REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

A question for Browncoats outside of the United States...

POSTED BY: CHRISISALL
UPDATED: Friday, July 22, 2005 21:55
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Friday, July 8, 2005 4:18 PM

CHRISISALL


Here in the United States the middle class is disolving. Jobs that used to be respected have become regarded as almost worthless. If you're not a 'Department Head', you're expendable. Grey areas are in the process of being synthesized into only black and white with the help of computer analysis. Once friendly work environments are turning into 'I watch my back, you watch yours' nightmares. Our government is only interested in the bottom line: keep profit up for corporations to keep our place in the world economic food chain. Our leaders preech 'Family Values' while they cut services that help the very young and very old to survive.
This country is right on the razor's edge of becoming the de-humanized world depicted in the movie 'Robocop'
(minus the cyborg hero, of course).

My question is, is it just here in this country? My family moved to the small American town we now live in, in part, to get away from some of that, and it's made major inroads here in just the last three years. Have the corporations and computers and ruthlessness infected the communities of the whole planet?

Fearfull Chrisisall

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Friday, July 8, 2005 5:31 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Not an answer, but coincidentally I was wondering if it was just me thinking the workplace had gone exponentially ruthless over the last few years.

Also, in the US, ppl with college and college+ are now the largest sector of long-term unemployed. So I do think the middle class is especially threatened now when it never was before.

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Friday, July 8, 2005 6:09 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Canada is poised in that direction but the only thing that I've felt of this was b/c of rumors of the company going under and not typical work environment (it was and it did).

That being said, I would think that a major contributor to downsizing, etc is not necessarily laws/gov/etc, but the companies themselves.

They hire people to do the work, then they hire more middle/upper managers to do high level stuff. So, far so good.

BUT then when things start to happen the managers start hiring disproportionally more managers than workers. Times then get tough b/c of being top heavy and then they layoff far more workers than managers (if they layoff any managers at all).

This makes the company even more top heavy and the cycle continues until the company finally folds.

Then other companies will pick up the slack from the ones that folded compete and then fold themselve (the above process).

After a little while, there are only a small number of companies left (ie effective monoply) which leads the company to not care about its employees b/c they are a dime a dozen.

A backstabbing, watching out for only yourself environment is not far behind.

Interesting thing is this is really a product of a capitalistic society. Which is why I think that it is really predominate in the US and only starting to rear its ugly head elsewhere.

So, to answer your question, it is here in Canada, we're just behind that curve that the US set. It is also starting to show up in Germany (or so the wife tells me).

Yes, I tend to ramble

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Saturday, July 9, 2005 4:45 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
Interesting thing is this is really a product of a capitalistic society.


Once upon a time, capitalism was like mining for gold; if you were a little adventurous you could get rich.
Now capitalism is very fear-based. Fear of losing profit, fear of losing your job, fear of losing your company. What these fools don't realize is when every decision you make is based on your fears, you only make the things you fear come true all the more quickly.

If al-Qaeda wants to destroy the United States, they should give us free oil for a year, then cut off the supply and ask us to pay again. Greed and addiction would blow us apart (corporatly speaking).

Omni Consumer Products CEO Chrisisall

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Saturday, July 9, 2005 6:09 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
Not an answer, but coincidentally I was wondering if it was just me thinking the workplace had gone exponentially ruthless over the last few years.

Rue, over the last few years I've seen the pressure in buisness go up through the roof. Never before have I seen management so frenzied and worried. Blame for errors is always aimed downward, and incompetance at upper management level is at an all time high. Computerization only ups the ante, in an attempt to micro-manage managers from great distances. Paperwork has more than doubled, while downsizing of staff is occuring. I'm only just realizing that the events of 911 have speeded up this process. It's all fear.
Quote:

Also, in the US, ppl with college and college+ are now the largest sector of long-term unemployed. So I do think the middle class is especially threatened now when it never was before.
For every person with college doing what they were trained for, I know five or more paying off their student loans working at near minium wage jobs. Two people working, with at least one working two jobs, per family is the norm around here.
Yep, gotta love government for the people, don't ya?

