Does hard work really pay off anymore?

For most of our lives, we've been taught that hard work pays off, but most of the super-rich didn't make their money by working hard. According to a new analysis by Paul Buchheit of UsAgainstGreed.org, those at the top make most of their money by betting against the American people. The wealthy elite makes a fortune by speculating on rising food prices, which means that they profit by making it harder for people around the world to afford to eat.

As if that isn't evil enough, the super-rich also bet against mortgages, so that they could make a profit when Americans could not longer afford to stay in their homes. And, once millions of Americans found themselves out on the street, the private equity firms swooped in, bought up the foreclosures, and rented them back to the very people that they swindled out of their homes. The super-rich rake in even more by gambling on Wall Street, screwing over Main Street, and buying off the politicians that help make it all possible. The only hard work that the billionaires face is walking the fine line between so-called investing and criminal activities like bribery, fraud, and manipulating the market.

Our nation used to really value hard work, and that work was rewarded with a better life and brighter future. But, for the last three decades, the super-rich have rigged the system, and managed to convince many of us that we're just not working hard enough. The time has come to stand up, speak out, and fix this broken system while we still have a chance. We work hard, we play by the rules, and we need to fight for an economy that pays off for more than the top one percent.

Comments

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#1

One of the best things I learned in college was actually some advice from one of my dormmates. He was a finance major (of course), and he told me that, "No one ever gets ahead if all they have to sell is their time. If you're not making money even while you sleep, you're going to struggle your whole life."

That was in 1998, and it's stuck with me ever since then. It's sad that the world is that way, but it's proven true, for me at least.

What would help this country, more than anything else, would be a rebuilding of the manufacturing sector, so people can exchange their time and labor for a decent living. How to achieve this though?

People like me look back on the days before our time when a man could support a family with a factory job and just a high school diploma and wish it was still that way. Then I give my oldest daughter, who is 14 and thinking about her future, the same advice that I got in college. Right now, she wants to be a fashion designer. That's all good and well for now. But I hope she grows out of it and into something more practical before she has to really decide her career track in the coming years. I'm hoping she goes into something medical, like nursing or even becoming a doctor. Good pay, can't be outsourced, AND a chance to help people. In the modern world, it's probably the best field to go into.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 15 weeks ago
#2

Chi Matt -- Maybe she could go into politics and help us get back tariffs and other tax structures that enabled a factory worker to buy a house and support his family.

One version of your advice to your daughter would be support the "race to the bottom". She could go into finance and "steal" peoples homes (you need to read Thom's book "Crash of 2016" to see how that actually happens). She would be doing that vice designing clothes to bring happiness to many people.

ScottFromOz 5 years 15 weeks ago
#3

Since the 1% own the government, the military and the propaganda machine (laughingly called the MSM) and the SCOTUS, it's hard to see how our country can be taken back from them without some kind of revolution. Yes, I know that last statement will paint a big red target on my chest with the NSA and such, but it's the truth. Our country is no longer a Democracy, it is Oligarchy or Corporatocracy.

Those who are abusing their wealth and power right now will use any and all devices to retain and even grow that power...it's in their DNA. They will lie, cheat and steal from the rest of us and they have bought the government so that they can have the law written for their own benefit. Rich people have always sought to do this, but before Reagan, our government was strong enough to resist most of their efforts.

Downsizing our government is not the answer to our problems, it is the problem.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 5 years 15 weeks ago
#4

It occurs to me that the Koch brothers practice insider trading with oil prices. They concoct a shortage of gasoline due to refineries being down or the Democrats won't let us build refineries or there is war in some country or other. The brother in New York, who most likely has a seat on the exchange because he is rich, buys oil futures then the brother in Kansass announces to the MSM or Lundberg that there is going to be a shortage. When the price goes up they sell. When it reaches the bottom they buy. Since Spring Break the price of oil seems to be rising every damn week. we get screwed and the Cock brothers send the profits overseas.

Why isn't the SEC investigating this crap?

johnbest's picture
johnbest 5 years 15 weeks ago
#5

If I lived in Southern California, I would piss on Saint Raygun's grave.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#6
you need to read Thom's book "Crash of 2016" to see how that actually happens

It's on my summer reading list, believe it or not. Of course, I have a Mark Levin book on the list too, in order to try and be more multidimensional in my thinking.

Maybe she could go into politics and help us get back tariffs and other tax structures that enabled a factory worker to buy a house and support his family

She does like to argue with me a lot. :)

While I agree with you about the need for protective tariffs (I think that's what you meant at least), I think the reality of those ever coming back is nil. It's like throwing a rock at a train that's about to run you over - it may make you feel better, like you did something, but it doesn't change the outcome. The manufacturing sector isn't roaring back anytime soon, if at all.

