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Apr 7, 2023·edited Apr 7, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

https://substack.com/profile/88831324-fay-reid

Thank you. a very thought provoking class. I'm glad you explained so clearly the difference between income and wealth. One thing I have noticed is the anger of the younger generation on the unfairness of both income and wealth today. I am 90. I had 4 children (all deceased now) Everyone of them owned a home. Although not all of them made more money than me, partly it was due to their untimely death between the ages of 39 and 69. However, none of my grandchildren, even those with college degrees is making even close to a decent living. Two own property, the other two will probably never earn enough money to purchase a home and all are resentful. I agree with them, somewhere along the line my generation became unwatchful and allowed the government to favor wealth and power over the citizenry.

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Fay: It all began 40 years ago when the southern states turned red, and people there started voting against their economic interests, whereas they had previously always voted Democrat (basically because Lincoln was a Republican - yes, it's that stupid). The Southern Democratic leaders were mostly racists (remember George Wallace?), but they all voted for high taxes.

The Tragedy of Modern American is in five acts.

Act One: Enter those snooty Kennedys. They told southerners "You are practicing apartheid. It's disgusting and we will no longer tolerate it." The immediate result was Civil Rights and the flipping of 100 million white votes from blue to red.

Act Two: Enter Ayn Rand, Barry Goldwater, Lewis Powell, Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan, who said, basically, "Fuck y'all, we can now lower taxes on the wealthy and call it Good Morning America." Even in the blue states, Americans fell for it.

Act Three: Enter Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the newly-empowered banking class represented by dopey Robert Ruben, Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers, who said, basically: "Fuck y'all, we're gonna monetize healthcare, monetize prisons, ship your jobs to Mexico, and repeal Glass-Steagall.

Act Four: Lehman Brothers meltdown, and a newly-appointed African American president, who, after declaring "we are the ones we have been waiting for" appointed LARRY SUMMERS as Treasury secretary. Result: No jailtime for bankers, a massive bailout of the banks, a massive healthcare screwup called the ACA, which basically destroyed the medical profession, all of this setting the stage for:

Act Five: HRC and the Orange Man.

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MH - It would appear to not be rational for southern voters to vote against their own interests. Why is that they do this in your view?

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It's an old question. While Krugman says they're sometimes voting in their economic interests (e.g., voters in W. Virginia think Democrats regulate, which will hurt their interests in mining) nevertheless this simply cannot apply in general.

I think that in general they vote their racism. The Civil War is still raging in their heads, which explains why many of them spend their weekends re-enacting long lost battles.

Why did they vote Democrat before 1965? Because Lincoln was a Republican for Chrissakes. It's that stupid.

Why are they obsessed with God, gays and guns? Well, they basically live in a pack society, which explains their religiosity. God and Trump are the Alpha males, and others (read Blacks) don't belong. Furthermore, gays are explicitly forbidden in the bible ("man shall not lay down with man," etc., which suggests there was already a lot of it going on even in biblical times).

Guns are a little more puzzling. If you subscribe to the Freudian concept of the subconscious, then guns must be a surrogate for something, and I suspect it's a response to the fear of the Black man, who, you know, is coming to rape your wife and daughter. Then guns get equated with freedom, and as we know freedom is a singularly American value, not found in any other country in the world.

So, an obsession with God, gays and guns fits with the pack society in which they dwell.

I think Marjorie Taylor Green is on to something. Let's have a national divorce, perhaps create something along the lines of the EU (but without Brussels), a United States with free trade between the states, but autonomy ofor each state. Let the South discover where they get their food stamps.

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MH - I think that what you are talking about is really CLASS. Marxist view of class. The Ultra rich, in a democracy, profit by keeping the poor and middle class divided politically. They do that by appealing to class. Make one group feel superior to another with propaganda. Poor and middle class whites who have seen 40yrs of declining wealth and income also see their place in society declining. The Factory worker who was making $65k a year, had a pension and a union to protect him at work now has a service job paying $15 an hour, no pension and no union to protect him. The rich don't want him to blame them for screwing him, even thought they are the ones that profited from pushing his wages down. So they fund propaganda that gets him to blame others for his declining wealth and dignity. Immigrants are taking jobs so we need to keep them out, black are committing crime so we need guns to protect ourselves and liberal law makers are giving Gay people status so we need to hate the Democrats. And the church, as it always has, pushes the message that the donor class wants them to push to their membership...

This is a story as old as time.. I have stopped getting emotional about it. Progress comes, and it always does, when we organize and focus on the real enemy. I don't blame poor and middle class white folks who have seen their incomes and dignity ripped from them for 40yrs for supporting Trump any more than i blame some kid growing up in a ghetto with one parent on welfare and no family to help raid him or her for getting into crime and getting arrested.

I live in the Bay Area. You drive North or East or South for 2hrs and you are deep in Trump country. A national Divorce, wont work. We are a society not a couple.

Identify the true enemy, the DONOR CLASS, organize and fight. That is the only way to change this. You are not going to convince some pro gun dude living in rural anywhere that there are to many guns in this country. If kids dying in schools wont convince him, you and I are not going to convince him. But give him a decent job with a real future for a life of dignity and his guns become irrelevant to him.... Unite.

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The racism excuse has become a ridiculous canard.

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I don't know about that. My relatives got government-funded GI loans to buy government-built housing after the war but WWII gis who were black did not. That's why an $18,000 in 1945 in Suffolk or Bergen, worth $1.5 million today, can be sold and put in trust for the grandchildren. Black warriors didn't get that. How do I know? I work with their children. Now, tell me again, how racism and slavery are so 19th century and was so eliminated in 1865 that we don't have to address it in 2023. Facts are stubborn things. John Adams. .

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Dio - The question is "why" does racism stubbornly remain in this society? We end slavery with a war and get Jim Crow, we end Jim Crow with the Civil Rights laws and Clinton gives us mass incarceration.