Just keep voting the status quo, right? Chrisisall

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Saturday, July 9, 2005 1:12 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by lynchaj:
I watched my parents struggle while I was growing up and I know we have it much better off now than they had it then.

Maybe you need to make a change?

Yeah, I remember eating mustard sandwiches when I was young, because that was all we could afford for food. Today I have a great job in middle management and a big house on a hill with a scenic view of the countryside. I don’t know what Chris and other anti-capitalists are doing wrong, but I doubt it has anything specifically to do with this country.

If you can't succeed and find a way to be happy a country where a family can go from being below the poverty line to being upper middle class in less then 30 years, then I don't think you can succeed anywhere. Blaming it on the country isn't going to help you. Just my opinion.

-------------
Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005 7:34 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
I don’t know what Chris and other anti-capitalists are doing wrong, but I doubt it has anything specifically to do with this country.


Please don't mistake me for being anti-capitalist, anymore than I am anti-television. There's a lot of crap on TV, but there's always the possibility of getting a "Firefly'.
I am anti-greed. I am anti-fear.
People on this board like you, Finn, and Andrew represent the best and brightest and most self-sufficent. I don't think the 'average' person can even keep up in here.
I worry for the children of the not-so-shiny of intellect. They may even be bright themselves, but many will be dulled by poverty, and the eventual slide down the economic ladder is happening in this country.
I don't blame this country, I blame big business and the political stooges they own. When is it enough? Two yachts? Four?
The one who dies with the most marbles, wins.
I'm sure y'all must have seen that bumpersticker on the occasional BMW.
Let's pay some more taxes happily, and secure the well-being of the children of this country, that's all I want to see happen.

Chrisisall

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Sunday, July 10, 2005 7:48 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by lynchaj:
I cannot complain at all, have a wonderful job for many years, a happy healthy family, and nice house in suburbia


I'm happy for you, really. You're a man with a good heart (that's why you like Firefly), it's just that I've seen too many lose their jobs to downsizing or takeovers and lose much that they've had to help others stay rich.
Maybe I live in the wrong part of the country? The northeast is slowing, economically. My friends in Virginia are always tellin' me to come down there, or North Carolina. Is it really different down there? Where do you live, if you don't mind tellin'?
P.S., my initial post painted things real dark, I was lookin' at where we seem to be goin', not where we'll DEFINITLY end up, there's always hope for a turn-around, but it'll take compassion, not greed to get us there.

Hopefull Chrisisall

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Sunday, July 10, 2005 8:08 AM

ROCKETJOCK


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:

Once upon a time, capitalism was like mining for gold; if you were a little adventurous you could get rich.



The gold-mining analogy is well chosen; my feeling is that the reason capitalism worked so well in the United States for so long (despite an intrusive and interfering government) is that we had an expanding frontier, a place where the misfits and risk-takers could go to stir up trouble and produce new wealth.

Unfortunately, the American frontier has been sealed for the better part of a century now, which had the effect of reducing domestic capitalism to a zero-sum game; overseas adventurism and exploitation have substituted for the last fifty years or so, but as globalism increases, sooner or later the whole planet will be one economic unit, and we'll all be reduced to trading the same Monopoly money back and forth in a parody of true capitalism.

Luckily, there is another frontier available, straight up; an endless source of new wealth waiting for the first group with the courage to go and claim it.

I used to have faith that that group would be the U.S.A.; now I'm not so sure, although Spaceship One and similar private spaceflight projects still give me hope.

"It's raining soup out there, but the bean counters are telling us we can't afford spooons until everybody has already eaten." -- Jerry Pournelle

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Sunday, July 10, 2005 12:47 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by RocketJock:
I used to have faith that that group would be the U.S.A.; now I'm not so sure, although Spaceship One and similar private spaceflight projects still give me hope.


"Space, the final frontier..."