The best thing to do, if you really want to help, is to vote with your wallet and buy American. Preferably something made at a small, American-owned factory.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 5 years 15 weeks ago
#7

Kudos to Mr. Hartmann for the best of his columns I've yet read -- nothing I could add, nothing I could criticize. Thank you!

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 5 years 15 weeks ago
#8

We need to return to the 91% tax of the 1950's for all millionaires because those millionaires use the tax code system to make loopholes for their advantage. The 91% tax makes the tax code simple and obviates the rule: "if you can confuse, you can deceive".

douglas m 5 years 15 weeks ago
#9

If the economy reacts exactly like our pay it will tank and we can press the do over button.

Thank god that isnt far off! Idiots at the top got too greedy.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#10

Thom Hartmann is the man! So true...every word!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#11

Thom Hartmann ~ Well said! Your best post yet! Thank you!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#12

ChicagoMatt ~ Well said! Nice contribution. Very nice avatar. Keep up the good work!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#13

In case you don't already know, DAnneMarc, ChicagoMatt's avatar is photo of a bust of Nicolo Machiavelli author of "The Prince".

Quote newadvent.org:Machiavellism has become synonymous with treachery, intrigue, subterfuge, and tyranny. It has been even said that "Old Nick", the popular name of the Devil among Anglo-Saxon races, derives its origin from that of Nicolò Machiavelli.
-------
...a prince must keep clear of crime not only when it is hurtful to his interests but when it is useless. He should try to win the love of his subjects, by simulating virtue if he does not possess it; he ought to encourage trade so that his people, busied in getting rich, may have no time for politics; he ought to show concern for religion, because it is a potent means for keeping his people submissive and obedient.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09501a.htm

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#14
Quote Palindromedary:In case you don't already know, DAnneMarc, ChicagoMatt's avatar is photo of a bust of Nicolo Machiavelli author of "The Prince".

Palindromedary ~ No, my friend! No! I did not know that little fact! However, since you mentioned it... It makes perfect sense. If you remember what I said a few posts ago about "Mammon," it should make perfect sense to you, too. I can't thank you enough for that heads up. In fact, let me thank you on behalf of everyone on this blog who might be distracted from the main target. Personally, I think we can expect many such assaults on these popular issues in the future and the voices of people like you and I are going to be sorely needed. Please, stay with us the best you can and so will I. Your input is so sorely needed. Thanks again!!!! I am so PO'd at myself for not seeing through this BS!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#15

:-)

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#16
In fact, let me thank you on behalf of everyone on this blog who might be distracted from the main target. Personally, I think we can expect many such assaults on these popular issues in the future and the voices of people like you and I are going to be sorely needed.

I really hope I don't come accross as trying to "assault" anyone. If anything, I'm trying to show that we're not all evil or brain-washed, we non-Progressives. (I've having a hard time coming up with a label for myself, since I agree with some of what all sides have to say. Any suggestions? Any pro-carbon tax, anti-union, pro-education reform, pro-federal regulation food and banks, pro-reduced military budget groups out there?)

And, please don't take this is as attack, but I think some people way over-estimate how "popular" Progressive ideas are. Conservatives and tea parties do the same thing. Both groups claim to speak on behalf of "We The People" or, as Boehner like say, "The American People..." (If you were here, I could do a great impression.) But, I think the majority of Americans are happy where they are and don't want real revolutionary change. Your typical protest - from the left or the right - draws about as big of a crowd these days as a college football game.

The biggest protest I've seen in Chicago in my lifetime was about ten years ago when undocumented workers marched for their rights. Right which, I believe, they should get. At this point, blanket amnesty is the best option. So I guess I agree with the Progressives on that.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#17

Scott from Oz says "Downsizing our government is not the answer to our problems, it is the problem." Bingo! Because when we "downsize" the "gubmint", we suddenly find ourselves ruled by corporate hacks answerable only to themselves and their shareholders.

Meanwhile Chicago Matt says "I really hope I don't come across as trying to 'assault' anyone. If anything, I'm trying to show that we're not all evil or brain-washed, we non-Progressives." Hey Matt, we get that. You're not an evil guy, just horribly misinformed about all kinds of things like unions and education "reform" and progressive ideas, and who actually speaks for We The People. Please don't take this as a put-down, Matt, but you sound like a bloody hypocrite when first, you say we can't speak for a majority of Americans, but then in the next breath are telling us most Americans are satisfied with the status quo and happy right where they are. Perhaps you should be speaking for yourself, your pampered pupils and their well-heeled parents.

One more thing, Matt. How the hell do YOU know the size of the crowds at our protests when the corporate media refuses to cover them? I guess Gil Scott was right; the revolution will not be televised.

