Monthly Archives: November 2014

Good Question

Jason Y writes:

I’ve always wondered why the upper classes would want a society with homeless and street children. Are they sadists? Don’t they have a heart? I think they enjoy being cruel to people. They enjoy being superior to others, I think that’s the root of it.

I have often wondered this myself. I think the answer is that they think a society with no homeless or street kids would cost them too much money in taxes, so they are not willing to pay for a society like that.

But they may have other reasons. A lot of them say, “Why should I pay for them? Why should I help them? It’s their own fault they are in this mess.”

23 Comments

Filed under Economics, Social Problems, Sociology

The Welfare State in Mexico and Latin America

Jason Y writes:

Also, imagine what Latin American immigrants think about the US welfare state? I mean, no shit. Of course, they’re going to overload welfare. They probably think they’re in paradise. I mean they came from right wing BDSM style hell-holes, where the wealthy 2 percent gives them nothing.

In Mexico, there is always health care at the state owned clinics. You might have to stand in line all day, but you will get seen. And everyone has food in Mexico. If you can’t make it in the city, you just go out to the rural areas and work on an ejido. The state owns a lot of the rural land in Mexico and they have divided up this land into plots called ejidos. They are sort of like small villages with lots of farmland all around them. The farmland is all owned by the state. You work the land and get whatever food you raise off the land. This is one of the legacies of the revolution.

So it is like China in that sense that if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go out to the rural areas and survive. I believe that all public education in Mexico is also free too, all the way up to university level. They have recently been talking about putting in a fee system, but they had to back down after a lot of protests.

Venezuela now has a fairly well developed welfare state and Argentina and Uruguay have had them for a long time, battered as they are.

Costa Rica had a welfare state for a long time except in the 1980’s under Reagan there was tremendous pressure to get rid of it. I am not sure what has happened since.

I believe that most of those countries do have free state health care and often free university education. But there might not be any doctors around and the university and health systems may be very much underfunded.

12 Comments

Filed under Americas, Argentina, Central America, Costa Rica, Economics, Education, Government, Health, Latin America, Mexico, Regional, Socialism, South America, Uruguay, Venezuela

The Welfare State in China

Jason Y wrote:

In fact, a Chinese that I knew in Saipan (who loathed Americans), was always bitching, saying “In China, we don’t have social welfare.”

Well, even though he’s a dickhead, he was right. Americans are pampered by the social welfare system, which gives them an edge over most of the world’s population.

Well in China I think you always have a job. Not sure about that. But a lot of the rural people have moved to the cities because you can make more money there. Apparently a lot of them are unemployed. However, it is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, they will pick you up and put you in some sort of a hostel type place in the city, or if you are from a rural area, they will just send you back to the rural area.

If you can’t find a job in the city, you can always just move back to the country. Everyone has a little farm back there, and yep, it is quite enough to survive. So it looks like China always lets you live. Also a tremendous number of people continue to work in public enterprises. It is not so easy to get fired from those jobs. And all education is completely free. You can go walking around anywhere you want in China in the wilder areas because there is no private property! The state owns all the land. All the wild land you see in China is owned by the state or by the people. You can go tramp around or I suppose hike or camp out there all you want and no one will bother you.

I suppose you can even walk onto people’s farms because there are no privately owned farms. All farmland is owned by the state.

Under Mao they had free health care, but that bastard Deng and his successors got rid of that when they abolished the village communes in the rural areas. For a long time, all health care used to cost money, and a lot of people were dying from lack of healthcare. Now they have a state insurance program that pays 85% of your expenses, but I understand that it is rather expensive and out of reach to most people.

Nobody starves in China. There’s always enough food for everyone.

So he is not really right that there is no social welfare in China. It is still very much a socialist country.

All normal advanced decent countries have fairly extensive welfare states. It goes with the territory of being a wealthy country. Many backwards and barbaric do not have good social welfare systems. The Right wants to get rid of the welfare state in the US. What that means is that they want turn the US into a backwards, barbaric Third World shithole. Or perhaps a wealthy version of a Banana Republic if you will.

So a welfare state is a sign of a healthy and prosperous people. A lack of one is a sign of a people who are backwards, barbaric and probably poor.

As always, it boils down to a choice between socialism and barbarism, just like Rosa said.

11 Comments

Filed under Asia, China, Conservatism, Economics, Government, Health, Labor, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Nutrition, Political Science, Regional, Socialism, USA

The Deep State

There are two governments in the United States today. One is visible. The other is invisible.

