793 Comments

This seems like as good a place as any to repeat what popped up on Facebook a few days ago. I imagine that it’s been around for a while, but I hadn’t seen it, and it dovetails very nicely with my own penchant for ways to boil down complex concepts to their simplest expression:

Socialism is the fire department coming to save your house.

Capitalism is your insurance company denying your claim you need to rebuild.

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"Good" capitalism is a key driver of the American Dream. I believe Biden should draw the distinction between "GOOD" fair, managed capitalism vs "BAD" oligarchies. In particular, he must emphasize his support for new, small businesses.

This can be an extension of his "GOOD VS EVIL", saving democracy message.

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What makes capitalism good is laws that restrain the power of the rich. High taxes on wealth and income would be a good start.

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Higher taxes can encourage business investment because money spent to start businesses, build factories, and hire workers isn't taxed (profits are taxed). The idea that extreme tax cuts would spur investment and pay for themselves not only hasn't worked, it was fraudulent from the start.

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Peter - Agreed, and it did not stop jobs being moved out of the US. We need to revert back to pre-Reagan tax corporate at 74%. Also attached to this

should be payroll additional tax at 13% for free health care.

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We already have a levy on payroll to bankroll Medicare — we could boost it up a little {I’m more in favor of applying it to higher levels of income, though, as it now applies only to lower levels of income} — and we’d have what we need for that “free” health care….

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You have to redirect your idea of applying taxes to income to taxing wealth. Taxing high incomes almost by definition excludes taxing the rich since most wealthy people don’t have much taxable income. The tax burden ends up falling on successful small business owners, doctors, dentists, etc.

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I agree Peter, but would add that tax loop holes need to be closed as well. Putting the tax back to the 35% does nothing when the loop holes are large enough to drive a Mack truck through.

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Nobody should be allowed the kind of wealth Musk and gang have.

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Remember: every penny accumulated by a person or a corporation was paid by the people through labor and consumption. It belongs to the people. In a democracy, we can tax it. Otherwise, we can't.

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I agree, but we need to prevent it through fair economic policies that guarantee fair wages and demand that companies compensate municipalities — through taxes or direct levies — for the resources, infrastructure and safety services the municipalities provide … Unfortunately, companies have learned how to play towns and cities against each other by demanding tax breaks and infrastructure construction on the taxpayer’s dime, in return for “job creation.” Towns and cities compete to see who can offer companies MORE freebies to lure them into the region … no one is looking closely enough at the bottom line and wondering why towns and cities would do this in the first place!!!

It’s a grift!!!

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We must make so,e drastic changes! Getting the message to the MAGA crowd is a big and most immediate hurdle!

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I doubt we’ll get through to very many of them. Thank goodness they are a small minority, but they do carry weight with the Republicans … eeeep.

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How about reasonable taxes on wealth and income?

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I would favor eliminating taxes on wealth and income entirely and moving to a consumption type of tax as discussed by organized like Fairtax.org

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Indeed, agree.

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To others - note that "Fairtax" is a right wing, 'soak the poor' advocacy. The poor consume; the rich save. The poor are already hit by a bunch of regressive consumption taxes.

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Don't discount the prebate part of the Fairtax idea: everyone gets a check from the IRS that pays for the consumption tax on survival basics. So at the bottom end, the poor pay NO TAX AT ALL, not even the payroll tax (the Fairtax eliminates that), which now takes about 13% of the first dime you earn and is Not taxed from the rich, because that tax stops at about 150k income.

As for the rich escaping taxation by "saving," the point is the Fairtax skims the tax off whenever the money MOVES to the person's benefit. Not when it benefits a production or a service (businesses wouldn't pay any Fairtax, they would include it in the price of their product or service, and remit it to the IRS as they collected it).

So anytime a rich person buys anything for himself, no matter where in the world he buys it, as long as it benefits him here in the US, he would have to pay a Fairtax. And if he "buys" money (gets a loan) then the interest he pays would be "consumption" and be taxed (about 23% if I remember right). So using great wealth as collateral and living luxuriously off borrowed money, while claiming zero "income," would no longer escape the tax as it does now.

Sounds fair to me.

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Plus scrap inheritance tax.

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There is no such thing as good capitalism. Capitalism, like socialism is an idea. Implementation of the concept is where the problem lies. Human greed. Ego. Selfishness. Democracy is where we need to work out these issues even if it’s as a Republic. Capitalism inherently suggests that something has worth be it the product or the labor. At some point this becomes unbalanced toward the product. There in lies the issue. The difference equals profit equals wealth equals quality of living. But whose? If

Labor is efficiently making a better product which leads to greater profit, should the worker not see a better quality on their side? Capitalism always seems to assume that the one with the “capital” also deserves the merit and thus the greater reward. And that is where I call bullshit.

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There is certainly such a thing as “good” capitalism. Well-regulated and enforced is key. All else you say is subject to the rules under which we recognize capital, private property, private enterprise, individual rights, and the market {which never was “free” but also needs to be governed and controlled to the benefit of the mass of us, and not only for the richest of us}.

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Lefties tend to object to the profit motive. But let’s put this into the felt need for profit — as when a Neanderthal woman struck two pieces of flint, creating a spark that ignited wisps of woolly mammoth hair: fire! She instantly recognized that she put less energy into creating fire than she received in light and heat. And so profit isn’t evil; it’s what we expect from simple and complex actions throughout our lives. Want to gain muscle? Put energy into lifting weights at the gym. Want to run a marathon? Get out there every day at 5:30 am and run your miles. Want a better family life? Then consider the welfare of your wife and kids when you invest your money. Life is all about seeking profit.