As food and oil prices go up, and insurance premiums and the cost of medications continue to rise, just remember: it costs an awful lot to subsidize all those CEO billionaire welfare queens like the Koch brothers. That's why we have to keep digging deeper & deeper into our pockets and sacrificing: so that David Koch can afford his twelfth mansion, along with another private jet or two, maybe a few more yachts and a fleet of Rolls Royces. Cheers!

Just remember: corporations are people my friends. And God bless Corporate America. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Hey Johnbest, when you piss on Saint Raygun's grave, you can take a nice big dump on it for me. I promise not to tell.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#18
Quote ChicagoMatt:(I've having a hard time coming up with a label for myself, since I agree with some of what all sides have to say. Any suggestions? Any pro-carbon tax, anti-union, pro-education reform, pro-federal regulation food and banks, pro-reduced military budget groups out there?)

ChicagoMatt ~ Personally I hate labels of any kind. They put you in a box, give people false impressions, and limit thought. Just be yourself. I doubt any two thinking people will always agree on everything--even identical twins. For instance, your rant above seems to agree with most of the posters on this blog until you throw out the "anti-union" position. How you can attack collective bargaining and have those other positions you and God only knows. Perhaps it's just you being you. I'd just leave it at that.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#19
How you can attack collective bargaining and have those other positions you and God only knows. Perhaps it's just you being you.

I look at them with the same eyes that some people look on corporations: corrupt organizations that buy off politicians. I was forced to join a union once, the SEIU, when I was a teenager at just wanted some extra spending cash from bagging groceries. Sure, the dues were nominal. But how would you feel if you were forced to join a group that supported candidates you opposed? Don't you get a little angry when you fill up your tank, knowing that you're giving money to an oil company, and that oil company is going to use some of it to buy politicians? But what choice do you have? None really. Same idea for unions. Want to be a public school teacher? You have to pay up... (You don't have to JOIN the union in that case, just pay the dues, for what it's worth.)

What if I wanted to do my civic duty and bring my teaching skills to the public school students, but only wanted to work for the amount I make now, to help the city in it's budget crisis. I can't. The union won't allow it.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#20
Please don't take this as a put-down, Matt, but you sound like a bloody hypocrite

I don't take it as a put down at all, honestly. So far I've been called a hypocrite, white privledged, and idiot. Two which I have two replies:

1. If your goal is to convince people to vote a certain way or see a certain view, calling Romney's 60 million voters "brainwashed idiots" probably isn't going to bring any of them to your side. It will just solidify their own opinions and make them work extra hard against you.

2. For as hypocritical and privledged and brain-washed as I sound, Progressives sound VERY arrogant. A lot what what I hear from the other side can be summed up as: "We're right, and if you don't believe it, you're an idiot. Of all of the 300 million or so people in this country, we are the ones who have been endowed with the right answers. We alone have escaped the evil corporate agenda."

How the hell do YOU know the size of the crowds at our protests when the corporate media refuses to cover them?

The local news here covered the G6 protests, some anti-war protests, and the immigration reform protest I mentioned before. But I was basing that statement on Wikipedia's article about the Occupy Movement. The largest number I saw in their graph of protests (since it's an ongoing movement) was 50,000-100,000 people.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#21
Quote ChicagoMatt:I look at them with the same eyes that some people look on corporations: corrupt organizations that buy off politicians.

ChicagoMatt ~ The last time I looked no corporation was looking out for my best interest. They didn't fight for my fair pay, my benefits, my seniority, or my vacation hours. If I have a grievance with my boss I can go the the union on my feet, instead of the business owners on my knees.

So what if they want to support politicians who have their best interest at hand? Their best interest is my best interest so why would anyone in a union ever oppose a union decision. It defeats the entire purpose. Oh, that's right, Conservatives love to vote against their best interests. That's all they do. Silly me.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#22

Matt, no reason to have your underwear in a knot, lashing out at us and getting mad. No one has suggested you feel guilty for what you describe as hard-earned comforts, nor is anyone trying to keep you from buying all the toys you heart desires. Where have I, or anyone else in this forum, called you an idiot? I happen to think you're misinformed on various issues addressed in your posts, and I (and others) have disagreed with many of your comments on those issues. If you're going to put your opinion "out there", you're not going to like some of the responses you get, so you'd best be prepared to deal with it before jumping in. Just goes with the territory on these forums. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. I actually appreciate the input of conservatives like you. Where else could I find such a rich source of conservative talking points and sound bytes for me to chew on and spit out? (tsk) Without you guys, we'd have nothing to push back against; we'd all be just "preaching to the choir", which hasn't nearly as much entertainment value. So rest assured, you need never doubt the value of your input. Have a lovely weekend. Peace. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#23

By the way, I believe that we are all somewhere along the line between Conservative extremes and the Liberal/Progressive extremes...so it is difficult to pigeon hole everyone's beliefs. We all agree with some things and disagree with others. I consider myself a liberal/progressive yet I believe in private gun ownership because I believe in not only self-protection (the cops can't always respond in time to save soon-to-be victims..and that usually equates to...dead victims), but I also believe that widespread gun ownership helps to keep a rogue government from going all totalitarian on us.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#24

You said that people who voted for Romney were idiots. I won't tell you wether or not that applies to me, since people's votes should be secret. Of course, here in Chicago, it doesn't really matter how you vote. We're about as "blue state" as they get.