The first is the government that citizens read about in their newspapers… The second is the interlocking, hidden machinery that carries out the policies of the United States…

– David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Invisible Government (1964)

See here. What is sad is that I figure 80% of the American people are on board with everything the Deep State says and does. I know that 100% of the media is. Indeed, the only possible conclusion is that the mass media is part of the Deep State itself, a completely controlled propaganda system that allows no dissent and carries only one party line, the same as the controlled presses in the USSR.

4 Comments

Filed under Government, Journalism, Regional, USA

The Ancestor of the Beatniks

That would be Thomas Wolfe, dead way too soon at age 38 right before the Great War broke out.

Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year; something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die, I know not where.

To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.

Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded, toward which the conscience of the world is tending — a wind is rising, and the rivers flow.

Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again (1939).

I am really thinking that I need to get into this guy. Faulkner said Wolfe was the greatest writer of his generation. His reputation has waned somewhat in recent days – the general conclusion is that his novels were overwritten, way too long and could have been written in half the size – but he retains legions of devoted followers. There is even a Thomas Wolfe Journal out there that publishes regularly.

1 Comment

Filed under Literature, Novel

The Decline

Ricks writes:

@ Robert wrote: – It’s just, if you’re honest, well, going from a White town to an Hispanic town, any honest person would have to admit it’s a downgrade. And if you compare a White town to an Hispanic town, well, it’s a decline. Not a severe decline, but a decline nonetheless….

Sure its not a significant decline but I think it sure is a noticeable decline. Also many of these “vibrant” town end up cash strapped because of the vibrancy (Crime) the decent folks move out! Like you sad it is sad why many Hispanics like it like that (many are foreign born) anyone with a bit of common sense and education will move out ASAP…

This is simply the truth. I do not see why anyone with two eyes and ears could possibly not understand this. Anyone who doesn’t believe it must be either deluded or lying to themselves. There is definitely a decline. When a town goes from majority-White to majority-Hispanic, one does sense a sort of general decline in the town. It is not as if it is no longer livable; in fact, it is still quite livable, but it’s just not the same town anymore, and I don’t mean that in a good sense. The decline is not great or extreme, but it not insignificant either, and it is enough to be noticeable. It is sort of a sense that the city “has gone downhill” somewhat. Hard to put your finger on.

Something I have noticed is that apparently a lot of Hispanics actually like this somewhat degraded culture. Even with the crime and ugliness, they seem to think it is all peaches and roses. They are in their element and they love it. I don’t get it.

Now when a city goes from majority-White to majority-Black, typically things are much worse. Of course there is a decline in almost all cases. And it is a very significant and profound decline in all major areas. This is so obvious that I do not understand how anyone could deny it.

It’s also a good argument for not letting the Black populations of cities get too large as a small Black population is generally manageable, but there is a “tipping point” of ~20% where things start to head downhill pretty fast. For instance, we have 4% Blacks in this town. Most of them are ghetto Blacks, and honestly I really dislike them a lot. That is because I have had the misfortune of getting to know some of them. Let’s just say that I probably would have liked these local Blacks a lot better if I had not gotten to know them so well and understood what they are really like!

Even some of the ghetto types are ok (especially the young women) but they have this “ghettoness” about them that bothers me for some reason.

There are also some older Blacks who are not ghetto, but they are not really assimilated either. I am not sure how to describe them, but I know people who would call them “real Blacks.” Real Blacks as opposed to what these types call “White Blacks.” Honestly there is nothing really wrong with them except they are not that smart, and their culture appears somewhat degraded to me. They remind me of the sort of more traditional, well behaved, working class Blacks you might find in a lot of the South. A lot of them are very religious and have strong accents.

As I said, there is nothing wrong with them to tell the truth except that I just do not and cannot relate to their culture. It is completely alien to the one I grew up with. But I cannot say that they are bad people.

There are some Blacks here who are somehow middle class or above. They have totally assimilated to normative American (White?) culture, act very well and are indistinguishable from anyone else.

Now mind you, these local Blacks still cause problems. But they don’t cause mayhem, which is what you often get with large Black populations.

As with the Hispanics, you get the feeling that a lot of these ghetto types actually like the wildness, chaos, 24-7 party, loud, flashy, belligerent, strutting, blinged out culture of Cadillacs, 40’s, blunts, rims, grills and hos. Even with all the crime and gangs and morbidity, they seem as if they are in their element. It is as if they think it is a continuous wild party. I suppose I understand this, but to this introvert, it just seems so insane.

This is one thing I would agree with the White nationalist types about – that this decline is very real and is not a figment of anyone’s imagination. On the other hand, if you got most White people drunk and alone in a room where no one could hear them, a lot of them would agree with statement just the same.

