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← What is public science, and why do you need it?

What is public science, and why do you need it? - Comments

Zarrakan's Avatar Comment 1 by Zarrakan

Artificial Scarcity occurs when the supply of X is controlled to make it scarce on purpose when the reality is that the supply of X is virtually unlimited. This is usually done to make X worth more than it really is, and thus increase profits for those who are the purveyors of X.

The easiest example of this is food. Every year millions of tons of food end up in landfills because the stores that bought it were not able to sell it. They rather throw it away to keep food scarce/expensive than give the food to those who need it for free. By doing so they create an artificial scarcity of food.

The largest example of artificial scarcity is the supply of money. Money is nothing more than metal/paper with fancy pictures on it, and has no intrinsic value accept what we give it. If we are experiencing financial problems we should either print more, or throw the entire concept of money in the garbage.

How morally bereft do you have to be to openly advocate the needless suffering/deaths of millions of people over the artificial scarcity of metal/paper with fancy pictures on it?

You cannot rely on private business to take care of society.

Private business is not for the people by the people. Private business is for the money by the company. Private business will take your money, and give you nothing in return whenever they can get away with it. See private health care for examples.

Huge government is great because as long as it is run properly it protects the people it represents from private business that will murder them for their money if they can get away with it.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 02:39:42 UTC | #870622

Zarrakan's Avatar Comment 2 by Zarrakan

Science is life.

Invest in science or humanity will die.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 02:40:10 UTC | #870623

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

Warren Buffet's recent 5 billion investment in Bank of America could be matched by an equally heavy investment is science funding. Oprah ought to lay out several million here to average out all that woo she has been promoting all these years. All I can do lately is a school of ants project. Free to me and the biologists that are studying arthropod diversity. ( save the cost of the cookie bait! )

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 03:29:44 UTC | #870631

Sci Fi's Avatar Comment 4 by Sci Fi

@Neodarwinian

Agreed on Oprah (and Buffett).

Could we also ask for funding to 'waterboard' Dr Oz to find out if he really believes the woo bullshit he's been peddling off the back of Winfrey the Woo mistress?

I think this would be a benefit to public science and very entertaining to boot!

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 04:34:47 UTC | #870641

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 5 by rjohn19

Yes, well, you see science (NASA in particular) is the obvious place for budget cuts because it has already given us teflon frying pans and any future discoveries would obviously pale in comparison.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 04:46:23 UTC | #870642

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 6 by drumdaddy

The fossil fuel industry has it's own scientists which are more than enough according to them.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 05:31:09 UTC | #870644

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 7 by mysticjbyrd

Great post, Zarrakan, and I couldn't agree more.

If you look into it, you will notice the debt is only an issue when the Dems are in office. Odd how that works.

Comment 6 by drumdaddy :

The fossil fuel industry has it's own scientists which are more than enough according to them.

Haha!

Cutting funding for science, and social programs is almost meaningless. "The NSF funding was cut by 53 million dollars this year". 53 million dollars sounds like a lot to an average person, and makes great publicity tool. The problem is, when you compare it to the whole budget, and you see its actually nothing.

SS + Medicare & Medicaid + Offense each make up nearly a 3rd of the budget. And I can definitely see one in that list that could go....Offense. The US spends about as much money on Offense, as the rest of the industrialized world combined.

US Defense spending = 1/2 TRILLION dollars per year.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=defense+spending

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 07:16:20 UTC | #870658

harry jen's Avatar Comment 8 by harry jen

Comment 1 by Zarrakan :

Huge government is great ...

Unfortunately, suggesting anything like that in the US will result in representatives of at least one, if not all parties screaming 'socialist', and that's usually the end of the debate.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 11:34:22 UTC | #870727

harry jen's Avatar Comment 9 by harry jen

Comment Removed by Author due to double post.

Comments don't appear on IE8 until I don' know when?

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 11:36:16 UTC | #870729

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg

I know that breaking into the two-party system is virtually impossible, but wouldn't a third party be the solution? A (temporary) party that adapts it's policy to what is needed at this decade (non-militairistic, pro-science/education, higher taxes for higher incomes etc.) wrapped in what would be accepted (don't call it Atheistic, but American or something like that, explain that low and average incomes (majority of the voters) benefit most, separation of church and state, but don't bash religion just yet etc.).