And I'm not mad. Sorry if it comes across that way. I appreciate adult conversation. Being surrounded by the 12-14 age group all day, while it does help me feel young and hip, and drains my brain. I can only hear about One Direction or Justin Bieber so much...

(BTW, my students, who swear, have boyfriends and girlfriends, and opinions about world events - the oldest was born in the year 1999. Let that sink in for awhile.) :)

I would warn against labeling different opinions as "talking points". The conservatives do that too, and it's not right in that case either. It's just a way of disregarding the opinion, without really thinking about it. Back when I would listen to Rush (yes, roll your eyes. When I used to get a lunch break, I would listen to him.), he used the term "talking points" a lot when referring to Democrats and the media.

And I'm not a Conservative! I'm for environmental regulation, immigration reform, gay rights, and a few other Liberal causes.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#25
By the way, I believe that we are all somewhere along the line between Conservative extremes and the Liberal/Progressive extremes...so it is difficult to pigeon hole everyone's beliefs. We all agree with some things and disagree with others. I consider myself a liberal/progressive yet I believe in private gun ownership because I believe in not only self-protection (the cops can't always respond in time to save soon-to-be victims..and that usually equates to...dead victims), but I also believe that widespread gun ownership helps to keep a rogue government from going all totalitarian on us.

Totally agree to both thoughts!

If there's one thing the media loves, it's finding the most extreme people to interview. I swear, if there is a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, the seek out the most stereotypical "ghetto" person to talk to about it. And if there's something happening in Alabama, they look for the nearest pickup truck with a Confederate flag on it to stand in front of and talk to the guy in it, preferably with a mullet and overalls.

The other problem with gun control is - what about the millions of guns already out there? If you stopped selling guns and ammo today, there's already enough out there to keep things just like they are now for the rest of my life. But, that's probably a topic for another blog...

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 15 weeks ago
#26

Pal -- You should read Article 1, section 8 of the constitution. In the 2nd amendent it does say the purpose for bearing arms is to have a militia. However, Art 1, Sec 8 says one of the functions of that militia is to put down insurgents.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 15 weeks ago
#27

Chicago Matt thanks it's usually me that gets picked on. I find it interesting that Americans have to be on the left or right maybe it's time for a party in the middle.

With all do respect no one took anyone's homes. They lost them. Americans are so over financed. Rules made it so easy to get a mortgage and with very little or nothing down it was just a matter of time Before it all fell apart.

If you want to get back at the super rich quit borrowing money from them that will hurt them the most.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#28

Chuckle8: one man's insurgent is another man's freedom fighter!

There's a lot of them in Ukraine right now. Whose propaganda do we believe...the propaganda of the US backed Nazi regime who were insurgents fighting against the legitimate Ukraine government or the Russian backed Ukrainian insurgents now trying to separate from the US backed Nazi Kiev government? Are citizens supposed to just shut up and just take anything and everything that their corrupt government throws at them? The US would never have become a great nation if the colonial citizens had not had civilian insurgents fighting the well trained and armed British soldiers. If it were not for the citizen "insurgents" finally rebelling against their despot rulers we'd still be ruled by Kings.

By the way, did you notice how restrained the original Ukraine Police were when those Nazi's were throwing Molotov cocktails and everything else they could throw at the police? That's 180 degrees out from the way the US police conduct themselves against demonstrators who are demonstrating peacefully in the US.

In the US, the few police stand out there and crack heads or tear gas people. The people could rip them apart if they wanted to. In the US, you'd never see all of the police just trying to hold their own behind big shields while demonstrators hurl Molotov cocktails at them. And the very little gun fire in the original Ukraine Nazi revolution came from the Nazi demonstrators not the police.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#29
Chicago Matt thanks it's usually me that gets picked on. I find it interesting that Americans have to be on the left or right maybe it's time for a party in the middle.
I feel like I'd actually be friends with a lot of these people in real life. Something about talking politics - even with people who disagree with you - is fun for me. I wish it wasn't such a taboo subject with people in real life.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#30

Matt warns against the use of the term "talking points" because it sounds dismissive of other opinions.

