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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 AM

My wife and I moved into a new place last week

Last edited Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:53 PM - Edit history (1)

The place is newer and the rent is cheaper, so it's all good, plus she's happy with the new digs. If MrsScorpio is happy then I'm happy. You all know how it is. We're still in the process of settling inů There really is nothing more than I hate than packing and unpacking, but it's all part of the deal when you move.

I called Two Men and a Truck and they quoted me a price that was over two hundred dollars more than the bottom line of renting a UHaul truck and doing it myself. Friends and family helped with the big stuff, but especially with my back issues, I'm still recovering as we speak.

With all that's happened I've had a few observations that I'd like to share. In the last few years we bought some inexpensive Chinese made furniture. Well, a lot that shit was so flimsy that it didn't survive the move. I actually tore the broken pieces down by hand and left them in boxes for garbage pickup, while the 20+ year old American made stuff that we bought right after we got married made it. A few nicks and scratches as it were, but intact.

I filed that fact in the back of mind just in time to see something on PBS that connected some dots for me. Hopefully you've all had the chance to see that episode of Frontline on childhood poverty in around the Illinois/Iowa border region.

Many of the people living there fell into poverty during the last ten years when jobs and factories packed up and were moved overseas to places like China, where my cheaply made furniture was manufactured. Good paying jobs lost by Americans doing high quality work, making things that last. Those jobs afforded local investment, tax revenues, stronger communities of people who paid their mortgages and car notes for new cars.

Instead, vulture capitalists sent those jobs away. Now they're obscenely rich from destroying American livelihoods, causing the deterioration of America communities, all while exploiting cheap labor outside of America.

But that's not the only thing: There's the aftermath of Sandy, which exposes the raw nerve of our antiquated infrastructure. We have a power grid that's falling apart and expensive to maintain, we're not investing in modern technology, as is Western Europe.

All of this speaks to this country's failure to make proper priorities. Much of that power grid that I spoke of before is in decline by design. Not enough skilled workers are hired to even maintain the system in good times, much less to recover from a major disaster like Sandy. Where Europe is investing heavily in new wind and solar systems, we're still relying mainly on fossil fuel powered plants. We should be training and hiring more energy workers, building and installing wind, solar and geo-thermal systems, investing in renewable energy sources, modernizing and burying power lines.

We should be upgrading our entire telecom systems. Since I've been here in my new place, I couldn't help but notice the frequent outages while we've been having some bad weather this week. Internet speeds in the US pale behind higher and more reliable service in Asian and European countries.

We need to invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. So many bridges, roads, sewer systems, water treatment plants, levies, dams and canals that are in need of attention.

What much is apparent is that quality of life in America is regressing. Americans need to take back their lives from the corporations that are destroying our livelihoods with cheap, foreign made goods, the destruction of good paying American jobs, the selling off and speculation of public resources and general divestiture in America.

The frontline of the fight right now is on the picket line walked by Walmart employees, who are rejecting the way that that corporation treats its workers as if they're wage slaves. Earlier this month, America rejected a vulture capitalist who wanted to treat the entire country as he did one of his own companies that he outsourced to place like China, the country in which my cheap and flimsy furniture was made.

We need to put money back into this country. That means fixing the tax code which has facilitated the loss of jobs and the overwhelming upward redistribution of wealth that has destroyed working class families. We need to get back to building higher quality of goods, that we used to build in the past, instead of flooding our own market with stuff that falls apart. We need to put good money into America itself, instead of standing idly by while it crumbles under our feet and over our heads.

We need to reduce the size of our military. Clearly the greatest threat against us is not from foreign sources, but our own lack of action at home, our willingness to sacrifice American workers for cheap labor, our lop-sided upward distribution of wealth, our unwillingness to address poverty and penchant for doing things on the cheap.

We spend billions on "security" and "defense" against hypothetical attackers while things are falling apart from neglect.

We need to turn things around, people. If we don't, there won't be an America to hand down to our successors. All there will be are broken pieces that were made by foreign workers overseas.