James T. Chrisisall

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Sunday, July 10, 2005 7:39 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Please don't mistake me for being anti-capitalist, anymore than I am anti-television.

My apologies if I’ve misrepresented you. It wasn’t meant as a slight, just an observation; you’re arguments do seem to embody, at least at the surface, the anti-capitalist philosophy.

Maybe Andrew and I do represent some superior human breed. I am, after all, angelically good looking and charming. And yes my education does give me somewhat of an edge when I’m not stressed out from work, but I didn’t wake up one day with a Ph.D. and a career at an Army laboratory. Those things take many years of hard work, general American tenacity, student loans, and yes plenty of help from family and friends. In general, anyone willing to put the same hard work and tenacity into their lives and has similar support from their family will likely see similar results. But one doesn't even need my degree of education to do my work. There are plenty of people I work with and even for who don't have the same degree of education, but who are making as much and even more money then I do. There’s a lot of stuff I do that a trained monkey could do just as well, but they pay me good money to do it, because someone’s got to do it.

I do however believe that increasing taxation will diminish the economy. If the US economy is going down the tubes, I think raising taxes will ultimately speed that process not slow it. Now if you want to secure the well-being of your children in as far as the economy is concerned, teach them the virtues of ambition, hard work and resolve. This will go a lot further to making them successful then increasing taxes.

-------------
Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum.

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Monday, July 11, 2005 9:38 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
Maybe Andrew and I do represent some superior human breed.


Did you grow up in a place called Manticore?
Actually I would lump most on these boards in the catagory I placed you and Andrew in.
Quote:

Now if you want to secure the well-being of your children in as far as the economy is concerned, teach them the virtues of ambition, hard work and resolve. This will go a lot further to making them successful then increasing taxes.


Agreed. But who to teach them? 'Family Values' should include getting all children off to the best start possible, because of course, they're our future. The government could and should play a biger part in this, if for no other reason that children are an asset to this country in a real financial sense- the more engineers, doctors, and scientists of quality we can nuture, the better for the US in the long run.

Family values kind-of-guy Chrisisall

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:05 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


So, you want the government dictating family values to you? Telling you how to raise your children? Or maybe just the poor families?

I'm not against the government encouraging family values, but I don't know what kind of roll they can play.


-------------
Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 5:00 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


I don't think my perceptions changed.

I came from the rust belt where anyone who could get a job worked at least two jobs. Worked my way through college and actually got a job in my field (there were lots of people with bachelors, masters and even phds who bagged groceries because that was the best work available, so I was lucky). Worked the requisite multiple jobs simultaneously for seven years and lived frugally, given the standard pay-scale there. So it was a hard start and lean beginnings, even though I was doing as well as could be expected by local standards.

Then I moved across the country and for a while enjoyed the kind of security that comes with a robust economy. Such is no longer the case.

In fact, yes, power is held ever tighter (micro-managing) while blame flows downhill and politicking reaches places that had been immune.

So while I am doing well, I see the temporaries we hire who are not doing well at all. They have science degrees, are in their 30's, are more than motivated and skilled, and have not, yet, been able to land full-time work.

And I know people who had the misfortune to lose their jobs relatively late in life (company folded, lost contracts, was bought etc) who are also having a hard time finding real jobs.

The numbers show that college and college+ are the largest percentage of long-term unemployed, and I see it in real life as well.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 6:08 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:

So while I am doing well, I see the temporaries we hire who are not doing well at all. They have science degrees, are in their 30's, are more than motivated and skilled, and have not, yet, been able to land full-time work.



I think I would put my wife in this category.

She was looking for a job over the past number of months and wasn't having any luck. So, instead of studying, I started to look for work as her term position is ending end of Aug. I really didn't want to do this, as in my professional area (programmer), the industry chews people up and spits them out (if I would even be able to find work). This is why when I went back to school (couldn't find a job) I did not go into Com. Sci.

But, food must be put on the table, roof over-head, etc. And living on the street is an unhappy thought. She said that we could go to Germany and live there as she has an appartment in a building her parents own (free). Frankly, that is only an option for her. My living arragments were unknown. Still are if this situation arises.