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You’re so full of baloney.

And simplistic, too.

Where did you get the idea “Lefties” don’t approve of “profit”?

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You seem to be pining for the 1950s. Yes, our new and near-immediate improvement in most U.S. Americans' standard of living was partially a result of our post-war transfer of the government-supervised war mobilization manufacturing phenomenon to private automotive/other manufacturing, but the other part was simply a reinvigoration of the Economic Colonialism which we had been practicing since (the beginning, actually, but...) the beginning of the 20th Century. This cycle leads to grossly unbalanced economies, Fascism, and national disincorporation.

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"Capitalism" is what the rich are using to rob the rest of us. Their political power cancels all the petitions, all the cooperative management agreements, and individual power to affect final decisions on government policies.

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THE ENEMY INSURRECTIONIST ARE AT THE GATE, DEFEAT TREASONOUS , TERRORIST, AND CON REPUBLICONS EVERYWHERE AND JAIL CORRUPT AND TRAITOR RTRUMP AND CRONIES.THE ENEMY INSURRECTIONIST ARE AT THE GATE, DEFEAT TREASONOUS , TERRORIST, AND CON REPUBLICONS EVERYWHERE AND JAIL CORRUPT AND TRAITOR RTRUMP AND CRONIES. VOTE PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS , AND RESTORE DEMOCRACY.

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Good idea . . . And maybe a ceiling for profit.

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How is it that Donald Trump, during his administration, received monies from foreign governments that stand in direct opposition to the existence of this country? Even the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia gave money to Trump, and after he orchestrated the muder and dismemberment of Jamai Khashoggi, whose death occurred during the first 2 years of Trump's failed Presidency. No matter how dirty his hands are, the act of rubbing them together will never result in them becoming clean. The truth is, the 45th president of this country is a crook.

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IMO, any U.S. secrets are no longer secret. Trump, his son-in-law and his cronies have shared or sold them all

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Midwest--Hopefully what was devalued occurred only during his administration, still this country got caught with its pants down, all because of that idiot.

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Pants down and cult like mentality that ignores facts even when they are presented. These people live among us and it is terrifying to say the least. Brother lives on this fear and dislikes minorities, gay people, and transgender types.

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Ben--I had a teacher in the 8th grade that had an unusual way of quieting down an unruly class. He had a large wooden paddle he used on special occasions when one of my closest friends had trouble listening. He would take that heavy thing and slam it down on his desk. The resulting collision between the two surfaces caused a bang that could be heard through the entire school. What this country needs is an attention getter. Hang on, its coming.

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It can take years to get an undercover/covert agent into place. Under the trump admin, they were getting killed. The CIA was having to pull agents out. One was covert in Putin’s office. At least that what was reported in the news.

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Midwest--With Trump's mishandling of those documents, who knows what damage that man has done.

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😢 I don’t think we know the half of the disasters he fostered.

People think he is a business genius, a mastermind of the corporate world, because he played one on TV….Do they think his years as “president” were equally as entertaining and inconsequential, just another reality show they watched on TV.

His antics were outrageous and had real world consequences of horrendous proportions in more ways than we know.

In the real world, his behavior in taking children from parents and losing them would have condemned him to perpetual Monster status, never to be taken seriously in his life, ever again, and condemned to wander the world seeking a kind word, reviled and spurned by good people, turned away by all but the most venal of human beings.

It is a testament to our own hearltessness toward “the other” that we hae kinda forgotten that episode in the Litany of Trumpian Horrors that unfolded from 2016-2020. Culminating on Jan 6, 2021.

Are we THAT racist and xenophobic and monstrous that we can forgive [or at least mostly forget] what he did to those kids?

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I’m pretty sure they’ve given away a LOT of ‘em, no question about that …

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That's my worry, too. One result appears to be the war in Gaza.

US intelligence on Israeli military operations -> Trump -> Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov + Russian ambassador Kislyak -> Iran -> Hamas -> attack on Israel -> invasion of Gaza

Who knows what else there is? Could some of it have encouraged Russia to invade Ukraine when it did? Saudi Arabia to attack Yemen? Apparently the Arab world's brief sanctions against Qatar had something to do with some connivery between Trump/Kushner & MBS.

In the last couple of months of Trump, Russian intelligence devices were found in the Trump government. During those last 2 months after losing the election, I recall Trump taking measures to sabotage the Biden administration.

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You’re talking history, Donald Hodgins. Most of the people don’t want to know history. Even if they know some of the overarching facts, just TRY to get them to sit through an explanation of “context.” Egad. A good teacher is needed, someone who can break an idea down into digestible parts, make it interesting enough for people to keep listening, and get some damned CONTEXT delivered along with flat facts.

Oy, it’s a big job.

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Pat--It's so sad that history is such a great teacher if we would but listen.

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Trump is currently in court arguing the position that a sitting President is immune from the same restrictions put upon the average citizen. Presidential immunity from actions taken while administrating the duties as the commander and chief of this country is a right bestowed on no other, well, that's how Trump sees it. Sadly, it was Hitler's thinking as well.

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Yes, our capitalism has become predatory capitalism and the laws are made by the predators.

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We desperately need campaign finance reform to get big corporate money out of politics! Citizens United was a horrible decision by SCOTUS in 2010!

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I recall the "Hunger Games." Not quite the exact comparison but it does depict the oppressed versus the privileged.