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Reply My wife and I moved into a new place last week (Original post)
MrScorpio Nov 2012 OP
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #1
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #2
gilpo Nov 2012 #3
sulphurdunn Nov 2012 #30
gilpo Nov 2012 #37
truedelphi Nov 2012 #70
n2doc Nov 2012 #4
2naSalit Nov 2012 #48
NoMoreWarNow Nov 2012 #5
gilpo Nov 2012 #7
Squinch Nov 2012 #13
juajen Nov 2012 #59
juajen Nov 2012 #60
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #64
Iggy Nov 2012 #6
zeemike Nov 2012 #8
sulphurdunn Nov 2012 #31
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #9
lunatica Nov 2012 #10
sulphurdunn Nov 2012 #33
rainin Nov 2012 #11
freshwest Nov 2012 #41
2naSalit Nov 2012 #53
2naSalit Nov 2012 #55
valerief Nov 2012 #12
The Wizard Nov 2012 #18
asjr Nov 2012 #14
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #15
Turbineguy Nov 2012 #16
freshwest Nov 2012 #42
Dustlawyer Nov 2012 #17
starroute Nov 2012 #19
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #22
Occulus Nov 2012 #45
H2O Man Nov 2012 #20
glowing Nov 2012 #21
OldEurope Nov 2012 #43
2naSalit Nov 2012 #51
OldEurope Nov 2012 #62
2naSalit Nov 2012 #63
2naSalit Nov 2012 #65
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #23
orbitalman Nov 2012 #24
HipChick Nov 2012 #25
RC Nov 2012 #36
mikki35 Nov 2012 #26
SharonAnn Nov 2012 #54
burrowowl Nov 2012 #68
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #27
heaven05 Nov 2012 #28
cantbeserious Nov 2012 #29
Riley18 Nov 2012 #32
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2012 #34
pandr32 Nov 2012 #35
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #58
NMDemDist2 Nov 2012 #38
SalviaBlue Nov 2012 #39
MyTwoSense Nov 2012 #40
Occulus Nov 2012 #46
Rocky888 Nov 2012 #44
femrap Nov 2012 #47
hay rick Nov 2012 #49
TeamPooka Nov 2012 #50
WillyT Nov 2012 #52
MagickMuffin Nov 2012 #56
Flying Squirrel Nov 2012 #57
ChristianDemocratMom Nov 2012 #61
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #73
Skittles Nov 2012 #66
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #67
Douglas Carpenter Nov 2012 #69
MrMickeysMom Nov 2012 #71
MrScorpio Nov 2012 #72
xxqqqzme Nov 2012 #74
Hekate Nov 2012 #75

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:23 AM

1. Allow me to be the first K&R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:26 AM

2. You are absolutely right.

K&R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:44 AM

3. NIcely put, although this has been obvious for quite some time. The question is...

What are we going to do about it? I don't think there is much controversy over the existence of the problems you eloquently illuminated. How can we recover since those jobs are not going to come back without a powerful and focused effort. i don't see any viable organizer of that effort besides the occupy movement.

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Response to gilpo (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:12 AM

30. We have what are essentially

political prostitutes representing the majority of Americans. Get the private money out of politics and you get rid of the whores and their pimps. Otherwise forget it.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #30)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:56 AM

37. exactly! n/t

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Response to gilpo (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:01 PM

70. Gilpo, I share your frustration

And the numbers relating to the Obama victory tell us that others are frustrated as well. Some twelve million people who voted in 2008 just didn't make it to the polls this time.

With our "media" in a lock, telling us only little bits and pieces of the puzzle, with a dearth of really inspirational political leaders, with economic policies being decided by the Geithners and Bernankes (Who let's face it - work for Goldman Sachs and AiG, and the other big Firms of the Monied Elite,) it is hard to see our way out of the predicament.