In the end my grades fell, she lucked onto a job. So, there's 8 more months taken care of. After that, the same song and dance again.

Unfortunatly, I'm still going to be as unemployable then as I am now. So, it'll be up to her again.

Hopefully, things will be better then, or I'll be able to get into a grad school being just shy of the degree I want. *sigh*

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:25 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


First just an observation - so this I think is part of what you have obliquely referred to in the past, in terms of uncertain, unstable conditions. I truly sympathize. (Though at least for now Canadians have something the temps here are desperate for - medical care.)

I didn't realize Canada was also experiencing such a down-cycle for the degreed, though it should have occured to me. I guess I was assuming you had a more technology-based economy with more opportunities for the well-educated.

So apparently a healthy, well-educated, motivated population is not enough yeast to raise the national economic dough. Do you see any answers on a broad economic scale? (I'm not going to ask you about your personal future. When so much is out of your control, it's just impossible to address.)

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 3:16 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
So, you want the government dictating family values to you? Telling you how to raise your children? Or maybe just the poor families?
I'm not against the government encouraging family values, but I don't know what kind of roll they can play.


Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.
I meant that if the government is truly interested in promoting 'Family Values', that they should put up or shut up.
Make sure breakfast and lunch programs don't disappear from schools, for a start, at least. Hungry kids don't learn well, there are studies that prove that (another thing that has studies, 'cause common sense wouldn't have already told us that).
How about paying for college (to be a doc or techy type) in return for a five year stint at public service?
That's where it starts and ends, we could all come up with stuff in between. The foundation for a strong country economically starts with security in families. Kids that have a bad start have less chance of being positive contributors to society, or developing good families of their own.
The present (and past) administration seems to be ignoring this. Like all we need is enough disenfranchised souls to fill the soldier suits.

Chrisisall

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 3:24 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
she lucked onto a job. So, there's 8 more months taken care of. After that, the same song and dance again.


To me in America, job security means that the moment my company downsizes, or closes its stores in my part of the country, that I'm good at looking for work.
It's like hopping between lifeboats, when you're in between islands.


Ain't Lost Chrisisall

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 7:29 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by lynchaj:
The USA is the land of opportunity



Just a minor aside to this. Studies show that despite the ongoing "Land of Opportunity" slogan social mobility is actually lower in the United States than in other developed economies.

You can find a link to a related PDF report on intergenerational social mobility via the URL below if you're interested. My own country (the UK) doesn't do too well on social mobility either.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/pressAndInformationOffice/newsAndEven
ts/archives/2005/LSE_SuttonTrust_report.htm



...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 9:53 AM

CHRISISALL


In this global economy the poorer countries will become less poor, and the richer countries will become less rich. I'd have less of a problem with that if the gorram rich dungbrains would just accept having that tiny bit less, and get off the little people's backs as if there was a way it could be stopped.

Fortune challenged Chrisisall

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 2:40 PM

PERFESSERGEE


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
In this global economy the poorer countries will become less poor, and the richer countries will become less rich. I'd have less of a problem with that if the gorram rich dungbrains would just accept having that tiny bit less, and get off the little people's backs as if there was a way it could be stopped.



Well, that's the theory anyway, but that isn't actually how it's working out in many cases. I've spent a lot of time in Argentina, and my friends there are all what used to be middle class. It's been squeezed beyond belief - they survive by having very extended family networks. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Stiglitz's (Joseph, I think) book "Globalization and its Discontents". It does a marvelous job of describing how globalization could work, and how it's not doing the promised job as it's currently being carried out.

As for the status of the middle class in the US, the LA Times did a long article a few weeks ago (I'll try to find it and post the link), which came to a similar conclusion to the link posted above by Hotpoint from the UK - intergenerational economic mobility is actually fairly low in the US, and it's gotten worse in the last few decades. Further, what mobility exists is mostly downward. Real income for the middle class has dropped during that same span (concurrent with a breathtaking increase in executive-level salaries). The difference between living in a house in the 'burbs and living in your car can be a matter of a single major illness, and that's when you have insurance. If you don't it doesn't even take that much.