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Alas, the term GOOD has been stolen by the tax-cut-loving Dark Money bloc. For too many voters, there no longer is any religious GOOD to restrain capitalism. Draconian abortion laws is the only question St. Peter will consider at the pearly gates. Assault weapon collateral damage is a price they’ll pay in order to get the judges they, and the tax-cutters want

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For all the capitalists to understand that the nature of capitalism is for the wealth of the nation to migrate to the top of the economic pyramid and without wealth redistribution capitalism will tend to evolve into fascism. But I doubt that many politicians understands that or at least accept that is how capitalism works.

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You're not allowed to talk about the well documented and deeply understood pitfalls of unregulated capitalism in the

USA. According to the capitalism tea drinkers, it's responsible for every increase of quality of life. Not science or technology, just capitalism.

We would still be agricultural societies if it weren't for capitalism! /S

The people who benefit from that message use it to perpetuate their influence and inflate their wealth.

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Hi Tom, I agree that we need progressive campaign finance reform, regulation, and labour laws are needed to benefit the local people and the towns/cities in which they live. This is the heart of decentralized economics.

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Hi Tom. What is most important is relocalized economics where small business owners and workers run and operate it locally, rather than being managed by people outside of the business's local environment. Local people just know better how to achieve success. But whether this can occur under "managed capitalism" is hard to envision since capitalism by its nature operates on maximizing profits and minimizing costs, which can harm small local businesses and communities if one doesn't maintain balance.

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Hi Guy, All valid points about capitalism. Either we have campaign finance reform, effective antitrust, proper business regulations, and fair labor laws to change our oligarchy back to a democracy, or we try something completely different. Maybe we need to bring TR and FDR back from their graves 😃.

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What we need to practice, Tom is economic democracy. Since corporations have significant economic power and self-serving interests, they won't permit "good" or managed capitalism. We need an alternative system. Take a look at my colleague's article "Economic Democracy: The Alternative To Corporate Rule." View at https://www.proutinstitute.org/policy-solutions/economic-democracy-the-alternative-to-corporate-rule?rq=economic%20democracy

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Thanks Guy. I have read it a few times now, and I fear that "Economic Democracy" hampers capitalism. I am a small business owner and a believer in managed capitalism, where properly regulated businesses and their workers can thrive. If we reverse Citizens United, and go to state-funded elections, we avoid bought-and-paid-for politicians. We can move from our oligarchy back to a democracy which works for the people.

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Yes. We need simple terms and in order of priorities for busy, hard working people without a lot of time to follow politics. Many people don't realize the president must have a majority in both houses to get things done.

This is what would catch my attention and convince me to vote straight Dem ticket.

Biden, "If you reelect me and give me both houses to support what the majority wants, we can;

1. Raise taxes on the wealthy

2. Pass single-payer universal health care with a plan to have medicare for all by the end of my term

3. End voter suppression

4. Bring prices down by busting up monopolies, and

5. Get big money out of politics."

Make it simple, easy to understand, and according to most people's priorities. I would knock on doors and work tirelessly if I could pass literature with that platform.

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Remember: when you tax 'the wealthy', you are recovering your own money that you paid to them.

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I would like the billionaires to at least pay the same amount of taxes as a percentage of their income as single people who earn $75,000 a year and have their own business. That would be about 52%, currently the billionaires are paying I have heard three to 5%! I'm all for everybody paying their fair share and not exploiting just the single people who don't. want to bring children onto this ungodly planet! Although even if the rich were taxed 95%, some could still bribe our politicians with that 5%, I would prefer a maximum wage.

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Bob - Lenin cured Russia of the rich (not an ideology I agree with) but then 70 years later Russia got the Oligarchs and Putin.

Now we have an Oligarchy disguised as a democracy! Puppet politics.

I agree with your point that 5% of a billionaire's wealth would be enough to bribe politicians.

Unfortunately, the Supreme court ruled in favor of Citizens United. The only way to change this is to adopt the Canadian election regulations, which is now not possible.

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Really? I never paid a cent to Musk. What you are alleging, wrongly, is just juvenile political rhetoric. Everybody is always after everybody else's money alleging they are rich, should be stripped of their wealth, which oddly should be given to you. Called socialism.

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It's one or the other. We can have a government that works for the benefit of the people or one that continually cuts taxes for the very wealthy who can then use that money to corrupt the system and further enrich themselves.

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A very progressive wealth and/or income tax system would be a good start. We could do a lot with taxes & fees (while closing tax loopholes & restricting tax havens), including fees on greenhouse gas gases, a rise in the gasoline tax, a tax on meat, on plastic, etc., simultaneously helping the environment while increasing government revenue to provide basic support & security for all Americans.

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We should consider limiting inheritance of assets and companies, for example, to $5 million.

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Let me simplify this for you. We, all of us or nearly all of us, work and consume. The system generates profits up and down the line. Over time, profits accumulate among wealthy individuals and corporations; some of those profits increase capital holdings. Anyone who accumulates wealth, e.g. Elon Musk, benefits from the cumulative efforts of the whole nation; so do you and I. That's why taxation returns money to the people for things that can't be provided for otherwise. That actually is socialism. We are all socialists and we do socialism every day. The bottom line is, all money is the people's money. It just finds places to park itself in different ways.

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This is why oligarchs park their money in super yachts, multiple mansions, islands, works of art, gold and stones. Perhaps we should encourage them--by means of taxes and tax deductions-- to "park" their money in irreplaceable virgin forests, marine sanctuaries, clean technologies.

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That would certainly be better than hoarding it, leaving obscene amounts to heirs, or buying politicians and Supreme Court judges who will put an end to democracy. I vote for taxes, not tax deductions. The rich already pay the lowest tax rates.

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Excellently stated, James Burnham.

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Much appreciated, Pat Goudey O'Brien.