10 Comments

Filed under American, Blacks, Culture, Hispanics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Sociology, Urban Decay, Urban Studies, USA, Whites

My Mind Is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.

Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620)

I cannot tell you how many people I know who think like this. They are so hopeless. Doesn’t matter how much evidence you can muster for your argument, they simply reject it.

  • Not credible.
  • He’s lying.
  • He’s making it up.
  • Not a good source of information.
  • Just some guy’s opinion.
  • Who is he anyway?
  • Not a good witness.
  • Not enough witnesses.
  • Witnesses were biased.
  • You can’t trust anything from that source – they lie too much.
  • It’s just some reporter – who is he and what does he know?
  • Who are his sources? why won’t he name his sources?
  • They are faking the evidence.
  • They fabricated that evidence.
  • Not a good source.
  • But he’s just one guy. One guy’s opinion.
  • Where did you read this? Show me your source. State your sources.

The overwhelming majority of people are completely closed-minded. They make up their minds pretty quickly about something, probably based on what the government or media said, and then they just stick with that through thick and through thin no matter what new evidence comes up. In addition, people really don’t want to know the truth. Instead, they want to prove that their argument is correct.

My father’s famous one was, “State your sources!” Of course, it’s usually impossible to go drag out the book or whatever source you got your info from, so that’s really a phony and dirty argument. Anyway, sometimes we would find a source, and then he would always immediately dismiss it. So he didn’t really want to see our sources after all, you see? He was just using that as a dirty argument to discredit our side, destroy our position and win the debate. We could have shown him 10,000 sources, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Therefore it was irrational for him to ask us to show him our sources. If your mind’s made up, why are you asking for the evidence from the other side? Yet people do this all the time. Most arguments are between two people whose minds are already completely made up. If that’s the case, then why debate? What’s the point?

When say 80% of your society is closed-minded, you have a real problem for democracy and for all sorts of things. This implies a population that is either brainwashed or easily brainwashed. What that statistic shows us is that this is a population that is easy to manipulate and lie to because they are trusting and gullible.

Closed-mindedness is a real problem, always has been, always will be. As it was in 1620, so it is today. Human nature doesn’t really change.

12 Comments

Filed under Politics, Psychology

A Latin American Future for the US?

I reckon eventually welfare will collapse, there will be little or much less “fruitful” White middle class to tax. Already in Cali the top 1% pay about 50% of the taxes. I think the rich should pay the more taxes, but eventually they will get fed up and just leave. Worst case scenario is a dystopian future, with Latin America’s social structure, so a White/Whitish elite (top 5%) a Beige people in the middle and a Black/Brown lower/working class….

I hope that does not happen…. But only time will tell….

Welfare or social spending will not collapse. Already things seem to be going in the opposite direction in most of the world, even here in the US, believe it or not. Food stamps were recently expanded and there has been a huge expansion to Medicaid. There is a major project to get homeless veterans off the streets. If you look around at most of the world, most countries are not wiping out their social spending systems. The systems are either flat or possibly growing. Even where they are shrinking as in the US, they are still extensive.

Already in Cali the top 1% pay about 50% of the taxes.

It is always like this. The rich always pay a vastly disproportionate share of taxes under any fair system. And as inequality increases and the gap between rich and poor grows, the rich will pay an increasing share of taxes if the system is still fair.

The US rich won’t leave. They didn’t leave when the highest marginal tax rate was 90%, so why would they leave now?

Worst case scenario is a dystopian future, with Latin Americas Social Structure, so a White/Whitish Elite (top 5%) a Beige people In the Middle and a Black/Brown lower/working class….

Problem is that that is a revolutionary scenario. You either get a hard rightwing regime or you get some sort of populist Left regime with a lot of instability as the Right causes chaos. In the case of the hard right regimes, eventually the Left takes up arms as in Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and in the past in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba and Honduras.

So that system is highly unstable. With a right regime, the Left will be in unrest and causing a lot of chaos with the Right reacting with mass murder. With a left regime, you have Allende-style chaos with middle classes in the streets banging pans, employer lockouts, repeated coup attempts, political assassinations, street riots, and an insurrectionary media.