I'm grateful to be one of the lucky, but I think that it's been a matter of both luck and perseverance. I'm a 2nd-generation academic, but not many people in the US (even those with as many years of education as me, and including some people I went to grad school with) have a job anywhere near as stable and reliable as mine.

I'd be very interested to hear from some European browncoats on this thread. How's your middle class doing?

perfessergee

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 4:32 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:

First just an observation - so this I think is part of what you have obliquely referred to in the past, in terms of uncertain, unstable conditions. I truly sympathize. (Though at least for now Canadians have something the temps here are desperate for - medical care.)



Thanks.

Temps don't get anything? When you refer to temps are you refering to people working acouple weeks or term positions? Are they part of your union?

But yes, I (we) are very greatful for our medicare, even with its problems. It's one of the (many) reasons why I am thankful that Harper didn't win the election. He wanted to privatise it. *shutter*


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:

So apparently a healthy, well-educated, motivated population is not enough yeast to raise the national economic dough. Do you see any answers on a broad economic scale? (I'm not going to ask you about your personal future. When so much is out of your control, it's just impossible to address.)



There is a contradiction in what people are saying and the observables.

The baby boomers are retiring so in the next 5-10 yrs there should be a lot of positions opening up. But, what I'm seeing is Universities not even hiring to replace those that are leaving.

Also, the NRC is having its funding cut. This means less research grants and scholarships.

Things are not looking good for at least the next couple of years.

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 6:42 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


SigmaNunki

I think I need to think some more to do other than explain 'temp': temp agencies are somewhat like managers for performers. They get people gigs, negotiate the contracts, and take a cut of the money. The agencies do not pay temps out of their own business money either between gigs or during. They pay temps out of the contract they've negotiated with the company who is looking to work the temp.

The temp agency is the employer of record - not the company looking to work the temp. So the temp is not protected under existing union agreements with the company who is working them. On the other hand, the temp agencies are not regular employers either (ie they don't pay the temps a regular wage). In addition the temp agencies are not required to or contracted to or bargained into providing any (nada, zip, zilch) benefits, either out of their own business monies or through the contracts they negotiate. No health coverage. No sick time. No vacation time.

The only thing they DO have to provide (under old federal FLSA 'Fair Labor Standards Act provisions - which have been recently rewritten) is overtime pay if overtime work is worked.

Sick, isn't it?

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 8:01 PM

SIGMANUNKI


@Rue:
Wow

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, July 14, 2005 4:04 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
In addition the temp agencies are not required to or contracted to or bargained into providing any (nada, zip, zilch) benefits, either out of their own business monies or through the contracts they negotiate. No health coverage. No sick time. No vacation time.


We have them
right where they want us.

I had a scary thought: in the near future nobody will rent, you will buy a house or apartment that has been foreclosed. It will be a 75 year mortgage. As the economy dips, and you miss a payment, it will be foreclosed on you and sold at a slightly lower price to the next family waiting. It will be known as the 'Foreclosure Wheel'.

Chrisisall

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Thursday, July 14, 2005 12:19 PM

CITIZEN


This discussion and its repercussions reminds me of a book written by a friend of my father called Steve Edwards called The Self-Destruction Syndrome. It depicts a rather destopic future which at the same time seems to be a projection of our present society taken to extremes.
Scared the hell out of me...
The thing is that the majority of the people didn't see how oppresive and depressing their enviroment and very existence was, becuase it was all they had ever known and they were caught up in the whole flow of society so much they just never thought about it...
Would our ancestors used to true freedom be able to live in a world where they are never alone (the mobile phone) and constantly watched (CCTV), and would we if we had not be subjected to it for so many years or indeed most of or all of our lives?

