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Bernardo de La Paz

Bernardo de La Paz's Journal
Bernardo de La Paz's Journal
January 26, 2023

Russian folk story, but Ukraine and Grozny apply

A pair of Russian peasants find an old lamp. While they are cleaning it a genie appears in a flash. The genie asks the first one "You freed me, so I grant you a wish". The peasant thinks and says "I'd like a cow!" With a puff of smoke, a cow is now standing beside the peasant. The genie turns to the second peasant and says "You freed me, so I grant you a wish". The second peasant hardly pauses and says "I'd like you to kill the cow."

Russia (but basically Putin) couldn't stand the example of a thriving democracy beside his lumbering corrupt dictatorship. Hence vengeful missile attacks against civilian targets and the obliteration of Grozny (though the latter was not a democracy).

January 25, 2023

Tax the rich

Wealth and income inequality levels are unsustainable.

The rich and ultra rich get rich because of infrastructure, education and defense that protects their assets around the world; paid for by taxpayers. The wealthy do not pay their share. Very few of them got that way from any extra intelligence and hard work beyond what tens of millions do, so those rationalizations don't wash.

January 22, 2023

Nobody will get it until it all plays out. We don't know if

We don't know if the slow pace so far in Georgia, New York and Special Counsel are due to:

* laziness (not likely)
* fear (not likely)
* incompetence (not likely)
* massive size of cases (possible)
* desire for accuracy, precision, and convictions (likely)
* obstruction and non-cooperation (5ths) (likely)
* seriousness of the situation (100%)

We won't know, perhaps for years, but it could become much clearer at any time when indictments drop. The last item, seriousness, militates for both speed and caution. It has to be done right, for the sake of US democracy, but there have to be charges well in advance of Nov 2024 and really would be best in advance of Nov 2023.

I fear a Fitzmas, but I am also patient.

January 2, 2023

Capitalism prevents more than 1 million deaths per year

Because our society is organized along capitalism rather than communism, things like sewers and sanitation are efficiently enabled by pipe manufacturers, digging equipment manufacturers and so forth.

Mind you, it is regulated capitalism, so cars have to have seatbelts and airbags and three brake lights, etc. Capitalism did provide those. Volvo introduced seatbelts and only later did they become required.

Never forget that in societies without capitalism (Soviet Russia, North Korea) life expectancy is significantly lower (hence deaths) than in capitalistic societies, especially socialistic-capitalistic societies. When food is efficiently available, people live longer. When well-regulated capitalism is functioning, industries are more efficient and less polluting so people live longer and more happily (happiness also increases longevity). Cuba is an exception to the communism rule because their society has focused heavily on healthcare, to the extent that they export it as services.

The problem is not capitalism or socialism or communism (though the last is not on the table). Nor do you require authoritarianism to get trains to run on time. They can make them run on time, but so inefficiently there ends up being fewer trains.

The problem is that the benefits of capitalism are not well distributed.

The society is rich enough to provide a basic income to everybody, a room with a locking door, and health care insurance. Everywhere those three things are provided, social costs go down and on balance governments (taxpayers) have to spend less while more people are able to get and keep jobs. Win-win.

The problem is that there is unsustainable wealth and income inequality. Sorry to have to say this (not really): the solution is to tax the rich like they were taxed in the Fifties when the groundwork for modern society was being laid down so successfully (interstates, public education, scientific research). That lead to groundbreaking social changes then and in the Sixties (integration, end to racial laws, emancipation of women) and beyond.

We are so close as a society to breaking through to a much better more harmonious world.

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 10:36 PM
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About Bernardo de La Paz

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there. (note to self: https: //images.dailykos.com/images/1043361/original/2016.09.19_sunflowers_header.jpg . https://i.imgur.com/1VKgdmc.jpeg)

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