Question of the weekgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
Is America still a capitalist nation? How long will it be until we are completely under total control?
Sadly, In my opinion America is no longer a capitalist nation. We live under what is more or less called a mixed economy. An economic system that permits private property, but only at the discretion of government planners. A little bit of capitalism and a little bit of socialism.
When government redistributes wealth through taxation, when it attempts to control and regulate business production and trade,the winners are those who scream the loudest for a handout and the losers are those quiet citizens who work hard and pay their taxes.
As a consequence of our 60+ year experiment with a mixed economy and the welfare state, America has created two new classes of citizens. The first is a debased class of dependents whose means of survival is contingent upon the forced expropriation of wealth from working citizens by a professional class of government social planners.
The forgotten man and woman in all of this is the quiet, hardworking, lawabiding, taxpaying citizen who minds his or her own business but is forced to work for the government and their serfs.
-- TomK(mich) (email@example.com), March 24, 2002
TomK , what do you mean when you say," the debased class of dependents whose means of survival is contingent upon the forced expropriation of wealth from working citizens ".Is this the welfare people,or the wealthy corporations that recieve free money from the government to train new workers, build new factories or recieve monies from tax paying U.S. citizens to build factories in Mexico and other foreign countries that will be taking jobs out of the U.S. .Is it the billions we give to other countries in forien aid,or the monies we waste buying new weapons from factories at artificially inflated prices.How bout the monies we gave the airline industries not to long ago .In a sense all U.S. money belongs to the U.S. government,maybe the U.S. tresusary.We just use it.We don't own it.So I'd think that if we all depended on money that we don't own,we'd be kind of controled by just accepting it and basing our economy on it.I wonder what the outcome would be if we all gave our money back to the government of the U.S. and said we don't want your money anymore.( I'm not saying I'd go first)Would we be in more control of our lives then.The government owns the money so don't they have the right to regulate buisness and trade that is conducted with their money? Just a thought.
-- SM Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 24, 2002.
In strictly economic terms, what we have is a facist government/economy. Good explanation (better than I can give anyway) of this is the last installment of John Silveria's "The Coming American Dictatorship" which was available online at www.backwoodshome.com I don't know if it's still up or not. I've gotten it in the magazine. The whole thing is available on CD. I don't know the details. Very good read anyway.
Steve, what do you mean by "The government owns all the money"? Do you mean they actually own all the wealth that exists here? Clarify that for me if you would.
The "money" (paper anyway) isn't worth anything anyway, other than people accept it in trade for goods and services. If that acceptence is ever rejected, then the only thing all that money will be good for is fancy toilet paper.
Anyone or any entity has to create, make, market, earn, etc any wealth it may have. Not the gooberment. They just take ours and make it look like we owe it to them. And we all know what happens to folks who don't pony up "voluntarily".
-- John in S. IN (email@example.com), March 24, 2002.
In my opinion, I think they should shut the goverment down completely and start over.... IE..... shut down all the goverment handouts, like, food stamps, wic, afdc, hud, social security, disablilty, and the like. Only keep the main branches of the goverment running. ALSO shut down payed goverment officials, Ie... senators, and representatives, ect... If we cut out alot of these systems we would save alot. I also think they should take all classes out of public school that arent Math, reading, science, history, social studies... ect.. NO art, music, basketball, football, ect... If we should pay for kids to learn , then lets teach them. Not entertain them. I realize these things teach some valuable lessons, but why should I pay for these kids to play football , when they cant even pass basic math. I know , I know, they have to have a " C " to stay in sports.... Well a c wont get you into harvard... or even a state university, PLUS, if they are getting free education, then lets make it an education. I homeschool, and my kids only get these things if I pay for them, I dont get them for free.....
-- Kristean Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 24, 2002.
Kristean needs to wait no longer--at least in Virginia. They just announced this week that our governent can no longer fund art, music, or physical education. Not maybe but --whooof, gone with one mighty stroke of the govener's pen.
Personally, I think it was a good idea also but I liked Jessie Ventura's idea better. The schools claimed they were broke and needed more money to finish the last quarter so he closed them--no money, no school. Now give me a dollar by dollar inventory of how you wasted the money because you sure didn't spend it on education, he asked ? Thy either couldn't or wouldn't answer him.
