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http://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/the-gig-economy-celebrates-working-yourself-to-death

 

It’s a stretch to feel cheerful at all about the Fiverr marketplace, perusing the thousands of listings of people who will record any song, make any happy-birthday video, or design any book cover for five dollars. I’d guess that plenty of the people who advertise services on Fiverr would accept some “whiteboarding” in exchange for employer-sponsored health insurance.

At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear. Human-interest stories about the beauty of some person standing up to the punishments of late capitalism are regular features in the news, too. I’ve come to detest the local-news set piece about the man who walks ten or eleven or twelve miles to work—a story that’s been filed from Oxford, Alabama; from Detroit, Michigan; from Plano, Texas. The story is always written as a tearjerker, with praise for the person’s uncomplaining attitude; a car is usually donated to the subject in the end. Never mentioned or even implied is the shamefulness of a job that doesn’t permit a worker to afford his own commute.

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38 minutes ago, eeeezypeezy said:

I think a good framework for thought experiments about post-scarcity economics is to imagine star trek replicators exist and have roughly the same labor input requirements as a modern microwave oven. 

 

My original reply actually mentioned replicators but I didn't want it to be too sci-fi.


It's the best way to frame things, but it's important to remember that it's not necessary. I think I said this last time, but, like, value, money, these things are near infinite resources. They say it doesn't grow on trees, but it does, and when it does it's called a fucking apple. As long as the sun is pumping energy to our planet, value is being created (either biologically in the form of life, or ecologically in the form of minerals). So it's like, we have this wellspring of raw material, energy, that can be used to create all kinds of things, and the REAL question for society is how to harvest and share the results of that. It's not gonna run out, you know?

 

That's why sometimes I'm reluctant to embrace a lot of left-wing stuff about maximum pay etc. because it's dangerously close to the same narrative that right-wingers use. Specifically, "immigrants are coming here and taking our money/resources", when in actuality they're creating value through their labour. Don't get me wrong, the richest one-percent are taking up increasingly larger shares of the wellspring, but framing the argument in THAT way is different from the way it's traditionally framed, in which it looks like there's a finite amount of money and they're just talking it all. We need to kill that latter viewpoint dead. It's not economically sound according to this statistically-minded Vox liberal free-market apologist.

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42 minutes ago, Cardinal Voiello said:

As long as the sun is pumping energy to our planet, value is being created

 

Reminds me of one of my favorite moments from one of my favorite scifi novels, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. John Boone is coming to check out the massive terraforming projects being launched, and he marvels around at all the labs and technicians and equipment and says "who is paying for all of this?" And the lead scientist, Sax, screws up his face for a moment and replies, "the sun."

 

42 minutes ago, Cardinal Voiello said:

That's why sometimes I'm reluctant to embrace a lot of left-wing stuff about maximum pay etc. because it's dangerously close to the same narrative that right-wingers use. Specifically, "immigrants are coming here and taking our money/resources", when in actuality they're creating value through their labour. Don't get me wrong, the richest one-percent are taking up increasingly larger shares of the wellspring, but framing the argument in THAT way is different from the way it's traditionally framed, in which it looks like there's a finite amount of money and they're just talking it all. We need to kill that latter viewpoint dead. It's not economically sound according to this statistically-minded Vox liberal free-market apologist.

 

"Maximum pay" is a weird way to frame it, imo. Marxist economics at its core is concerned with questions of ownership and where value originates. The idea that pay should be capped by taxing income above a certain level at astronomical rates is fundamentally a liberal idea - an attempt to attach some kind of equitability-generator to fundamentally unequitable capitalism. I have the same critique of Universal Basic Income, which I support but only as a stopgap.

 

In the broadest sense, without delving into whether or not markets and money are strictly necessary/would ultimately have a role to play, a socialist system would involve laborers and the communities they're based in working together to determine what to produce, how to produce it, and what to do with any profits or leftovers. So the focus isn't on The Pie and by what terms it's divvied up, it's on replacing the fundamental class relation of capitalism, ie employer/employee, with a democratic system wherein the employees govern themselves. That issue, of who in society claims ownership of and enfranchisement in their own livelihoods, is the core issue from which these other issues flow. Liberalism, and so-called classical economics in general, treats symptoms to save the disease.

