babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Basic Income 2: The Entitling!

Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

I tend to format sequels as horror movie titles. Don't mind me... actually, two interesting points were brought up that I wanted to address:

Ghislane wrote:
The Quebec child-care system has much lower standards than the guidelines here on PEI (and most other provinces). For example infants (generally considered under age 2) have a 1:3 ratio of babies to staff here, but in Quebec it is 1:5. that is outrageous and I would have been horrified if my daughter had been in such a situation. If going down to 7$ a day requires such a drop in standards and quality I want no part of it.

I'm by no means an expert on childcare, but what about a 1 to 5 ratio is so awful in terms of attention to infants? I'm interested to know.

Also Boze, in the parting shots on childcare versus GAI (and I've said, single-payer childcare could come out of a child's GAI on a per-capita basis if need be (that means single payer)) pointed out the difference between work and utility:

Boze wrote:
The purpose of a national child care plan should not be "to allow parents to work." It should be to increase freedom. To give them the option to work, so that they are not, in your words, "chained to the kitchen," or to not work and still have access to a decent standard of living for themselves and their children, beyond the paltry amount provided by social assistance. Every parent and child should be entitled, yes, entitled to a decent standard of living regardless of whether the parent chooses to seek employment. If you give them MONEY then they can do EITHER. And your problem with this is...the dread of subsidizing idleness, I'm sure.

Boze then went on to point out that much of the conversation has revolved around a basic tenet of right-wing economics: Say's Law that supply creates an equilibrium of demand...

Boze wrote:
If you put a thousand dollar cheque in every person's hand tomorrow and every month from now on that would most definitely create child care spaces Unionist, and it would create a whole lot more than that. WE DO NOT NEED THE STATE TO CREATE CHILD CARE SPACES, JUST GIVE PARENTS MONEY AND THEY WILL DO IT BETTER. They will have TIME to do it better and they will have MONEY to do it as well. We don't need top-down solutions. A whole civil society is dissolving as we speak because people have less and less money and little energy to fill their little free time with more than television and arguing on internet message boards, lol. It doesn't have to be that way - begin the redistribution of wealth downwards immediately!!!

I have invited Unionist to clarify what he defines as a social need, but he has backed away from that conversation, stating that social needs evolve and are decided by society... I think that if we operated by that metric, all of us would back away from any political advocacy. We've decided as a society that Dianne 35 shouldn't be covered by society but abortion should. We've decided as a society that disability, for the purposes of income support, is a binary condition, and we've decided as a society in most of the country that we'll pay to treat HIV but not to pay for needle exchanges that will prevent its spread... Given that political indecision, I once again say that, as activists, as political beings, we should have a comprehensive vision for what the state should do and should not do, or get off the damn stage.

I argue that there are easily identifiable costs that vary and should be socially insured, such as health, crime, disaster, and as well, insecurity of income. Not everyone has the same capacity, and we ought to view that capacity as sitting along a spectrum, and do what we can to equalize utility.

Further, I believe that the most broadly spread entitlements are the most politically secure. It was easy for Mike Harris to bash welfare recipients, because most people don't know many welfare recipients. It's the same reason that over the long-term there's an inverse correlation between prejudice and visibility. It's easy to cut welfare. It's easy to cut some small program. It's hard to make the case for taking away a cheque that everyone gets.

 

 

 

 


Comments

Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
quote: "It's easy to cut some small program." If you have a majority of the Great Misled filled with hate toward those drawing welfare , niver mind their kids, by a campaign patterned after those in the U.S (Ontario, 1995). A 21 per cent cut in their income is then easy. In the real world. I can just imagine the togetherness out there among the Great Misled on the subject of GAI. :) (Particularly in a climate of increasing Social Darwinism created by the idea, now being seeded, that their (the misleds') investments are threatened by "layabouts." But then, perhaps the reality of the political world is not up for consideration in this conversation?) - As for "It's hard to make the case for taking away a cheque that everyone gets." Wouldn't they have to "get" it first?

Freedom 55
Offline
Joined: Mar 14 2010

Like RevolutionPlease, I've enjoyed following this discussion, although I don't feel qualified to speak to the viability, or the desirability, of a GAI. (see here: Basic Income. Thoughts?, for anyone who missed the first thread.)

I did want to highlight something you said in the previous thread:

 

Red Tory Tea Girl wrote:

But there's never going to be a movement for people who are crappy at job interviews. There's never going to be a movement for people with annoying laughs. People will continue to roll their eyes at those calling for fat acceptance, despite the fact that their obesity doesn't harm their productivity to a degree commensurate with the reduced wages they receive.

