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Thursday, 21 January 2021

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Here in Denmark, one of the most “To-the-right-of-the-middle” parties is called “The Liberal Alliance”. As the name implies, they want to de-regulate a load of things and let capitalism and the market forces rule. So I never understood the use of “liberals” as a derogatory term by the Republicans in the US.

That’s not a “minimum wage” it’s a “Universal Basic Income” and is not particularly left wing since it’s supported by some right-wingers too. Nobody has tried it properly, mostly tinkered with it and then say it doesn’t work.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_basic_income

You are right about the US inequality problem. I’ve long thought the US was evolving into a “mature” feudal system where the ‘entitled’ don’t actually have ‘titles’. It’s a natural progression of unbridled capitalism.

Of course you’ve also recently found that you do have a Monarchy since there are no concrete restrictions to Presidential power. We in England solved this on January 30, 1649 but I forecast no real action will be taken against Trump, as nothing was done to Nixon.

Not to start digging a rabbit hole or, worse, go down it, so I'll bite my tongue (in part because I'm Canadian talking about U.S. politics) and just say: things will get better in the good ole US of A when small town people realize that big city people are also Real Americans... and when big city people realize that there's more to the U.S.A. than two coasts separated by "flyover country".

I would agree about monopolies, but would also point out that wealth inequality isn't any worse than it was during several other periods in American history. That's what happens when revolutionary technologies (computers in our time) tear apart a pre-existing economy. Examples of economic inequality are rife in American history -- George Washington, for example, was worth almost $600 million and Thomas Jefferson $230-odd million (in 1916 dollars) when the average workingman was making the equivalent of about $15,000 a year. The same was true during the robber baron-era (American industrial revolution) and the 1920s (planes, trains and automobiles...and radio and motion pictures.)

The inequality will dwindle over time, and the monopolies will be taken apart, just as has happened in the past, but we live in an era when everybody wants everything to happen right now. That *won't* happen.

Does it make anybody happy to know that this has happened in the past? Of course not -- because we're all part of the *right now* generations.

Regardless of political alignment: Two PEW polls over the past two years found that 81% of the 13% Black population of these United States wants more, or the same amount of, police presence in their communities. Reducing/de-funding is an inappropriate approach to serving the country and this cohort. The overall police effort is successful, does work in black peoples favor, and until the time of cancellation of the so call 'broken windows' policies, reduced crime in black neighborhoods.

The Democrats and their identity politics divide the people. Every time a poor white hears "Black Lives Matter" he interprets that as being "White Lives Don't Matter At All." Remember "perception is reality." BTW calling people "deplorables" isn't a good way to win them over to your side.

I'm an Anarcho-Syndicalist. Worker owned business should be the future.

Check-out MONDRAGON (a multi-billion dollar co-op). The fact that the cooperatives are geared towards safeguarding jobs (and not towards maximising shareholders' profits) are key factors in explaining MONDRAGON's success.

Politics in this country are so far skewed that when people describe themselves as “center,” they really mean “center Right,” whether they realize it or not. Biden is described as a “Radical Socialist Leftist,” while QAnon whackos... in Congress, are simply- Republicans! Yes, most working class people would benefit from: free health care, a higher minimum wage, free higher education. But... we don’t have the money- ever hear that line when it comes to war? Two to three Trillion on a totally unnecessary war with Iraq!

Yeah, even Dems are scared of Bernie and all things “Socialist” like: police and fire departments, libraries, public schools, roads and bridges... As for Trump- just ask any working stiff he stiffed in Atlantic City.

While I’m a little surprised to see you write about politics, I applaud your courage. It would be nice to think we could again get to a place where sharing our political views doesn’t feel risky...not sure we’re there yet, but I’m glad you did. Of course, that’s easy for me to say because I basically agree with your sentiments. Grown ups indeed...and yes we all need to listen and learn more.

Thanks for the lucid and balanced political analysis. I think you've nailed it. I hope your physical malaise goes away soon -- the sociopolitical malaise is likely to take longer.

OK, as you brought it up, I'll bite: Can you 'splain why you prefer a $600/wk wage to a $15/hr wage? I presume the purpose of the former is to detach the amount earned from hours worked at the low end of the earning scale so even people in the "gig economy" or in shifting-hours businesses (such as in the fast food industry) are covered with something approaching a living wage. In that case, why not go for a guaranteed minimum income or a universal basic income, à la proposals from Andrew Yang and others? Of course, if my presumption is incorrect, I may be missing something obvious. (Feel free to ignore this if you'd prefer to keep away from politics.)

I read your post and would like to be hopeful, but there are serious obstacles to overcome. I have voted for Republicans in the past 3 elections because I have seen how an intrusive, corrupt government can destroy a country. I was born and raised in Italy, but I have spent most of my adult life in the US.

Now I see the Democratic Party promoting a lot of the ideas which have ruined Italy. Perhaps some people should consider visit my country of origin, the food and wine are excellent and there is a lot to see. if one goes on its own without guide or organized tour, he/she will have an eye opening experience about how everything is so difficult because the State controls so much.

Sorry for the sarcasm, hope we can start a conversation.

"One thing I'll say is that the Democrats had better go out and listen hard to a lot of Trump voters."

Would that the reverse has ever been true. When Republicans win it's somehow "The American people have issued a Mandate" but when Democrats win suddenly they have to "listen to those estranged Republicans and come together in Unity."

Of course there is nothing left wing about a universal basic income Mike.... Apart from the fact that it creates a whole new class of slave.

Liberals are not the same as the left, true, but liberals ALWAYS excuse it, and there is not a lot of difference between indulging these people and welcoming them into government.

I wouldn't let the politics linger too long here: I've seen it ruin one large site for me, LuLa, as did political correctness from some there. It's fair enough this soon after what amounts to a world-affecting election in the States, but if not ended, will just create division here, too, and no amount of moderating will prvenet either those muzzled or those spoiling for a fight with them from feeling hurt.

Politics in the West has sunk to banana republic levels. Best avoided when possible.

There's little evidence that support for Trump is driven by income inequality. That was the popular narrative after the 2016 election, but it's been debunked repeatedly. Trump's support was mostly middle class and above, and was driven by the culture war and racism. Trump supporters don't view black, latino, urban, and LGBTQ people as real Americans, and are pissed that they're losing control of "their" country to those people. I'm not sure how to reach those types.

Moreover, as TC notes above, why is the burden always on the Democrats to reach out to the other side? Especially since their hands are always getting slapped away.

I'm a 100 percent Democratic Socialist Bernie supporter (worked on his campaign and am secretary to our local DSA). Still voted for Biden and am glad he beat Trump, to put it lightly. I'll continue to push for the general Bernie agenda, and fight against many of the bad things Biden will eventually do. I also don't care that some rural and suburban white voters think the term Black Lives Matter is a personal attack. I know they are smart enough to learn that what it really means is that under our current economic and criminal justice system, Black Lives Don't Matter. It's an assertion of humanity in an inhuman, unjust system, not a declaration that white lives don't matter.

And to bring it back to photography (with music) this phenomenon has been kind of fun to see:

https://youtu.be/emOXYuIkFT8

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