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The mistake is acting like it's reasonable to expect people to live on rice and beans and spend all of their free time learning to code or driving for Uber. If they could afford to have a car, I see that one of the pieces of advice is to make do with a bike. That'll be fun in February when you've moved to the slummiest part of Buffalo.

 

Leave behind everything that makes life worth living in order to become one with glorious Capital.


After several years you'll have finally saved up the tens of thousands of dollars you'll need to get that MRI and see if the headaches are stress related or actually terminal brain cancer!

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6 minutes ago, eeeezypeezy said:

The mistake is acting like it's reasonable to expect people to live on rice and beans and spend all of their free time learning to code or driving for Uber. If they could afford to have a car, I see that one of the pieces of advice is to make do with a bike. That'll be fun in February when you've moved to the slummiest part of Buffalo.

 

Leave behind everything that makes life worth living in order to become one with glorious Capital.


After several years you'll have finally saved up the tens of thousands of dollars you'll need to get that MRI and see if the headaches are stress related or actually terminal brain cancer!

:lol: I'm on your side!

 

I don't disagree with you. At all. It is unreasonable, and likely impossible, to move yourself out of poverty. That's all too common a suggestion. "Well, if you can't afford rent you should move someplace cheaper." 

 

Places that are cheap to live tend to not have jobs. Places that are cheap tend to be on the outskirts of town or in areas lacking solid public transportation. In my experience, places that are cheap tend to be in the part of town with the most pollution and therefore worst long-term health outcomes.

 

That's completely disregarding the out of pocket costs of moving.

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as well as "move to a more affordable city". in theory, not a bad idea. but in practice... It's like - have a support system and community you've cultivated your whole life? have family in the area? kind of like your hometown? nonsense! move somewhere else!

 

one of the many follies of free market capitalism is that it assumes that the labor market is geographically fluid, that workers will naturally move to areas they can afford (the idea being that this shift in labor resources in a new area would build stimulate a more localized economy, which ultimately improves the economy on the whole).  having a fluid labor market is a sound idea that should be preserved, imo, but shouldn't be the only option for people to have a realistic expectation of providing themselves with the basic necessities of life 

 

e: what everyone just said :blush:

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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/column-this-is-what-happens-when-you-take-ayn-rand-seriously/

 

This paragraph still kills me:

 

Economists alternately find alarming and amusing a large body of results from experimental studies showing that people don’t behave according to the tenets of rational choice theory. We are far more cooperative and willing to trust than is predicted by the theory, and we retaliate vehemently when others behave selfishly. In fact, we are willing to pay a penalty for an opportunity to punish people who appear to be breaking implicit rules of fairness in economic transactions.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, eeeezypeezy said:

Capitalist effieciency

 

http://time.com/money/4528053/milk-glut/

 

 

oh yeah, that's what i was going on about at the show the other night :thumbsup:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2017/04/15/wisconsin-dairy-farmers-caught-canada-trade-flap-scramble-answers/100484836/

 

the myth of the pastoral family farm has been fucked for a while now, and it seems like there are no good solutions.

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https://www.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/comments/67srsy/the_economys_gonna_crash_this_year_right/dgtfkhg/

 

[–]mustremainsilent 4 points 3 hours ago* 

Yanis Varoufakis:

The danger of a new recession is clear and present. After the 2008 recession emerging economies replaced part of the lost demand from the west. Taking advantage of zero US interest rates, and banking on the belief that the dollar would keep depreciating, corporations in China, Brazil etc borrowed over $4tn. Today global capitalism is threatened with mountainous emerging market debt. If this happens, can emerging economies expect the west to counterbalance global capitalism? Not a chance. Austery-era Europe remains an exporter of deflation, and what little growth is generated (eg in Spain, Portugal and Ireland) has come from new private debt. And more than $4tn of savings are slushing around in western financial institutions refusing to be invested in productive activities. Should we be afraid? Yes.

Steve Keen:

“In the modern economy, most money takes the form of bank deposits. But how those bank deposits are created is often misunderstood: the principal way is through commercial banks making loans. Whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.” Keen builds on the work of Hyman Minsky and Joseph Schumpeter. “Desired investment in excess of retained earnings is financed by debt. This leads to a cyclical process in capitalism which also causes a secular tendency to accumulate too much private debt over a number of cycles,” writes Keen. During the early stages of a debt cycle, debt drives investment, which increases demand. The growing economy can easily service the debt, and most loans are repaid. The longer this benign growth phase lasts, the more banks are incentivized to throw caution to the wind and loan more; asset values backing the loans are also rising in value at this point, which encourages recklessness.