I think the US does "class" different than the Europe that Marx wrote about. But at the end of the day it is about Class... People need to look down on someone to feel good about themselves. And if that is not instinctive then the RICH will fund propaganda to train ordinary people how to find joy and hapiness in looking down at someone.

How do we fix this. We can't. But we can reduce it. And the way we reduce it is to structure the economy so that everyones income and standard of life is increasing in line with over all productivity growth.. People's lives improving makes class propaganda much more difficult.

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The more stubborn fact is that you are relying on a 75 year old wrong to justify your notion of systemic racism. This is a country where white voters twice elected a black man to the Presidency, a mixed race woman to the Vice Presidency and we have a black minority leader in the US House. Nearly all major cities in this country are run by Democrats and have been for many years with a large number of those cities run by black mayors, black councilmen and black police chiefs. So, how do you justify the notion of a systemically racist society unless of course it is the systemic rot within the Democratic Party that shoulders the substantive blame for such a condition?

Daniel Patrick Moynihan identified the root of our societal issues regarding race and poverty 50 years ago; a gross overreach of governmental dependency that has ruined the two parent black family structure today.

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Liberal soup; in order to be ridiculous, a thing must first be ridiculed. As far as racism is concerned, "Just because you are paranoid does not mean you are not being followed (or hated because of what you look like.)

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I don't believe anybody denies racism and bigotry exist in this world. What is ridiculous' is the notion that we suffer in a systemically racist society. If you believe otherwise, please cite the statutes being enforced today that are specifically racist.

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Because many were fundamentally racists. LBJ's passing of Civil Rights Act and succumbing to Vietnam disillusioned many and enabled Nixon to take advantage, flipping D's to R's in South.

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David - Why are some American's "fundamentally racists". People are not born racist, they are trained to be racist. Who trained so many Americans to be bothered by the Civil Rights bills in the 60's?

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Their parents and community segregated and trained them.

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Mary - How about the media?

It has been proven that super wealthy people fund propaganda on dividing poor people so their voters will be divided. That lets the super wealthy control law makers to their benefit.... Isn't the primary purpose of identity politics to divide working class voters so they don't reduce the power of the rich to control law makers? Noam Chomsky has demonstrated that.

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Good question, Michael D Picketty: the injustice speaks for itself, If one is Christian and actually reads the teachings of Christ, or if they read the Constitution, they may figure racism is not good all by themselves. Some folks actually make friends with Black and Brown, Asian or Indigenous people.

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LB - I think that 'racists' in America in 2023 are people desperate for belonging. Like the 14yr old in the ghetto that joins the gang. He is looking for and desperate for attention and to be part of a group.

Whether it is a racist or a young gang member both are certainly dangerous to civil society. And both are victims at the same time. I think they should be treated accordingly.

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The proposal in the Great Society to expand the largely white middle class beneficiaries to include marginalized black, brown, and native populations, promoted by a ruling class that genuinely believed -- wrongly as it turned out -- that their inclusion could be attained by relatively modest increases in public spending, foundered when (a) it was realized this could be done only through a significant reshuffling of the wealth/income deck, (b) those holding most of the cards realized they could lose a suit or two of three, and (c) the ensuing social disruption and negative view of humanity inherent in a lot 9f people were seized upon to organize, and funded the creation of, the Conservative Counterrevolution of 1978 in Britain and 1980 in America. That was our 1848. We're still debating that today.

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Dio - Where is the evidence that including marginalized black, brown and native populations of the benefits of the great society could not be obtained by relatively modest increases in public expenditures?

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Racism is as American as cherry pie. (Paraphrasing H. RAP BROWN)

I grew up in the LA basin. When my Grandma took me to the library, I knew I was safe. I could check out anything I wanted. The parental units needed to keep me occupied. The South is still a slave society.

https://southsidepride.com/2014/05/11/violence-is-as-american-as-cherry-pie/

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Nixon's win in 1968 was far more basic and obvious. The Democratic Party handed the Presidency to Nixon in August of that year in Chicago. Was Nixon a racist? Yes and a bigot too but so were LBJ and JFK. For that matter, so is Alvin Bragg and Barrack Obama as well as Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

As for the Civil Rights Act, it passed because of Republicans, not Democrats.

Racism is not a systemic issue; it is far more basic than that. It is a rot that begins in the home and LBJs Great Society fueled more rot in our society than any other factor in my lifetime.

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LBJ and JFK were not bigots. That a "false equivalency" approach. The fact 4 Democrats were cited with one Republican thrown in for "balanced credibility" says it all. Yes, the "country club" and "rotary club" republicans of that era, lead by a former west texan school teacher derided by, and felt inferior to, the studied glamour of Camelot, provided more votes than the opposing Southern Dixiecrats (southern Democrats). It was the Northeast and Upper Midwest "regionals" who combined to outvote the former Confederate South. Enraged, and with the funding of the wealthy rightists who liked Hitler and hated the New Deal, these Dixiecrats, and their semi-literate but well read upwardly mobile neo-liberals fellow travellers in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, plotted a long-term take over of the Republican Party after expelling the country club and rotary leaders as RINOs. This endless bashing of LBJ and the Great Society is little more than the sour grapes of those America Firsters who hated the New Deal, liked Hitler, were enamored of fascism because it showed the middle class who was in charge, and are now dressed up in MAGA and America First zealots.

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I'm sorry but this makes no sense. I strongly recommend Caro's book Master of the Senate, especially the part where LBJ tricked the Dixiecrats into voting for the Civil Rights Act. That's when The South became Republican.

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It was Republicans that gave the margin to pass the Civil Rights bill.

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I’m very curious how much of the rise in wealth inequality is a result of a backlash to the civil rights movement and I hope he helps extrapolate the distinction. Every time I examine it, I always comes back to this reason over and over again.

Part of the reason I think the civil rights movement was able to be carried out is because Black Americans that moved to the north in the Great Black Migration were able to gain more wealth and leverage the power that increased wealth gave them to legally end racial discrimination.