I'm an idealist, but coming from the Netherlands I can't imagine having only two options, you'd just have to choose the lesser evil. That must suck.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 12:44:33 UTC | #870758

JuJu's Avatar Comment 11 by JuJu

Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg

A (temporary) party that adapts it's policy to what is needed at this decade (non-militairistic, pro-science/education, higher taxes for higher incomes etc.) wrapped in what would be accepted (don't call it Atheistic, but American or something like that, explain that low and average incomes (majority of the voters) benefit most, separation of church and state, but don't bash religion just yet etc.).

Throw in universal healthcare and you pretty much have a decent description of the Democratic party values. The Republican party is blocking them at every turn, and the only way to get anything done is for the Democrat's to compromise, and by doing so we get a less than ideal situation, which is exactly what the republicans want because it makes Obama look bad and that might give them an advantage in the next elections.

The real problem is that the American public doesn't spend enough time educating themselves on politics and instead they have a knee jerk reaction as to who they vote for based on what a person sounds or looks like, not on the actual issues or content. They think Fox news and the Republicans are trustworthy and telling them the truth, so they jump on the bandwagon unaware of the dangers they impose on themselves.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 14:42:56 UTC | #870795

achromat666's Avatar Comment 12 by achromat666

Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg :

I know that breaking into the two-party system is virtually impossible, but wouldn't a third party be the solution? A (temporary) party that adapts it's policy to what is needed at this decade (non-militairistic, pro-science/education, higher taxes for higher incomes etc.) wrapped in what would be accepted (don't call it Atheistic, but American or something like that, explain that low and average incomes (majority of the voters) benefit most, separation of church and state, but don't bash religion just yet etc.). I'm an idealist, but coming from the Netherlands I can't imagine having only two options, you'd just have to choose the lesser evil. That must suck.

In ways you can't imagine. Because the 2 parties have such dominance and marginalize any other party that introduces itself (The Tea Party for its blatant Republican association obviously doesn't count) give the parties a rather bloated sense that their position is right regardless of how little it serves the public trust.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 14:43:42 UTC | #870796

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 13 by KenChimp

Comment 1 by Zarrakan :

Artificial Scarcity occurs when the supply of X is controlled to make it scarce on purpose when the reality is that the supply of X is virtually unlimited. This is usually done to make X worth more than it really is, and thus increase profits for those who are the purveyors of X.

The easiest example of this is food. Every year millions of tons of food end up in landfills because the stores that bought it were not able to sell it. They rather throw it away to keep food scarce/expensive than give the food to those who need it for free. By doing so they create an artificial scarcity of food.

This is a decent example, however it doesn't account for the fact that food retail throws food away which has reached its "government mandated" shelf expiration. I am not suggesting we stop regulating food quality, however most of the food that exceeds its shelf life before being sold is still good food. We throw it out anyway because our regulations prohibit the sale of these foods.

A better example of artificial price inflation is the cause of the latest global economic melt-down. Banks and investment firms engaging in selling debt as an investment "security". In this case, mortgage debt. Then these financial institutions engage in speculation to artificially drive up the "value" of properties, and engage in speculative hedge funds to protect their asses (oh, I mean assets), while investing the assets of their customers in worthless or near worthless debt securities that became worthless (read toxic) because the financial institutions changed their lending practices to artificially inflate the amount of available securities for their clients to invest their money in.

It was a racket. Plain and simple, a price increasing, deceptive, disastrous racket. And they did it all because they knew the governments of the nations whose banks and other lending institutions created this fiasco would bail their asses (oh, I mean assets) out.

The largest example of artificial scarcity is the supply of money. Money is nothing more than metal/paper with fancy pictures on it, and has no intrinsic value accept what we give it. If we are experiencing financial problems we should either print more, or throw the entire concept of money in the garbage.