And on:

At some point, debt levels become so high that the weaker economic players cannot maintain their interest payments, setting off a wave of defaults which leads the the money supply to contract, and leads to losses at banks. Banks then reduce their lending, further shrinking the money supply (where money is debt) even further, slowing economic activity. At this point, even strong players are in trouble and are forced to liquidate assets. “The slump turns euphoric expectations into depressed ones." Too many countries rode a wave of private debt explosion during the last boom, and are now in the equivalent of economic purgatory. Keen identifies China as the biggest threat. “They face the junkie’s dilemma, a choice between going ‘Cold Turkey’ now, or continue to shoot up (on credit) and experience a bigger bust later. China is undoubtedly the biggest country facing the debt junkie’s dilemma now. But it doesn’t lack for company,” he writes. Other countries with a high level of private debt and a reliance on debt to fuel economic demand—Keen calls them “debt zombies”—are Australia, Belgium, Canada, South Korea, Norway, and Sweden. In total, the influence of China and these smaller economies is simply too great for the world to avoid a financial crisis.

And on:

According to Keen, the solution within this layer of economic theory is more government regulation of the banking system and government deficits to counter a fall in private demand. More aggressive options are quantitative easing in the form of “helicopter money,” where the central bank monetizes government debt, and the government then writes a check to households to either pay down debt or spend it in case there isn’t any debt to pay down. There could also be a more official debt jubilee where debt is simply forgiven. “On its own, a Modern Debt Jubilee would not be enough: all it would do is reset the clock to allow another speculative debt bubble to take off. Currently, private money creation is ‘a by product of the activities of a casino’ (Keynes, 1936, p. 159), rather than what it primarily should be: the consequence of the funding of corporate investment and entrepreneurial activity,” writes Keen. The ultimate objective would be for the government to counter excessive private debt.

Michael Hudson:

80% of bank loans are to the real estate sector. The more loans banks make to the real estate sector, the more their credit bids up real estate prices. The value of a home or commercial office building is worth whatever a bank is willing to lend against it. As banks loosen their lending standards, they lend more and more. When I first bought a house in the 1960s, the rule of thumb was that banks would lend 75% to 80% of the value. The buyer had to have the 20% to 25% of as a down payment. And the mortgage could not absorb more than 25% of the buyer’s income. By 2008 you didn’t need any down payment at all. Some banks even lent more than the property was worth, and even lent the down payment to help the new buyer fix up the house. The loans would only be to carry the interest charge, not to pay off the loan. Bankers don’t want loans paid off, they want interest. If you don’t pay the loan, you just keep paying more and more interest.

And on:

People talk about the economists who “forecast the crisis of 2008.” The Financial Times cited me as one of the 12 economists. But the fact is, everybody on Wall Street knew. They talked about NINJA borrowers: No Income, No Job, No Assets. The FBI warned in 2004 that they saw the largest wave of financial fraud and banking fraud that ever occurred. Everybody knew the system had to end. But you never know just when it will end. Usually the trigger is discovery of a big fraud, or a bank making a bad loan or bet. If you look at the growth of debt compared to the growth in the ability to pay it, you see that many economies already have passed the point of intersection. At the point where debts can no longer be paid, you have a break in the chain of payments. That’s what causes a crash. The expansion leads to a crash because of over-indebtedness. Usually, crashes result from a fraud or insolvency, or somebody makes a bad bet for a big bank, or an environmental crisis causes a break in the chain of payments.

And on:

The 5% make its money by holding the 95% in debt. The trick is to get other people in debt. This confusion between real tangible wealth and financial overhead claims on the economy was recognized already over 100 years ago by somebody who won a Nobel Prize: Frederick Soddy. But he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. He wrote many books saying what people think of wealth— stocks and bonds, bank loans and property rights —are virtual wealth. They are financial claims on real wealth. A stock or bond is a claim on the income that real wealth can make. So it’s on the opposite side of the balance sheet from assets. It’s on the liabilities side. Think of the circular flow between producers and consumers. If wage earners have to spend more to obtain housing, or to pay a bank loan or education loans, they have less to spend on buying the goods and services they produce. They’re not paying to the producers of goods and services. They’re paying to the bankers or the real estate sector – the property sector.