6 Comments

Filed under Conservatism, Economics, Fascism, Government, Latin American Right, Left, Political Science, Revolution, USA

The Salvadoran Model

Ricks1977 writes:

I think the West Needs to go back to its roots and stop meddling in other peoples affairs, we should invest vast amounts on money in Non-Oil/Alt Fuel Technologies and let the Middle East sort its shit out by itself. We would also have a time-out on all Immigration to Western Countries…

What we are going to have is a Internationalized “Bourgeois/Capitalist” Elite (5% tops) an a small Middle Class, maybe 15% of the population, finally a large 80% of the rest will be poor. The only people that benefit from Globalization is the International Bourgeois Class and their 10%-15% control Middle Class Whores, everyone else gets screwed….

We need to go back to a level of Nationalized Economies, whereby yes their is international trade, but imports are taxed/tariffed so that money can be used to invest in out ports/airports and other infrastructure…

In the end the International Bourgeois Elite will fail (I think) turning us into all subservient slaves goes against human nature…I think increasingly people are seeing the downside of international trade and particularly FREE TRADE…Free Trade is not free as the common people get screwed – the only people that benefit are the well oiled International Bourgeois Class! The problem is like a alcoholic/druggy – these capitalist morons do not know where and when to stop…. They want more money and control, they think they are gods!

They will fail in the end, as everything this Rabid Capitalism/International Bourgeois Class stands for goes against human nature and decency. The only thing that works and will give our planet stability is Benevolent Leaders – that believe is a mix of Socialist and Free Enterprise (within a national framework)…I hope we see the end of Globalization within my lifetime!

Everything he says is true. I think we could unite a lot of people of the right, left and center around a project like this, but it would be hard to pull off because the left and now a lot of the center will not want to get off the immigration crack.

I call this the Salvadoran Model. During the Civil War, 2% of the population was extremely rich (the famous Fourteen Families owned almost all the land), 8% was a beaten down middle class and 90% were poor. Apparently this is the neoliberal model that the US and its allies are pushing.

2 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Central America, Economics, El Salvador, Latin America, Neoliberalism, Regional, Socialism

Disputing Rightwing Lies about “Welfare”

Ricks1977 wrote:

Over +30% of our taxes go on some form of welfare (that’s why so many illegals come in), I have no problems with Some Socialism I am a Moderate, BUT Free IOU’s/Handout no thanks!! I takes away the inbuilt human ability to work and be self-sufficient (Its turns some of us in to parasites)!

Illegals are not eligible for any welfare programs that I am aware of. However, they are on some programs. Of course they use emergency health services, and they can get WIC for their kids, but the kid is a citizen.

It is not true that 30% of our taxes go to welfare. That’s just not the case. It doesn’t inhibit people’s desire to work. I know a lot of people on these programs, and most of them work. In fact, I know people who are on disability. You would think someone could kick back on disability, but most people on disability work. I knew some women on welfare, and they worked. We have some Section 8 people in this complex, and they all work. Most people on Medicaid work. So there’s not that many people surviving getting free money. Anyway, you won’t get any free money.

If you’re not working, there’s no welfare program to survive on. If you are a woman with a kid, you can get welfare, but it is only ~$300/month. Try living off that. Sure you can get Section 8, but Sec 8 is just reduced rents. The people on it still have to come up with ~50% of the normal rent price. Medicaid is nice but it doesn’t buy food or pay your bills.

Yes you can get food stamps to help you eat. I have no problem giving folks some food to eat. The only support you can get if you don’t work is disability and welfare. We showed how welfare doesn’t pay the bills, but disability doesn’t either. You simply cannot live off it. So most people on disability work as much as they can under the table. If you report your income, they take 1/2 of it, and if it goes on a long time, they may throw you off disability.

Bottom line is there just are not that many people kicking back and refusing to work and living off handouts. You can’t even really do it. I know a few who do it, but they are on disability and it’s arguable whether they can really work or not.

Since you can’t kick back on handouts, nobody’s doing it. If nobody’s doing it, nobody’s being turned into a parasite.

The fact that even folks on disability work shows you that these programs do not sap your will to work. In fact you can’t survive, so you have to work. If you can’t survive, you can’t kick back. Also most everyone I know on these programs is miserable, chronically depressed and often suicidal. They are not having fun and it’s all because they don’t have any money. They don’t seem like parasites living high off the hog to me.

Europe has long had extensive welfare programs that you could even survive off. The rate of parasitism is low, and there are not mass cases of the will to work being sapped. They have one of the most productive workforces on Earth. In the USSR, studies showed that “chronic parasites” – the folks that conservatives love to rant about being the “lazy kick back get stuff without working” types – were only 6% of the population. So it is only a very small % of the population that is inclined to parasitism anyway.

17 Comments

Filed under Economics, Europe, Government, Illegal, Immigration, Regional, Socialism, USSR