Life in an oligarchy is just not too peachy for 99% of us.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:52 AM

4. We did much of this to ourselves

Buying the imported cheap crap instead of saving up to buy the good stuff. But I recognize that it was a 'positive feedback loop'- the more jobs went overseas, the lower average wages went, meaning fewer people could afford the good stuff, meaning that more factories closed. People were sold on buying crap to maintain "the American Dream". I feel we have already hit bottom. Now begins the slow process of choosing to use less, recycle more, repair, share, and only buy quality items when we really need them. As this happens less demand for crap built overseas, more demand for home built stuff. At least that's the hope.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:13 PM

48. That's where I've been

for years now. In fact, I went total pedestrian by choice last time I lived in a city. And all my singular "walking my talk" has marginalized me in many ways since I don't buy the latest gadget and haven't even bought new clothes or shoes for a couple years now. (I only buy new shoes and underwear, got a new coat-the first in years-back in 2010).

I agree with the points made in the OP, hope it gets more attention in the GP and I really hope that the GP will get their heads out of the gadgets designed, primarily, to distract everyone from noticing what needs to be happening and what is being sneakily taken away while they text and "app" their lives away into slavery. The GP needs to WTFU. Most won't until foreclosure, long term unemployment and life on the street happens to them. Those with too many toys are oblivious to reality.

We have to start paying attention to this and divest in the diversionary tactics/gadgets of keeping us from demanding the change that needs to take place for our own sake.

Thanks for bringing this up.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:54 AM

5. Amen-- now we just need to build that political movement, and soon

 

it's such a disgrace that Republicans have demonized government for so many years, when good, effective, well-planned government can make life so much better for all of us.

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Response to NoMoreWarNow (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:01 AM

7. I see this more as a culture problem than a government problem

Government can certainly stop making it easy for corporations to ship out jobs, but we have to decide as a culture to stop buying the cheap stuff.

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Response to gilpo (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:32 AM

13. I think a first step is that most of us have had to step back from the frenzied consumerism

that was becoming so disturbing in the last two decades. We are stepping back from the mcmansions, and the multiple huge cars and the consumption that is designed solely to impress or keep up with the neighbors.

The idea of the "must have" item is not as strong as it was just a few years ago (except at Wal Mart on Thanksgiving night.)

I am blessed in that my income fell, but did not disappear. I find that as I learn to live within the new parameters, I am careful to only buy what I need, and when I do, I buy the item that is the most solid and will last longest. That's not going to come from China.

I think from here the pushes need to be for government investment in infrastructure, and for us as a nation to return to a habit of "buy American."

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Response to gilpo (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:50 PM

59. Lower wages force people to buy cheaper goods, unfortunately

Raising wages is undeniably the first step, starting, of course, with the minimum wage.

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Response to juajen (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:51 PM

60. Wonderful post Scorpio! D&R

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Response to gilpo (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:31 PM

64. not going to happen so long as wages keep spiraling down.

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:57 AM

6. "Ah America.. We Saw it, We Tipped it Over... and Then

 

we sold it".

Laurie Anderson - Another Day in America.

Americans need to take back their lives from the corporations that are destroying our livelihoods with cheap, foreign made goods, the destruction of good paying American jobs, the selling off and speculation of public resources and general divestiture in America.


Welcome to the end result (yes, the end is coming) of our brand of capitalism: the dog-eat-dog brand.

I keep returning to the image of Gandhi, sitting at his spinning wheel, making his own clothes.

Look at the image, think about your statement above, and I think you/we will see the ultimate wisdom of Gandhi.



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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:01 AM

8. What it boils down to is they don't need us anymore.

They are global...and if this country falls into disrepair so what...they have houses in Dubai and all over the world...they need not be loyal to us.
We have become part of the unwashed masses that they exploit....the poorer we are the the more desperate we are for a job no matter how little it pays....a hungry slave is an obedient slave.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:14 AM

31. I don't know how often

CEOs have to say that corporations have no national loyalties and that America is just another market before enough people believe them to do something about it.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:10 AM

9. Too true. But let me point out, about cheap Chinese products....

that I am old enough to remember Japan.

This Chinese thing is a replay of our beginning to import from Japan decades ago. The "Made in Japan" was a clue as to the low quality of a product. Cartoons referenced it, comedians joked about it.