I would also hazard a guess that the rise in wealth inequality in Europe has a lot to do with a reaction non-white immigrants and refugees moving into their countries.

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Joosey - I call myself Piketty because i am a big fan of the economist Thomas Pitetty. There are a number of specific economic policies both in Europe and the US that are the cause of 40yrs of growing income in equality. The big ones are the end of the 75% max tax in incomes over a certain amount ('82) and Breaking up Regional Banking in favor of Money Center banks ('72 - 75). Once those two things happened you free'd up the money for the donor class to then buy legislation that further actually shifted GDP from the poor and middle class to the rich. Those policies, which required donor class control of law makers were for example policy making share holder buy backs legal (mid 80's), breaking up unions (80's and 90's), NAFTA (mid 90's), legally allowing banks to get too big to fail by ending Glass Stegal ('99) and finally Citizen United.

These policy changes enabled countless laws that have systematically reduced wages for poor and middle income families for 40yrs. Piketty showed that in 1980 the lower 50% of Americans had 22% of GDP. But 2019 ish their share of GDP was reduced to 10% while the top 1% of income earners saw their share of GDP in 1980 move up to 20% by 2019. Oh, and productivity growth of American workers slowed from 1980 to 2020 relative to the period of 1945 to 1979.

I don't think racism caused any of this. But the donor class funds media that stoke racism fires, and anti immigration fires to get the lower 50% of Americans to blame immigrants and minorities for their declining share of GDP rather than the companies and donors that are the true cause.

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The timing of Nixon's post civil right's drug war and the assault on redistributive fiscal policies are not a coincidence. I know you mean well by ignoring the impact of race, but it really does matter.

This has been the policy of the GDP and their dogwhistles for decades:

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -Lyndon B. Johnson

If you dig down into why we can't have nice things, like medicare for all, it's usually racism at the core:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/universal-health-care-racism.html

I could keep going. The reason why Clinton and Biden could get away with the tough on crime, three strikes laws? Racism. Our system farms poor brown and black men, straight into the penal system because it is profitable, period. Here is a clip from Jon Stewart's show on Friday. I can't find the clip from the show where Jay Jordan frames the size and scale of the incarceration system in a way I haven never heard it before, but it was breathtaking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTmjwGEQTeA&list=PL4RaSiGWHbPJQUwfTeLEqpirAQt7AogYz&index=1&pp=iAQB

I don't know how anyone could look at who is in prison and why and can't see that race is a significant driver of income inequality. It's foundational to Secretary Reich's course!

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Joosey - I don't disagree at all with anything you are saying about the impact of racism on growing income inequality. I am citing the research that measures over all growth in income inequality.

Nixon divided the country, Reagan crushed Unions with large majorities of black workers, Clinton created mass incarceration aimed at black communities and then cut "welfare as we know it" instead of improving it.

I have read about and am well informed with all of your points and dont disagree with any.

My data is on the aggregate largest causes of growing income inequality for ALL americans, not just blacks.

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Thanks, Michael. And it’s Black people, not “blacks”. I’m not trying to be nit-picky. Words mean things and removing the noun from the descriptor is dehumanizing. Being informed isn’t the same thing as getting the difference in the impact of the systems. As an informed as you may be, you might benefit greatly from some Decolonization & Anti-Racism education. My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem is an excellent place to start. Intellect and information isn’t enough. We have to learn to embody a deeper knowing and heal how these systems live in our bodies and our communities. There’s an ever growing community of folks that understand the polycrisis as a cosmological and community problem, not just an economic and policy problem. Their work is astounding. Rooted Global Village is my absolute favorite.

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A shrunken and insecure professional middle class living the standard of living of a union member administering the commercial and state levers of power over a larger and impoverished working class now living at the level 8f the welfare poor in 1960, with the welfare poor now living in tents, is much easier to CONTROL than a growing and more prosperous middle and working class focused on extracting wealth and income from those with most of the cards to increase the wtll being of all -- including the "unworthy" poor

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Thank you laying out the argument so clearly.

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I think it 2as a reaction to the efforts to address the unrest caused by northern segregation worsened in cramped ghettos with the arrival of illiterate share croppers now living next to literate and relatively affluent northern blacks there since the civil war. The public spending dilution and, as it turned out, the mistaken belief that northern bigotry was not as virulent is what triggered the backlash. European racism, tied as it is to the equation of citizenship with ethnicity, is a factor. Unlike America, it is overshadowed by a feudal-aristocratic class tradition that the postwar reforms alleviated. That ended in Europe in 1978-1980 when Europe, like America, returned to the Bar Authoritarian to drink heavily, yet again, from the romantic spirits of Social Darwinism, Lassiz-Faire, and an organic view of Society lead by a Natural Aristocracy which, now, is populated by the Billionaire Class.

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It’s led by the billionaire class, but populated by many others.

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Joosey - one nuance you should keep in mind as you do your research is that inheritance laws in Europe are very different from those in the US. / In the US, as I understand things, I could blow off my kids and leave all my wealth to my cat. On the continent, things are not so simple.

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I read this article last fall and found it fascinating. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/21/world/europe/marlene-engelhorn-wealth-tax.html

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I had not seen/read this. Thanks. From the article:

"The number of nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxed net wealth dropped from 12 in 1990 to five in 2020. While a higher number of O.E.C.D. countries tax inheritances, the amount collected accounts for 0.5 percent of all taxes there."

Also, as a career banker with a special interest in things like trusts, AML, multi-generational wealth preservation, St. Kitts and Nevis, geopolitics, sashimi, and similar, closely related topics, I think there is so much more to know about old European wealth than we currently do.

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New wealth is tolerated so long as they don't supplant the aristocracy. It is a replay of Fritz Stern's Gold and Iron -- a great expose on the intensification of Junker opposition to modernism and antisemitism.

