Monday, April 20, 2015

Wondering

One can only wonder if the one per centers and their enablers in politics can see anything headed their way.  Not just in this country but globally.  After the horrific deaths of 700 Mediterranean region refugees desperate to flee poverty and persecution, one might thing if one were rational, that pretty soon many more will be willing to take down the economic systems that is ruining life for so many in the world.

As far as the USA is concerned the latest effort of giving even more tax breaks to the ridiculously wealthy by dumping the estate tax just keeps encouraging a sense of rage.  Can't these folks see any downside to their unparalleled greed?  They might be good at making money and hoarding it, but their inability to see a cataclysm headed straight for them is almost comical.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

They do not care.

Then do not care.

Tim Durant said...

Historically, there was always some awareness by those at the top that they have some responsibility for those at the bottom (the patriarchy of noblesse oblige). Over the last 40 years, however, that has all but disappeared.

We live in an increasingly segregated society. Economic segregation has carved up the landscape like never before (evident in zoning and development changes). Political segregation is an old story by now (gerrymandering). Socially we self-segregate, in the neighborhoods we choose to live in (the "Big Sort"). Even on the internet - once hailed as a boon for democratic discourse - we drill down into our own "daily me," where we can avoid those ideas we disagree with.

Not that I'm making excuses for the rich and the plutocrats - but JP Morgan had more exposure to the poor and their plight then today's wealthy do. Our heightened pace of segregation is creating dysfunction allover the political and socio-economic spectrum. It is easy to be tone-deaf to the plight of others in such an environment.

The day of reckoning will come. I believe it is still further off then many suspect. Life is still to comfortable for most. But it will come.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim not on topic but just letting you know that Ch 7 is gonna do a story Thursday on the church of the Holy Quete with children practicing with guns ( plasitic). Who the hell goes to this church that you need to practice gun drills?

Bubba Muntzer said...

Amen.

There's something about the nature of Capitalism that it forms the logic that the 1 percent operates by, so the 1 percent doesn't see the train coming. All those people see is the Capitalists around them, their peer group you might say, and if they don't keep piling up money they'll get run over by other Capitalists.

You can get a sense of it if you think about how each of us makes decision based on what we think our peers will think or how it will affect our status in our group, our imagined group, which is partly just some idea of society in general. But it goes beyond that because economic security is involved. I can see it's effect on me when I start thinking about expanding my trucking business, about what would happen when I started to compete with other businesses. I can see why the businesses I do business with cut corners, try to maximize every interaction to their benefit, are dishonest. The logic of Capitalism has taken hold of them.

Before, when things got this out of whack, this unequal, that rage you talk about began to coalesce around a central idea, Socialism. Here it never got to be a majority idea but was expressed nonetheless by other names. There was a good share of it especially in immigrants from Europe and it was a strong vein in the Labor Movement, and it eventually became part of the Democratic Party's platform with Unemployment Insurance, Workman's Comp and Social Security and so forth. In Europe it was stronger, and in Russia it overthrew the government, and the ruling class took note of all that.

Capitalism responded to it, because it was organized and so had power. It wasn't merely mayhem breaking out here and there. The change from the Gilded Age inequality to the New Deal era was a complicated process. The 1 percent didn't give in to redistributive policies just like that but they didn't fight changes in their status as strenuously as they are now. Because self interest was driving them and they could feel the threat of Socialism, of the organized pushback. Now they're just reacting with oppression, which is expressing itself through the coercive arms of the state, the police and military and prison systems, trying to control the internet and so forth.

There's not really an organized opposition now. Unions have been weakened. The Democratic Party has been bought off, although it would react if pressed to. Note how Hillary is starting her campaign on a populist note, trying to head off competition from the Left that seeks to express itself through Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, but also to get out in front of that discontent.

But you and the commenter are right. The day is coming when it will reach critical mass. That day always has come and always will. It's human nature. Will it be organized or mayhem, is an important question. Probably organized but not in a way we can see now, but some idea will take hold of the popular imagination. You got a hint of how quickly that can happen with Occupy.