All of these forms of discrimination are irrational, are wrong, and should be combatted, but to some degree they just all become lumpen, the 'losers' that people don't employ with the same frequency, and find themselves in a vicious cycle of reduced opportunity. We will never successfully combat their oppression on a micro level, even when we win legal equality. So let's be a little Rawlsian about this and understand that outcomes are a pretty good predictor of social esteem, and just guarantee that nobody's going to be homeless because they like to dance at their desk while unintelligibly glotterally humming along to the most obscure Weird Al tracks of the mid-1980s, or because they had some traumatic experience with Kafka as a child and now can't fill out forms.

 

Thanks for raising that point, which I think often goes unrecognized.

On a related note, I wanted to address your comments about how living on $1060 a month is "pretty damn doable" if you get a roommate. That may be true for many people, but similar to your point about not everybody being able to conform to most employers definition of employable - not everyone is capable of functioning well in a roommate situation. For some people it goes beyond a mere preference to live alone, and into something quite important to their wellbeing.

That's my one minor point.


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

That's a good point, Freedom 55, and I do think that we need to focus on making affordable housing a priority. Sometimes you can't have two people sharing an 800 sq. ft. suite, but often, with a little planning, studio suites can be built that would be affordable on a GAI level of rent.

When we deal with greater and greater levels of incapacity for social living, that becomes a health issue, and should be, (and often is) paid for through medicare, just as we pay for group homes for those unable to function on their own.

Gaian, as to your earlier comments about the unsustainability of growth, I'd point out that we're nowhwere near utilizing the energy capacity of the planet. That our current infrastructure is based around a finite resource, we're orders of magnitude short of a Type 1 Kardashev society, so yes, there's room for growth. There's room to put a square mile of solar cells for every 3000 people in the desert. There's room to perfect thermal depolymerization which is currently able to replace oil at $80 a barrel, and extract the energy from organic waste. Both of these would nearly replace the current energy needs we have, each on their own, and wouldn't come close to comprising all the shovel-ready energy products we could embark upon that aren't dependent on advances in technology, simply economic will. Oil companies can't be trusted to invest in green energy because it would destroy the value of reserves that we can never afford to exploit... and yet they dominate the energy market because the cultural right locks arms to defend oil rigs, the center acquiesces to the demands of capital, not realizing that the wealth that oil companies profess to have doesn't truly exist, and the cultural left is too busy alienating the working-class with pseudo-deep-ecological rhetoric that they have no real constituency for.

We don't have to consume less, we need to consume sustainably, and while I understand that may conflict with some people's political culture, that they may prefer a more simplistic, agrarian, society where solidarity is enforced through dependence on the group which offers its support conditionally, it is not the sum total of what we can do for the next hundred generations of humanity.

We can continue to expand, if we do so intelligently, not without limit, but certainly to a level of income and prosperity that would easily be classified as an abundance society. It will take planning. It will take medium and short-term limits, but, just as I tell the reactionaries on the right, returning to what one may view as an ideal society (that never truly existed) is self-limiting at best, and a function of privilege at worst.

So yes, at the moment, there are no limits to long-term growth significant of present day consideration, type I status is about 200 years away by even the most optimistic predictions. Given 1% productivity growth (That's less than half the rate of per-capita growth we've seen in the last half-century, and roughly the amount we saw during the Industrial Revolution), per annum, we'd be looking at type I status, or a rough per-capita GDP of one-billion, in about nine-hundred years (And yeah, I think we'll probably stop caring about output at around a million per person, which would be around 2425).

I look at what we have achieved as a society over the last ten millenia and I'm hopeful, not doubtful, about our prospects for the future. We are slowly, over a long, painful, and chatotic process, liberating ourselves from the constraints we were handed when we first walked out of the Great Rift Valley, and we'll continue to do so. And I'm sure when the first major fusion accident occurs, and the lives of people who are living well into their second century are cut short, that there will be people who advocate a return to the Thatcherite age, when mega projects didn't happen, and surely we're all poisoning ourselves, and if we just ate real meat raised on an animal instead of grown on sheets, we'd all live to two-hundred, etc, etc, etc.

So yes, in the long run, I am an unabashed promethian. In the short run, I'm smart enough to know that we can't be smugly assured that productivity gains will come, that we will see massive shocks if we go past the point of no-immediate-return when it comes to atmospheric carbon, and that it will threaten us with a new dark age. But my solution isn't to voluntarily impose that dark age, it's to manage the crisis and repair the damage, not to presume that because a scalpel is also a blade that it cannot be used to heal just as a sword is used to kill.


Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
When I gathered textbooks to teach an introductary course in solar heating some 30 years ago, the textbooks all pointed to the difficulty of finding the resources to do the job properly with active systems (i.e. copper in water systems, etc) It became obvius that passive systems were the only way to go. But our society can't even regulate the developers to allow subdivisions to be oriented for maximum solar gain. Your ideas from Buck Rogers became obsolete some decades back. Neat, but not for this world. That's all part of the "technoligical fix" that the ubiquitous "they" would be coming up with...any century now. And one does not hear that voiced anymore for obvious reasons. Or do you not watch the news, about the increasing difficulty in feeding the billions on a planet experiencing the first effects of climate change? Are you actually a denier?

Catchfire
Online
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Gaian, please stop referring to people as the "Great Misled." We've been around this mulberry bush before.

I, like F55, don't have the necessary knowledge to come to an answer to this question (I've supported GAI in the past, however), but I wonder if a possible antidote to the problems raised by RTTG and F55 regarding "lumpen" traits is simply full employment. Aren't so-called lumpen traits a direct result of predatory capitalism and the abstract and occult distinctions we draw between the worthy and the worthless? Full employment rather shortcircuits any of these, doesn't it? Perhaps that's outside the scope of this discussion, however.


Grandpa_Bill
Offline
Joined: Apr 25 2009

Red Tory Tea Girl wrote:

Further, I believe that the most broadly spread entitlements are the most politically secure. It was easy for Mike Harris to bash welfare recipients, because most people don't know many welfare recipients. It's the same reason that over the long-term there's an inverse correlation between prejudice and visibility. It's easy to cut welfare. It's easy to cut some small program. It's hard to make the case for taking away a cheque that everyone gets.

Evidence for this point has been accumulating for decades, perhaps half a century.  The first mention that I noticed was in a report of British middle-class disaffection with social welfare measures that had been means-tested after previously having been provided to the entire population.  Can't recall just where or when , but it was ages ago.


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

Grandpa Bill: Exactly. It's why you can't even get most Canadian Conservative party members to oppose single-payer health care, but most Americans, including a big part of the Democratic base, deride the idea as an unaffordable intrusion of the nanny state.

Gaian, I really have had enough of your equating my belief in historically provable gains in productivity to unrealistic fantasy. Either you have refused to consider the availability of substitutes, because like many of my fellow economists, your models abhor complexity, or your opposition is disingenuous, driven by the kind of classist propaganda that seeks to reassert an authority that much of the intellectual class has lost through industrialisation. I simply don't have time for those who have adopted the smiling agrarian fatalism of Vandana Shiva and the global famine and precambrian climate it will induce, but by all means, continue telling people that though we worked our way through every other resource peak in human history, this one will be different because we can't switch to another non-renewable (we won't) or because we're reaching the planet's carrying capacity (unless, you know, we figure out how to develop more green water, or more greenhouses or have a declining fertility rate or something like that...) or because, well, I don't know where the socialism ends and the deep-ecology begins. Because it's important to have contrasts in the public arena, and it's important to build a consensus that allows for measurable progress without adopting the neo-liberal model of allowing private interests to define that progress.

I continue:

To a trained English craftsman, a factory that nearly eliminates the need for employees, making the power loom seem quaint by comparison, would also seem like "a buck rogers solution."

Productivity continues to rise. Carbon intensity and energy intensity continue to fall. Not immediately, not rapidly, but yes, a century's progress is going to make us look quaint by comparison, just like it did the last time. Resource pressures combined with a political demand for mprovement in living standards force us to find substitutes, much like the development of polymers postponed what was then a looming shortage in copper and tin back in the 1940s and 50s.

And guess what: That thermal depolymerization I mentioned? Pretty good way to rescue metals from organic wastes.

I don't doubt that we're approaching a point where copper production won't keep up with geometricly increasing demand. Same thing happened with Whale Oil. Same thing's happening with Crude Oil. Same thing's happening with the environmental capacity to absorb burning of sequestered carbon. But we used to have to use nearly pure sources of copper or very copper-rich sources of ore to get copper. Now, thanks to, Buck Rogers solutions shall we say, we can extract copper from ore sources of 0.3% purity, and yet it costs less and does less damage to the environment to make a copper pot today than it did in 1500, not just due to mining but also improved capacity for recycling.

That's not even mentioning the possibilities of replacing electrical systems with non-metallic inputs, and yes, the technologies that the Organic Electronics Association envisions also definitely seem like Buck Rogers solutions. So yes, as I've said, we could easily run out of the capacity to expand our raw materials' base for sometime. In the long run? Someone will manage to solve the problem because the rewards will be too high for people not to attempt to do so.