Woot! You nailed this one right on the head! Thank you!!! Except that governments do just print more and that is the problem. When you put a currency system in place where there is no specie to base the value of that currency on, but instead determine the value of the currency on fiat (arbitrarily giving "value" to it), the perceived market value of currency falls and falls drastically. An example is the value of the U.S. dollar. Since the inception of the Federal Reserve, the value of the U.S. dollar has depreciated by 97%. That means that your dollar today is worth $0.03 1913 dollars.

This extremely ludicrous problem is the exact same problem the Roman Empire experienced when they started coining currency in nickel, copper and lead, rather than gold, silver and bronze. It is inflationary policy at its worst. But, hey! It made possible the fantastic plebicite policy of "Bread and Circuses"! Hmmn. Then and now.

How morally bereft do you have to be to openly advocate the needless suffering/deaths of millions of people over the artificial scarcity of metal/paper with fancy pictures on it?

As morally bereft and ridiculously corrupt as the private banking institutions which comprise the Federal Reserve, I suppose.

You cannot rely on private business to take care of society.

You cannot rely upon anybody to take care of you more than you rely upon yourself to do so. It is the height of naivety if you do.

Private business is not for the people by the people. Private business is for the money by the company. Private business will take your money, and give you nothing in return whenever they can get away with it. See private health care for examples.

Private business is for making money on the market. A business produces goods that business views as less valuable than the currency they exchange the goods for. One company may view another company's goods as more valuable (for whatever reason) and expend their liquid assets ( a popular form of which is state produced and controlled currency) in order to obtain those goods. Regardless the market is nothing more (or less) than some people exchanging their produce or service for something else to other people who desire that produce or service more than what they have to offer in exchange. It is that simple. The "ethics" of the market are important for assuring the exchange is fair and to the mutual satisfaction of the buyer and the seller. It's really that simple.

The problems we experience which make many people view "free market capitalism" with mistrust and ire is when the ethics are not followed. When people sell something they claim is something else, the ethics of the free market are violated. When people can unilaterally decide they will only pay x for the produce or service they were told the price was x + y for, the ethics of the free market are violated.

I see this crap happening all the time even though we have laws against this on the books already. A prime example of this is the current health care insurance mob. Yeah, they're a freakin' mob. About as mafioso as you can get and still be considered a "legitimate" business. Although, in my not-so-humble opinion, they are anything but legitimate.

Huge government is great because as long as it is run properly it protects the people it represents from private business that will murder them for their money if they can get away with it.

Huge government is great because, as long as it is run properly.....uh, huge government is not run properly. I will argue that it is impossible to run "huge government" properly. If not, humans haven't been doing it so far. We need to determine how it is run properly if there is a way.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 16:13:38 UTC | #870819

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 14 by KenChimp

Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg :

I know that breaking into the two-party system is virtually impossible, but wouldn't a third party be the solution? A (temporary) party that adapts it's policy to what is needed at this decade (non-militairistic, pro-science/education, higher taxes for higher incomes etc.) wrapped in what would be accepted (don't call it Atheistic, but American or something like that, explain that low and average incomes (majority of the voters) benefit most, separation of church and state, but don't bash religion just yet etc.).

The Nixon Administration had no trouble "breaking into" the two-party system precipitating the infamous "Watergate Scandal". snicker

Sorry, I couldn't resist that little punnish jab at Tricky Dicky. ;-}

I'm an idealist, but coming from the Netherlands I can't imagine having only two options, you'd just have to choose the lesser evil. That must suck.

Indeed it does suck. It sucks so bad it is tearing the Union (United States) apart.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 16:20:41 UTC | #870823

Nordic11's Avatar Comment 15 by Nordic11

The US government has pledged to deal with the nation's debt crisis by cutting social spending. On the chopping block are many many social programs, including some of the country's most important government-funded science institutions like the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These cuts are just smoke screens and will do little to help the debt. Many Americans don't give a rip about science so politicians need to cut science programs to make it seem like their serious about getting our debt under control, but our debt woes are all our own fault. Middle class Americans want generous social security and medicare benefits to stay in place without paying for it with higher taxes. We also have little idea about how our taxes are spent. For example, the US spends 1% of its budget on foreign aid, but the average American thinks it is 10%, and 1 in 5 think we spend 30% on foreign aid.