And on:

The average American wage earner only has maybe 25 to 30% of their income available to actually spend on the goods and services they produce. They have to spend all their life merely to pay their creditors, not to live better with more goods and services. The rentier sector’s lobbyists have taken over peoples’ mind. You need a demagogue such as Obama to package this and makes it sound as if he’s favoring the people. That’s what he did with the Treasury under Tim Geithner, and the Justice Department. The financial system lobbied to save the crooks at Citibank and keep the debts on the books. That was Obama’s most fateful act. 2008-09 was a historical economic turning point for America. The government should have written down the debts to the market price of the real estate, and set the carrying charge of home mortgage debt to the equivalent rental charge.

And on:

That was long the definition of equilibrium in home mortgage lending. But the junk loans were left on the books to be foreclosed on. You need a public option in banking. Imagine if Sheila Bair could’ve taken over Citibank. You could have issued credit cards at cost. You could have made loans for productive reasons instead of making corporate takeover loans. You could have created an honest banking system that would make loans to do what textbooks describe banks as doing: making productive loans that the debtor is able to pay. Instead of withdrawing banking offices from low-income red-line areas, you could use post offices as public banks to provide basic check-cashing services, “vanilla” banking accounts and money transfer services at costs to areas that now are forced to engage in pay-day loans. The payday lenders are funded by the big banks like Citibank and Chase-JP Morgan.

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2 hours ago, eeeezypeezy said:

 

Are you really a leftist, though? I'd peg you as more of a social democrat.

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Social democracy is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economicand social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, as well as a policy regime involving a commitment to representative democracy, measures for income redistribution, and regulation of the economy in thegeneral interest and welfare state provisions.

I seem to recall you saying you supported reform through electoral politics and engagement with the right on their own terms, and didn't have a problem with capitalist ownership of the means of production.

 

Leftists (socialists, communists, anarchists) believe that action outside of electoral politics is the only way to effect real change, and that the ultimate goal should be social ownership of the means of production. You've accused me of splitting or attacking my allies before for criticizing you on these points, but I'm starting to think that you just love to punch left!

 

Oh. Maybe I mixed up social and democrat. I'm really not an ideologue any one way or another.

 

I don't know where you get the idea that I'm punching anywhere. I do have my issues with the left and what I perceive to be their vague, absolutist ideology. I certain get the frustration with the political process, but to refuse to engage in democratic politics is an affront to my humanist values. What does it mean that "action outside of electoral politics is the only way to effect real change"? I've asked you about this before and never gotten a clear answer. Judging from your jokes about murdering the bourgeois, am I to assume this means some sort of violent revolution? And yeah, I'm against that. You've denied that is what you mean, but I still don't know how you manage to end private property without the sort of slow-moving consensus building that democracy allows or without some sort of highly disruptive seizing of the means of production.

 

I absolutely support communal ownership and most of the goals on the left. I consider myself an anarcho-socialist in that absent a government, humans will lean toward cooperation, not competition. My political background stems largely from my involvement in the environmental movement

 

Don't know where I've said anything about engaging with the right on their own terms, but I have made the point that much of the people in the USA lean that way and from a pragmatic, electoral standpoit, it is going to require some compromise for the sake of consensus.

 

I've felt attacked because I'm was pragmatic and I didn't think incrementalism is completely awful. Single payer is best. Public option a decent alternative. Obamacare sucks but it is better than what was there before it. Of course I wish we could just get on with it and skip to the part where we live in a socialist utopia. But we live in an awful reality where everyone has the right to vote and those votes determine a government. Right now the right wing controls congress, the presidency, and probably the court for the foreseeable future.

 

To be clear, my politics are a lot more revolutionary and a lot less incremental now than they were BEFORE the election. I really don't think there is anything worth saving about the United States and I think it is stupid country that empowers the wealthy and disenfranchises the poor and I'd just as soon start a new country with Colorado and New Mexico being an exclave of the West Coast. I don't know entirely how it would work and I really don't care. I just know that I don't give a shit about the USA. Any country that bungled its way into a Trump autocracy isn't worth saving.

 

BEFORE the election I was hoping it wouldn't come to that. With the Supreme Court being tilted to the right for generations to come, I really don't have the patience for the incrementalism I advocated before. I never disagreed that Clinton was a nonideal choice. But I was happy to vote for her because it would be a small step in the right direction instead of a huge step in the wrong direction. The accelerationists have won and I concede defeat. Now I don't give a shit about this stupid racist country and think we should burn it down (in a metaphorical way).