Please don't deride my refusal to believe in Mathusianism or to assume that economic progress will somehow magically halt despite all the other dramatic, society-upheaving, crisis-level resource shortages that have plagued humanity for millenia. That we adapt and get a little better each year, and that the cumulative effect of all those little each-year gains add up to some truly impressive technology when viewed over the long-term, as believing in some childhood fantasy best portrayed by marionettes.

1 percent improvement in productivity doesn't mean that we're going to crack fusion or develop some other brilliant technology that saves the world before we hit 2 degrees of warming. 1 percent means that the world's per-capita GDP will get to $13,500 a year from $10,000, by about the 2040s. Given the food productivity gains to be made by a mere thousand acres of greenhouses... given the continued gains in automation, the improvements in recycling yields, I don't think that one percent is some level of ridiculous futurism, driven by stern earth-raping, pipe puffing, stentorian scientists... It's what we've always done at this level of interpersonal communication.

We do not conquer in our war on scarcity. We muddle. We make things a little better, often when we thought they might be a little worse. It is only accumulated gains over time that make the latter look like the former.


Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
Catchfire wrote:

Gaian, please stop referring to people as the "Great Misled." We've been around this mulberry bush before.

I, like F55, don't have the necessary knowledge to come to an answer to this question (I've supported GAI in the past, however), but I wonder if a possible antidote to the problems raised by RTTG and F55 regarding "lumpen" traits is simply full employment. Aren't so-called lumpen traits a direct result of predatory capitalism and the abstract and occult distinctions we draw between the worthy and the worthless? Full employment rather shortcircuits any of these, doesn't it? Perhaps that's outside the scope of this discussion, however.

Actually, Catchfire, you warned me to stop with the "Great Unread," not Misled. And I was earlier required to go to "Mainstreet" to describe the "great unwashed." Now I know that you ae somewhat less than dependent on the mainstream media - the Great Misleaders - for all your information, but I would be forever in your debt if you could tell me how to describe those folks who have been misled into believing the line purveyed/promoted by the powers that be and still meet your PC criteria.Quoting Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia each time would result in unnecessary complexity. I await your prescription for this very necessary explanation for the social/political consciousness of Mainstreet.

Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

Quote:
I await your prescription for this very necessary explanation for the social/political consciousness of Mainstreet.

 

I think Paul Krugman might be able to help us out:

Krugmeister P wrote:
David Brooks is unhappy with the turn the conversation over the white working class has taken; that's his right, although I think he's caricaturing my position. But I do want to make a point about the nature of social explanation.

David says,

I don't care how many factory jobs have been lost, it still doesn't make sense to drop out of high school.

True enough. But suppose we apply the same logic to another problem, say obesity:

I don't care how little manual work Americans engage in these days, or how available fast food has become, it still doesn't make sense not to stay at your ideal weight through diet and exercise.

This is also true - yet few people do this (I don't, although I'll get on the treadmill in a few minutes).

The point is that it's perfectly possible to invoke material causes for social changes - the prevalence of fast food making Americans heavier - even if perfectly rational, perfectly self-controlled individuals would not respond in the way real people really do.

Nobody - not William Julius Wilson, not Larry Mishel, not yours truly - denies that the bad effects of reduced opportunity would be much less if people always did what was in their best long-term interests. But people often don't, which is why loss of economic opportunity can be socially as well as economically destructive. That's not crude materialism, it's saying that people are human.

 


Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
Paul Krugman is my favourite economist becaue he takes on people to the right of Vlad the Impaler, like the David Brookses, with their non-sociological, conservative requirement that each individual - no matter their beginning or social-economic standing and life chance, work for betterment of self. Timeless Horatio Alger. So I assume that your message here is the liberal one? Paul Krugman's? :"The point is that it's perfectly possible to invoke material causes for social changes - the prevalence of fast food making Americans heavier - even if perfectly rational, perfectly self-controlled individuals would not respond in the way real people really do. Nobody - not William Julius Wilson, not Larry Mishel, not yours truly - denies that the bad effects of reduced opportunity would be much less if people always did what was in their best long-term interests. But people often don't, which is why loss of economic opportunity can be socially as well as economically destructive. That's not crude materialism, it's saying that people are human." This student of sociology has long accepted Krugman's position. Bless him for keeping it before a large segment of the better-off - and incidentally, not "bat crazy"- segment of the American population. It is another small spark of rationality and hope for my granddaughter's future, and promoting such views is the only bloody reason I foment, here. You should see some of the arguments I've had with the ideological set, hereabouts, on the subject of Krugman and his defense (sometimes) of Obama,(overall). But, again, do you proffer Krugman as justification of a necessary level of state suppport, GAI, for that category of citizens that I am not allowed to name? You will have noted that Krugman's concern for what "real people really do", has been my concern, throughout our exchange. :)

Catchfire
Online
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Gaian wrote:
Actually, Catchfire, you warned me to stop with the "Great Unread," not Misled. And I was earlier required to go to "Mainstreet" to describe the "great unwashed."