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I’m not weighing in on the socialism/capitalism debate here but, just saying, all taxpayers have paid $ to Musk.

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You paid a hefty portion of your TAXES to Musk, Redmond Tight … whether you know it or not. A huge part of his estate has been garnered selling services — at HUGE price tags — to NASA and other parts of the US, including military. And he avails himself of TONS of taxpayer-funded services in this country that allow his businesses to function. ALL businesses do, which is why some of us want them to pay their share of the taxes that keep our towns and cities and country functioning …Taxes are NOT a bad thing. They are how we participate with each other to keep our culture afloat. But we don’t want that participation skewed so the Oligarchs get all the benefits, and we get to cover all the costs.

Learn more about socialism before you throw the term around. Nobody with half a brain these days asks for classic socialism — even Bernie Sanders wants a democratic system with a social agenda that puts the economy at the service of the people, NOT the people working in service of an economy that is exploited by the oligarchy.

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I have never understood American stupidity where you elect either a democrat or republican president and then a congress and or senate of the opposite parties and therefore president cannot carry out MANIFESTO on which he or she was elected.

Furthermore the whole of congress and senate should all be elected for at the same time and for the same period, so that incoming president doesn't have to have his hands tied behind his back and all votes in the houses should be SECRET so elected representatives can vote on the basis of what is best for the country , rather than what political party they belong too. Loyalty to country should be way ahead of loyalty to political party.

This is true Democratic politics!

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founding

If the votes are secret, voters have no basis on which to choose. We have to know what our representatives are doing.

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Not really. Secret votes, actually means that the controlling powers (money) can totally dominate congress. A democracy depends on openness, public access to the decisions of our elected politicians. It is bad enough that the party controlling congress can have meetings behind closed doors, so they can spin the results of that meeting to meet their agenda.

It seems like you are an admirer of the Soviet, err Duma. I default to Soviet when discussing Russia, because except for private ownership of the trusts by oligarchs, and some mom and pops, it is still the same old Soviet Union, culturally and politically. The administrative state is still the same, only economics, and marketing have changed

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You completely overlook the fact that Senators/Representatives are supposed to represent the interests of citizens from their individual states or smaller congressional districts at a national level. A Republican senator from Florida for example should share more common goals with a Democratic senator from Florida than with a Republican from Massachusetts.

I don’t want my representatives in Congress blindly voting with others just because they’re a D or R.

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You are not incorrect. You call it stupidity. Others call it genius. It’s checks and balances. Imperfect sure. But other countries have their own difficulties too with parliaments, autocracies, and

Monarchies. Yes?

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If you are talking about Charlie, he has no power. Monarchies have had no power in the UK since Cromwell. Like the US, Brits have political nitwits instead, just like Trump. No qualifications, no training, no IQ /psychometric or ability testing, any fool of tje sstreet can stand for public office. Why the Greeks were so horrified at the concept of populist democratics where idiots rule, Trump being a classic example..The enivitable result on not imposing strict selection procedures for bods pushing themselves forward for public office.

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That is a good straight forward message I hope you share with everyone you come into contact with. Don’t wait for someone else to formalize this message, spread it everywhere you can.

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Gloria, I agree, but as Prof. Reich pointed out even before Citizens United the law makers made laws that supported the wealthy, not laws protecting the majority or the planet. We need to first redo how we elect people, Their can be no money from individual donors, and no more lobbyists. We have to fix the system of governing before we can expect that system to be for the people.

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Oh if it were that easy! Give me air time on Fox. 😉

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So how would you get those "wealthy" people to pay tax?

$1 trillion approx is paid out in social security annually for pensions.Multiply 75 million by whatever you think an average pension income would be.How much more should they pay?

There is $5.5 trillion in pension funds where people are "saving" for retirement,Blackrock,Vanguard,State Street etc..I'm not sure if that includes 401K,403K,IRA ,Roth IRA etc. What would be the plan to raise taxes on that.Approx $50 billion per month goes into these funds.

The value of US housing is around $52 trillion,a 2 to 5 % annual wealth tax on that,we tax the rich people more .

Everybody's favourite Musk,just over 400 million shares in Tesla,,Tesla doesn't pay dividends as all profits go back into the company to make it larger and employ more people. 13% of Tesla is owned by Musk,the rest by whoever spent money to buy shares in Tesla.How do we make those "rich" people pay more tax.

Round it to $100 trillion owned by the "poor" people that demand the "rich" people pay more tax to solve all problems $100 trillion ( and more) compared to $200 billion ( Musk))

You really have to wonder how decade after decade and century after century people are crazy enough to think if people like Musk paid more tax everybody would be better off,and all problems would be solved.

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Raise the rate on the morbidly wealthy and fund the IRS.

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Harry Truman -Truman's remarks in Syracuse, New York on October 10, 1952, he said this: 

Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. 

Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. 

Socialism is what they called farm price supports. 

Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. 

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. 

Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people. 

When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan "Down With Socialism" on the banner of his "great crusade," that is really not what he means at all. 

What he really means is "Down with Progress--down with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," and "down with Harry Truman's fair Deal." That's all he means.

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Thanks for your comment, Harvey Kravetz. When I was 5 or 6 years old I remember adults in my New England hometown expressing dislike of "Truman" and socialism. Turns out many years later, historians and my neighbors admire Truman for his uncompromising, the buck stops here, clear thinking vision. He relieved war hero General Douglas MacArthur in Korea for disobeying orders which took real courage, and likely prevented a war with China. Biden is showing the kind of socialism grit that historians understand as he addresses infrastructure, voting rights, unions, social security and healthcare. Octogenarian Joe is a skilled politician not a movie or TV personality. His performance in the coming months must convince enough Americans he has enough grit left to win re-election. The stakes could not be higher.