I'll label any opinion presented, by you or anyone, as a talking point if I've heard it a thousand times already without much variation, and from large numbers of people. That's my definition of a talking point. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#31

Kend: We don't have a party in the middle because we don't have a party on the left. The Democrat party is right of the middle, and in some ways are even right of the Republicans.

And who do you think scammed all those people into mortgages they couldn't afford to keep for very long? It was criminal real estate and mortgage loan people making a killing off of the gullibility of people who didn't know any better....people who believed in the lies that they were told..."never a better time to buy", "buy now before it's too late", "yes, you too can own your own home"...just sign on the dotted line...."never mind those questions about your income and job history...we'll fill in the blanks for you".

Then those mortgages were sliced and diced and turned into tranches, with lies from the ratings agencies who rated those tranches at high ratings...then they were sold to retirement fund managers, who got their cut. And another layer of chicanery came when insurance companies, backed those mortgage casinos, who were wheeling and dealing in these mortgage packages in Wall Street, could not actually make good on the losses of those who got stuck with bad paper. So, their partners in crime...the bought off politicians...came up with a scheme to bail them out. They pushed the bail out onto the taxpayers. And did they make sufficient changes to the laws to prevent this from happening again? NO! They created a Moral Hazard situation where it is ensured to happen again...and again. The people who were suckered into mortgages and the retired people and some other countries, who invested in those tranches, lost big time while the real estate, mortgage, and insurance companies made a killing. I wouldn't buy another house in this country even if I didn't have one. People get burned!

I had a coworker who got a little inheritance and used it, before and during the 2008 bubble, to buy a few pieces of real estate as investments. He got lucky on some because he sold before the bubble popped. But, I think he was still buying houses and condos during the bubble. I don't know how he wound up on it..haven't seen him since I quit (I mean retired ;-} ) But I remember him talking about the real estate lady he had dealt with in Phoenix. He was trying to buy rental units and the lady would say things like all these renters were nothing but cockroaches and deserved to be taken for all they could take them for. Behind those welcoming smiles are a bunch of megalomaniacal capitalist psychopaths who will stop at nothing to get you to sign on the dotted line even if they thought you really could not afford what they were selling you.

It wasn't just my coworker. I had a friend who worked as a real-estate loan officer and he told me how these people, who he knew couldn't really afford the mortgage they were trying to get...but he would have been fired unless he did all he could to get them to sign up for the mortgage. And this was happening all the time...not just a few.

It almost always comes down from the top greedy psychopaths that put pressure on their employees to do the wrong thing. My friend had to quit...he just couldn't take the guilt feeling he had. He felt caught between his boss and the right thing to do (ie: save those poor people from themselves and the wolves ready to devour them).

And now, after the wolves feasted on the unwary...the wolves continue to blame their victims for being stupid or desperate.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#32

The "middle", Kend? Unproductive. How blandsville. A snore….

Gee Kend, thanks for setting us straight once again on who's really to blame for foreclosures; the victims! They brought it on themselves, trusting banks to be selling legitimate mortgages! Shame on those homeowners! - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#33

ChicagoMatt: You bring back pleasant memories of Chcago. But for me, that was when the Prudential building was the tallest structure in Chicago. I rode the Chicago and Northwestern from Great Lakes Training Center to both Chicago some weekends and to Milwaukee on other week ends. I still remember some of the mid 60s songs that I heard on the trip into the cities. I really liked going to the Science Museum (there was a Wilson Cloud Chamber and a German U-boat). I loved going to the Art Museum not too far from the Marina. I even marched in the Navy Band during half time at Soldiers field once. I had some really great times in Chicago back then. I had some scary times as well..walking from Old Town all the way back, past the Marina Towers, and somehow I managed to get into some sub-level of Chicago right around where the bridge went across that channel.

Since then, I have flown in and out of Chicago Ohare, to catch a connecting flight, a number of times and was able to see just how much Chicago had grown. I had a hard time finding the Prudential Building from the air because there were so many other buildings that dwarfed it. I remember that elevator to the top, where there was an observation tower and restaurant, and that was the fastest elevator I had ever rode on. I attended a lot of dinner/theater plays in Chicago...and I was even introduced to Catherine Crosby (Bing's wife) in her dressing room after her play that evening. What a nice lady!

Well, I'd better stop reminiscing!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#34

By the way Matt, there's a difference between calling you a hypocrite in general terms (as if that defined who you were), and identifying something specific you've said as hypocritical. Specifics make the difference between unsubstantiated rubbish and the real mccoy.