Gaian, this has nothing to do with "political correctness," which, like the neoconservatives of America, you wield like a pejorative. It has to do with not insulting en masse the working classes, impoverished classes, underclasses or whomever you choose to refer to with an ad hominem which places you as enlightened. It's insulting, and anti-progressive. If you choose to refer to the MSM as "the great misleaders," why that's fine. But you need to stop trying to find some wide-berth insult that will pass babble's vigilant censors (to use your fantasy for what constitutes moderation). Just don't insult people. It's easy.

I really don't want to have this conversation again. So Gaian, just respect this place and its rules, ok?


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

But yes, proletarian and petit-bourgeois people like myself, do tend to be more likely to vote left-wing than the professional-class and the bourgeios... the effect is weak, however, which is a constant source of frustration for the left. If voters voted their interests, based on platform, the communists would probably be the opposition to an NDP government.

Here's a hypothesis: Just as increased LGBT openness tends to be correlated with increased support for LGBT rights, is that we know more rich people than the population numbers suggest. We don't know them personally, but we do know them through mass media. The capitalist-as-celebrity, the rentier-as-celebrity, the multi-millionaire actor, have increased the visibility of the rich and made people correspondingly more sympathetic to their lives and goals.


toochewed
Offline
Joined: Feb 16 2012

 

Red Tory tea girl wrote 

Gaian, I really have had enough of your equating my belief in historically provable gains in productivity to unrealistic fantasy. Either you have refused to consider the availability of substitutes, because like many of my fellow economists, your models abhor complexity, or your opposition is disingenuous, driven by the kind of classist propaganda that seeks to reassert an authority that much of the intellectual class has lost through industrialisation. I simply don't have time for those who have adopted the smiling agrarian fatalism of Vandana Shiva and the global famine and precambrian climate it will induce, but by all means, continue telling people that though we worked our way through every other resource peak in human history, this one will be different because we can't switch to another non-renewable (we won't) or because we're reaching the planet's carrying capacity (unless, you know, we figure out how to develop more green water, or more greenhouses or have a declining fertility rate or something like that...) or because, well, I don't know where the socialism ends and the deep-ecology begins. Because it's important to have contrasts in the public arena, and it's important to build a consensus that allows for measurable progress without adopting the neo-liberal model of allowing private interests to define that progress.

One word . Denier . 

Bla Bla Bla 

 


Catchfire
Online
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Hi toochewed. Welcome to babble. If you like it here, please avoid the personal attacks and treat your fellow babblers with respect. The above is not a good example of either, nor does it particularly contribute positively to the discussion. Tx.


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

I don't even know what I'm being accused of denying... climate change? It exists, and I think it's going to be the pending catastrophe of the 21st century barring the collapse of industrial civilization (which would be a larger catastrophe).


wage zombie
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2004

Gaian wrote:

... I would be forever in your debt if you could tell me how to describe those folks who have been misled into believing the line purveyed/promoted by the powers that be and still meet your PC criteria.

I'd go with sheeple (sheep + people) for the pc term, I suspect you can get away with it here.


Freedom 55
Offline
Joined: Mar 14 2010

wage zombie wrote:

Gaian wrote:

... I would be forever in your debt if you could tell me how to describe those folks who have been misled into believing the line purveyed/promoted by the powers that be and still meet your PC criteria.

I'd go with sheeple (sheep + people) for the pc term, I suspect you can get away with it here.

 

This has come up before. You might be able to "get away with it", but I don't understand the point in trying to be cute about how close one can get to violating the spirit of babble policy.

 

http://rabble.ca/comment/1160564

Catchfire wrote:

Quote:
In defining itself as "progressive," rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist and pro-labour stance

 

People calling traitors to worker solidarity "scabs" is the same as calling men's "rights" advocates "assholes." It's not polite, but it's kosher. As for "wage slavery," it's a political reality, not a demeaning term. The ones doing the demeaning are those who own the modes of production who enforce it upon the working classes. Capitalism, basically. It's not at all the same thing as calling workers "sheeple" or "the great unread," etc. Again, ther permissablity of many of these terms depends on the context in which they are used. Calling Canadians in general "sheeple" is not against balle policy, although it probably won't win you any friends. Calling striking miners "sheeple," however, is a problem.