The math does not add up, and until we are willing we do with less for our social programs or pay more, we could abolish every government science program and still be hopelessly in debt.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:09:13 UTC | #870847

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 16 by KenChimp

Comment 15 by Nordic11 :

The US government has pledged to deal with the nation's debt crisis by cutting social spending. On the chopping block are many many social programs, including some of the country's most important government-funded science institutions like the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These cuts are just smoke screens and will do little to help the debt. Many Americans don't give a rip about science so politicians need to cut science programs to make it seem like their serious about getting our debt under control, but our debt woes are all our own fault. Middle class Americans want generous social security and medicare benefits to stay in place without paying for it with higher taxes. We also have little idea about how our taxes are spent. For example, the US spends 1% of its budget on foreign aid, but the average American thinks it is 10%, and 1 in 5 think we spend 30% on foreign aid.

The math does not add up, and until we are willing we do with less for our social programs or pay more, we could abolish every government science program and still be hopelessly in debt.

The math of the Neo-con agenda never adds up. From "trickle-down" and "supply-side" economic theory to deficit reduction. However, if you add up all the funding going to foreign nation states and foreign nationals, it is much more than 1% of the Federal budget.

In any case, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the insane amount the U.S. spends on "defense". Why is it necessary for the United States to spend more on the military than all other nations combined?! It is ludicrous and exactly what Eisenhower was warning about when he left office in the 1950s.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:22:29 UTC | #870853

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 17 by nancynancy

I'm an American, and it's so depressing for me to watch as my country proceeds to shoot itself in the foot.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:32:20 UTC | #870861

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 18 by mysticjbyrd

Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg :

I know that breaking into the two-party system is virtually impossible, but wouldn't a third party be the solution? A (temporary) party that adapts it's policy to what is needed at this decade (non-militairistic, pro-science/education, higher taxes for higher incomes etc.) wrapped in what would be accepted (don't call it Atheistic, but American or something like that, explain that low and average incomes (majority of the voters) benefit most, separation of church and state, but don't bash religion just yet etc.).

I'm an idealist, but coming from the Netherlands I can't imagine having only two options, you'd just have to choose the lesser evil. That must suck.

The problem with that idea is that it takes a massive amount of money to get elected in the US, and the only way to get that amount if through corps. And the Corps dont like any of the ideas you listed.

What needs to happen first is to change the policy for donating campaign money. Currently, people are limited to what they can donate, but corps have no such limit. This would be hard to do accomplish considering the people in office, on both sides, are benefiting from it so much.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:43:46 UTC | #870907

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 19 by KenChimp

Comment 17 by nancynancy :

I'm an American, and it's so depressing for me to watch as my country proceeds to shoot itself in the foot.

I empathize.

We can bail out unscrupulous banks and financial investment firms to the tune of a trillion and a half dollars US, but we can't afford a $10 million dollar, three year operating budget for the tevatron super-collider at FermiLab....incidentally the operating costs of a single day of combat operations in Afghanistan....not including the $30 billion a year spent on air conditioning.

This nation's leaders have their collective craniums lodged firmly between their anal sphincter muscles. Especially the Neo-con, "Dummer'n Dirt" Evangelo-fascists.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:48:02 UTC | #870908

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 20 by mysticjbyrd

I found this article today, 1/6 Americans live under the poverty line today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us/14census.html

It kind of puts things into perspective.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:56:02 UTC | #870910

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 21 by KenChimp

Comment 20 by mysticjbyrd :

I found this article today, 1/6 Americans live under the poverty line today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us/14census.html

It kind of puts things into perspective.

Yeah, but did you see the Fox News byte on this topic?

97% of those below the poverty line have refrigerators in their homes!

76% of them have a microwave oven! gasp

Nearly 100% of them have a TV! The horror!!!

Over 50% of them have at least one cellular/mobile telephone! outrageous!!!

These people aren't poor at all! Think of those people in Rwanda who don't even have electricity in their homes!