WASTE, FRUAD, and too many wortless administration officers are the problem. We need no adminstration. When will people learn ? You don't need any leaders, and to say you do ? You may as well tell me you stupid, mindless, and lazy. Better yet just wear your --I'm stupid sign -- on your forehead so I won't waste my time and energy !!
-- Joel Rosen (JoelnBecky@webtv.net), March 24, 2002.
Well, beyond economics we are still a fscist nation. Fascism is when the "private sector" actually owns the "property" but the government controls virtually every aspect including trade. How do you all like Bush's "free trade" agreement with South America now? It would be fine if it were free trade, but it isn't. grrrr.
I like Jesse Ventura's solution, too. We have no accountability any longer from people in "public service". They now think tthey are the masters and we are slaves. I don't know about you, but I am NOT a slave to this system.
-- (email@example.com), March 24, 2002.
Since debased means to make lower,either in quality,character,dignity,value,etc. the debased class of dependents would not include "wealthy corporations that recieve free money from the government",except in a very outside type of definition that would maybe pertain to having their dignity lowered by asking for money.
Congress has the power to coin money, regulate the value of it,the government does not own the money, we the people own it. For the congress to properly regulate the value of money it must have the cooperation of its citizens. We can accept what value the congress puts on it or we can reject it.
As it stands,the whole world is being more and more controlled by money standards,which is turning humans beings into commodities. A decentralized society,in contrast to the present bigness of government,industry,education,agriculture,etc.,would help us to return back to where money could just be merely a medium of exchange.
What would happen? if we all just took all the money and just burnt it and refused to accept it any more,that we wanted real goods in returned for real labor.
-- TomK(mich) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2002.
You'd have chaos for awhile. No tellin what would happen Tom. Probably not what most folks would want tho'. I think we're basically gonna be buggered no matter what.
-- John in S. IN (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
There seems to be as much agitation about giving people "handouts" as the overinflated military budget. This is a major contradiction. The military has always recieved more funding than social programs. These programs are really much needed economic assistance to the hardest hit section of the population. The "class" in question is the poorest section of the working class, no different than any other working stiffs except for the fact that there are only so many jobs around in a capitalist economy so there will always be unemployment. People are being blamed for not having jobs that don't exist! At the time these programs were formulated it was not a question of whether or not the government should intervene it was a question of how much!
Of course this was the Depression and unemployment affected a larger number of people. Today, even with these government bandaids (Welfare ect.) American capitalism still cannot manage to feed and clothe everyone so there is still a need for these basic, real emergency services that no "charity" could provide. Certainly not the "charity" of filling up our jails with city dwellers (disproportionatly black and latin workers) and shipping them out to the country so we can employ rural white workers left jobless by the flight of big capital to overseas markets. The point is they have to divide workers to continue the status quo.
To be clear, this political economy (capitalism) is based on profits, not making sure average working people have been provided with basic needs. With all this talk about the government it is surprising that only one other person alluded to the fact that the government is always in the hands of the rich and always carrying out policies that safegaurd and further extend the interests of the richest capitalists. This is directly opposed to a "government by and for (the majority of) the people." Yes, in 2002 AD, the class struggle is just as real as in AD 200 when the Romans had slaves, plebians, and citizens all vieing for their own class interests, it is an undeniable historical constant that is the yardstick by which we may measure human achievement.
The above comments should not be taken as an endorsement of the so- called "welfare state" because the problems that these programs were designed to fix cannot be "fixed" under capitalism. Individualism blinds us to seeing "other" peoples economic (read HUMAN) needs as less than or in some way different from our own--when in reality they are exactly the same. Everybody has to pay for heat and clothes and food. There is also a racialized (or racist, if you will) aspect to this that hasn't been addressed either and more white people can and should point this out, if there is to be real social progress.
The problem lies not in what will the government do about "our" problems but what are we gonna do! We need activism, people who will stand for the poor and homeless, and those treated in an unequal and unfair manner. People not afraid to challenge the government or the corporations. Whose side are you on?
quote from other posts: "In my opinion, I think they should shut the goverment down completely and start over..." Lets start now! We are "they!"
-- Sam Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 15, 2002.