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My dad extolled Reaganomics as the solution: it’ll trickle down. The impact of those policies were immediate and went into effect just as I started my career journey. It was rough as a woman in tech finance. My female Gen X coworkers and I never made the money the boomers were pulling down, for the same work. They stagnated as companies merged and consolidated. Even IBM, ATT and Chase laid people off; hitherto unheard of. It got so bad, I left finance for insurance after tge Great Recession. Imagine my shock when I realized most leadership jobs were held by white men. Again, a glass ceiling sand many are boomers. I met a man on vacation in Ecuador who was about my ago and very wealthy, no friends retired as a plumber and miserably lonely. He’d amassed his wealth because his grandmother mother and aunts all owned houses on same block in California. He’d bought there too from a neighbor to be close to the symbiotic relationship that proximity brings. As they passed from old age, he inherited their homes. He sold 4 homes for over 4 million apiece. Ppl I know will inherit massive wealth when parents pass because parents bought and invested in real estate. I’m not hand so limit myself to stocks and 401k. I hadn’t known, till laws were changed how much money managers were charging us for terrible results from 401k investments. I see young people yelling tear down capitalism, I disagree. We need to instill policies to capture and tame greed. I don’t know how best or where but I’m willing ti listen and try

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I do understand, Catherine. You got screwed by people who didn't understand how their economy was being manipulated. I am considerably older than you (90) and have lived through good times and bad. 1933 was part of the slippery slide that bottomed out in 1936. The nasty's in the then Republican Party refused to believe FDR had successfully baled us out of the worst financial depression of the 20th Century, they insisted WW2 was the thing that got us out, as Professor Reich would say Rubbish! Because I was my father's favorite I was the one to whom he imparted his wisdom. I learned about fascism, authoritarianism, from my Dad. From age 6 on, I was incurably political. So, in 1968 I voted for Hubert Humphrey, in 1972, George McGovern. Until I joined Substack and Professor Reich enlightened me, I always blamed, but never understood how Nixon and his cronies shafted us in 1973 with the phony oil embargo. The best thing you can do is keep abreast of REAL news, not what they spout and misrepresent on Cable or "mainstream" news. It (the news media) used to be reliable until the 1980's - since then it has become increasingly biased in favor of wealth. The only way I see to get out of the mess we made is to vote and promote Liberal Progressives (or Democratic Socialism if you prefer) Try as best you can to educate your family, friends, co- workers on the true meaning of regulated Capitalism, how Communism does not exist - call it what it is - dictatorship. Someday, I sincerely hope we return to the Socialist Democracy that worked so well, helped us win WW2, allowed ordinary people to gain an education, enabled us to buy houses, drive cars, even have a vacation every year. Greed is the worst thing that has happened to us, but it is also the enemy that each and everyone of us has to stifle in ourselves, as well as 'corporate America' the Legislative and Executive Branches of government and now has even infected the Supreme Court.

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Why does your generation pick on Boomers so much? Female Boomers had it just as hard as you, maybe even harder. We tried to make things better for you. I was out there marching and protesting for women’s rights.

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The wisdom of our moms and grandmoms. The older I get, the more I understand and acknowledge this.

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Mine were New Deal and Great Society advocates. I was well trained to view, skeptically, those admirers of the need to restore "the good old days" when 2 people in 2000 had indoor plumbing.

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Yes sir, it is a banking Ponzi taking down the world; it put phony identities on easements. and it's a sick life insurance murder Ponzi being run within the banks. If there is a particular death that seemed questionable call me 9709466786; I'd run a background on that person and see if the banks used their LOAN for a DUPED person ("trust of"_) identity as they are using me. It is a ponzi that I thought I had talked my sister and her husband out of; Ed Wertz is investigatred with Jamie Dimon in "Dirty Money" season 2 episode 2; you can see him walk right beihind the president of Wells Fargo and into the courtroom. Covid was a murder Ponzi! The PPP loans will be a murder Ponzi; Its a 4 open loan scheme of shell gaming they use easements for property acquiesition.

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Thank you. I can always depend on you for the truth

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When unearned currency is freely distributed, the value of all of that currency declines.

The developing world is in the process of abandoning the dollar as an exchange medium.

Covid and other disasters have been an excuse to print money, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

A valid currency must be earned in exchange for goods and services. Without said exchange it has zero value.

Yes, our grandchildren will have a tough time digging our nation out of this decline. It may be that we are destined to be consumed by Communists. It seems that is what our Democrat party wants. I'm happy that my heirs will at least know that I did not comply.

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You can believe whatever you want Gandalf, but there is not now, never has been and never will be a country ruled, consumed, or approaching communism. Political parties can call themselves anything, but their actions tell us what they are. Communism is an idealistic, impossible method of a select group of people living and working together for the common good, sharing all resources evenly and fairly with each other. Plato called it Utopia. A relatively few, small "hippy" communes formed and thrived for very short periods of time in the 1960's and 1970's. In Israel a few kibbutz's were successfully formed and also lasted for a longer period of time than the hippy communes, but they too, eventually failed. The innate human greed, eventually destroyed them and they were very, very, small. Those countries that called themselves communist were in fact, authoritarian dictatorships. Some leaned toward fascism (like the Soviet Union which supported industrial and criminal oligarchs)

What liberal progressives within the Democratic Party hope to achieve is a democratic socialist form of government, which embraces regulated capitalism (emphasis on regulated) where all citizens are valued, respected, and accepted. Where no one is hungry, unhoused, has decent clothing suitable for the season, and everyone is entitled to as much education as they desire and all are trained to be useful.

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Communism is great on paper, but in practice it is a failure for the reason you outlined. The major problem we have is that a large portion of our fellow Americans do not understand what Democratic Socialism means. The Republican Party is scaring the hell out of the Hispanic in the US by branding Democrats as Socialist. They are using this scare tactic for registering Hispanics. It is high time that the Democrats start educating the public of ALL the existing Socialist programs the Democrats have proposed and pushed which millions of Americans are now benefiting from. We cannot and should not remain silent on this issue.

