosperity Christianity.

The prosperity gospel is a big thing in America with those gigantic megachurches. The idea that material wealth is a reward for obeying God and all that sort of stuff is very damaging to people who are in poverty. Never mind that Christians throughout the non-Western world are generally persecuted and marginalised - in America it's different.

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2 minutes ago, karaddin said:

Oh yeah the other piece of the puzzle is prosperity Christianity. Birdie - I assume your Catholic belief is at least within the same ballpark as my parents and the particular strain of Christian just doesn't compute from that Catholic viewpoint, but there are a large slice of evangelicals who very much believe that your current state on Earth is decreed by God as punishment or reward for your inherent evil or virtue. 

If you're virtuous then you'd be rich, if you lose your job then you must be sinning. When you overlap that view with racism you get some extra awful ideas.

That brand of religion is so bizarre to me that it's like it comes from an alien world. 

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This debate is nuts. Sanders finally taking shots he should have got in September. Bloomberg is doing much better. Still love Pete.

 

Prosperity gospel is heresy.

 

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