Ditto white privilege. You made specific comments that sounded to me like they came from someone enjoying white privilege. Do you deny such a thing exists? Or do you think white privilege is another liberal fantasy we created out of thin air, just for rhetorical purposes? - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#35

AIW: That's right...careful...someone's wife, that makes all that money, could be a lawyer! ;-} By the way, I was wondering if certain people who have gotten pretty emotional didn't pull in someone they knew for support. But, I guess that is just my paranoia oozing out of the cracks! Since I have been accused of it...I may as well flaunt it! But who knows?

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#36

My wife is a liberal and we learned by the second date that politics was something we couldn't discuss. Even when I'm listening to talk radio - Progressive or Conservative - I politely turn it off when she walks in the room. (I wish she would do the same when I walk in on her watching The Real Housewives...) She has one day every year when she says she is a Republican - Christmas bonus day. The amount of taxes that get taken out of that single check would pay for a family vacation to DisneyWorld for all five of us, and then some.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#37

I've been here since '98, and I can see how much it's grown too. But I don't really go downtown anymore. No reason to, and no time even if I wanted to go. The last time I went, a few years ago, I was just giving a driving tour to someone from out of town. My students keep pestering me to take them on a field trip down there, but I think they just want the day off from real work. And field trips are a hassle to coordinate.

Back when I did go downtown, I liked to lay between the Prudential building and the taller Aon building beside it. There is a plaza in between the two, where you can lay and look up and see both. It's an interesting feeling.

I know people that live near the beach that never go to it, and people who live near ski resorts who have never been on them. I suppose just knowing you're close to it, you think you can always go to it "another day".

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#38
You made specific comments that sounded to me like they came from someone enjoying white privilege. Do you deny such a thing exists? Or do you think white privilege is another liberal fantasy we created out of thin air, just for rhetorical purposes?

There is a difference between admitting something exists, and thinking that it is a problem. I will do both when liberals start admitting that Affirmative Action is racist, that blacks are just as racist as whites, and that people "play the race card" to their advantage, even if they don't mean it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 15 weeks ago
#39

One more thing, Matt: it was you who first brought the word "idiot" into the discussion (Thread of April 28th; re: Bush screwing college kids; post #102). Sometime later on another thread, Mark (alias "anarchist cop-out") generalized that those who supported Romney were a bunch of idiots, without fingering you specifically. I do not remember calling you an idiot at any point. I'm trying very hard to resist the temptation to call people names, no matter how much their comments might frustrate me, because I think it is a bad habit and one to avoid. If you can prove I called you an idiot and identify the offense, you'll have my sincere apologies.

Palin has suggested I watch what I say here, in case your wife is a lawyer. Frankly, I don't give a damn if she's a Supreme Court judge. This is an open forum. But I'm sure ole PD was just kidding.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that Affirmative Action is "racist" and that black racism is the same as whites'. Another one of those talking points I've heard forever. But that's a whole other discussion, and I've other fish to fry tonite. So for now… tah-tah. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#40

ChicagoMatt: I agree on all three counts.
Affirmative Action is racist in that it gives a certain amount of favoritism based on race. It was originally, and maybe even true today, a way of making up for racist's favoritism of whites in the past. While it has made some difference, I believe that it has not totally "evened the score". However, is it really fair to disfavor a white over a black when that white had nothing to do with inequality to begin with? I think it is just about as bad as the original racist logic to begin with.

I certainly think that blacks are just as racist as whites...but why shouldn't they be? While one could point to the inter-tribal African slavery (ie: blacks enslaving blacks) it still does not excuse what the whites have done to the blacks when making them slaves to begin with in this country. The ignominy of slavery is passed down through the generations of black families. And how can they not have a certain amount of deep resentment knowing that they could have had successful and wealthy ancestors, just like white people, who have benefited from inheritance. I'm not talking merely of money but social respectability and prominence from all of the benefits of educational success. The population of blacks in our prison system way over shadows white populations in prison. Many of those blacks are there because they have committed various crimes but if many of these blacks had been born without any kind of animosity towards whites..eg: their ancestors had always been seen as equals by whites...then I believe that most of these blacks would not be in prison today. They would not feel like lower class citizens and they would have had it instilled in them from their parents, and their parent's parents, that equality was normal.

I agree that blacks play the race card, too. Well, why not? Do we think they should play fair when they are at such a disadvantage to begin with? Whites don't play the race card? They sure look like they do when it comes to our half black President. You know, he is half white too!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#41

AIW: Yes, of course, I was just kidding! ;-}
And, obviously, we disagree a bit on those three topics ChicagoMatt brought up....but not much, I think.

But, I hope ChicagoMatt's choice of an avatar is not indicative of why he is here. I guess one would have to read up on Machicavelli and Machiavellianism to understand why it could make some people think....

I suppose if I put up an avatar of some evil thing, aside from my flying pig, that some people might think that reflects me.