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Thank you, Elias, I am in total agreement. Since at least the 1950's the ultra conservatives have tried to equate communism with socialism. Also to equate social services of any type with government "dole". The biggest government handouts remain the tax breaks, loopholes, oil depletion allowances, subsidies, and over charged military contracts to the wealthiest of the wealthy and corporations. That's why the Republicans are so busy lying about the IRS using the 80 million dollars to audit the wealthiest.

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Fay Reid: Well said.

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Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

Elias Bigio; also mention the 'Socialism' enjoyed by the too big to fail banks and corps that get bailed out along with tax breaks and loopholes. Then they don't pay taxes anywhere near the rate of workers, if they pay them at all.

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Spot on, as usual Fay!!

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You’re so wonderful Fay. Your grandchildren are so lucky to have you.

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By "dependence" I presume you mean the insuring of deposits in excess of $250,000 placed in the Silicon Valley Bank, the funding of bank collapses in the wake of the 2008 mortgage securities insurance market, and the 2001 bail out of the savings and loans, correct? Or are you limiting that tin-foil analysis to food stamps, section 8 housing, medicare, and grants for education?

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That may be what you want, but it has never turned out for the better. Dependence becomes slavery every time.

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Fay, with all due respect, you really need to read Eduard Bernstein's later analysis of Marx where he concluded that capitalism need not be abolished through revolutionary communism because it was generating wealth for everyone, not just the bourgeois as Marx said, and this included the proletariat. Consequently, evolution not revolution was the future. That's the genesis of the post-war social democracy movement i.e., Labour in the UK, the Union of the Left in France, the Social Democrats in Germany and, maybe, the Democrats in America except they seem more like the German Free Democrats than social Democrats when push comes to shove.

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While I didn't read Bernstein's treatise, I am well aware of the disagreements with Karl Marx. I did read Marx and thought the same thing as I did of Plato's Utopia. Pie in the Sky. Neither Marx nor Plato thought about or truly understood real human beings. Unfortunately neither took into consideration GREED. This trait, in my opinion, is the absolute worst one we as a species have. For most of us, we at least attempt to control it, but for some, it knows no bounds. That is the main reason Communism, as described by philosophers will never and has never worked, except in very, very small communities and for very short periods of time. While Capitalism does work, it only works well if there are enforced regulations to stifle the innate greed. Unfortunately for us, especially in America, we are reaping the "rewards" of unregulated greedy capitalism, where a very small percentage of us controls a way more wealth than they either need or can use in a lifetime. We don't need nor should we, do away with capitalism altogether. We have seen the stupidity of that in some but not all European countries. Particularly in Russia. State control of all industry still results in a dictatorship with a small oligarchy maintaining the wealth.

Supply side (trickle down) economics is as stupid as Plato and Marx. Unregulated wealth never trickles down, it gushes up. Adam Smith was right. Controlled, regulated capitalism is best for all. Do some acquire too much wealth? You betcha. But controlled and regulated allows for both upward and downward "class" movement. I do think we will always have class societies. While I adhere to equality for all, it is equal treatment under the law that I mean. All Homo sapiens are not born equal. Some have greater capacity for intellectual pursuits, some are more artistically inclined, some physically stronger. These are differences that make us different, not superior or inferior, just different. If we could learn (sometime in the far distant future) to accept these differences with grace and understanding - not rewarding some and disparaging others.. What a great world that would be.

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The reliance on safeguards to check greed is tenuous when the regulated and the regulator share a mutual value, greed, that flowers best in the garden of mutual interest and proclivities.

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Granda - Your Hayakian inspired rational has long since been refuted. Starting with Keynes back in the 30's. Currency is valid as long as people exchange goods and services for it and as long as it has stability. Period.

Currency, even if back by gold, has no value unless goods and services are being created and exchanged in exchange for it.

Covid was a far worse shock to the American Economy than the 1929 stock market crash yet the US economy is in far better shape than it was after the stock market crash. Lower unemployment, less deflation (declining wages) and far less of a decline in the Federal Deficit.

Hayak was wrong. The world has moved on. Today is terrible in many ways for many Americans. But Covid is not the economic cause. The world has learned how to deal with financial shocks like the 1929 crash, the 2008 financial crises or Covid. And that starts and ends by staying away from the gold standard and printing and spending money during short terms shocks to the economy.

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Hayaks fundamental premise is that government (read regulation and accountability in a democracy) is the Road To Serfdom. He and Schumpeter, watched their bourgeois order implode after the War while Keynes and Polanyi offered a way out. It worked until the John Birchers, as expelled former Committee on the present danger members, infiltrated the Republican party of the country clubs and convinced them to roll back economic sharing with the middle classes because it only leads to confiscation. The dunderheads bought it.

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DIo - Well said... Spot on

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Inflation is a tax on every dollar we earn. Government is robbing us by printing money and especially when giving it away abroad. It devalues every dollar.

Now other nations are beginning to trade in other currencies instead of the dollar. Silence on this huge development.

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His lecture accounted for inflation -- in part a reflection of devalued currency. Our dollar is good as the global reserve currency because our economy is so large and the political system is so stable -- until the dunderheads in the Republican Party and dullard billionaires blow it up pursuing the bankrupt ideology of the neo-liberal intellectuals whose fortunes and fame they bankrolled.

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Dio - Preach brother... Holding on to being the global reserve currency is why the US does not have inflation. It funds consumption with out inflation and suplements our own declining productivity. The productivity declines in the US being caused by Billionaires creating monopolies that simply extract higher and higher profits by reducing the wages of labor. Not actually increasing productivity.

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It sounds like I am into a valid idea? I honestly think I'm connecting dots that don't exist at times. In short, I'm an example of Chomsky's Thought Control in Democratic Societies. Having worked on the regulation of monopolies/duopolies for 30 years, I can assure you that your read of how monopolists operate, and regulators enable them, is spot on.

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Granda - Can you identify what has caused inflation for the last two years globally?

It was NOT "printing money".

You do realize that the US has been "printing money" while running higher and higher deficits since Reagan was president. Yet interest rates and inflation have gone down, down, down for 40yrs.