 

I want to have a family but I don't want my children to grow up in this country.

 

I'm probably still more incrementalist than you are. I'm not against the electoral system in principal, just how it is designed now. I still believe in a politics of hyperlocalism. I would still argue that we don't necessarily need a revolution to reach goals of greater economic equality. I'm a believer in technology. I don't think automation is bad and I think standing in the way of economic efficiency is silly. I just think the rewards of trade and automation should not be concentrated into the hands of the wealthy as they currently are. Like Isaac Asimov joked, the goal should be for full unemployment.

 

Again, a lot of this is just my being practical. If we can redistribute income more equitably through democratically agreed upon means of policy, taxes, and regulation, why go through the process of some vaguely defined "action outside of electoral politics?" Of course, I've given up on something so pragmatic for our country as a whole. But my vision of strong local democracies tied together by shared humanist values still leaves plenty of room.

 

I know it is a lot of fun to snip and snark about ideology. I'm hurt by a lot of the contempt the Left has for "liberals". I don't think it has to be so nasty. But I guess that is nothing if you want to murder people just because of their political ideology. And, no, I don't think you've ever advocated for such, but you certainly never backed away from a lot of inflammatory rhetoric and the idea that I have to assume these jokes is crazy.

 

I feel like much of the left is very united in being Against Capitalism, and that's great. I've got a lot of problems with Capitalism as practiced across the globe. Classical liberals, I don't think, could have ever imagined the sort of market distorting consequences of allowing businesses to function at a global scale; that doesn't mean their basic conclusions about capital and labor and wealth creation should be tossed aside entirely. I've yet to hear a coherent alternative to capitalism from the left. What I do hear is a lot of snark and bile and very little constructive policy. This could well be that I'm not privy to the discussions where this is being sussed out. I know I don't feel very welcome since I don't pass the ideological purity tests.

 

There's a lot more to parse through and I apologize in advance for any omissions on my part. The last thing I want is a return to the snark and hostility of last year. I'm not sorry for being a pragmatic incrementalist then and I'm not sorry for being a secessionist re-constructionist now.

 

I have to go pack and I probably won't be back here for the rest of the month. But I look forward to having a well-thought out discussion. I am particularly looking forward to an articulated vision of how the left aims to seize the means of production using "action outside the electoral process." I'm ready to start over again. I've been fairly disengaged from radical politics for more than a decade now. I'm ready to get back on board. I really don't think we are so far apart. I just don't give two shits about ideological purity and am more concerned with concrete policy that ends the system that concentrates wealth in the hands of so few. The idea that we can't take small steps now toward a more just society will probably always be crazy to me, but necessity has made me much more sympathetic to broad, sweeping action.

 

I'm already planning acts of property destruction against companies that help build Trump's border wall, after all. I'm a globalist cuck after all. Borders are inhumane. :)

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Look, I didn't expect a whole essay, you don't have to defend yourself to me, I like you despite my annoyance with you never missing an opportunity to take a swipe at me, a la "cut FDR's head off" or whatever. Like you find my politics more of an affront than the right's. And that is exactly why the left complains about liberals so often.

 

"Action outside of electoral politics" means demonstrations and canvassing and political education programs and the real work of movement-building. We won't win until a large percentage of people read an article that's critical of universal healthcare in Forbes and have their first thought be, "well of course the investor parasites that make billions from the status quo would write this bullshit."

 

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Some traditional liberal values I'll never renounce:

 

Multiculturalism, gender equality, minority rights, LGBTQ rights, peace and diplomacy with war as a last resort, a strong right to privacy, protection for the environment, protection for workers.

 

There is nothing about these goals that contradict what leftists support. Most liberals, myself included, have certainly let systemic economic reform slip off their radar. We can be brought back into the fold. All the sneering about stupid liberals is just going to keep us out of the fold. But I guess if you don't believe in democracy, who needs votes?

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22 minutes ago, Cuck Rogers said:

 

Oh. Maybe I mixed up social and democrat. I'm really not an ideologue any one way or another.