Meanwhile, the wealthiest 400 individuals in the U.S. own, in collective assets, the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the U.S. population!!! But Fox News doesn't bother to report that. Nah.

Un-fracking-believable.

The Neo-con slogan for what to do with America's poor: Frack the fracking frackers!

And as most of you probably know by now, I'm not a progressive socialist by any stretch. I just can't ignore the evidence before my eyes, as so many so-called "conservatives" do.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:16:51 UTC | #870916

blitz442's Avatar Comment 22 by blitz442

Comment 21 by KenChimp

It gets worse. Of those "poor" people, who are rolling in the lap of luxury with their fancy tvs and microwaves and cell phones, 95% have running water AND a toilet, 80% have a bed and even a couch, 57% have knives and forks (that are not plastic), and a whopping 98% have door knobs.

Maybe if we took away all of this opulence, they'd be forced to get off their lazy asses and change their ways.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:27:46 UTC | #870919

Ornicar's Avatar Comment 23 by Ornicar

Don't know much about the US, but down here our incredible omnipr├ęsident (Nicolas Sarkozy) is also saying there's no more money for research or health care or unemployement insurance or education, but he just did a year of war in Lybia, raised his salary by 120%, bought a pr├ęsidential airplane strangely more expensive than expected (with a 50 000 euros oven in it for Carla to cook his croissants) and want to create 80 000 prison cells before 2017. But still, they call it "rigor plan", because we the people will stay in deep shit. I'm not sure I understand economics.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:09:22 UTC | #870934

blitz442's Avatar Comment 24 by blitz442

KenChimp

Meanwhile, the wealthiest 400 individuals in the U.S. own, in collective assets, the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the U.S. population!!!

This should be put into some type of visual analogy, like those that are used to compare, say, the time homo sapiens have existed on the earth with the total history of life.

400 people - let's see, that's about one jumbo airliner. Now, how many airliners would we need for the bottom 50% of the population?

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:15:54 UTC | #870937

achromat666's Avatar Comment 25 by achromat666

Comment 23:

I certainly don't claim to be an expert on economics either, but if current American (and Apparently some European) policies are any indication it seems to follow this line of logic:

  1. Get power in government

  2. Get money from government

  3. Keep money and get more from those with less

  4. Blame those with less for all of the nation's woes

  5. Manipulate media to keep people from finding out how badly they're really being screwed.

  6. Live in filthy stinking wealth for as long as you can get away with.

The numbers and demographics don't seem to affect much beyond creating charts to explain how badly the public is somehow responsible for squandering all the money they're not getting.

Hope that somehow helps.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:28:14 UTC | #870941

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 26 by mysticjbyrd

Comment 25 by achromat666 :

Comment 23:

I certainly don't claim to be an expert on economics either, but if current American (and Apparently some European) policies are any indication it seems to follow this line of logic:

  • Get power in government

  • Get money from government

  • Keep money and get more from those with less

  • Blame those with less for all of the nation's woes

  • Manipulate media to keep people from finding out how badly they're really being screwed.

  • Live in filthy stinking wealth for as long as you can get away with.

  • The numbers and demographics don't seem to affect much beyond creating charts to explain how badly the public is somehow responsible for squandering all the money they're not getting.

    Hope that somehow helps.

    Yah, I think this pretty much covers it.

    That reminds me of one of my favorite movies, The Usual Suspects (1995). And there is one particular quote within that film that makes it so memorable to me.

    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, poof. He's gone."

    One day I was thinking about this quote, and I realized this personifies our current economic situation quite well. The wealthy have convinced the less fortunate, that the reason they have not achieved the American dream, is because the other poor people are hindering them. In other word, if the rich can get the poor to blame the poor for their misfortune, than its as if the wealthy don't even exist.

    Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:49:53 UTC | #870945

    Vicar of Art on Earth's Avatar Comment 27 by Vicar of Art on Earth

    Having at various times work in paid and non paid positions in the Democratic Party I am appalled at the lack of any experience demonstated by the posting here.

    Both the Democrats and Republicans have on the party level one of the most open organizations I can think of if people want to participate. The parties do operate mostly on volunteers and lots goes on before elections that the average person can participate in, meet the policymakers and some funders, and have a say that is lacking in a yes/no election.