Printing money, alone, does not cause inflation. It has to be accompanied by a decline in production. That is why Friedman was proven WRONG. We have 40yrs of evidence refuting his formula M*V=P*T

https://evonomics.com/the-truth-about-inflation-why-milton-friedman-was-wrong-again/

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Never mentioned a gold standard.

If we were exporting oil and gas to Europe we would be creating real wealth in our economy, balancing our trade deficit, and preventing war with Russia.

There is a concerted effort by Democrats to destroy our country and it's obvious. The covid response was part of the intentional destruction. Closing schools and businesses was not necessary and worse than the disease. The crisis was also used to rig our election. Never let a crisis go to waste and this one has cost us dearly, with malice of intent on the part of Democrats

Your pseudo-intellectual response is insulting, but not surprising because that's how Democrats roll. All imagery and zero depth. Word salad.

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We can export oil only by exploiting sand tars and ruining drinking water or from shale gas and increased earthquakes. Of course, I'd bet you don't live anywhere near the states that would sacrifice their well bring to your ideology.

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You lose your bet. I live in a major oil producing state.

You have no clue about the technology of oil production. You are just repeating what your masters tell you.

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And Louisiana doesn't have cancer rates fa4 above the national average, earthquakes didn't increase in 9klahoma with shake drilling, and Texas corporate control over invests in electric grid reliability and resiliency with all those exports? Who told you to write this comment about masters, Renfield? Was it the Georgia Pacific Vampires or AEI werewolves or Club for Growth Mummies?

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It was British research and a film. What's your source?

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Gandalf, Galbraith (the elder not the younger who spent his time rewriting the Iraqi constitution to benefit his consultant oil company clients) said it is not what we actually "produce" that matters so long as we reasonably and equitably pay wages sufficient to maintain demand and facilitate capital formation by saving. I agree that Exporting oil from shale gas portals in America can create growth, income, and wealth. Would you agree that public investment in rehabbing existing but increasingly dated warehouses, shopping centers, and homes plus releasing the water mains and building mass transit to any town with more than 5000 could do the same? Or is commodity exports, like slave-grown or sharecropper-harvested cotton from 1787 to 1938 the only way to spur productivity?

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I don't think rail transit will be viable in the US.

Soon we will get in our personal vehicle (even flying ones) and tell it where to go. Once on the freeway cars could essentially tailgate forming trains controlled by proximity beacons and other sensors. Your car would break formation at the proper exit and so on.

Hybrids with very small gasoline engines running at the peak power band would keep the battery charged. Very little power generation is needed in the freeway scenario. The batteries would handle acceleration and these are already made with plenty of torque. 100mpg is feasible in this scenario. Like riding a train without stopping for folks to get off.

The flying craft would similarly use small engines to charge a battery. Similar to a drone at takeoff and switching to conventional winged flight for cruising. Same concept. Get in, state destination and then sleep, eat, drink, read, canoodle. No need for concrete highways.

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Not sure why you insert the slavery angle into modern economics but will attempt to explain how value is created.

Oil contains concentrated and portable energy. Producing it creates a form of new currency with real value, unlike printing money. Like crops, nature has done most of the work for us. It is valuable for transportation, heating and manufacturing. We have a trade imbalance and desperately need a saleable product. We have one which could be sold to Europe to reduce their dependence on Russian oil. This would help Europe to avoid war with Russia. We could beat them economically as we did before.

Revamping buildings only recycles old wealth into newer assets. It does not generate new wealth. It's a push.

I do see a good use of the many unused office spaces as affordable housing. These buildings will begin to deteriorate if not occupied soon. No one wants to admit the commercial real estate bubble. Glad I did not invest in REIT ventures. Big trouble ahead.

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Ganda - What is the motive of democratic law makers to "destroy our country"???

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Ask Scott Perry, Lindsay Graham, Marjorie Taylor Green, Rubio, and the Governor of Florida.

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Because they think they are smarter than everyone else and want to create a Marxist "utopia" like Jonestown.

They are mentally ill.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/drinking-the-kool-aid-remember-when-jim-jones-was-a-hero-to-democrats/

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That magazine founder, and most of the journalists published there, were and remain unbearable and insufferable bores.

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Gran - Joe Biden is smarter than who? He is a dithering, corrupt politician. And i am a Democrat saying that. Unlike Republican voters like you, i can admit when leaders from my party are corrupt and idiotic.

Biden is dumb as a box of rocks. All he knows is how to win elections and collect money from the donor class.

And still, he is better than TRUMP and his corrupt cast of banana republic Authoritarians. You don't see Trumps corruption or Fascism do you?

That is because you are a partisan. You don't understand what you talk about. you just regurgitate what the people you like have told you. meanwhile they are as corrupt as Biden and you don't even see it....

Right?

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Holy truth 🙏 Dare I say more : The kernel of the truth ! Thanks for Your friendly words and touching opinion ! Be blesfully happy against all odds dear Fay Reid : 24-31-365 ✓ With unlimited respect and without feeling guilty Vl'ado Orlandich

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Fay Reid; Even if we were watchful, when the Supreme Court passes something like Citizens United, what can human citizens do? It's a start if a 'justice' like Clarence Thomas can be impeached, or some kind of oversight or indictment for crimes committed can give consequences.