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

*sighs* that analogy makes me angry for many reasons... oh well, I'll just keep reading Typhonblue.


Jacob Richter
Offline
Joined: Oct 19 2008

Gaian wrote:
Paul Krugman is my favourite economist

He's one of the worst "left" economists out there.  His Keynesianism is vulgar, even before considering that most "Keynesianism" is vulgar.

Red Tory Tea Girl wrote:
But yes, proletarian and petit-bourgeois people like myself, do tend to be more likely to vote left-wing than the professional-class and the bourgeios... the effect is weak, however, which is a constant source of frustration for the left. If voters voted their interests, based on platform, the communists would probably be the opposition to an NDP government.

Here's a hypothesis: Just as increased LGBT openness tends to be correlated with increased support for LGBT rights, is that we know more rich people than the population numbers suggest. We don't know them personally, but we do know them through mass media. The capitalist-as-celebrity, the rentier-as-celebrity, the multi-millionaire actor, have increased the visibility of the rich and made people correspondingly more sympathetic to their lives and goals.

Non-violent opposition to a participatory-socialist (not "social-democratic" or even "democratic"/parliamentary-socialist) NDP government, and I'd go beyond just "vote left-wing" (i.e., enlist for membership), but otherwise well put.


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

His Keynesianism is 'vulgar'?

And I was talking about stated party platform, Jacob. Every time the communists roll out a platform that progressivizes income taxes and works towards economic nationalism, and otherwise advocates a return to something resembing the economy we had in the late 70s, I wish the Progressive Canadians had done it first.

I understand that their platforms aren't actually representative of their long-term goals for governance, but then, that seems to be an observation rarely made.


Jacob Richter
Offline
Joined: Oct 19 2008

My statement is based on having read the likes of L. Randall Wray, Steve, Keen, and so on.  Just compare whatever policy planks Krugman has with those of whom I mentioned.

You and I debated about employer of last resort (because I oppose basic income), but "industrial" communists didn't roll out this policy, and neither did our country's Red Tories.  ELR, while opposing basic income, also shows the bankruptcy of mere public works and other money-multiplying "full employment" crap.

Short of long-term governance, here's an economic excerpt of my minimum program:

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/economic-democracy-the-lefts-big-new-idea/#c...

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/letters.php?issue_id=841 ("Out of the box" letter)

It puts all "social-democrats," most "democratic socialists," and even many communists and anti-capitalist agitators to shame.


Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
As you see above, Cf, there is a crying need for a way to explain the state of consciousness of the great mass of people in our perfect little "democracies" - the U.S. and Canadian facsimilies encountered in these threads. It was a central issue for the Marxists of old, and it's now dismissed, it interferes with the attack on social democracy's "ineffectiveness". The revolution would be complete except for social democrats getting in the way. You know, the divisions that result in real Donnybrooks hereabouts from time to time. But let me comment on your threat in post #11 :"It has to do with not insulting en masse the working classes, impoverished classes, underclasses or whomever you choose to refer to with an ad hominem which places you as enlightened. It's insulting, and anti-progressive. If you choose to refer to the MSM as "the great misleaders," why that's fine. But you need to stop trying to find some wide-berth insult that will pass babble's vigilant censors (to use your fantasy for what constitutes moderation). Just don't insult people. It's easy. I really don't want to have this conversation again. So Gaian, just respect this place and its rules, ok?" -------------- But, you see, it is NOT used to INSULT the people whose fight I took up publicly as soon as I could at age 21 at the time of formation of the NDP. I am the son of a farm labourer. My older brothers starved through the really Dirty Thirties, and until the 1950s, they described their situation as socialists do. But out in the world of capitalist society, without any sustaining institutions,higher education, media, etc., they became Liberals (2), and one, a "businessman", went Conservative. They wanted (needed) a piece of the pie for themselves and their families, without apologizing for their bourgeois behavour. That is what happens in the real world to people who should know better - but "knowing better" goes by the board as your situation changes, eh? My description of my brothers (and sisters) "everywhere" is not a putdown, but the hard-won realization that that is what happens to "consciousness," and it doesn't do a damned bit of good to set social classes on a pedestal. We are what we are made. And there is no possibility of intelligent discussion if the subject is avoided. You would have been very embarrassed with the use of the term "lumpen." But it took the work of people like Karl Mannheim to refine the simple categories of Marx and his dependence on ideas like "false consciousness." And if you can suggest an alternative to Great Misled, please bring it forward. The hands of social democrats in this venue are at the moment 'tied" by declarations such as yours, Cf. We cannot fight back when the ideologues taunt at every turn. And you are going to have to throw me off this board to silence me. My consciousness comes out of a lifetime of battle, and attempts to create sustainable institutions by which future generations, my grandaughter, can live on this planet. I created courses in introductory solar heating for a comunity college, and lecutured publicly, as the first chairperson of a local branch of the Solar Energy Society of Canada, Inc. on the need to develop alternate sources of energy, beginning in 1979.I was one of a handful of people who organized the Green Party of Ontario in early 1983, only to see it taken over by dilettantes and then Conservatives. And now I have to explain all of this, and the absence of a snotty attitude toward my fellow human beings, to someone who - as far as I can tell - dictates from theory. No thanks. Life's too goddam short as it is.