 

I don't know where you get the idea that I'm punching anywhere. I do have my issues with the left and what I perceive to be their vague, absolutist ideology. I certain get the frustration with the political process, but to refuse to engage in democratic politics is an affront to my humanist values. What does it mean that "action outside of electoral politics is the only way to effect real change"? I've asked you about this before and never gotten a clear answer. Judging from your jokes about murdering the bourgeois, am I to assume this means some sort of violent revolution? And yeah, I'm against that. You've denied that is what you mean, but I still don't know how you manage to end private property without the sort of slow-moving consensus building that democracy allows or without some sort of highly disruptive seizing of the means of production.

Perhaps the franchise is necessary but not sufficient for a free and fair society.  In the context of the thread on Presidents, FDR encouraged people who wanted their lives to improve in the Depression era to protest, in order to pressure Congress to pass New Deal legislation.  More generally, perhaps no society can be free and fair without frequent and persistent criticism and protest.

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9 minutes ago, Hoogie Boogie Land said:

Perhaps the franchise is necessary but not sufficient for a free and fair society.  In the context of the thread on Presidents, FDR encouraged people who wanted their lives to improve in the Depression era to protest, in order to pressure Congress to pass New Deal legislation.  More generally, perhaps no society can be free and fair without frequent and persistent criticism and protest.

 

I don't disagree with any of that. I'm all for "demonstrations and canvassing and political education programs and the real work of movement-building".

 

In fact I've done a lot of that. My political work has been more mainstream the last decade, but the idea that I have to be sneered as a "liberal" when I was very active doing all these things troubles me to no end. I've never argued against any of these things. My stubborn refusal to abandon classical liberalism as a language to talk about capital doesn't mean I discourage what is advocated for above.

 

To the extent that I misread "outside of" to mean "in exclusion to" the electoral process instead of "beyond", that's my fault. There's no disagreement here.

 

And until the jokes stop about killing people for having different political views, I'm not about to stop joking about the fact that they are being made in the first place.

 

:shrug:

 

Don't get the logic at all that I can't push back against an ugly sort of humor through some willful mischaracterization of my own. Besides, I like making joke about the lack of lions when Christians are around.

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49 minutes ago, Cuck Rogers said:

But I guess if you don't believe in democracy, who needs votes?

 

This might be the best possible encapsulation of why I snark back at you, and at liberals in general.

 

Voting for the right people within the system that creates all these problems will never end the system, it's as absurd as "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." The fact that I acknowledge this doesn't mean that I hate democracy. I want democracy, and I don't think we have it.

 

I do vote in elections, and support candidates for office. I just think it's barely an act worth talking about.

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1 hour ago, eeeezypeezy said:

 

This might be the best possible encapsulation of why I snark back at you, and at liberals in general.

 

Voting for the right people within the system that creates all these problems will never end the system, it's as absurd as "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." The fact that I acknowledge this doesn't mean that I hate democracy. I want democracy, and I don't think we have it.

 

I do vote in elections, and support candidates for office. I just think it's barely an act worth talking about.

 

"The system"

 

All right. Again. I'm looking forward to some concrete policy proposals. I'm fully in favor of policies to empower more people. Automatic voter registration, for instance. But is that still too much in the system? Are you going to snark and roll your eyes about that? How do you propose to "end the system"? What does that look like? Throw me a bone. It's really easy to be against capitalism and rage against the system. What I'm curious about is what you are for. And I don't think it's anything especially dissimilar to what I want.

 

Talking to you I get the impression that NOTHING is good enough. I do think elections matter, flawed though they most certainly are. I'm glad you vote. But we don't have to work against democratic reforms to do the other things you talk about.

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I'm for every sort of policy change or tweak that will make life better for people. Automatic voter registration, ranked choice voting, universal healthcare, a higher minimum wage, offering basic consumer banking services through the post office. I just don't think that that is ultimately enough to end capitalism. You put "the system" in quotes as though global capitalism isn't actually a quantifiable system run by a certain class of people and according to definable internal logic.

 

As far as policies that could, in theory, be implemented within the existing system, and that could theoretically bring it closer to its end? Nationalize investment banking, and give priority to affordable loans for startup worker cooperatives, encouraging a socialist form of entrepreneurship that could employ people in areas blighted by capital flight. Require companies that intend to outsource or be acquired to give their employees right of first refusal, backed by cheap loans, to convert otherwise-abandoned factories and etc into cooperatives.

 

The big point of contention, for me, is that I think it's important to stress that being nice and respecting "the discourse" as defined by elite media outlets and so on is not going to further any of this stuff.

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