    In the both parties, the county central committee is the unit of governece. In California, every primary, people run for the central committee, very few people but party people pay attention. The quickest way to get atheist into party positions is to run for central committee, does not cost to file and you need under 50 signatures of Democrats or Republicans or Greens to be on the ballot.

    The elected political officers like Assemblymen and State Senators also appoint their representatives to the county committee in addition to the people the party elects. The California State Party also has "caucus'" like a Women's, Disability, Enviromental where people who are concern with developing policy and putting things in the platform operate.

    There are also Democratic clubs, most are linked to neighborhoods. In San Francisco there are seveal gay oriented clubs who got Harvey Milk elected and got same sex marriage going as a national issue. There is nothing in the pary by laws against forming a non believers or Richard Dawkins Democratic Club.

    Who runs in a primary is very often determined by the candidates relations with the clubs who supply the volunteers and initial funding.

    If all you do is vote, you are not going to have much of a say. If you don't have money to get power, then you need to be able to people a campaign.

    Wed, 14 Sep 2011 22:42:40 UTC | #870958

    Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 28 by Alan4discussion

    Comment 21 by KenChimp

    Meanwhile, the wealthiest 400 individuals in the U.S. own, in collective assets, the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the U.S. population!!! But Fox News doesn't bother to report that. Nah.

    As the UK continues to chase the Murdocks over the illegal activities of their "News of the World" gossip rag, it would be nice to think the US would follow that example and introduce real news instead of Fox!

    Wed, 14 Sep 2011 23:21:31 UTC | #870967

    sundiver's Avatar Comment 29 by sundiver

    I've tried explaining why public science is vital to technological innovation to my libertariantard coworkers using the example of the laser. It's similar to Carl Sagan's thought experiment about Victorian scientists being tasked with developing television in 1850. If you'd demanded that scientists develop a "death ray " in 1900 it would have been difficult (if not impossible) since the basic concept wasn't developed until some guy at a government-funded institute published a paper on the subject in 1919. It took about 40 years before the concept was turned into techonolgy, now, 50 years after the first laser was made, the damned things are everywhere.I imagine most correspondents on this site would know " some guy " was a dude name of A. Einstein working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute who was just fooling around with some of the implications of quantum mechanics. You know, off-the-wall, "useless" rumination on some esoteric egghead project of no possible use to ordinary people, right? It's the one thing that gets them to realize that technological innovation requires a steady diet of basic, undirected research. Well, at least for a few minutes, then they go back to snivelling about unions and vaccines.

    Thu, 15 Sep 2011 07:44:55 UTC | #871046

    achromat666's Avatar Comment 30 by achromat666

    Comment 26 by mysticjbyrd :

    Comment 25 by achromat666 :

    Comment 23:

    I certainly don't claim to be an expert on economics either, but if current American (and Apparently some European) policies are any indication it seems to follow this line of logic:

    Get power in government

  • Get money from government

  • Keep money and get more from those with less

  • Blame those with less for all of the nation's woes

  • Manipulate media to keep people from finding out how badly they're really being screwed.

  • Live in filthy stinking wealth for as long as you can get away with.

  • The numbers and demographics don't seem to affect much beyond creating charts to explain how badly the public is somehow responsible for squandering all the money they're not getting.

    Hope that somehow helps.

    Yah, I think this pretty much covers it. That reminds me of one of my favorite movies, The Usual Suspects (1995). And there is one particular quote within that film that makes it so memorable to me.

    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, poof. He's gone." One day I was thinking about this quote, and I realized this personifies our current economic situation quite well. The wealthy have convinced the less fortunate, that the reason they have not achieved the American dream, is because the other poor people are hindering them. In other word, if the rich can get the poor to blame the poor for their misfortune, than its as if the wealthy don't even exist.

    One of my favorite films, and yeah the comparison sticks fairly well. It's all misdirection and stagecraft. They're more like bad magicians than politicians really.

    Thu, 15 Sep 2011 14:02:08 UTC | #871138