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oh, my number 9709466786; I have a case in front of the US Supreme Court; I know the scheme and it was about taking over the country from within, stupidly I thought I could talk my sister and her husband out of the murder Ponzi; because they went to church after offering it to me. Even when he was investigated with Dimon I knew they had the wrong guy! I was dead wrong, my mother was murdered, Richard Lehn was the life insurance advisor with transamerica, a boy they had help them create this 10 year end of life pyramid scheme; "attorney's drs judge leaders" get into the scheme for free; everyone gets 4 loans; you will see the 4 loan scheme under many of our judges. It's corrupted not just our country but the world. It's the good old boys network; only it's not jsut the good old boys having FOUCH, PFIZER AND MODERNA call the Wertz' home about a planned Pandemic in 2010. It's Steve Tannanbaum Goldman Sachs made his TRILLIONS on Bonds one of the groomsmen to my wedding, It's Ray Evans who has a E V ROSEBERRY trust with loans that mirror Kathy Struve's and Cathy Struve's. It's Andrew Struve my ex husband who has loans using the trust of me (identity theft) to acquire a home I purchased prior to our wdding as he was working with my sister Vic Wertz (bridesmaid to my wedding) who used her exhusband's identity, my brother's identity and mine, as well as her own father and mother; the scheme cooks the books for big corporations. They use life insruance on their associates and laugh when Bill Wertz aka Ed WErtz calls the associate who died in 2003 and got a call from Ed when I was in their home to claim the 3 million dollar check as Walmart had put life insurance on its' workers. It's Terry HIrsch who I beleive first revealed the scheme with Andy Struve who I divorced Andy as he was abusive and was discussing my death with Terry and how he would murder me in a bath tub, so many involved in this scheme we had to have covid; its a pump and dump as there were over 100 identities of my mother in 2017 when she died with properties all over the country; they were doing MBS using her easement and a mirrored easement in Maricopa as collateral making it appear they owned properties they were not owners of, he husband is the weirdo at Wells Fargo that did all those phony trust accounts; I can only imagine he is the 3rd antichrist of Notradamus's predictions; as when Trump bragged about passing gain of function that benefitted his 8 to 11 cohorts; if you watch the videos of investigations into covid Trump laughingly passed gain of function by putting 1 page into a 192 page bill; as if he was told to do it and had no idea what the reprecussions were. THESE SCHEME mENTIONED by Jacqueline BREGER on BRUMBLE; she only partly understands the identity theft and the people on easements. And Michael Huchinson is correct it started 40 years ago but it started with the savings and loans this scheme took them down, then 911, then the mortgage crisis, then covid!

Ed Wertz started at Sec Pacific Savings and Loan with mortgages; then Home Savings; then loans for countrywide, hombridge, bofa, Wamu, Wells Fargo, Cap One, Citi, Chase, Discover and acquired Amex as a Mr. Stowers, the phony trusts he will use an S for Struve, a t for tannanbaum, and o for (trump organziation perhaps as I found a trumpio trust under 1133 camelback npb ca a property the trust of me owns as andy struve; and e for engstrom and an r for ROLD! I have his nextstar gps he can make phony backgrounds of anyone for what he does, He is my brother in law; I know he was introduced to me as Clayton Wertz because he as Ed d wertz had lost his stock trading license, he is philip wertz of b of a as I was aaked to give a document to my sister to proof read; he is fed robert d v frierson, and fed richard cohn, as my sister pretended to be a vicki cohn and is running a 2 consumer probate with the courts. And I am one of the consumers in my own probate not by choice! IT's a murder Ponzi

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Serfdom, slavery, the “laws” of supply and demand are all extensions of our nature, a nature that we must find a path above if we are to stay alive on this planet. What happened to “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” a philosophy pushed by some guy 2000 years ago.

The US is a bastion of Christianity except forget loving your neighbor, and Thou Shalt Not Kill is a forgotten edict.

It’s like climate change, the solution is to stop using fossil fuels, but it’s not going to happen unless?!?

How about Thou Shalt Pay a Living Wage?

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Apr 7, 2023·edited Apr 7, 2023

"The poor are always with us" - an old saying amongst the privileged, and they damn-well intend seeing to it that it >remains that way<. The legend is that it motivates people to work instead of doing nothing. Dr Reich discusses the "structural economic trends." "Who's getting what?" - a traditional structural/functionalist approach. I'm interested in how those trends operate, upon what they're based.

"History happens today:"

- LAWRENCE: HISTORIC OUTING OF BLACK TN DEMOCRATS:

https://youtu.be/iXA2UA8Mc1M -

A literary critique of oligarchy

- DO WE LIVE IN A BRAVE NEW WORLD? ALDOUS HUXLEY'S WARNING:

https://youtu.be/aPkQ57cXrPA - the soft sciences,"... a cluster of scientific disciplines...including psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, ... biology ... economic and political science... [and to work out the numbers] mathematics and statistics." - an arsenal of double-edged swords.

Happening now: "Association and Society Management:" https://www.asmii.com/ - for example.

Another critique of an alternate view of the same thing:

- IS 1984 BECOMING A REALITY? GEORGE ORWELL'S WARNING:

https://youtu.be/wf0rxNIOz4M - "Oligarchical collectivism" == Corporate welfare.

Remember when ol' Tweety re-marked the hurricane track, attempting to dictate the weather?

Apply that to:

- WHAT PUTIN LEARNED FROM THE KGB . . .:

https://youtu.be/wf0rxNIOz4M

Was ol' Tweety's birtherism the first shot when a black man became president? You decide. Who was ol' Tweety's old friend. What part of the world has he seemed to like to marrying into?

Dr Reich speaks of historic trend, and ====> History [is Happening] Today - even as we post our comments.

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There is nothing brave about this world. I characterize it as the last gasp…….of white supremacy in Tennessee…..of religious Jews in Jerusalem…. of the transformation of the Republican Party into hatred for Democracy……of the loss of Russian Supremacy

and by too few

the transformation of the World into a unlivable place,

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I wish we had the option of that sympathetic emoji.

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This "in your face" and "no regrets" inequality, spurred in by greed and ego in an age of diminished resources, is a global phenomenon. Russian Plutocrats are former Communists. British Tories peddling Leave are former racist colonialists. Macron is France neo-liberal Thatcher (albeit 40 years later). Xi is Han Imperialism at its best before degradation of the Manchu Emperors upset them.

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Apr 7, 2023·edited Apr 7, 2023

That's the irony of the title. The story is a creep-show.

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Apr 7, 2023·edited Apr 7, 2023

I'm wondering if the TN Republicans will feel the same way, that the reps they ousted had to suffer the consequence of their action, when they rush to ol' Tweety's defense. Just a'wonderin'.