But Japanese products got better...as we all well know. Enter Honda, Toyota, computers, microchips.

So here we are agaiIn, only this time it's China.

I remember how illogical it seemed to me decades ago to be importing rice, when we grew all the rice we needed right here in the U.S. It hurt the U.S. rice farmers (I'm from a rice state). Something was wrong. If your brother grows food in his garden and sells it, would you buy that same kind of food from a different neighbor? I wouldn't. It benefits your own family to buy the food from within the family.

China products may get better, as time goes by, just like the Japanese products did.

I don't see a way for the U.S. to compete globally, though, with the cheap labor in many parts of the world. Except to tax the hell out of importing those products. Then they would tax the hell out of our products - remember that GM is selling a lot of cars in China.

Those trade agreements were a slippery slope. They were unfair to US.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:13 AM

10. We've become a fixer upper country

Will the corporations buy it and flip it with a fresh coat of paint for profit.

Yes. That's what privatization is.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:16 AM

33. Kinda like a cheap

used car operation.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:22 AM

11. Let's organize here at DU

I got a survey from Obama for America asking about my priorities for the next 4 year term. I put down what came to mind: election reform and food safety. Why don't we organize on this forum for how we are going to move forward? We could put our minds together and begin speaking as one voice -- one very big voice. I'd like to think we could accomplish a lot in four years.

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Response to rainin (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:47 PM

41. +1

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Response to rainin (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:51 PM

53. So did I and I said...

that we need to focus on jobs and locavore economies. This can be facilitated by incorporating (and I don't mean by incorporating as in large corporations owning any of this) point source power generation at a lesser cost than keeping the behemoth of the grid and covering up critical wildlife habitat with massive wind farms and solar farms that require tie lines and highly vulnerable power plants. In fact, if NYC had been powered by Point source generation, there would have been spotty outages rather than city or burg-wide outages that take forever to restore. Such technology exists and with more investment and utilization could be the answer to many of our problems, would create lots of jobs and promote more localized food production as well since more people could also build greenhouses to produce food in places where food production is sketchy.

We need the wildlife, it doesn't need us.. it just needs to be left alone. We need to clean up our act if we want to survive.

http://www.aerotecture.com/

Life is circular and we need to utilize this concept in our restructuring.

To hell with corporate oligarchy, and to hell with fossil fuels.

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Response to rainin (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:57 PM

55. I'm in.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

12. The fall of capitalism is much like the fall of communism.

The thing I remember hearing most from my childhood about the Soviet Union is people had to wait in lines for toilet paper and the police would arrest you for anything.

Unfettered capitalism and state communism. It all sucks when you're not part of either elite.

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Response to valerief (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:14 AM

18. Any system left unfettered

becomes totalitarian, and in the end destroys itself. Predatory capitalism is akin to what Melville described in Moby Dick as sharks on a feeding frenzy eventually feeding on each other. Marx characterized unfettered capitalism much in the same way in Das Kapital. Coincidentally, both were published around the same time. It must have been the Zeitgeist. Also published in that time period was Darwin's Origin of Species.
Are humans returning to survival of the fittest mode? We know social Darwinism dictates such, and this is the model for modern corporations and "corporations are people" according to the Mediocre (Supreme) Court.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:57 AM

14. You need to send this to Pres. Obama. This sort

of thing has been going on far too long and I feel most of us knew it was happening and thought it would not last. After the first corporation closed shop in the U.S. and went abroad they should have been forced to pay a large fee for moving. They lost nothing and we were the ones that lost. Those were the first American terrorists! Those in the Republican party are also terrorizing our country by forgetting their oaths to work for our country. If their attitudes for the last 4 years do not reflect that then I am crazy. Our country is at war with itself!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:05 AM

15. I watched a video yesterday on this site of shoppers at Walmart.

They were behaving like spoiled brats, pushing & shoving others to get what they wanted. It was stunning to watch grownups acting this way. How do we combat the consumerist disease that has taken a hold in this country? Clearly, we don't care about exploited Chinese slave labor making our cheap toys, but neither do we seem to care about our fellow citizens who are working for substandard wages & no benefits. Even as we subsidize Walmart's employees with our taxpayer dollars, we continue to support Walmart.

Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price should be required viewing in this country.

Hopefully people are waking up & paying attention, especially younger people.

"Life is not about the things you have, it's about the things you do." ~Chris in the Morning, Northern Exposure

k&r

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:10 AM

16. MrScorpio

Your best post ever. And it's up against some pretty stiff competition (from you).

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:48 PM

42. Really is. I wish he'd post more OPs as long as this.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:11 AM

17. K&R! Right on brother, I couldn't agree more! The fall of the Roman Empire did not happen

as fast as we are sinking!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:18 AM

19. How about "Invest in America" as a slogan?

That speaks to what we haven't been doing. It covers infrastructure, education, and human capital in general. And it provides an argument that might even convince the business-minded for why we need government and government expenditures.

We've been going for decades on the assumption that we could hand everything over to corporations and that all the necessary stuff would get done through the magic of the free market. But it's becoming apparent now that this isn't going to happen, that corporations are willing to let everything fall apart around them as long as they can rake in the profits -- and that a decaying infrastructure just looks to them like an opportunity to sell more generators.

The bottom line is that corporations exists to maximize their own profits. This means they have to maximize income while minimizing expenditures -- and it's the minimizing expenditures part that's killing us. People may gripe about taxes, but government exists precisely to do the stuff that none of us want to do out of our own pockets. And it's that kind of "shared sacrifice" -- not fake austerity on the backs of the poor and elderly -- that we need to accept and get behind

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Response to starroute (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:43 AM

22. "Invest in America" is not a bad start...

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Response to starroute (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:01 PM

45. Better yet, how about "Invest in America" as a LAW?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:32 AM

20. Outstanding.

This is one of the best essays that I've ever read on DU .... or anywhere.

Way, way recommended.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:32 AM

21. It's hard for this country to invest into infrastructure

when so much of that infrastructure is controlled by private corporations. It may be wholly socialistic, but we need to take back the power companies, water/ sewer companies, and our natural resources for the common good.

And there is no good reason that any human should suffer worldwide for corrupt greed.

They erased the lines of the world with their multi-national global conglomerates; it's time that the people of the world had a way to organize together for a better life within the "boundaries" drawn on maps.

If God made the world, he/she did not hand it to us with lines drawn on it to keep people from being able to live and experience all of its glory... And we were commanded to be good stewards. There is a way to capture back those in "religions" who seem to be most misguided when they r concerned with their death and an afterlife. They r scared into doing really horrific things.... Like burning witches at stakes or the Crusades.

Not only do we need to teach people to agitate and organize in this country against exploitation, but we need to unite and help those in places like China, agitate and protest and make demands of their own. Don't tell me that Govt is not scared of their billion people population becoming empowered.

It's a fight for all people around the world to face together and demand a decent way forward.

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Response to glowing (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:49 PM

43. When were those utilities privatized in the US?

You wrote "... but we need to take back the power companies, water/ sewer companies, and our natural ressources for the common good... " So those companies were once public?
I'm curious because I work for a power and water supplier here in Germany (we also do public transportation and other services for the public). We were sort of privatized just 16 years ago but our only proprietor is the City of Munich. So we are a "socialist" company.

Many other communities in Germany sold their power and water suppliers to private companies and then were disappionted that everything went wrong. I remember that we have been told private companies were much better and that America was the proof because there it had always been private companies to distribute power/ water/ transportation.

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #43)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:39 PM

51. Socialism isn't bad in concept, it's when it is corrupted

that things get shitty, same with communism and capitalism. They are all reasonable concepts but it's the human greed factor that destroys them, and there will always be the Willard R$'s to make such attempts no matter how good things are going... greed trumps compassion.

