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Piobaire
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thoughtbeast
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07 Nov 2018, 8:33 am

Piobaire wrote:

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... No matter how and when the Trump presidency ends, the specter of illiberalism will continue to haunt American politics. A highly politicized judiciary will remain, in which close Supreme Court decisions will be viewed by many as of dubious legitimacy, and future judicial appointments will be fiercely contested. The racial division, cultural conflict, and political polarization Trump has encouraged and intensified will be difficult to heal. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and uncontrolled campaign spending will continue to result in elections skewed in an unrepresentative and undemocratic direction. Growing income disparity will be extremely difficult to halt, much less reverse.

Finally, within several decades after Trump’s presidency has ended, the looming effects of ecological disaster due to human-caused climate change—which Trump not only denies but is doing so much to accelerate—will be inescapable. Desertification of continental interiors, flooding of populous coastal areas, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, with concomitant shortages of fresh water and food, will set in motion both population flight and conflicts over scarce resources that dwarf the current fate of Central Africa and Syria. No wall will be high enough to shelter the US from these events. Trump is not Hitler and Trumpism is not Nazism, but regardless of how the Trump presidency concludes, this is a story unlikely to have a happy ending.



LoveNotHate
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07 Nov 2018, 11:02 am

Our government is structured to prevent democracy.

Imagine the horror.

"Approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans won’t pay any federal income tax "
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/81-mi ... 2018-04-16

These people can vote for spending, and not have to pay for it.


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Piobaire
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07 Nov 2018, 12:04 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
Our government is structured to prevent democracy.

Imagine the horror.

"Approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans won’t pay any federal income tax "
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/81-mi ... 2018-04-16

These people can vote for spending, and not have to pay for it.


"Approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans won’t pay any federal income tax" because "For the most part, they don’t earn enough money".
63% of Americans have less than $500 in savings. Meanwhile, three men – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – have hoarded as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, or 160 million people. The richest 400 people in the US have hoarded more wealth ($2.68 trillion; more than the GDP of Great Britain) than the bottom 64% of the US population; 204 million people. That’s more people than the population of Canada and Mexico combined. 83% of Trump's tax cut goes to the richest 1% of the population, which earns 26.8% more than 99% of Americans.

"These people" do not "vote for spending" on the Federal level; their elected representatives do. Gilens & Page of Princeton released a study demonstrating that the US is an oligarchy, not a democracy. Other than casting their electoral vote, the average person has absolutely no influence upon governmental policy. That's why 2/3 of Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats support deep reductions in the Defense budget, yet it just rose by $82 billion anyway, even though at $717 billion it's more than the next 5 largest militaries combined, while the US has one of the worst health and child poverty rates in the developed world.



shlaifu
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07 Nov 2018, 4:14 pm

Hey... Uhm... I justed wanted to say: democracy doesn't always mean this sort of one person one vote concept of national self governance or whatever....

I read some lefty philosophers, and listened to Yanis Varoufakis and Noam Chomsky, and they were all talking about the lack of democracy.... And then I read some John Locke and John Stuart Mill - and Aristotle, and Plato... And those guys were all very sceptical of the idea of one-person-one-vote..
And I thought: well, but it works, though, doesn't it?

Until I read Friedrich Von Hayek, the inventor of neoliberal theory, and I learned that the current way the world is organized is one in which the governments are there to ensure safety and freedom, in the liberal sense, that is: property rights and the rule of law - other than tgat, the government should dtay out if things.
Note: the government should not make the laws. Just enforce them.
So who makes the laws? Well, technically, yes, the givernment, - but the aims are liberalisms aims, that is, to ensure property rights (for capital). Democracy, as we understand it, is there to legitimate the system, and otherwise, in the way. International relations should be governed to ensure economic collaboration, and local laws need to follow these trade and investment agreements.
That shocked me a bit.
Not only are the lefties right. What they are realizing only now has been there, in von Hayek's theories, all along.
And in those of Mill.

The democracy von Hayek appreciated is the one where the consumer decides freely what to buy.
Politics is about economy - not about what people want.

But here's where it gers really complicated: I'm not sure .... Maybe they're right?
I mean... Hitler was democratically elected...
(Which, given von Hayek's lifetime, was certainly something he took into consideration).
Brexit was democratically chosen.
And Trump was elected, after all.
I'm at a loss. Yes, Clinton was the candidate for the Hayekian neoliberal regime, yes, the EU is the embodiment of Hayek's ideas...
But the democratic decisions against this regime ... Look worse.


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Kraichgauer
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07 Nov 2018, 10:06 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
Our government is structured to prevent democracy.

Imagine the horror.

"Approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans won’t pay any federal income tax "
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/81-mi ... 2018-04-16

These people can vote for spending, and not have to pay for it.


I don't pay income tax, but it's my absolute right as an American to vote. If I don't have a voice, who's going to represent my needs? In fact, who's going to stop everyone else from walking over me and my family? The reason why blacks in the Jim Crow south were stepped on without anyone taking their part was because they had been denied the vote and a voice.


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