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Reagan was an actor, labelled a good communicator. But his policies were flawed. But he sold them.

Now Joe B, who has a clear vision of where our nation should go (requiring progressive policies) BUT he is not a salesman. And the upcoming Joe vs Mussolini debates are a real concern. If he debates the same as 2020 we should be OK.

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I hope hope hope so …

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I agree with this so much, Robert Klain, but it requires people to pay attention just a tiny little bit, for more than the two seconds it takes to ingest a meme.

Still, we have to keep saying it. We have to hope enough people will hear and understand.

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I was talking with an acquaintance who was railing against the left and socialism. When I asked her if her farmer son-in-law received farm support, she shut up and did not answer.

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Midwest: it's socialism only when the federal assistance goes to non-whites.

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To be fair farm subsidies do not constitute socialism. Maybe your acquaintance didn’t understand the difference?

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Harvey, unfortunately that's not all he means. He explicitly stated that he intends to rid the country of socialists and like-minded "vermin." Fascism is totalitarian, a term we should start using again.

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Wonderful! Thanks for posting!

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Was true in 1952, time moves on.

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Love love love this.

KISS concept.

Will share for billboard slogan ideas. Ty.

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“KISS concept?”

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KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

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Sadly trying to explain complex subjects to ignorant simpletons ends in idiocy.

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“Keep it simple, stupid”

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Debunking Trump--

Donald Hodgins <silencenotbad@gmail.com>

8:21 AM (0 minutes ago)

No matter what Trump does, no matter how insane his efforts seem, his base will find ways to glorify the realities that the good people of this country find objectionable. If you, as a citizen of this country, find yourself supporting Trump, you stand as a testament as to how terrible our educational system actually is, because you, my friend, are classified as ignorant.

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Being ignorant isn't as bad as it sounds. It's little more than the absence of knowledge that puts them in that position. Trumpers have been fed a steady diet of lies and misinformation ever since Donnie Boy rode that escalator down providing us with his version of a "Highway to Hell." The problem lies in our efforts to penetrate that thick Republican skin that is there to do nothing but deflect the truth. President Biden is a good and honest man, someone their candidate can't hold a candle to. It's very strange to me that the entire world can see the danger Trump possesses, how is it that our own people are too blind to see the truth?

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To exemplify this fact, over 30% of all Trump's supporters believe the insurrection on 1/6 was orchestrated by none other than our own FBI. Here is the root of the problem, how do we reach the "Children" of this country?

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Actually, he is lionized by a minority of us, but he grabs the lion’s share of attention and the impression is that he’s more popular than he really is.

But, as we have a skewed Electoral College, a depressed vote in many states, and some gerrymandering still in place, there’s a scary chance the minority may prevail — especially if people think Joe is somehow not a good choice.

Joe is THE ONLY survivable choice right now. NO Republican can be risked, given that the whole party has gone over to the Fascist side. Whether the members want to or not .. they do it.

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Ignorance on its own isn't such a problem because it can be cured with knowledge & reason, but ignorance combined with gullibility, apathy and/or malevolence is a serious problem.

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Don, maybe it''s because for some people only someone with white skin can speak the truth; if he is male, blond, and his eyes are blue the more credible he becomes.

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Keep It Simple Stupid

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Ah, a consequence of my assiduously avoiding all internet acronyms. All I could envision was Gene Simmons with his foot-long tongue hanging from his mouth (though I also assiduously avoid rock & roll).

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I was also wondering, so thanks for asking! I, too, get confused with all these acronyms that keep suddenly popping up, with everyone expected to know what they mean.

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founding

Same here.

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Who?

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Gene Simmons is (or was?) a member of the glamour rock band Kiss.

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Jan 5·edited Jan 5

Keep It Simple & Stupid = K.I.S.S.

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Indeed

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Boo!!! Hiss!!!!

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Why the negativity? I wasn't addressing you.

Oh, I get it. Living up to your monicker. Carry on NudeyRudey.

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That wasn't negativity. It was an objection to your perversion of a sound principle which is a component of an organization which has rescued (saved the lives of) millions of alcoholics/addicts.

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Love & kisses?

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founding

And I would add, “Economic Democracy is the way to rebuild a fireproof house.”

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Jan 5·edited Jan 5

Let’s be realistic: just as “bullet-proof” vests are really only bullet-resistant, houses, real or figurative, can never be more than fire-resistant, but it’s a goal we must strive to achieve.

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founding

Avie, if Trump is elected, our “house” is toast. Now is the time to explore how to build fire resistant homes. In Lahaina they never made plans for how to respond to a worst case scenario in regards to fire, now they must rebuild a new town and insurance of old non-conforming homes does not cover the cost of rebuilding. They have a crisis and an opportunity. Meanwhile wealthy corporations are attempting to snatch up properties at bargain basement prices to build housing and resorts for the wealthy. You are correct, “it is a goal we must strive to achieve."

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Another way to say the same thing: generous socialism for the 1%, brutal capitalism for the 99%.

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Jan 5·edited Jan 5

TANGENTLY RELATED TO TODAY'S DISCUSSION (and quite interesting):

Seeing ol' "sniffer boy" sniffing in clips of his stump speeches has always raised the question in my mind: "Is he some kind of coke head?" The question seems to have crossed the minds of others, as well:

https://youtu.be/E2QUU7S0PQY?si=BhoARCZvQB_opeVk

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I like it, but it won't sell in Baghdad By the Sea.

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Agreed, in Baghdad By the Sea we are sinking in every possible way.