As for your question as to when things got privatized, it all started about thirty some years ago. I think, with the start of nuclear power as the public utility (taxpayer funded) services, as they were called, were unable to cover the costs of initiating and running these facilities. may have begun earlier and was an attempt to undo the "New Deal" following the Great Depression which started these pubic services which were fairly priced and rather egalitarian in nature. Water, sewer, electrical grid were publicly funded but the coal and gas industries were private and were often at odds with each other.

I still recall H. Ross Perot and his "...giant sucking sound of jobs going overseas" tirade that turned out to be a prophecy. We need to undo much of the corporate takeover and fast.

With a large population, socialism is the way to go. It's only when corruption takes over that it no longer serves it's purpose and population depending on it. It is an appropriate way to have everyone contribute their fair share.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #51)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:30 PM

62. Very interesting, thank you.

So if only we had had a close look to where America was going to, we could have avoided that terrible mistake. But everyone admired the US and Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who brought Reaganism to Europe. And when the European Commission decreed we all should go this way there was no one to resist. Because Reagan had "defeated" the USSR and Communism ... which is BS, IMHO, but completely off topic.

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #62)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:25 PM

63. Perhaps so...

I think the world was so wrapped up in the faux-hero worship thing and bamboozled by the advent of the new age of 24/7 news cycle on cable TeeVee that reality was easy for the powers that be to obscure what they really had planned for all of us, on your continent as well as this one.

I think if the banksters and oligarchs of industry keep squeezing us when there's no blood left to give,we may well do best, as far as self preservation, to forgo the idea of currency/money and just go to a barter system and stop feeding the corporate beasts. Barter is what many of us have had to survive on for a while now, we just live under the radar because we don't bother with opulent wealth or the appearance of it even if it doesn't exist. In some social circles, appearances are everything, ie, fantasies. It becomes more evident the further you get from the shopping malls.

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #62)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:35 PM

65. to add one more point

that I forgot to address in your first comment; did you notice how England didn't join the EU... particularly with the monetary system? Should have been the first sign that problems of the type we see now would arise. England pressed everyone else into the system but refused to participate, interesting.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:52 AM

23. I often wonder if I'll see America come back in my lifetime.

And I'm only 30.

Everyone needs to read this. We need to make investment in America a priority in the national discussion.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:53 AM

24. Preach it, brother! n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:59 AM

25. Don't forget Hi-Speed Trains..


I've travelled all over Europe on those, but for the life of me, can't figure out why it still takes 3 hrs to get from DC to NYC?

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Response to HipChick (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:50 AM

36. Check this out -

 


The Steel Interstate System (SIS) is a core national network of high capacity, grade separated, electrified railroad mainlines. It would realize for railroads what the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System achieved for roads, and would become the backbone for movement of both goods and people in the 21st Century. Many more trains of all kinds could be accommodated and they could move much faster, providing truck-competitive speeds for movement of freight, and auto-competitive speeds for movement of passengers. This section describes what such a rail system would look like, how the SIS would transport all kinds of goods as well as people, and how the concept fits into the evolution of rail transportation in America.

http://www.steelinterstate.org/concept

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:59 AM

26. Buying American SAVES $$

Eloquent essay and absolutely on the money.

Just to give a classic example: I have a TON of books (probably literally). They were usually stacked all over the place, used to drive me buggo. Never could find what I needed when I needed it. About 10 years ago, it dawned on me that I could fix this problem, by doing the right thing. I had bought a lot of bookcases through the years, but they never held up all that long. The PARTICLE BOARD shelving couldn't take the weight for long - BUT, the one bookcase my brother had built from scratch was butt-ugly but holding up beautifully. So I took the time to search for someone who could combine beauty with function and durability. Lo and behold, RIGHT THERE IN MY TOWN was someone making oak furniture from scratch. The cost was about 2 1/2 times what I usually paid for the particle board nasty ones. I bought 6 of them at once - ouch. Well, here I am 10 years later with 6 pristinely beautiful oak bookcases. I don't even have a sagging shelf - not one. I shudder to think how much money I would have thrown down the rathole of particle board bookcases during those 10 years.