Machiavelli represents a lot of things, as he indicates in his writings, least of which is pretending you are one thing, for advantage, and then stabbing them in the back when they are no longer of any use to you. Pretend you are a friend but when their usefulness fades sell them out. etc. His chief recommendation, for anyone who wants to get ahead, is to be deceitful and then ruthless....twist it a few times when you got it in...just for laughs.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 15 weeks ago
#42

Ya Matt I have been on here for years and always said I would love to get together and have a beer or two I think we would all be suprised how much we have in common. At the end of the day we all want the same things it is how we get them thst is different.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 15 weeks ago
#43

No Alice I am blaming the US government. I think it started with Clinton, " every American should own a home" whether they can afford it or not. Here in Canada we have strict rules the banks have to work under that don't allow banks to predatory loan. It is a lot harder to qualify for a loan here. The argument is the less fortunate can't buy and most wealth is accumulated through real estate. Tough one to call it kinda sucks either way.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#44

Palindromedary ~ Let me begin by saying that I agree 100% with you and ChicagoMatt that affirmative action is racist and nothing more than reverse discrimination. Two wrongs don't make a right. The effort would have been better spent in education and equal rights. However...

Quote Palindromedary: I certainly think that blacks are just as racist as whites...but why shouldn't they be?

Perhaps you are not as intermingled with the black population as I have been my entire life. I think white people suffer from a group psychosis of Karma from what has been done to black people throughout the years that black people are--for the most part--quite immune from. Correct me if I'm wrong but when was the last time you heard a white person was killed by being dragged behind the pickup of a black person until their flesh was flayed from their bones? When was the last time you heard that an innocent white man was lynched by an angry black mob? When was the last time you heard that a white family was frightened out of a black town by having a crucifix burned on the front yard of their house?

My dear, dear friend. As much as I would like to agree with you that black people are no better than I--a white person--I simply cannot. My experience--a lifetime of experience--tells me that black people--at least black people of Oakland, CA--are more forgiving, tolerant, accepting, nonjudgmental, and nonvindictive than most white people I've ever heard of. It is precisely this reason that I have no desire to leave this city. Quite frankly, white people scare the hell out of me; and, I'm whiter than a ghost.

My experience has been that despite all the problems black people have endured through the years they would much rather just forgive, forget, and get along. Most of these fears that white people espouse, as far as I am concerned, is of their own making. As the saying goes, "We are all our own worst enemy."

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#45

DAnneMarc: You may very well be correct. Most blacks may very well not hold a grudge in any way. I can't imagine why not...though...but again...I'm a whitey. I have never actually heard any my black friends use the term honky or cracker. I've heard Richard Prior use those terms...in a comedy skit.

So, as incorrect as I may be, I find it rather hard to believe that anyone after having been down that path would not have some kind of animosity against those who have done what they've done... to not only the blacks but other non-white people as well. Surely, you have to admit that there are some in these groups that have a certain amount of animosity toward the historical treatment of their races.

Or, maybe that picture on the T-shirt I like to wear was designed by white people...you know the one with a picture of 4 Indian Chiefs holding rifles with a caption: "Defending Homeland Security Since 1492".

I agree with you that some white people can be scary and do some really horrible racist things--but "a group psychosis of Karma"? Whoa..that's too deep for me!

One of my all time movie favorites, that I've seen several times, is "Beloved". There are too many would be "school teachers" out there. (no offense ChicagoMatt..I don't think "school teacher" was really much of a real school teacher...but then again, I didn't read the book..just saw the movie several times). Hey! Read the book....now there's a novel idea. One of these days I'm going to get around to reading Les Miserables as well.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 15 weeks ago
#46
Quote Palindromedary:DAnneMarc: You may very well be correct. Most blacks may very well not hold a grudge in any way. I can't imagine why not...though...but again...I'm a whitey.

Palindromedary ~ You're also a atheist. As much as it pains me to mention this topic again it is the only way to dispense your confusion. The black people I know have a devout spiritual belief system. After all, when you have nothing what else are you going to do but embrace faith? As I've stated before, most churches I'm aware of pursue riches. One glaring exception are black Baptist churches. They accept poverty and spirituality. They are one of the few churches who actually adhere to the principles of the Bible. Sometimes, and I think I'm right, I perceive black people as pitying white people more than anything else. It is my belief that this comes from the strength of their faith. Their faith lifts them up to a higher level of intellect. Nothing new, really. Just look at what faith alone enabled the Jewish people to survive throughout the ages. If you consider the impact of faith on black people this might just fill in the void in your understanding of the situation--as hokey as that might seem to you, it certainly has worked for them.

