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Group 8807
No Masters, No Slaves
06:20 AM on 08/19/2011
No system has been as effective as capitalism at turning scarcity into abundance.

Unfortunately, there is too little economic comprehension in this country for this phrase to be understood, let alone universally accepted.
07:44 AM on 08/19/2011
Over defined shorter periods state capitalism (e.g., China, India) have produced results that are designed with draconian policy and planning to exceed free-market capitalism.
Supporting skeptical felines everywhere
10:27 AM on 08/19/2011
Ah yes but abundance for whom? Is turning scarcity into abundance mean making money scarcer for a lot of folks so it can be more abundant for a few? The empirical evidence suggests this has been the case. Alas for purveyors of trite laissez-faire bromides there is far too MUCH comprehension that the economic system is NOT working for an increasing numbers of people for bumper sticker slogans to be accepted.
Group 8807
No Masters, No Slaves
12:48 PM on 08/19/2011
Let's take the concept of poverty. In America we have abundance and poverty doesn't mean what it does in the rest of the world.

For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 37 million persons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description.

In other words, most Americans have no clue what actual poverty is. Poverty comes with its own language -- starvation, cholera, malaria -- words that aren't used in America today. Most Americans have never even seen any of the horrors associated with true, abject poverty. Just remember, when libs refer to "poverty," the word was chosen for specific images they're trying to evoke in your mind. But the living standard of all but the very poorest Americans is considerably better than that -- better, in fact, than most of the middle class of the world. Our poor are still rich for human beings.

This is so important! The poor do not keep getting poorer -- our poor are not just richer than the global middle class, they are even wealthier than our own middle class of only thirty years ago. Microwave ovens, cell phones, cars with computers, airbags and anti-lock brakes. Flat screen TV, cable TV, access to resources like the internet. These were not just luxuries -- in my lifetime many of them were science fiction. Now they are all part of everyday life
Group 8807
No Masters, No Slaves
06:19 AM on 08/19/2011
If government were to allow a robust economy, parents would be able to provide for their children themselves by earning and keeping more of their own money. Democrats see that as a threat to their political power.

Democrats gain political power by creating dependency on government.
07:26 AM on 08/19/2011
If, by 'government', you mean the Federal Reserve banks, then I would agree. We foolishly gave control of the money supply to the fat cats, and they are keeping a tight reign on it. It's time the people took back control of the dollar.
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veni, vidi, bibi.
01:25 PM on 08/19/2011
Perhaps we can replace the word government with authority, since Corporations, Private Central Banks, Governments, and Religious/Political Institutions, etc., fall under this more broad umbrella. The common denominator is that they are all run by people in positions of power
Progressive Party, NOW!!!
06:18 AM on 08/19/2011
What's needed is a Progressive Party to bring together the progressive voices of all. Get together and be proud of our forward thinking and insist on being listened to.

Get organized people! Progressive Party, NOW!!!
05:30 AM on 08/19/2011
Exactly. Thank you. People are desperate out here.
"Feeling" you're right, doesn't "prove" you are.
04:28 AM on 08/19/2011
This should make it clear none of these people believe in Jesus. They just use religion to align with their base, mostly poor and less educated, while they set about their real agenda - getting voted into office so they can serve their corporate masters. Why the religious don't align themselves with representatives that act according to Jesus teachings, rather than representatives that just use words i'll never know.
09:33 AM on 08/19/2011
We need a church like Dr. Wright---Solution is within the family which tehe blacks do not have..70% are born as love childs..
02:58 PM on 08/19/2011
Unfortunately the Democratic party was trounced by the Republican party in the acquisition of the religious vote. What should be an ongoing struggle to win over religious voters has been almost entirely abandoned, leaving the Republicans to lock it up every time, with little need to truly explain or validate their behavior to a completely captive audience.
04:03 AM on 08/19/2011
Someone needs to tell Jesse that his title means something different than what he wants. The title suggests that the poor need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get working on making themselves a better life in America.
09:35 AM on 08/19/2011
So they should go from 2 jobs to 3 and just deal with the cards that society has dealt them.

