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Reform or Revolution?

User Thread
 70yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that JOEBIALEK is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Reform or Revolution?
I had the opportunity the other day to watch a most enlightening program broadcast by UCTV. The one-hour program was called "How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?" presented by President Clinton's former labor secretary Robert Reich.

"Inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity in America is wider now than it's been since the 1920s, and by some measures since the late 19th century. Yet the nation seems unable or unwilling to do much of anything to reverse these trends. What happens if we allow the trends to continue? Will they "naturally" reverse themselves? Or will we get to a point where disparities are so wide that we finally find the political will to take action? Alternatively, will the disparities themselves grow so wide as to discourage action, by fostering resignation among the losers and indifference among the winners? And if the latter, where will it all lead?" SOURCE: Goldman School of Public Policy UC, Berkley

The presentation made excellent use of economic graphs to demonstrate how large of a gap has developed between the upper class and the middle class (not to mention the lower class) with regards to income, wealth, and opportunity in the United States between the years 1962 to the present. The trends are alarming to say the least. The speaker correctly points to birthright as the beginning of the disparity that allows for advantages in everything from diet and healthcare to education and connections. Being born into a middle-class family myself, I have truly benefited from my birthright in terms of these advantages right from the starting gate. Some people would argue that many a poor person has risen up by their "own boot straps" but I would argue that in today's society, most (not all) poor people can only rise up with a good pair of athletic shoes or a willingness to sell drugs. Otherwise they have to remain content with working in the service industry for comparatively lower wages than their upper-class counterparts. Mr. Reich further points out that one of the elements keeping our society glued together is the belief or perception by the lower class that opportunity in this country still exists and that if one is willing to work hard, they can be successful.

The speaker talks of two potential outcomes for this growing disparity. He uses the metaphor of the rubber band to illustrate his point. Our society will either "snap back" with a series of reforms supported by all three classes and the government to regain a sense of fairness when it comes to income, wealth, and opportunity in the United States. This has occurred at least once before in the history of our country during a time referred to as the progressive movement. The other potential outcome is for our society to "snap break" whereby this country exists with two entirely different societies. The problem with the latter outcome is that it often leads to the arrival of a demagogue who plays upon the emotions of the middle and lower classes all for the hidden intention of personal gain. We have seen this all too often in history with the likes of Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin etcetera. Mr. Reich suggests somehow that the upper class are not a group with malicious intent but rather are nothing more than a naive self-indulgent class of people who don't know any better. Here I beg to differ. I believe the upper class is guilty of a careless disregard for their fellow countrymen. They have the arrogance to believe they are superior and deserving of extravagance regardless of how they attained it and regardless of how it affects the rest of society. Once again, history shows us what happened to those monarchs who behaved the same way. Do I think there will be a violent revolution in this country? I hope not. Do I prefer a new progressive movement over even a peaceful revolution? Absolutely. My fear however, is that we are already rapidly approaching the point of "critical mass" beyond which there is no turning back. The question today before the American people is what are YOU prepared to do?


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 68yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that cturtle is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
sign of the times
Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes
June 23, 2005 12:12 PM EDT
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.
http://start.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20050623/42ba33c0_3ca6_15526
200506231769853327


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"Terrorist or tyrant, few may come to the Truth that both are poor choice."
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I can't say with any certainty how the future will unfold. We have to continue to help people see what is really going on.

When we were children. Most mothers stayed home and took care of the house and children. Five children per household wasn't so strange.

Now days, to make ends meet, both mom and dad have to work and it is doubtful that they can offerd a house in most areas. Only the working couples without children can offord a home. Five children, you'd be on food stamps for sure.


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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 70yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that JOEBIALEK is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
good points...

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 47yrs • M •
ogre is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
"Reform or Revolution? "

howabout evolution? many people are happy with the way their govornments are working, or they wouldnt of continued on the paths they have for so long, so those not happy should find something better? revolution usualy means a war which isnt good either, let those who want things the way they are stay the way they are, and those unhappy should find a way to start something new somewhere they can or .... ?

Just a thought, I havnt looked into things like this till recently so as i learn more im sure my thoughts will change some, but i do believe we all have the right to be ourselvs and the right to learn and grow.At the moment I also believe that if we are to find a place where we all have that right it will probably have to start from scratch somehow.

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 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
ogre - you have those rights, but there are some who do not. For instance, those who come from poorer families. Their only hope of a future is to join the military. I wish everyone would join the military, rich and poor, five years ago, but today, I would run and hide. This is not the way it should be. Then there are smaller things happening, and if we allow all these smaller things to go on, then someday they will become big things. Some of us are lucky to have our freedom because of something somebody else did and some of us will have to fight. Together, both those who are free and those not can win easily, but not when where not on the same page. This is where the lies and the deceit that comes and threatons are very Democracy. Why do they do this? The rich get richer, the middle class become fewer and the poor become more abundent as a few are the Democracy and the rest their servant. Its all about a few having the most power by convincing you that they deserve it.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
let those who want things the way they are stay the way they are


What if the way they are is highly illegal and the source of terrorism and war in the world? Raping the world and its people of land, resources, and wealth?

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 47yrs • M •
ogre is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
I meant that as another choice, I think there are more than 2 to the original post. More than 3 probably, but the way I have been thinking or leaning or whatever is more evolutionaryinstead of revolutionary. When i say alot of people are happy with how it is now, its the wealthy people with money who im talking about, who are happy. I believe what most of them do should e illegal but attacking that will only get me squashed, or worse locked away somewhere forever.

So I have been trying to find a way to do something about it, without getting squished or locked up ferever. and I also wanted to say that there had to be more than just the two choices listed in the title of the discussion.

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 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i think for any true reform to happen, there has got to be input from the upper classes. it seems to me to be getting to a stage where the lower classes are often verging on being unable to see that the upper classes are screwing them over.
A prime example of this seems to be the re-election of bush. correct me if im wrong, but the republicans seem to be those most guilty of enforcing the class system. it is under their rule that things are swinging in favour of the upper classes. yet instead of attempting to vote the bush administration out, it was mainly concerned upper and middle classes who voted for kerry, with the lower classes especially in the deep south giving bush the most backing. They are almost oppressing themselves

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Installed in each living room is a black box used for brain washing.

From it the masses are taught that those who hve much are great, better, more worthwhile people and those who have nothing. They don't even get an honorable mention. It turns every poor person into a wanta be rich person. Our minds become mush as we no longer have to figure anything out again, as it does this for us.

But then came the internet.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
Reform or Revolution?
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