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Communism (the philosophy which enables the creation of Socialist States): "Let's share what we have".

Capitalism: "I've got mine. Go (buzz) off" (sanitized version).

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Jan 5·edited Jan 5

Current Capitalism: “I’ve got mine. Now I’m coming for yours.”

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I DISAGREE that “communism” is what enables socialist states — AT LEAST, when you are talking about rational, people-centered, fair-economy, socially-conscious states.

We are all born onto the same planet with little we bring with us beyond our own biological body {about all that is not a part of us is maybe a stomach full of amniotic fluid, and a colon full of sh*t}.

It’s a really small planet, and everyone deserves at least a fair shake at surviving and living a decent life on it. If some of our parents have accrued more than others through hard work and a fair economy, so good on them. They’re kids are lucky. But none of them deserves to exploit and impoverish anyone else in the service of their own wealth.

NOBODY gets wealthy all by themselves. We all use the societies we fashion. We need to fashion them better … That is all we are saying. Fashion people-centered and FAIR economies that recognize and reward people’s contributions appropriately, and care for those who need caring for, to live in a better and more compassionate world. Why is that so controversial?

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I agree. A question is: Who decides that is Fair or appropriate?

Another question is: What is ENOUGH?

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Of course — all part of the conversation among people striving toward “the good” in terms of quality of life, instead of “the most” in terms of stuff.

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As I've already stated, I'm not going to get into a lengthy discussion of the relative merits of THE PHILOSOPHY/IDEOLOGY of Marxism, Marxist-Leninism, Communism, the Socialist States which are born of the former, and Capitalism.

Just do a search, just about anywhere: Google, Wiki, even Yahoo, for an explanation of what I stated in the longer comment.

But I suspect that the term "bipartisanship" is still a part of your vocabulary, and that mindset puts us in different temporal dimensions. We're not even in the same space/time when one of us starts trying to "repair" our broken Capitalist "free market" economy (what a B.S. that concept is, almost as bad as "trickle-down economics"). It cannot be repaired, and talking about it without taking action produces very little beyond incomes for internet celebrities..Oops, sorry: "Influencers".

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Remember the old saying that Communism is man’s inhumanity to man, and that Capitalism is the same thing, just in reverse order.

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In practice , Communism gives EXPENSIVE perks to those who are "good" party members. And the "best" party member has that humongous oval table. Putin. The rest of the population, who actually LIVE under Communism, get very little.

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Present day Russia is fascist, not communist. Not a huge amount of difference in certain aspects like authoritarianism (totalitarianism the way Stalin & Putin practice it).

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That’s actually NOT communism, though they claim they are communist.

I don’t know of an actual communist country, actually, but Kibbutzim were pretty much communistic for a long time. Don’t know about now.

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While five nations are presently regarded to be "Communist States", the term itself is an oxymoron, as once a Marxist or Marxist-Leninist community establishes itself as a state, with all of the implied infrastructure, it has become, by definition, a "Socialist State".

Therefore, there are no "Communist States", anywhere, and anyone who tells you that they know something of the destructive power of Communism is improvising with almost no material upon which to base their conclusions.

Yes, the Kibbutzim (grammar corrected) are the best modern examples of just how effective Communism can be, but they are not nations.

If you believe that Russia is a Communist State, then you need to do some research, even if it is on a website like Wiki. Putin seems to be unaware of the fact, but 1977 is long gone. He and "his" Russia are not examples of "Communist States".

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Yes, and clearly >i< don’t believe Russia is a communist state. So, I think you’re talking to someone else. You notice I said Kibbutzim have been “communistic,” which was a word chosen carefully. They are communities…

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Blah.

I was replying to Marilyn. CORRECTION: I believe that I was replying to someone who idenitifies as "cranky grandma", or something like that. Is that you? If so, then the comment to which I was replying (edit: "was". It is now) no longer visible on my page, and a more cohesive comment, to which I am repling now, has appeared. I don't remember seeing the word "kibbutzim" (plural of kibbutz? I was using the apparently erroneous "kibbutzes") until now (01-07-24, 4A), so if you are saying that you used it, and then I replied to the comment, then you have either edited the original comment before complaining of my response (when I hadn't seen the edited comment) to it, you've gone and edited the original comment, which I don't see now (Edit: It has reappeared on my page), to include the word "Kibbutzim", or I've simply forgotten that you used the term, which I don't remember EVER seeing before this morning (I would have adopted the correct grammar, if I had). The first two, if that is what actually occurred, are attorneys' tactics which I field often, and call out every time, as they are attributes of a resistance to fair fact-finding, as well as the sources for many of our most ridiculous laws. Judges don't seem to have a problem with the tactic, and this is a part of the process which has brought us to a place where we see so much corruption in the U.S. American Judiciary. The sentence fragment, "They are communities..." had not appeared when I was last online, and you already know that I know what they are, as I refer to them in the comment which you seem to have been offended by.

I'll euphemistically refer to this exchange by saying, "We misunderstood one another", "I don't remember seeing that term", and/or "My Anomia must be acting up again".

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All forms of government seem to attain an oligarchic layer.

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They do[t have to, but we as a species seem prone to falling for it. It’s why we need to be aware and mitigate it …

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"Socialism" really means that the government owns the means of production.

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Only in CLASSIC socialism. Not what people are talking about these days….

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Many Americans seem so uneducated to the definitions of socialism and communism. Those words have been thrown out as dirty words for so long with no thought to what they really mean.

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Yes, and it annoys me. I live in western Europe and travel often to the former Baltic SSRs, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Also to Poland. What a lot of American people say about Socialism is about as relevant as what Putin says about Ukraine!!!