ChicagoMatt 5 years 15 weeks ago
#47

Since you agree, I will agree (quietly, between you and I), that maybe, just maybe, I've had a slightly easier time succeeding because I am a white guy. But that shouldn't disqualify everything I've accomplished. I feel like some Progressives want anyone who isn't a white guy to throw their hands up in the air, give up trying, blame their problems on people like me, and try to "bring us down a notch."

Not sure if this matters, but literally everywhere I have worked, my boss has been a woman or a minority. While there may still be institutional racism and sexism, judging from my experience, it's way over-hyped.

And, everywhere I have ever worked has had an "encourage diversity" hiring process. Literally, when I worked retail before teaching, we had a sign by the front door that said, "Now Hiring. Women and Minorities Engouraged to Apply." How is that NOT racist or sexist?

Chicago public schools used to use race as part of the selective enrollment high school vetting process: You got more points for being a minority. But they had to stop that two or three years ago after someone sued, claiming racism, which it was. Nowadays, the point system is based on the income level of the block you live on. So my daughter, who starts high school next year, did not get into one any of the selective enrollment schools with her score (890 on a 900 scale). Our block is classified as "high income". If we lived in a "low income" block, she would have gotten in to any of the four selective enrollment schools with her score. They've just replaced the racist policies with classist policies. In essence, I put more into the Chicago Public School "pot", because my property taxes are higher than most, but my own children can't get into the nicest schools. Do you see how someone in my position might feel like they are being punished for being successful, even if it is an overused term?

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 15 weeks ago
#48

Palin the Dems are in the middle? i don't think so. Everything they want to do is extremely progessive. Raising mimiunium wage, raising taxes, social program after social program. They want there nose in everyone's business as they know how to run your life better then you do. To me by the middle I mean a compromise somewhere between the Dems and Rep. For example the min wage is $7.25 there and the Dems want it to be $10.00 and the Rep want to leave it at $7.25 a party in the middle would raise it to something like $8.25. Instead under your system nothing happens.

I can't argue with you about the mortgage and real estate and problem it is a mess down there as I mentioned before I think your government should step in and tighten up the rules there And you know me I hate government involved in anything.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 15 weeks ago
#49

I just have to mention to all my global warming freinds. We are in May and we just received a foot of snow and going to have a high tempature of zero today (32 US) our average temps have dropped severally over the last 5 years. I know I am being selfish but can global warming please come back I can't take it any more. I feel like I am in one of those little glass bubbles you shake and it snows and someone just keeps shaking the $&@#ing thing

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 5 years 15 weeks ago
#50
Quote DAnneMarc: As much as it pains me to mention this topic again it is the only way to dispense your confusion.

Does it really pain you? Or do you enjoy it? Maybe you just can't help it? But remember...you brought the subject up.

And if you think that what you have said "dispenses with confusion": first off, I don't think I'm the one who is "confused". I think those who try to proselytize their religious or superstitious beliefs are the ones that are confused.

You may think of it as a strength..but is it a strength when a hopeless drunk or drug user continues to believe that one day they will quit, but for now they will have another drink or shoot up again? Believing that one day you will exist in better place, providing you obediently follow some contrived rituals that were designed by the chief mental herders and Machiavelli worshippers, keeps people subdued and subservient to their current worldly condition while their exploiters live for today and seize the moment. Carpe Diem to all you Latin lovers out there!

Just like Machiavelli, the exploiters will pretend to be pious and decent people but they will end up with all the gold and much better worldly living conditions. Or, perhaps some use it to help hide their own guilt complexes, if they have any at all to begin with, which allows them to continue ruthlessly exploiting other less fortunates while their mental crutch keeps them from deviating in their exploitative endeavors. How many of these superstitious exploiters, that feign piety, actually believe that phrase about "it is easier for camels to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into that mythical place in the clouds?

With all those slaves, who willingly accept their lowly condition while letting others trample all over them, why should the ruling elite, or their wannabes, try to deviate from this easy exploitation-of-others path? Knowing that in reality, nothing exists for them once they die, might help to jolt them to a bit of reality resulting in more "push-back" rather than resignation to a fantasy world. It is really defeatism dressed up in just-pretend clothing.

Better to strive for a better worldly life because that's all there is. "Opium for the masses" keeps people imprisoned in a make-believe fantasy world... which is a poor substitute for for real living. The wolves just love it when you live in that fantasy world, makes it easy to keep you downtrodden and less of a competition for the good life. Thieves love an easy prey (no pun intended...well, maybe a little).

Quote DAnneMarc:They are one of the few churches who actually adhere to the principles of the Bible.

You mean that they "overturn the money changer's tables" or "go down into the land of Canaan, kill every man and man-child...take the women and girls as sex slaves...steal their property" or "offer their young females to be ravaged by the deviates who want to bugger their male guests" or "generally treat women as chattel" or "sacrificing one's son at the alter on on a cross?" That kind of thing?

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