Since then? Just about everything I buy, I get out the yellow pages and start looking for what's available. Or I get on Craig's List just to see what's available. Just costs a little time.

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Response to mikki35 (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:57 PM

54. And custom cabinets for the kitchen/bath are better and no more expensive.

My brother recently completed a major renovation that included his kitchen and was spending a lot of time visiting big box stores, kitchen design stores, and researching cabinets on the Internet. Anyone who has done this knows what a challenge that is.

I suggested to him that he find a local cabinet maker and have him/her make "exactly" what he wanted. He told me he thought it would be more expensive and I responded with "you'd be surprised". So, he checked around, found a local guy, got MUCH better grade cabinets built and they were fit exactly to his space. Plywood boxes (not particle board), auto close drawers, installed, and absolutely beautiful finish and trim. AND they were cheaper! Not by much, but they were incredible quality wood, hardware, and finishes.

Lots of people don't know that they'll get a better result at a competitive price by employing a local cabinet maker.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #54)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:45 PM

68. Very true!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:01 AM

27. Best of everything to you and the Mrs. in the new place.

And here's to hoping your back improves.

RE: America.

The America that the Walmarts, R$'s and their ilk envision is one of debt bondage. Where all people exist to service debts that have be placed upon them by the owners (see Walmarts, R$'s and their ilk) of the debt. It is a condition that there were laws against, but the owners have changed the game somewhat to disguise it. Talented legal people need to start applying to these laws to the modern manifestation of debt bondage and servitude.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:11 AM

28. it is

all about corporate fascist profits, not us. Maybe if 1,000,000 people took to the streets in one city like Wash d.c. on one day, demanding everything you stated here there would be change. But as long as the corporate fascist can keep the groups of this country that voted for our current POTUS divided and satisfied with that cheap overseas chinese made JUNK, sold out of walmart and other slave wage outlets, nothing, I repeat nothing will change. Environment? Every time an american turns the key on one of those super land cruisers that get 13 miles a gallon, we're saying, so what! Wind and solar. HAH! We would have to beat the oil lobbyist to their knees and drive them out of d.c to get any change. Your sentiments and desires are nice, but ........ Oh and by the way, I injured my back severely in 1975 with a fall off an overpass on to the street 30 feet below. I empathize on the pain. Mine is catching up to my age.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:11 AM

29. Thom Hartmann - Unequal Protection - A Great Read On Corporate Personhood

eom

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:16 AM

32. So very true. K&R

We just moved into a new place too.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:28 AM

34. So beautifully and eloquently said, my dear MrScorpio!

I agree with every word.

Damn, but you did write a very compelling essay. President Obama needs to see this.

K&R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:30 AM

35. Our economy depends on our over-consumption

and as the result we have made credit a huge middle industry between buyer and seller, and we overuse world resources at an unsustainable rate. Check out: &feature=fvsr
It is one clip in a series that spells out our problems in an entertaining and easy to understand way that even kids will benefit from watching.
Have a good day!

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:35 PM

58. That's great, thanks for posting it!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:16 PM

38. i posted something similar back in 2007

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:18 PM

39. Way to connect the dots.

I couldn't agree with you more.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

40. About those movers...

 

While commenting on how manufacturers move production overseas to save money, you also made a decision to save money. That moving company charges more because they have wages to pay, benefits to fund, Social Security & Medicare contributions, workman's comp & unemployment premiums, FUTA, multiple levels of business insurance covering your belongings, the vehicle, and general liability, fuel, business license(s), phones, rent, supplies, city, county, state, and federal taxes, vehicle repairs, and advertising to name a few. Businesses make decisions to save money and you made a financial decision to save money. Both take money out of an American's pocket, and taxes out of the economy. I understand and agree with your point about the jobs, quality, and American consumerism. I suppose my point is that it's not such a clear cut issue when we blame companies for taking steps to reduce costs, when we make the same personal choices to reduce our costs.

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Response to MyTwoSense (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:03 PM

46. Which is bullshit, because he used U-Haul and not ChinaHaul.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:55 PM

44. Well written

This should become a new pledge for the middle class to have our senators and reps to sign and honor in place of the norquist pledge for traitors.