"The past has revealed to me, the future..."
Teilhard de Chardin

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Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:42 PM

CHRISISALL


I don't know, citizen, I can't deal w/cell phones so I don't have one. I don't have digital satelite service either. This computer is only tollerable to me 'cause it lets me talk to folk like yourself, otherwise I'd never touch it.
I think anyone from even the eighteenth century would think this was a Jules Verne penny dreadfull novel we live in.

There's a reason they're called 'cell' phones.

Live in your cell Chrisisall

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Thursday, July 14, 2005 4:11 PM

PBI


Like everywhere else, the work situation in Canada depends on where one is. The middle class is slowly, but surely, disappearing. Only the rate at which it is disappearing is different, it seems. More jobs are being created, but more and more of those jobs are part-time, temporary, or, if full-time, not as secure as they were a couple decades ago, and without the same purchasing power. Maybe things will turn around once the last of the baby boomers are out of the work force, but maybe not, too.

If you can survive death, you can probably survive almost anything.

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Friday, July 15, 2005 11:27 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Thanks everyone for posting. I learned some more, as I always do when people come to a discussion willing to ask questions, and exchange views and information.

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Friday, July 15, 2005 11:36 AM

CITIZEN


Don't get me wrong, i see how technology has helped us in a great way, but i also see how it has enslaved us too. CCTV is there to protect us (so the authorities and organisations that employ it tell us) but it could so easily be perverted to a more Orwellian purpose.

Thing about capitalism is that its guiding concept is greed. How can any system based on a negative emotion like greed lead to good in the end?

Communism is evil where it fails...
...Capitalism is evil where it succeeds...

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Friday, July 15, 2005 2:38 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


I agree with you on that. But since it runs like an arms race, it has self-sustaining momentum. I liken it to Australian evolution of more toxic life-forms that are more toxic than anywhere else on earth. Once one starts, the others have to respond in kind, and so on. (Which is what Mitterand told Clinton on reaching the free trade agreement.) As a positive feedback cycle, I can't imagine an inbuilt exit from the process.

The only thing I can think of is if enough people reach new perspectives and come to understand - this is simply a choice that can be decided differently at any time. It's not a natural or supernatural law.

I can propose a life of security, abundance, freedom and trust for now and as far into the future as I can see, with just one precept. It's so clearly an answer to environmental destruction, poverty, insecurity and endless strife I can't imagine why anyone would not chose it. But I know it will never go anywhere, because people can think nothing but that this system is the only possible one.

Nearly everything I know I learned by the grace of others.

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Friday, July 15, 2005 3:14 PM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
This country is right on the razor's edge of becoming the de-humanized world depicted in the movie 'Robocop'
(minus the cyborg hero, of course).



You have got to read Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/039332169X/qid=112147631
2/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-7552638-7181663?v=glance&s=books&n=507846


"Analogizing the contemporary United States to the late Roman Empire, Berman sees a nation fat on useless consumption, saturated with corporate ideology, and politically, psychically, and culturally dulled. But he believes that this behemoth--what Thomas Frank called the 'multinational entertainment oligopoly'--must buckle under its own weight."

_______________________________________________
I wish I had a magical wish-granting plank.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 12:13 PM

JASONZZZ


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
So, you want the government dictating family values to you? Telling you how to raise your children? Or maybe just the poor families?
I'm not against the government encouraging family values, but I don't know what kind of roll they can play.


Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.
I meant that if the government is truly interested in promoting 'Family Values', that they should put up or shut up.
Make sure breakfast and lunch programs don't disappear from schools, for a start, at least. Hungry kids don't learn well, there are studies that prove that (another thing that has studies, 'cause common sense wouldn't have already told us that).
How about paying for college (to be a doc or techy type) in return for a five year stint at public service?




hmmm... seems like everybody is looking for a hand out these days... Maybe if people stop watching TV and pay attention to what they eat, spend time with their kids. Hungry kids don't learn well - I agree, but 80% of the problems are with the parents... More and more, people pump out babies like they need more pets (and without any of the owner's responsibilities) Having a lunch program at school doesn't help at all... Why do you think all of the school cafeteria programs are either disappearing or being replaced by McD's ? Because the parents aren't on the kids' back on eating properly and eating nutritiously - for crying out loud, most parents themselves are junk food slobs... The place to start is at the home and then go and talk to your neighbors and your school board, get the mindset changed first and the results will come.



Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:


That's where it starts and ends, we could all come up with stuff in between. The foundation for a strong country economically starts with security in families. Kids that have a bad start have less chance of being positive contributors to society, or developing good families of their own.
The present (and past) administration seems to be ignoring this. Like all we need is enough disenfranchised souls to fill the soldier suits.

Chrisisall




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Given the freedom to do so, anarchy will result in an organic organization unto itself.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 12:34 PM

CHRISISALL


What about sterilization? We do the child abusers/neglectors, the insane and the violent criminals, how's that for a start?
It would decrease the # of parents in this country by a quarter...

Chrisisall

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Friday, July 22, 2005 10:29 AM

BECSTHEBEAST


view from the uk

this is a really interesting thread - i hadn't the time to get into it sooner as until now only had access to the internet at work so this is just a few random thoughts

you were asking about the middle class around the world - first question is who is middle class? - a lot of people would say teachers, junior doctors, white collar office workers - i don't think thats the case. Anyone who has to enter into an agreement with a boss over getting paid to work is really in the working class (by classical marxist definition). In Britain all of the above jobs are increasingly harder and less well paid. The key problem is the partial privatisation - which has meant the loss of fire appliances and crews in central london, the removal of conductor on london buses, the privatisation of hospital cleaning services increasing the risk of infection and the threat of a loss of 800 jobs on the underground (which the management are still intending to go ahead with even after the recent attrocities)

On food - maybe you have heard of British TV chef Jamie Olivier - writes books and had a series on tv recently and ran a campaign to get burgers, chips and sugar off the school meal menus and replaced by decent food. He wanted to raise the amount per meal from 30p to 50p (i guess 50 to 80 cents), train the dinner ladies to be able to cook real food and at the same time he introduced the kids and their parents to the idea of real food. He offered the kids real meat and processed meat products - and intially they went for the chicken dippers - then he showed them what went in them and they were so disgusted that they all ate the real meat after that. In the school he trialed this is the rates of asthma disappeared and the kids attention spans went through the roof. Even with these results he had to fight against the local council and the government to get to agree. So the kids learnt to eat better and school and then started influencing the parents.
I'm sure these results are no surprise to anyone here - they make sense - they don't make sense if your bottom line is immediate profit. After the programme aired the media launched an all out campaign on the government to petition them to take it seriously and eventually they agreed to look at it.
The point is that we have to fight for things - women chained themselves to railings to get the vote here, the eight hour day was introduced through mass strikes and protests, i don't know my US history too well but i do know that without the civil rights movement and the bravery of ordinary people like rosa parks severe discrimination could still exist.

sorry if thats a bit of ramble - i just wanted to join in what seems an interesting and worthwhile discussion - its what i really enjoy about hanging out here

just on the sterilisation qu - my problem is who decides - are you really saying 1/4 of adults in the US are convicted child abusers, violent criminals or insane - if thats the case its worse over there than i thought

smile pretty and watch your back

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Friday, July 22, 2005 10:47 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by becsthebeast:
are you really saying 1/4 of adults in the US are convicted child abusers, violent criminals or insane - if thats the case its worse over there than i thought


To be serious I'd say maybe 5% (a great many more are just plain stupid, but not immediatly dangerous) of the adults are. I was just trying to be ridiculous back to Jasonzzz for his simplistic and thoughtless post.

I mean, we could solve every problem mankind has with a series of nuclear devices, properly placed, right?

Thanks for the interesting post, becsthebeast.

Working class Chrisisall

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Friday, July 22, 2005 9:55 PM

BECSTHEBEAST


my mum always says you can solve every problem with a large enough polythene bag - could be less messy and more specific than a nuclear device

smile pretty and watch your back

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