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Forum Post: Concrete Demands & a Realistic Solution

Posted 7 years ago on Oct. 13, 2011, 5:36 p.m. EST by Gylliwynn (56)
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Read this for a clear explanation of what happened and how to fix it!




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[-] 1 points by JeffBlock2012 (272) 7 years ago

his solution includes the words:

"The government should..."

and now these words from a Senator: "The system is broken and dysfunctional...and everyone knows that." ~ Senator Tom Udall, USA Today 9/29/2011

and a recently retired Secretary of Defense: "We Have Lost The Ability To Execute Even The Basic Functions Of Government" ~ Robert Gates - retired Secretary of Defense speech at the Constitution Center

So tell me just how OWS "demands" are going to translate into our government doing...anything?

http://www.JeffBlock2012.com We Have Permission to Change the System

[-] 1 points by Gylliwynn (56) 7 years ago

List the nine "repeal" demands in his article and if enough of you put it out there and the masses see it, then Obama will have to either go along with it or he'll be down the road with the next election. And I doubt many of the OWS protesters will vote during the next election, much less vote for him unless there is a signed contract saying he'll adhere to those nine repeals. That election will be here soon and unless you come up with a new solution, what else is there?

[-] 1 points by JeffBlock2012 (272) 7 years ago

well, here's my new solution: http://www.JeffBlock2012.com

those nine repeals could certainly be included on the platform.


[-] 1 points by derek (302) 7 years ago

This is a great article. It begins: "In 1978, to the laughter of many and the derision of a few, I wrote a book called, "The Downfall of Capitalism and Communism," which predicted that Soviet communism would vanish around the end of the century, whereas crony or monopoly capitalism would create the worst-ever concentration of wealth in its history, so much so that a social revolution would start its demise around 2010. My forecasts derived from the law of social cycles, which was pioneered by my late teacher and mentor, P. R. Sarkar. Lo and behold, Soviet communism disappeared right before your eyes during the 1990s, and now, just a year after 2010, middle-class America, spearheaded by a movement increasingly known as "Occupy Wall Street (OWS)," is beginning to revolt against Wall Street greed and crony capitalism. Will the revolt succeed? It surely will, because the pre-conditions for its success are all there."

It has a lot of truth, but I think it ignores deeper structural issues related to saturation of demand ("reduce, reuse, recycle", Malsow's hierarchy of needs, and a law of diminishing returns), and the rise of robotics and other automation, better design, the accumulation of infrastucture, and voluntary social networks which all decrease the value of a lot of paid human labor. For more details on that bigger picture, see: "Five Interwoven Economies: Subsistence, Gift, Exchange, Planned, and Theft " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vK-M_e0JoY "This video presents a simplified education model about socioeconomics and technological change. It discusses five interwoven economies (subsistence, gift, exchange, planned, and theft) and how the balance will shift with cultural changes and technological changes. It suggests that things like a basic income, better planning, improved subsistence, and an expanded gift economy can compensate in part for an exchange economy that is having problems."

So, it is a good article, but there is even more going on than it discusses, and that is why the change will be broader (like with a basic income) than just raising taxes or something like that.

[-] 1 points by Gylliwynn (56) 7 years ago

Apparently, you didn't read the article in its entirety. This is an easy to understand teaching of how our economy got into the mess it is and he offers a solution, one that is realistic.When you speak of "the saturation of demand", that is a segment of the supply and demand. Read the whole article.

[-] 1 points by derek (302) 7 years ago

I did read it. It does not discuss structural unemployment. Nor does it discuss a fundamental saturation of demand (like most people just having enough stuff). To be clear, I'm not saying I'm against the sort of monetarist etc. reforms it suggests (which would help); I'm just saying the problem is much broader than that.

Robert Reich says much the same thing about the economy and solutions: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/jobs-will-follow-a-strengthening-of-the-middle-class.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Is Ravi Batra's track record impressive on predictions? Sure. But, that does not prove he is including all the issues this time.

[-] 1 points by Gylliwynn (56) 7 years ago

It's a start! I see your point, as well, but I believe the fundamental saturation is overpopulation on our planet, because if we spread the demand, there still wouldn't be enough to necessitate everyone. It's also a matter of balance. Then we're looking at the governance of each country and it is becoming more and more skewed because of greed! It all comes back to greed; all of it!