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Communism does not work. A visit to Cuba will confirm.

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How so? I would argue that "Capitalism does not work. A visit to Florida will confirm".

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Can you explain?

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Firstly, I am averse to hurricanes, biting poisonous insects & reptiles, air so humid that it is barely breathe-able, street violence/mass casualty massacres, racially and culturally based hostility---the list is nearly endless.

But more to the point: Florida produces no policy solutions to social and economic problems for the populace. The entire economy is based upon transferring wealth to the already obscenely wealthy. It shouldn't take several generations for immigrant families to have the ability to participate in the housing market in some way other than renting at offensively high rates.

Furthermore, Florida is one of the few places in the nation where it is possible to literally legislate hatred into State Law. I know many Colorado & Ohio-to-Florida transplants. The ex-Ohioans seem to tolerate living there much better than the ex-Coloradans, who all wish to return to Colorado, but cannot afford to because Colorado real estate values have outpaced Florida values (This dates to about 2020, and I believe that Florida's real estate market has also exploded since, so this last point might be moot). By my standards, Florida is Hell on Earth. No thank you.

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OK. I understand your points. I suspect the economy is based in part on tourism. I do not understand how your description of Florida, even if accurate, means a capitalist economy is at fault. I have friend who lives in Jacksonville Florida whose parents escaped from Cuba in order to make a living in a capitalistic economy. Ernie created a successful home building business starting from nothing. His father escaped Cuba in 1959 and started all over, because Castro appropriated all his assets in Cuba.

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How did hundreds of millions of Chinese get lifted out of extreme poverty within a half-century under communist party leadership?

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True for the Han Chinese. But if you happen to be a minority like the Uyghurs or Tibetans, life is not so good. The Chinese learned how powerless they were during the forced lockdowns of Covid. Not a system to emulate here!

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Who are you replying to? I agree with everything in your reply.

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Comment is under Thomas thread, but anyone can respond to my comment as they wish.

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Many more still live in extreme poverty than have been "lifted out", but China is a Communist State in name only. "Communist States" do not actually exist, as once a government infrastructure based upon the philosophy or ideology of Communism is established, it is by definition "a Socialist State".

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RD: I would rather call it capitalism with Stalinist characteristics.

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I studies China in detail for years. Your summary phrase is quite apt

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By the metrics, around 13% of China's population lives below the "poverty line." That percentage used to be much, much higher. The middle class encompasses roughly 50% of China's population. I would assert many more have been lifted out than remain in poverty.

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My father kept offices in two Chinese cities until he retired. He spoke most about the extremely poor air quality and the insufferable poverty [e.g. Two men from a distant village lived in a tent for months throughout a very cold winter while they dug a trench of some kind, probably sewer or some sort of cable, in full view of one of his offices in an industrial city north of Beijing. The nanotechnology energy company which employed them could easily have bought heavy equipment for use in the digging of the trench. I asked what they were paid. His reply, was something like (estimate, as I've forgotten the exact figure) $1 per hour. They were Han Chinese (actually a redundant term)].

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Sounds a lot like how the US used to be. Our middle class has declined alarmingly!

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11.5% in the US, what is your point?

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founding

We are going off topic big time.

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There were some real changes made early on, but there was NOT a culture of governance to follow through and craft a truly representative and people-centered regime.So they got their “party”” dictatorship. Seriously, no one thinks China has a free society, do they?

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Thomas, they did it with the dollars you and I invested in mutual funds and stocks.

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Ask anyone worldwide - where would you like to live - the majority say USA not China or Russia

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Susan Beall: How right you are! The USA IS great,, despite all its faults. Don't take it for granted, and defend it from mobsters such as Trump!

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Well, they did once, butt I think some other countries are giving us a run for the money these days — especially since Trump spent four years onthe world stage making this country look ludicrous.

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By adopting a market based semi-capitalist based economy, where individuals can own the means of production and create wealth for China and themselves. Read this book. The Economy of China Paperback – 31 by Linda Yueh (Author)

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Unfortunately (in my opinion), they adopted capitalism but not democracy.

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Cuba is not communist, it’s autocratic. Just because they say they are doesn’t mean they are, any more than Putin is or Xi.

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When I visited Cuba a few years ago, on a tour, I learned the government now allows individuals to open small restaurants defined as those with seating of no more than 60 diners. All employees must be leased from the government. I conclude Cuba's economic system is not capitalistic.

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Did anyone try to convince you it was capitalistic? There are more than two options.

Cuba is autocratic. It’s not a democracy, either, so far as I know. One can have a democracy that is not capitalistic, too. I’m pretty sure the Kibbutzim were democratic.

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Considering what they have to work with, their medical system is quite impressive, & they are more conservationist than most. Can't think of much else to say on their behalf though (except I love their US cars from the 1950s), but suffering from a boycott by the US for over 60 years does have its effects .

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Yes. Cuba exported its docs to Venezuela in exchange for oil. I was not permited to visit its medical school when in Cuba. The people i met appeared happy but poor. Our tour guide wanted to emigrate.

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THE ENEMY INSURRECTIONIST ARE AT THE GATE, DEFEAT TREASONOUS , TERRORIST, AND CON REPUBLICONS EVERYWHERE AND JAIL CORRUPT AND TRAITOR RTRUMP AND CRONIES.THE ENEMY INSURRECTIONIST ARE AT THE GATE, DEFEAT TREASONOUS , TERRORIST, AND CON REPUBLICONS EVERYWHERE AND JAIL CORRUPT AND TRAITOR RTRUMP AND CRONIES. VOTE PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS , AND RESTORE DEMOCRACY.