You know it's about time kicking the poor and blaming them for everything was recognized as arrogant rude behavior it is. Especially when it's people born on second who think they've hit a home run.
03:00 PM on 08/19/2011
It is terribly cheap, isn't it? As if the wound weren't enough, some have to chortle while rubbing salt in it.
02:59 PM on 08/19/2011
Authors often don't choose their own titles or headlines.
Live life or die trying!
03:24 AM on 08/19/2011
"Compassion" is probably the most effective cost-cutting social efficiency mechanism I have experienced in my lifetime. Unfortunately, compassion does not give the few power. It does not allow the advantage for some. It is the antithesis of exploitation.

We will pay millions of dollars to be able to turn a blind eye, to turn our backs or to hurt others when a non-judgemental compassionate approach and a fraction of the negative costs will heal everyone. Of course, that's been said for several thousand years now and we still continually fail to see it and most importantly live it.

Reverend Jackson, I applaud your piece.
09:47 AM on 08/19/2011
Compassion is also teh parasite in one's life. It encourages failue, self sufficiency, ability to resolve problems and find solutions...Have youy not heard of "Necessity is the mother of Inventions" Compassion is good for disabled, weak and old people who are handicapped and are not able to resolve through strength and natural barriers.
11:49 AM on 08/19/2011
It does not really are one hateful and nasty individual with NO compassion for your fellow man or do you only have compassion for those corporations who are now considered "people" too and who are NOT creating jobs. You have no idea of other peoples' circumstances and yet you judge everyone the same. Bet you're a big time Christian too, aren't cha Mr. or Ms. Compassion or whatever you are.
Live life or die trying!
12:54 PM on 08/19/2011
I don't mind the thought of your alternate universe. You won't survive it. I have already visited it in my life. We will get what you think you want soon enough.
Inventor and Innovator
02:55 AM on 08/19/2011
I think you are wrong. Our economic problem can only be solved at the top. Denial of that is folly. Penalize outsourcers, tax corporate cash horders, break monopolies, and a dozen other policies. Never give up, never surrender.
09:49 AM on 08/19/2011
That is why Socialism and Communism have failed. When you take incentive out of anything, it becomes a burden like Union jobs...
10:30 AM on 08/19/2011
Do you even know what Socialism is?
If it is so bad how come countries like Sweden, Germany, Canada etc. are doing considerably better than the U.S.?
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veni, vidi, bibi.
01:30 PM on 08/19/2011
Only destruction results from top-down "solutions"

Change comes from the bottom, up.
Organic gardener & growers marketer.
02:11 AM on 08/19/2011
I don't think it is anti-poor to worry about the way the middle class is getting weakened. A stronger middle class will grow by absorbing more of the poor. The fastest way to grow the middle class is through jobs. We need a new WPA. My grandfather was an architect who kept his head above water during the depression by working on WPA projects. And, for every professional like him the WPA employed hundreds of out of work craftsmen and laborers. The best way to alleviate the hardship of poverty is by creating jobs. And, it's also the best way to turn the economy around and create a stronger tax base that will enable us to cut into the deficit. Where can we get the money for a new WPA? That's easy, just let the Bush tax cuts expire. The sooner the better.
Jimmy Goodman
08:07 AM on 08/19/2011
the new WPA should be a massive plan to develop alternative energy infrastructure, among other things. but they would call it socialism. maybe things just have to get a lot worse, another Great Depression, before they (GOP/tea party) give up their stupidity about government spending.
09:53 AM on 08/19/2011
How WPA has worked in China, russia and Cuba and Greece, Spain....It works in the short run only. This country has long term problems.. Restrictions like on federal projects you have to pay Union wages.....After all, the taxpayer's get wripped off or it is redistribution of money from Taxpayers to Union Thuhs and to Democrats..
01:51 AM on 08/19/2011
Absolutely spot on.

The wealthy absolutely need to pay a fair share of taxes and the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich need to be promptly repealed. In addition, military spending needs to be cut and the money redirected into health, education, human services, clean energy development, reforestation, detoxification of the environment and infrastructure repair and renovation. It is beyond insane that over half our federal budget goes to the military and that we spend more on the miltary than the rest of the world combined.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children". -- Dwight David Eisenhower, former US president and General/Commander of US Armed Forces Europe WW2.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
09:55 AM on 08/19/2011
You must be talking about Cuba or China or Greece. How it is working out in Africa...No more excuses..
10:33 AM on 08/19/2011
Well said and right on point, whalepeace.
01:40 AM on 08/19/2011
Interesting, he speaks about the loudest religious people have the least to do with people who are less fortunate: the poor. This is totally contrary too what Jesus taught in the gospels. It is wrong to exploit the weak and reward the rich and powerful in any society. But here in in the US, by leaders and candidates touting their faith, it is especially despicable.
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The Lone Stranger
Yes, I am a lousy typist. OK!
01:07 AM on 08/19/2011
"It takes leadership and citizen movement to summon Americans to real shared sacrifice."

the problem as I see it is that everyone but the rich has been already sacrificing too much so that a lucky few can get super rich.