[-] 1 points by derek (302) 7 years ago

Overpopulation is relative to our technology, which defines carrying capacity for a specific amount of resources and cultural expectations. How much we think we need is also in big part related to our culture (which is influenced by commercialism and the pursuit of corporate profits).

We put in place unsustainable technology for our infrastructure (oil-based, polluting, non-recycling) in part because it was the quickest way to the most short term profit for the 1%. We mine our soils and our acquifers because it is more profitable in the short term than figuring out how to do things sustainable. People are tempted by advertising and product placement into buying lots of junk or becoming addicted because it is really profitable, not because they are ultimately happier with more stuff and more addictions.

We could have all solar power (or other renewables), we could grind up rock to remineralize soil, we could have electric cars, we cold have zero emissions manufacturing, we could produce for permanence instead of planned obsolescence, people could get joy from making their own stuff or just enjoying conversations over simple healthy meals with friends, and so on. In which case we could support a much bigger population.

For example, this group at NIST should have 20,000 employees as a start, not 20: http://www.nist.gov/el/msid/dpg/slim.cfm "To prepare for a future where manufacturing has a zero net impact on the environment, the United States industry will require key resources and methods that will enable it to measure sustainability along several dimensions allowing accurate assessment of status and progress. These resources and methods require a science-based identification of dimensions, associated measurements and classification and characterization of information relevant to sustainable products, processes, and services."

Instead we have huge numbers of soldiers to defend long oil supply lines... Why? "War is a Racket". Renewables have been cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear since the 1970s, if corporations had been forced to account for externalities like pollution, health costs, risk premiums, and defense costs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittle_Power "Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security is a 1982 book by Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, prepared originally as a Pentagon study, and re-released in 2001 following the September 11 attacks. The book argues that U.S. domestic energy infrastructure is very vulnerable to disruption, by accident or malice, often even more so than imported oil. According to the authors, a resilient energy system is feasible, costs less, works better, is favoured in the market, but is rejected by U.S. policy. In the preface to the 2001 edition, Lovins explains that these themes are still very current."

See also: http://remineralize.org/






A stone age hunter/gatherer technology would support maybe one tenth our current population or less (guessing). With enough energy and the right machinery, in theory, we can recycle pretty much everything. With fusion energy (turning the hydrogen of water into power), we could probably support a trillion people on the Earth -- but we'd probably move into space before then since fusion would make going into space as cheap (or cheaper) as traveling across the ocean by air today. Obviously, nature would be trampled with a trillion people on the Earth, assuming we were not all living in "virtual reality", so there are aesthetic and spiritual aspects of population, too. But our solar system itself can support quadrillions of humans in space habitats (see the work of Gerry O'Neill or Freeman Dyson).

The main problem of industrialized countries is actually birth rates at less than replacement, both from so many technological distractions (raising kids well is hard work) and also economic issues -- like we're talking about -- making it hard for young people to pay for a home or make other long term plans. Italy, for example, has only about 1.23 children per woman (instead of the 2.1 or so you need to keep the population stable). Example: "Birth rates in the European Union are falling fast." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4768644.stm

Why do we spend by some accounts over a trillion dollars a year on "defense" in the USA when we spend only about $20 billion a year on NASA? And even less on NIST (about one billion per year)? Where would the USA be today if we spent a trillion dollars a year on NASA and NIST and only $21 billion a year on "defense"? I think I'd feel a lot safer that way.

Anyway, so things don't look so gloomy if we get the technology (and even culture) to go with the best interests of the 99% instead of the 1%.

Other related items on how material affluence can face diminishing returns:

"Challenging the Culture of Affluence: Schools, Parents, and the Psychological Health of Children" http://www.nais.org/publications/ismagazinearticle.cfm?ItemNumber=150274

"Children of the Affluent: Challenges to Well-Being" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948879/

"The Culture of Affluence: Psychological Costs of Material Wealth" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950124/

"The Original Aflfuent Society" http://www.eco-action.org/dt/affluent.html

"Money and happiness: Over $75K doesn't matter" http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/01/money-and-happiness-over-75k-doesnt-matter/