I am very worried that we are going to be economically crushed by this created hoax called the "fiscal cliff". I have had a wake up call due to a major health issue with my husband. And how quick your financial security can be jerked out from under you.
We have lived within our means our whole lives. Only borrowing for mortgage and a couple of vehicles early on. But there is this forgotten age gap of 60 to 65 that an unexpected medical emergency can take you under and devastate you should you be unable to return to work to keep insurance until medicare kicks in.

And right now on msnbc gov. Rendell spewing the entitlement reform b.s. that he is now s o fond of, saying the dems have to realize that this is not an option. What a effing sellout. With his golden tax paid insurance policy. It's all a game to cover up the sellout of the poor middle and old to benefit the wealthy and their loyal paid for law makers. I just hope it's not too late for this country to recover from the republican made disaster.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:07 PM

47. We are living

 

The Decline of the American Empire.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:17 PM

49. The obvious place to start is opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

TPP is the mother of all free trade agreements. Opposition to this agreement should be a litmus test for Democrats.

Thanks for an excellent post.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:25 PM

50. k+r!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:48 PM

52. Most Excellent Post !!! - K & R !!!








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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:16 PM

56. Good Observations

Of course the main reason for the cheaply made products is that they are not meant to last, so that you have to buy again within a few years time.

Therefore, we are continually trapped in this cyclic loop. If our furniture were to last 20-30 years the manufactures and their investors would not be as wealthy as they are. They depend upon their cheap labor, cheap materials to make them the multimillionaires they are today.

Wouldn't it be a novel idea if we as consumers really had choices of products made here in the good ol' USA? If we could pull our collective consumerism into developing these companies, then when we get tired of (let's say our furniture) we could pass it down to family, friends, neighbors, or at Craigslist. That's how it used to be in the good ol' days.

If you've ever watched Antique Roadshow you can see how furniture can last for centuries. Imagine that!

Thanks for your observations. And congratulations on your new home!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:25 PM

57. This should be a column for the New York Times or something.

Why don't you submit it to a few newspapers and magazines? You could be a guest columnist maybe.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:22 PM

61. shopping USA-made

this Christmas. Or at least trying to. We have agreed that we will not step foot in a Wal-Mart. Instead, trying to find USA made items for Christmas. There is a website called madeinusaforever.com that aggregates a bunch of USA-made vendors. It's not the most attractive site, and of course things are a bit more expensive - but it's a place to start.

Shopping locally is tricky, too. Many of the small stores in our local downtown shopping area are simply "re-sellers" of items that are made in China. Have to check the labels!

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Response to ChristianDemocratMom (Reply #61)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:09 AM

73. I have purchased from the Made in USA Forever site. The site's owner was a former Tech

riser that saw the light and re-directed his efforts to promoting american made products. Many of the clothing items are priced lower than what one will pay in a department store, especially if the items are work clothes like jeans and work shirts. Dress work clothing is much harder to fin on the site, but their is a good selection of clothing for teenagers and twenty-somethings, some novel little companies sell through the site. It is, like you said, a good place to start christmas and gift purchases. I know from experience that the quality is excellent.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:56 PM

66. preach it, MrScorpio

wonderful essay

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:43 PM

67. Great job.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:23 PM

69. well yes that is exactly what happened and pretty much everyone knows it

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:26 PM

71. Another bell run was on PBS...The Dust Bowl, and it paints the same story...

We have to learn by our mistakes. We have to live sustainably. These two things will enable us a way back, and turn things around.

AND we have to insist up on it!

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #71)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:08 AM

72. Yes, I saw it the same way

I watched that program last night

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:44 AM

74. Couldn't agree more.

All those structures built w/ 'public' money are in dire need of repair. 30+ years of lowering tax rates has caused this to happen. We have not and do not invest in our country anymore.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:54 AM

75. Very thorough analysis, and eloquently put

Thank you Mr Scorpio.

Hekate

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