Since 1980 the flow of money in our culture fundamentally changed and even though the past thirty years have been years where many have worked harder and been more productive the resulting economic value produced has not been shared like it used to be. Instead it went all to the top.

Since 1980 the top 5% have seen their assets increase by 400%. the other 95% have experienced an overall gain of 1%. While the net worth of that Top 5% went from 9.5 trillion to 38 trillion, we were giving them tax breaks that put us in debt to the tune of 14 trillion, which is now more than the entire net worth of that bottom 95%.

Here is my idea of a fair shared sacrifice: everybody kicks in 50% of the gains that they made since 1980. for 95% of Americans this would be a sacrifice of 1/2 of 1% of their net worth. For the richest 5% this would be a sacrifice of 38% of their net worth. The rich still come out as winners because their net gain is still huge, and this would wipe out the debt and leave us all with a surplus.
10:53 AM on 08/19/2011
I could not agree with you more. We should also tax the good fairy. Think of all of the payments that he has not made to the poor children for their missing teeth. We are talking BILLIONS. Yes, we should give more to the group at the bottom who did not study or try in school. The ones who commit crime on their neighbors and get off because it is the super rich who should be on trial.
NO ONE EVER GOT RICH WITH A POOR ATTITUDE.. (I am betting that you are not rich!)
live and let live
12:59 AM on 08/19/2011
Jessie you can forget about trying to appeal to a Christian's morality. Christian's only see this life. They'll worry about heaven later.
11:53 AM on 08/19/2011
I thought Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King were Christians.
1st time proud pagan mom since May 16
12:52 AM on 08/19/2011
Honestly right now we need to be saying, "ask not what you country can do for you but what you can for your country". It is time for people to stop relying on the government to fix these problems and instead start fixing it themselves. Communities need to pull together and start helping one another out instead of letting every man fend for himself. Promote "buy local", promote community gardens (to help lower grocery costs for households), promote helping one another through charity programs. These are only a few examples of what we can do. Be proactive! Learn from this, learn that the government is only going to keep you tied down and dependent on them. That is all gov. assistance is doing, keeping you dependent and down trodden. If you want change you need to start the change!
Jonny Suede
All matter.
01:07 AM on 08/19/2011
Every day, en route to work, I see people holding up signs and begging for money. Now, a good friend of mine once told me.. "they make more money than you do". Well, I do not believe that! Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. If any living thing can say that another has no worth, how dare! .I want people to work,as well. The question is, would you hire them for a wage upon that which they can live? Probably,not (profit is all,for a few select).
Not young enough to know everything..
04:04 AM on 08/19/2011
Fine and dandy, as soon as we fix the ways in which the government skews the game in favor of businesses that make people wealthy, the tax code that not only allows them to keep more of their wealth, but also add to it, and those that have lobbyists in congress.

Then we can let the system work. Not until.
12:39 AM on 08/19/2011
Excellent article. The widening gap between the haves and the have nots will be the downfall of this Nation if enough people don't wake up and realize that with all the Greed at the top, not enough is "filtering down" to keep the middle class and working poor sending their money back up to the top.
02:21 AM on 08/19/2011
Not filtering but" trickling down" . Reagan was wrong, we should be in the biggest boom right now, if Reagan was right. All the money that should have been reinvested has gone offshore. The ultrarich rake it off and send it out, instead of reinvesting in their own companies, communities and charities. I came of age during the Reagan administration,"no future" johnny rotten sang and he was right. My son has even less of a future than me. As long as the poor fight with the middle class the rich will always come out top. When will the middle class realize they have more in common with the destitute than the rich.
10:41 AM on 08/19/2011
Hi Gregory Spont. I agree with your reply. When we start pulling for each other instead of against each other we might start moving forward.