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You are not in "good hands" with Allstate and State Farm is the neighbor sitting on his butta.

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I NEEDED THAT... (lol)

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Avie, this sounds good, but it is not true, and most voters reject it. Since you mention the word "house" check the legacy of prop 13 in California.

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I don’t see what Proposition 13 has to do with this.

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Sure, only the oligarchs have ensured that their obscenely fancy houses are fireproof and that they are first on the rescue lists of their fire departments. When the sparks start smoking, they will slither off to their private bunkers.

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Trite

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The Americans that are still supporting the FPOTUS will always vote Republican no matter who is in office because they were raised, or should I say brainwashed, to believe that the Democrats are evil.

We can thank Trump for only one thing, he has shown us that there is a TON of Evil in our Society!

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I agree with Robert. If. Biden promises that if elected for a second term, he will commit to getting big money out of politics — even if this requires a constitutional amendment, a majority will support him.

I don't think Biden should address concerns of Republicans.

I remind you that 40% of the electorate will be Gen Z, people who trend Democratic, and who, if registered can sweep Republicans from power.

Undecided voters are the people that need convincing. .

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Recently American laborers have made significant gains, with unionized workers in the automobile industry, UPS, Hollywood, railroads, and service industries winning higher wages and other benefits.

Let’s make 2024 the year the middle class takes back some of the wealth from the oligarchs! Because the working class is their oxygen. The middle class workers helped to make them wealthy! It’s time for them to share the wealth.

Their kryptonite = UNIONS

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Daniel - I agree but how can he do it with a divided government? Even Boebert switched districts because she knew that she couldn’t beat her challenger. We are about to default while they start another bs impeachment investigation.

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Election can clean house.

The other day a Pa suit was filed to keep Scott Perry off the ballot. He, Bobert and about 7 others asked Trump for a pardon.

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Daniel - Before the election Hopefully the SC will settle the debate without chickening out. They claim to rule as the constitution was written so we will see if they have the guts to do what is right or bend to their meal tickets. The ones who abetted trump should have been shown the door, and a jail cell, a long time ago. The fact that they asked for the pardon already showed that they knew what they did was wrong.

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Only applies to Trump.

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As I read it, Amendment 14, Section 3 of the Constitution, which calls for the automatic expulsion (save 2/3 of Congress voting to keep them) of government officials who break their oath of office, applies to Congress, too. There are at least a dozen, probably lots more in Congress, all Republican (except for Sen. Menendez for reasons having nothing to do with the insurrection), who merit expulsion.

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founding

Yes, aren't we allowed to use our common sense?

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He just says he'll do it. He doesn't actually have to do it. Hey, Nixon had a secret plan to end the Vietnam war.

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Robert is right, but Biden wouldn't be allowed to be president if he ran on that commitment. Unfortunately, the powerful will only pay for candidates that will do their bidding and won't rock the boat.

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Scott, perhaps President Biden wouldn't need the powerful if he had enough grass root supporters that would give in order for him to fulfill that commitment!

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Absolutely. Everything worthwhile has only succeeded when there is enough public pressure behind it. That's the reason Robert is so adamant about getting people involved. I just don't see any sort of unified groundswell right now, but hopefully that will change sooner rather than later.

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Scott, I have this vision. What if every worker across this country stopped and walked off? The only way they would go back to work is when Congress passes laws that get the rich out of politics. Laws that stated no one, not corporations, not CEOS, not rich individuals could contribute or gift any politicians more than a set amount like, I don't know, maybe $500.00. Laws that said no more gerrymandering by either party and everyone eligible to vote will be allowed to vote. Laws that said no dark money anymore. Laws that said in politics everyone is equal and has a say. Once those laws are passed, then workers will return to work and the business of running our government is up to all of us. If the rich don't like it, find another country to do business in like Russia or China. We are the people and united we could change all of this madness. Ha! Ha! It's just a vision but oh wouldn't that be a wonderful thing to behold? Once the rich were kicked out of the government, then we could tackle pressing issues like climate change, a woman's right to privacy over her own body, how to handle the immigration issue, and so much more. Oh, what a happy day that would be!!

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The rich would wait us out, but intriguing vision.

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founding

And follow the boycott example of Cesar Chavez.

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We should learn more about general strikes in other countries historically.

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strike for democracy. Maybe.

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One more reason the oligarchs want to keep us poor.

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The wealthy control Trump, but can they seize control of Biden? Can Biden resist their allure? I hope so, but have some doubts. He is not a Teddy Roosevelt.

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founding

Teddy Roosevelt was imperfect. Robert LaFollet was a better hope, ended by TR.

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I agree, Daniel. How do we do that? I guess I need guidance as to how to tackle getting these undecided voters to decide.

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1. Channel Taylor Swift.

2. Register Democrats. Save the World. https://www.fieldteam6.org/

3. Sorry to repeat. Here's what works:

1. Trump hates dogs.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/opinion/trump-military-dog.html

2. Trump family charity stole from kids with cancer and disabled war veterans.

https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2019/donald-j-trump-pays-court-ordered-2-million-illegally-using-trump-foundation

--that he has been the poster boy for employer sanctions for hiring illegals.

https://time.com/5039109/donald-trump-undocumented-polish-trump-tower-bonwit-teller/

that he had to pay $25 million to Trump University marks.

that he misled his donors that he had a "defense fund."

that he committed assault of at least one woman -- and has more trials coming up.

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I agree Daniel, we just have to keep shouting out the things you point out, just keep hammering away with it.

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Got it! Thanks, Daniel!

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