Gaian
Offline
Joined: Aug 5 2011
JR: "Gaian wrote: Paul Krugman is my favourite economist He's one of the worst "left" economists out there. His Keynesianism is vulgar, even before considering that most "Keynesianism" is vulgar." ------------- The major voice of reason, explaining in the simplest of terms to a very simple nation under the control of political nutbars and Gordon Gekkoes of Wall Street and the best you can come up with is vulgarity? How high-minded is that! :)

Boze
Offline
Joined: Apr 24 2007

Jacob Richter wrote:

My statement is based on having read the likes of L. Randall Wray, Steve, Keen, and so on. Just compare whatever policy planks Krugman has with those of whom I mentioned.

You and I debated about employer of last resort (because I oppose basic income), but "industrial" communists didn't roll out this policy, and neither did our country's Red Tories. ELR, while opposing basic income, also shows the bankruptcy of mere public works and other money-multiplying "full employment" crap.

Short of long-term governance, here's an economic excerpt of my minimum program:

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/economic-democracy-the-lefts-big-new-idea/#c...

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/letters.php?issue_id=841 ("Out of the box" letter)

It puts all "social-democrats," most "democratic socialists," and even many communist agitators to shame.

Too bad it doesn't (at least, from what I can understand of it) promise anything for those who do not participate in the labour force.

 


Grandpa_Bill
Offline
Joined: Apr 25 2009

Red Tory Tea Girl wrote:

Here's a hypothesis: . . . we know more rich people than the population numbers suggest. We don't know them personally, but we do know them through mass media. The capitalist-as-celebrity, the rentier-as-celebrity, the multi-millionaire actor, have increased the visibility of the rich and made people correspondingly more sympathetic to their lives and goals.

Yes.  We compare our lives to their lives, our fortunes to their fortunes, rather than to the lives and fortunes of our neighbours upstairs or across the street.  In doing so, we normalize their lives and fortunes rather than seeing them as aberrations.  A mug's game.

And now we are not only witnessing, but also participating in a So You Think You Can Lead celebrity contest for leader of the NDP.

Ain't that rich?!  Laughing

 

 


Jacob Richter
Offline
Joined: Oct 19 2008

Boze wrote:

Jacob Richter wrote:

My statement is based on having read the likes of L. Randall Wray, Steve, Keen, and so on. Just compare whatever policy planks Krugman has with those of whom I mentioned.

You and I debated about employer of last resort (because I oppose basic income), but "industrial" communists didn't roll out this policy, and neither did our country's Red Tories. ELR, while opposing basic income, also shows the bankruptcy of mere public works and other money-multiplying "full employment" crap.

Short of long-term governance, here's an economic excerpt of my minimum program:

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/economic-democracy-the-lefts-big-new-idea/#c...

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/letters.php?issue_id=841 ("Out of the box" letter)

It puts all "social-democrats," most "democratic socialists," and even many communist agitators to shame.

Too bad it doesn't (at least, from what I can understand of it) promise anything for those who do not participate in the labour force.

Nor should it, really.  That stuff is incidental.


toochewed
Offline
Joined: Feb 16 2012

In a 2011 survey, US economics professors ranked Krugman as their favorite living economic thinker under the age of 60.