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They only kicked out the black Democrats not the white one. The department of justice needs to revisit that provision in the civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965 that subjected electoral changes in the former Confederate states to pre-approval. Today's Southern Republicans are the 19th century Confederates and the 20th century Dixiecrats.

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Poverty is not a virtue but an intellectual and economic condition that appears in all classes as greed, ego, and ruthless ambition be it the next opioid score in rural America, the next fenced goods in urban America, the looming looting of the banks by hedge fund bores, or political parasites looking to control it all.

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America has become a bastion of faux Christianity. The louder you profess your love of everything Jesus and wave your flag harder or higher than your neighbor makes you a better American hence a better Christian. It's all bullshit.

As for Climate change, you are correct. It comes down to WHO is going to be the first to actually take the first step in tapping down this crisis. Who is the magic word. And it better happen, like next week!

I love your "Thou Shalt Pay A Living Wage". That sounds like a great rally cry for a large Union!

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Mr Reich:

There is a related issue that your network could energize and propagate:

How does the middle class prosper if systemic increases in pay leads to significant price increases by predatory corporations who seek windfall profits (because workers can now afford higher prices)?!

Back in the day when Unionization was large enough to influence benefits to even Non-Union labor, we could see a tighter relationship between higher profits leading to a larger share of profits going to labor.

Under these circumstances, it made less sense for corporations to increase prices, when it quickly and inevitably led to negotiated pay raises (unions were strong enough to compel pay raises with each round of increased profitability)!

It is now clear that without Unions as a non-legislative remedy to mitigate corporate greed, corporations exploit raises in labor compensation as a source of higher profits that won't be shared with the middle class!!!

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I think the spate of government spending under Biden in a non-unionized economy (less than 10%) answered your question -- inflation. Of course, the increasing limits on the materials extraction needed to generate wealth from capitalist production due to resource depletion and climate change also impact the ability to increase supply to meet a government,-funded demand.

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You seem to be ignoring the very real trend of corporations increasing prices because they can get away with it. Employee compensation increased ... which allows them to reason that they can now afford a higher price.

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Thank you. Never took advantage of higher education as a young person and now in my 60s am so happy to be able to see what it’s like and hopefully learn something.

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founding

Also in my 60's. I took advantage of higher education (even some finance and economic courses). I have forgotten all of it. I have never seen a course like this. Half way through the first class and have learned so much. Really glad you are doing this. Good luck

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All you had to do the last 40 years is read The New York Review of Books and anything by Tony Judt or Piketty.

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the atlantic article is paywalled. is it possible for you to either "gift" this article or get a special dispensation from the atlantic for your students?

(please note: i am happy to gift NYTimes & WaPo articles to the class!)

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Yes that was frustrating. Already subscribed to more mags etc than I can read, so not inclined to take on another one.

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I am sorry I never had a teacher like you, I might have stayed in college. I have forwarded your link to my grandchildren. I hope they take advantage of your generosity.

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Apr 7, 2023·edited Apr 7, 2023

Trump is the perfect mob boss and he is proud of it.

He enjoys demanding complete loyalty from his Friends,  (hit men.) If they don't give him their complete loyalty then Trump will turn on them and wrack his revenge on his former friends lives by publicly humiliating them with lies that will turn many of Trumps other misguided followers against these people.

Including Trumps violent followers who will do anything for Trump that they think will make him happy.

Trump's followers love it that Trump is a RACIST, LIAR, CHEATER, and a VIOLENT PSYCHOPATH, because it gives his followers permission to lie, cheat, steal, be racist and use violence whenever they want to.

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RAW STORY: The Atlantic’s Peter Wehner just last week in a scathing account of Donald Trump described the former president as a “mob boss.” Wehner is now walking back that remark, but not for the reasons you might think. “That comparison turns out to have been insulting to mob bosses everywhere,” the conservative columnist wrote in his most recent article that was published Wednesday.

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And MTG is a gun moll.

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We have met ourselves in Donald Trump -- he channels where we are like it or not. Deal with it.

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Can’t wait to listen, watch, and learn. Thank you

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Not at all surprised at your final comments when asking who the people liked to see for the 2016 Presidency.. they would answer Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.. usually by the same person. A shame the DNC was having none of it.

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Surely, you are not surprised. The political parties of property defend property. They just disagree on how many pennies to the dollar, if any, are needed to buy social stability.

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This is fantastic. I wish I'd taken classes from you when I was at Cal decades ago! Maybe you were there? Took me back to watch and listen. You would have been a favorite prof! Thank you.

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I'm so glad I decided to buy into your daily publication, especially, the latest edition where you are teaching us about economics, how it is important it is to our democratic way of life.

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founding

Nothing more destructive to a democracy than a capitalism run wild, creating gross inequalities and its consequences: poverty and unnecessary human suffering along with irreparable damage to our environment and all the life that depends on its blessings.

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Thank you, Professor Reich, for an excellent first class. I’m looking forward to future classes and to work for a better alternative to the status quo.

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Robert Reich , Heather Lofthouse et al : Thank you for this!

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Thank you.

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One idea I hope you explore is child labor. It appears that America plans to use the children of illegal aliens and children of poor families to work in the fields and factories rather than going to high school. In other words, we are getting rid of abortion to produce low cost laborers. Arkansas is one of the states that has changed its laws to make it easier to hire children.

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just watched your first video, professor reich, and i AM SO HAPPY that i can see it (i was restricted from viewing last year's videos, which made me very sad, despite paying for your class -- although i did keep up with the assigned readings, as well as reading other materials, mostly books, about these issues).

i really love how you take the science of economics and join it with the social psychology/sociology of economics and make it real and applicable to most peoples' lives.

once again, THANK YOU for finally addressing the video access issues that kept me from fully enjoying your lectures last year!

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Yes, too few economists are willing to acknowledge the relevance of sociology and history.

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