Lots of water under the bridge around here . Y'all might do well to listen to Gaian , Krugman and any other vulgarians for that matter  . Im a Lumpen , very well informed in relation to my entourage , but an idiot around here it seems . Vulgarity is good , the common man / woman can relate to it . Put the common man in here and he leaves after 30 seconds . Whats the point . What is the point here . Ramblings from the intellectual class ?  Deniers ? Yes . I say . Leaders and the ruling class know that the Lumpen and proletariat are simple people who keep their heads buried in sand because even doing a tax return is complex for most . Babblings and complexity where there should be simplicity . Sitting around contemplating the wherefors and hithertos of public policy is as much a waste of time and energy as the lumpen and proletariat keeping their heads in the sands , unless of course , you are running the country .

There is a problem of complexity in this world and You (the Intellectuals) would do well to try and make it simple for Us . If your wish is to get us involved, instead of feeding your intellectual egos by debating the use of the word 'mislead' or 'sheeple' , and if you really do believe there is a catastrophe on the horizon , DO something , CHANGE something. IMHO there IS a catastrophe waiting in the wings and a good starting point would be to promulgate a GAI here in Canada and in other G-20s . Empower the people and change will follow .

I get called on a BLA BLA BLA remark ? Trivial on your part or whoever it was .So, sorry if I offended you , it wasn t personal , only how I felt about both threads . Speaking of which , nobody answered my question on the old thread about a consumption based tax to introduce a GAI . Unless , Red Tea Tory Girl , that  flippant remark about it being regressive was intended to silence me forever . Are you aware of the video of which I spoke ?

Well enough , it took me over an hour to formulate this . Got other things to do .. Good Day to all 


Boze
Offline
Joined: Apr 24 2007

Jacob Richter wrote:

Boze wrote:

Jacob Richter wrote:

My statement is based on having read the likes of L. Randall Wray, Steve, Keen, and so on. Just compare whatever policy planks Krugman has with those of whom I mentioned.

You and I debated about employer of last resort (because I oppose basic income), but "industrial" communists didn't roll out this policy, and neither did our country's Red Tories. ELR, while opposing basic income, also shows the bankruptcy of mere public works and other money-multiplying "full employment" crap.

Short of long-term governance, here's an economic excerpt of my minimum program:

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/economic-democracy-the-lefts-big-new-idea/#c...

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/letters.php?issue_id=841 ("Out of the box" letter)

It puts all "social-democrats," most "democratic socialists," and even many communist agitators to shame.

Too bad it doesn't (at least, from what I can understand of it) promise anything for those who do not participate in the labour force.

Nor should it, really. That stuff is incidental.

 

No, it's not. You write that a GAI does not address "the desire to work and avoid the stigma of not doing something." Do you not think that a sizeable enough GAI would lead to a significant reduction in total hours worked?

edit: As I see it a significant portion of the population has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the proletariat. The history of property rights is the history of disposessing these people. Let's call a spade a spade, most work is totally unnecessary. It gets done because of the necessity of earning a paycheque and because somebody is willing to pay for it to be done but that doesn't make it beneficial or necessary. As technology progresses even less work will be required for a human to sustain himself, and your solution for the unemployed or forcibly employed is that we can always find things for them to do?

Time is money. 


Freedom 55
Offline
Joined: Mar 14 2010

Maybe I just underestimate the motivating and empowering force that is the word 'sheeple'. 

/drift


Red Tory Tea Girl
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2010

Toochewed, once again, I'm going to ask you to clarify what you meant when you threw 'denier' up there. And yes, I could show you comments that managed to pack a world of hate and isms into one emoticon, so yeah, bla, bla, bla isn't really worthy of a discussion site. (A former babbler's kissy-face comes to mind [/drift])

Second, I'm not a rich person. My latest job, the best paying one I've landed, puts me just on the happy side of median. I may be an intellectual, but I'm a proletarian intellectual. I don't think that education and workers are or should be mutually exclusive. Ignorance is often a learned and studiously maintained affectation. Just look at the people who write The Sun.

Gaian, I have a real problem with people who think that those who disagree with them are somehow deluded or misled. The false-consiousness argument is always maddening. I can think that someone is wrong without thinking that they are the product of bad faith.

[drift]It's one of the reasons my blood-pressure went up when I saw that blanket dismissal of MRA's as equivalent to scabs. Between Warren Farrell and Janice Raymond, who would you trust to protect a woman's bodily autonomy? Just because some people haven't got the energy to say, "that's not my feminism," when referring to pretty much any famous feminist born before 1970, doesn't mean that they aren't working to break down differentiation by gender.[/drift]

I have found that while there may be a correlation with political positions I see as regressive and willful oversimplification, it's not that absolute. I know plenty of people who agree with me for all the wrong reasons, and I think they're more dangerous to democratic values than those who disagree with me on their reading of the merits.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments