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Author Topic: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.  (Read 1883 times)

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Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2014, 03:36:19 PM »
My point wasn't that discrimination doesn't exist against these groups; it does, though it's shifting toward the margins. My point was that your assertion, repeated here, that the removal of discriminatory laws was the only change, is false. There was a shift in societal perception of these groups, granting them access to some or all of the benefits of white privilege. As a general rule of thumb, Jewish people today don't have to worry about undue scrutiny from police. They don't have to worry about being herded into ghettoes by homeowner's covenants and lending policies. They don't have to worry about every misdeed by a Jewish person being held up as representative of all Jews by the wider society. They don't need to worry constantly about representing all Jews to society. In general, as a rule, they don't have to worry about how their ethnicity might deny them access to things that white people take for granted. Ignoring this is going to seriously distort your view of reality as it applies to these issues.

And the evidence that this preceded their rise up the demographics rather than followed it is? Because all of those things applied to both Jews and Chinese-Americans for much of the 20th century.

Moreover, let's look at some specific evidence. 80% of the US Jewish population live in a mere 10 states with 20% in New York and the surrounding suburban areas alone. Within those states they are highly concentrated in the metropolitan areas and even then tend to concentrate in a few specific metropolitan areas. Likewise over 40% of Chinese Americans live in California alone with another 40% living in a four other states and over 80% living in a mere 32 counties. "Ghetto" would be a very pejorative word to describe that but both the Jewish and Chinese-American populations tend to live in a few concentrated municipal areas.

Quote
They don't have to worry about every misdeed by a Jewish person being held up as representative of all Jews by the wider society. They don't need to worry constantly about representing all Jews to society.

I suggest you look at opinion pieces of twitter whenever the Israeli/Palastinian conflict bubbles up for the way that "Jew" and "Israeli" (let alone "Israeli Government") are used interchangeably. Here's a quick example of a pretty influential journalist saying that the actions of the Israeli Army represent the actions of an individual British Jew. I'd also check twitter for the way the internet reacts when Israel hits the news... the #Hitlerwasright and #Hitlerdidnothingwrong tags don't trend because no-one uses them. I'd also pay attention to how often references to "typical Jew" appear in the wake of any financial impropriety by a Jewish banker or the like.

On the Chinese-American front in 2010 we had politicians supporting ad campaigns that conflated Chinese Americans and Chinese while arguing that Chinese Americans would celebrate and thank American politicians for taking jobs out of America and giving them to China.

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2014, 03:53:49 PM »
What do you all think of my proposal, there? Would it work? Would it cause problems I'm not seeing? What are your opinions and ideas that could redefine mine to create a different, more positive, outcome?

The "give everyone a flat $30,000 a year"?

Inflation.

If you give everyone an extra $30,000 a year then prices would quickly rise to match as the market adjusted to the rise in disposable income. Within a short period you'd see the effect of the "free money" become negligible as everything simply became more expensive.

It seems to me there would be three better ways to use that money to achieve a somewhat similar effect:

1) Pay down the deficit. This means less government spending has to go on debt repayments which can then in turn be used for either direct government spending or tax cuts and in turn makes the US a more attractive country to lend to and thus can borrow at lower rates when it does borrow money.

2) Tax cuts for the poor; for example remove the 10% federal income tax rate for the lowest earners while also raising the thresholds at each level that people have to pay tax. The vast majority of income tax is paid by those in the highest bracket anyway; to quote from here

Quote
Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.

So even today the bottom half of tax payers pay a tiny amount of the individual taxes; removing them from taxation entirely makes a relatively small dent in figures even without increasing the taxes for higher earners. By allowing people to keep more of their money they can then spend it on what they like; it provides a similar effect to simply handing out $30,000 but encourages people to work and, while still suffering some of the inflation effects, helps to moderate the increased inflation.

3) Government spending, either directly through infrastructure projects (which would also provide employment opportunities) or through subsidized or free services; making medical care free at the point of service and massively reducing further education costs while also providing a bursary would both seemingly make a big difference to improving social mobility. 

Offline kylie

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2014, 03:55:15 PM »
Quote from: Valthazar
That's what they were essentially doing in California back then.  The state was intervening in district taxation to set caps, then increased state aid to subsidize education of poor school districts.

The problem is that this alone does very little to address educational issues in inner cities.  Right now, it's near impossible for an inner city school district to recruit high quality teachers, regardless of salary.  No matter how much money you throw at the system, if talented teachers tend to prefer working in safer schools, with lower rates of violence, it's a tough sell.  Money alone, without an actual plan for improving the community, does little to improve educational performance.
      Granted there are other concerns.  The communities that do not have large tax bases also do not have strong police presence, or at least not the kind that integrates well with the community.  There may be vastly expensive drug raids and lots of pointless stopping and searching people, but it is not the same quality of patrolling and interest that wealthier areas usually get.  Majority Black, urban communities have also seen dramatic cuts in fire departments, infrastructure, and other basic services.  Many of the services that remain have been increasingly farmed out to private companies.  So when speaking about a community plan, there might need to be some reinvestment in these things if anyone is really serious about staffing a decent education too.  We might also use a bit more of a culture concerned with egalitarianism on the whole, and less with deploying the police more in the interest of the extremely wealthy and business sites.  Black neighborhoods have also been pushed increasingly far from some of those business sites anyway.

     Btw, even when we speak about relatively well-off Blacks moving on: Many of them first move to Black or mixed communities just one or two rings further from the center of a large city.  And many of those still are not in the same situation really as Whiter communities which (in large cities at least) tend to be more suburban, even if we are not talking about anything like more secure and isolated gated communities of the 10% or 1% yet.  It is true that some middle class Blacks, part of that overall dwindling middle class at some level -- filling the only roles allocated to make them "palatable" as community representatives for Washington politics, not to mention some reddish state politics -- have more or less accepted that central policy will not provide much more than a few public sector jobs for Blacks to scramble over in many cities, and gotten on with the business of pushing their people to calm down and act more like a "good [read:subdued] minority" regardless.  That does not change the fact that many, many Blacks are still finding themselves more or less stuck in the same rings of the city. 

      Often, now there just happens to be a slightly less strained commuter community buffer toward the outside of those Blacks who have it one step better but are still barely a paycheck away from homelessness, sometimes blending further out into a more Latino or mixed community that is rather similar or perhaps slightly better off.  In quite a few places, it appears geographically clear that the Latino/mixed area is located rather as a kind of "buffer zone" before more predominantly White (even if still rather squeezed) rings of commuter residences really begin.   

Quote
I am assuming you are suggesting a system where school districts are funded equally - mainly from the state, rather than at the local level.  There are some serious long-term ramifications of this idea.  One of the consequences of this is that funding for school districts in middle class areas will decline from what they are now, since tax dollars are being pooled by the state now, and distributed equally to all school districts.
       I'm not sure I understand the double use of "now" here - do these two now's refer to the same time, or before and after?  To fully visualize what you're saying or whether it is that simple at all (and I'm skeptical), I'd probably need some case studies and graphs.  And I'd like something much more contemporary than the 1970's, when the society took still other kinds of racial programming for granted. 

        But on the face of it, it feels odd to say that redistributing from a glut of investment must mean a lower average for the majority of people.  Unless the majority of people are already allowed to attend school where resources are better, which I don't believe is generally the case.  Even if it were, I don't think that would be a good excuse for denying a considerable absolute number of minority people access to some standard level of education. 

       Otherwise, what you might have, is an argument that it's just too expensive to create quality education even in K-12 at some given level that is useful for access to some jobs...  And therefore, one might go on to say, some people simply cannot be granted that because hey, we need someone to have those jobs and it'll just have to be foremost the children of those families that have won out historically. If so that is not an argument for meritocracy there.  That's just an argument for triage and the status quo. 

Quote
The vast majority of middle class families will experience declines in their school funding - while at the same time, not receiving any reductions in the taxes they are paying.  Over time, this would lead to an exodus of middle-class families from states with more poverty stricken districts (Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, etc) to states with less poverty stricken districts (Washington DC, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc). 
      That is assuming the state governments get to go on each setting a different priority on education in absolute terms as well.  Or if you like, that some states are just richer overall and they "must" have different education budgets.  Maybe it's assuming they have more high-priced industries or somehow have an easier time with the budget.  Maybe so, but I think that is somehow external to the question.  If there was truly a comparable base range of standards most anywhere -- that is, a substantive federal policy to allocate some spending and minimize discrimination in educational opportunity -- then it shouldn't make that much difference where one went.  We already know that with so much variation between the states, some are much further behind on education allocations and standards generally than others.   Some states having larger numbers of embattled and deprived communities is one part of that, but as things are each state can go on and just do that so of course some places become relative havens for white flight. 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 04:09:33 PM by kylie »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2014, 03:56:28 PM »
Well, Ephiral. In the hands of private nonprofits and American households in America there is approximately $65,000,000,000,000. The top 10% of the nation control a whopping 75% of it's money. That's $48.75 trillion dollars. Shouldn't be too hard to get 7 trillion out of that.

The money the 10% make over $400,000 per year (single filing, jointly it's pushed to $450k) is taxed at 39%. There are just about 40 million Americans in this bracket. Average earnings hit right around $1.3 million each. So that's $900,000 taxed for an additional 31% for $279,000 additional income for each of those 40 million Americans (Average). That's enough to hand out $30,000 to 372,000,000 people. (279000x40,000,000=11,160,000,000,000/30,000)

America only has 320 million people in it. Most of them aren't adults, yet.

And that's before looking at fixing the Capital Gains tax or Estate Taxes, both of which would easily handle population increases over time, if that's even required with the massive increase in taxable revenue from ALL sources.

Consortium: You're kind of right. Though I did mention that we need to maintain price controls to keep profit on individual item where it is, but increase the total number of items sold. Kind of something I only mentioned briefly but it could definitely use further discussion.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2014, 03:57:45 PM »
I think what Steampunkette is trying to get at is something similar to Guaranteed minimum income like in some European economies.  While there are many benefits to this type of system, and I think it's actually a great idea, I don't see this coming to the US anytime soon.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2014, 04:05:27 PM »
Almost Exactly!

Canada did something similar, as well. But the Conservatives pulled it back pretty hard and it was only ever geared at being support for the poor rather than being an economic boost across the income spectrum.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2014, 04:14:38 PM »
And the evidence that this preceded their rise up the demographics rather than followed it is? Because all of those things applied to both Jews and Chinese-Americans for much of the 20th century.

Moreover, let's look at some specific evidence. 80% of the US Jewish population live in a mere 10 states with 20% in New York and the surrounding suburban areas alone. Within those states they are highly concentrated in the metropolitan areas and even then tend to concentrate in a few specific metropolitan areas. Likewise over 40% of Chinese Americans live in California alone with another 40% living in a four other states and over 80% living in a mere 32 counties. "Ghetto" would be a very pejorative word to describe that but both the Jewish and Chinese-American populations tend to live in a few concentrated municipal areas.
I strongly suggest you look at the rest of that sentence before you object to what appears to be a single word in it. As to your request for evidence... can I see some evidence that the repeal of these laws preceded early shifts in cultural attitudes toward these groups? I'm actually rather curious about the specific timing here, but this is the sort of detailed-but-vaguely-defined question I have trouble researching.

I suggest you look at opinion pieces of twitter whenever the Israeli/Palastinian conflict bubbles up for the way that "Jew" and "Israeli" (let alone "Israeli Government") are used interchangeably. Here's a quick example of a pretty influential journalist saying that the actions of the Israeli Army represent the actions of an individual British Jew. I'd also check twitter for the way the internet reacts when Israel hits the news... the #Hitlerwasright and #Hitlerdidnothingwrong tags don't trend because no-one uses them. I'd also pay attention to how often references to "typical Jew" appear in the wake of any financial impropriety by a Jewish banker or the like.
And Stormfront doesn't exist because nobody goes there - but that doesn't mean it's representative of the broader culture, does it? I explicitly stated that I'm not saying that discrimination doesn't exist, just that it is not part of the systemic structure and broadly-held values of modern society.

On the Chinese-American front in 2010 we had politicians supporting ad campaigns that conflated Chinese Americans and Chinese while arguing that Chinese Americans would celebrate and thank American politicians for taking jobs out of America and giving them to China.
Um. That ad doesn't mention Chinese Americans. Like, at all. It also didn't exactly pass without comment - it was widely criticized for being, y'know, super racist. The Hoekstra ad drew even more criticism, probably due to its much wider audience. In fact, literally every example I can find of a politician who ran anti-Chinese racist ads in 2010 lost. What does that tell us about how society in general receives these messages?



Well, Ephiral. In the hands of private nonprofits and American households in America there is approximately $65,000,000,000,000. The top 10% of the nation control a whopping 75% of it's money. That's $48.75 trillion dollars. Shouldn't be too hard to get 7 trillion out of that.

The money the 10% make over $400,000 per year (single filing, jointly it's pushed to $450k) is taxed at 39%. There are just about 40 million Americans in this bracket. Average earnings hit right around $1.3 million each. So that's $900,000 taxed for an additional 31% for $279,000 additional income for each of those 40 million Americans (Average). That's enough to hand out $30,000 to 372,000,000 people. (279000x40,000,000=11,160,000,000,000/30,000)

America only has 320 million people in it. Most of them aren't adults, yet.
With that data in hand, I'd say it's a great idea, once there are some anti-inflation measures in play as part of the plan. The adult population as it stands, BTW, is approx. 242 470 820 - this is where I got the 7.2 trillion figure from.

Almost Exactly!

Canada did something similar, as well. But the Conservatives pulled it back pretty hard and it was only ever geared at being support for the poor rather than being an economic boost across the income spectrum.
This is something I'd be interested in hearing more about, as I've only ever seen welfare/income assistance positioned and deployed as a minimal social safety-net measure - and I can tell you right now that the barriers to getting it can be considerable.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2014, 04:30:29 PM »
Ack! "Most of whom aren't adults" should have been "Many of whom" Complete mistake on my part and I apologize to anyone confused by it.

And yeah, the money's there if we're willing to access it. We could even get rid of some of our social support systems to free up cash in the government's coffers and then add more cash with the increased tax revenues.

Cyprus, France, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK all have GMI (guaranteed minimum income) under one name or another.

But most of those presume the person is unemployed and looking for work, rather than boosting the middle class, as well. I don't know all of the details involved, but I do know that most of the nations on that list also use Socialized Healthcare.

Oh wow. That's another thing to consider! Health Care costs in the US are constantly increasing because of the medical debt of people who cannot pay for their treatment. We pay billions every year on that problem. With GMI in place those people could get some decent health insurance, especially with the Affordable Care Act, to offset the cost. While it probably wouldn't lower any of the costs, now (because capitalist greed is a powerful thing), it would make increasing rates less powerful.

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2014, 04:39:15 PM »
I think what Steampunkette is trying to get at is something similar to Guaranteed minimum income like in some European economies.  While there are many benefits to this type of system, and I think it's actually a great idea, I don't see this coming to the US anytime soon.

It sounds much closer to Basic Income; Guaranteed Minimum Income basically just "tops up" the income someone would get to what the state sees as an acceptable level (frequently around what would be earned doing a full-time minimum wage job) and is subject to certain conditions while Basic Income simply gives people the money.

Quote
Consortium: You're kind of right. Though I did mention that we need to maintain price controls to keep profit on individual item where it is, but increase the total number of items sold. Kind of something I only mentioned briefly but it could definitely use further discussion.

That strikes me as pretty impracticable.

First, demand (let alone need) isn't infinite. Once you buy one high end stereo, why do you need a second? How many cars do a family need (and also note that you'd be driving many low end car manufacturers and second hand dealers out of business because with an extra $30 grand a year in your pocket why go or a low end car when you can have a Mercedes... especially as Mercedes prices would have to stay the same)? How much food does each family need to buy? Etc etc.

I'm also not sure it would work out quite like you envisage. To use a simple example there's a factory that produces widgets. It's a very egalitarian factory and pays each and every worker $25,000 a year. It makes a 10% margin on each widget it produces; i.e. if a widget is sold for $1 it cost $0.90 to make (including all costs). Widgets are sold wholesale to shops who make a 5% margin (so if they sell for $2 then $1.90 goes into the various costs)

Now, if we take that example and apply it to the most basic level of price control (the price has to remain the same) and add in each person getting $30,000 a year then it starts to fall apart. If you're being given $30,000 a year regardless of whether you work or not and if prices are remaining the same then what's the incentive to work at a widget factory for eight hours a day to not even double your income and have relatively little impact on your quality of life? Why not just sit around or do something you find more worthwhile, be it charity work, writing, painting, making music etc etc? So the widget factory would have to offer more money in wages to get people to come to work... and let's remember a 10% wage rise still means they earn less for working a 9-5 then they do for simply being born. You'll very quickly see that 10% margin be massively reduced if not disappear entirely. And if the margin disappears then why bother to make widgets in the first place... you're just losing money. The same goes to the shop that buys the widgets wholesale... it has even less of a margin to work with and so is even more likely to survive an increase in costs. Thus no-one makes widgets and no-one sells widgets... so what happens if you need a widget?

There's a reason that historically price controls have been followed by shortages.

If we take the second option and say that the price can change but the profit has to remain the same then I don't see you how prevent inflation; as costs increase the 10% margin at the factory and 5% margin at the shop both increase, prices creep up and eventually inflation renders the $30,000 increase negligible. If we say that we view profit as an absolute figure rather than a percentage then you get a combination of both effects coming in; the price will still increase which creates inflation but with the profit margin becoming dramatically reduced it makes less and less economic sense to bother to make widgets or sell them.

This is probably worth a different thread; it's a rather separate topic to the legacy of oppression one that opened this discussion.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2014, 04:44:57 PM »
It sounds much closer to Basic Income

Yes, that's the term I was looking for.  Despite its implausibility in the US at the moment, it is something that may garner support from people on several points of the political spectrum.  Social welfare programs can effectively be removed, simplifying much of the red tape and expenses of government bureaucracy. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2014, 04:52:05 PM »
As to your request for evidence... can I see some evidence that the repeal of these laws preceded early shifts in cultural attitudes toward these groups? I'm actually rather curious about the specific timing here, but this is the sort of detailed-but-vaguely-defined question I have trouble researching.

You made the assertion... it's up to you to support it.

My argument is that both Jews and Chinese-Americans went from an underclass to battling for the top of the demographic rankings without anything external but the removal of discriminatory laws. I can support that by pointing to the improving demographic rankings and the repeal of laws. You allege that the cause of them improving to such a degree was a changing attitude from the white majority; what do you have to support that?

Um. That ad doesn't mention Chinese Americans. Like, at all.

So what, all of the Chinese looking people celebrating Chinese New Year in San Francisco were actually Chinese and not Chinese-American? It uses a video of Chinese New Year in San Francisco as the backdrop to "as they say in China... thank you". That's not even subtle enough to be considered a dog whistle, it's flat out blatant

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2014, 05:02:36 PM »
You made the assertion... it's up to you to support it.

My argument is that both Jews and Chinese-Americans went from an underclass to battling for the top of the demographic rankings without anything external but the removal of discriminatory laws. I can support that by pointing to the improving demographic rankings and the repeal of laws. You allege that the cause of them improving to such a degree was a changing attitude from the white majority; what do you have to support that?
Um, no. In order to prove your assertion, you would also need to demonstrate that there were no other factors, and you're the one who opened with that assertion. Given the difficulty in proving a negative, maybe you want to walk back that part? I stated that the improving attitudes and increasing percieved whiteness of these groups was a factor in their improving status, not the sole cause.

So what, all of the Chinese looking people celebrating Chinese New Year in San Francisco were actually Chinese and not Chinese-American? It uses a video of Chinese New Year in San Francisco as the backdrop to "as they say in China... thank you". That's not even subtle enough to be considered a dog whistle, it's flat out blatant
I'm sorry, I didn't recognize San Francisco from a three-second clip of a random street. I wouldn't exactly say that's blatant - what part of the target audience do you think would recognize it? - but I'll give you dog-whistle.

You ignore the point that this ad lost - society got a chance to weigh in and said "no thanks". Are you conceding that?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2014, 05:16:09 PM »
I'm not an economist, so it's entirely possible that I'm mistaken here, but would your proposed system not just lead to colossal inflation until that "free money" was eaten up by inefficiencies in the system and the net result was no change? 

EDIT:  Ignore me, I suck.  Missed the discussion on this above.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 05:17:54 PM by Kythia »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2014, 05:18:44 PM »
Gonna have to break this one down into sections.

It sounds much closer to Basic Income; Guaranteed Minimum Income basically just "tops up" the income someone would get to what the state sees as an acceptable level (frequently around what would be earned doing a full-time minimum wage job) and is subject to certain conditions while Basic Income simply gives people the money.

Right! That is what I'm looking for. Basic Income.

That strikes me as pretty impracticable.

It definitely could be, but we've shown the math to -get- that Basic Income is sound and would just require reverting top-tier taxes to their Pre-Reagan state.

First, demand (let alone need) isn't infinite. Once you buy one high end stereo, why do you need a second? How many cars do a family need (and also note that you'd be driving many low end car manufacturers and second hand dealers out of business because with an extra $30 grand a year in your pocket why go or a low end car when you can have a Mercedes... especially as Mercedes prices would have to stay the same)? How much food does each family need to buy? Etc etc.

Yes... and no. How many people would buy the high end stereo is an important factor, there. If we're talking about the majority of the population living under the poverty line under crushing debt then most of that $30k is going to go to securing one's stability. Housing, food, utilities... And that's pretty much it. Minimum Wage living puts you right above the poverty line but it's not like you have cash to throw around after that point. Sure someone could live, with modest comfort, at the poverty line indefinitely, but if they ever hope to improve their lot in life or supply a better life to their family or friends then they're SoL.

A lot of people in this nation skip meals or don't eat for multiple days in a row because they can't afford to put food on the table. Basic Income would give them that ability. High end or luxury items would still be exactly that. They'd just be slightly more attainable by people working to improve their lot in life.

A Person who makes $25,000 a year will not be able to afford a Mercedes Benz with Basic Income added to it. At least, not if they want to pay off all their bills, cover debts, put food on the table, and enjoy some nights or weekends out partying or enjoying themselves. And those who forgo simple pleasures in favor of getting a Benz are still working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks out of the year to afford a new car (assuming they get any vacation pay).

Though, really, it's kind of silly to talk about people working over 28 hours a week on minimum wage, since most every company that employs minimum wage employees keeps them part time to avoid having to pay for any benefits. There's a lot of different angles to consider beyond supply and demand.

I'm also not sure it would work out quite like you envisage. To use a simple example there's a factory that produces widgets. It's a very egalitarian factory and pays each and every worker $25,000 a year. It makes a 10% margin on each widget it produces; i.e. if a widget is sold for $1 it cost $0.90 to make (including all costs). Widgets are sold wholesale to shops who make a 5% margin (so if they sell for $2 then $1.90 goes into the various costs)

Now, if we take that example and apply it to the most basic level of price control (the price has to remain the same) and add in each person getting $30,000 a year then it starts to fall apart. If you're being given $30,000 a year regardless of whether you work or not and if prices are remaining the same then what's the incentive to work at a widget factory for eight hours a day to not even double your income and have relatively little impact on your quality of life? Why not just sit around or do something you find more worthwhile, be it charity work, writing, painting, making music etc etc? So the widget factory would have to offer more money in wages to get people to come to work... and let's remember a 10% wage rise still means they earn less for working a 9-5 then they do for simply being born. You'll very quickly see that 10% margin be massively reduced if not disappear entirely. And if the margin disappears then why bother to make widgets in the first place... you're just losing money. The same goes to the shop that buys the widgets wholesale... it has even less of a margin to work with and so is even more likely to survive an increase in costs. Thus no-one makes widgets and no-one sells widgets... so what happens if you need a widget?

Really simplistic examples fall apart super fast. that's not a surprise. But let's get into it, anyway. You can work at a Widget Factory and pull down $55,000 a year or you can not work at a widget factory and make $30,000 per year. You'll have to make the choice to stop hanging out with work friends and disconnect yourselves from their lives, ignore the time and energy and emotional investment you've put into the company, and all other considerations to do it, but you could give up that $30,000 a year "Raise" and instead get a $5,00 a year "Raise". Sure.

And, again, I point to the ability to get the money you need to improve your life, pay off your debts, and work towards a brighter future for yourself, your family, and your friends.

The key component to your example is, as it has ever been, that the factors presented are the only factors that are important to the worker's decision. Well... that and the terribly wrong conceit that $25k a year isn't worthwhile to someone making just above poverty level wages. "We're asking you to work the same amount as before for the same amount as before and you'll have even more money, too" does not equate.

And even when you do find these "Lazy" people that your premise pushes for, our unemployment rate is high enough that people from all over the nation would scramble to make widgets because they WANT $55,000 a year instead of $30,000 a year. And that's not even touching on the Migrant Workers who would be ecstatic beyond reason to get into a factory rather than traveling from location to location picking plants in the hot summer months.

The premise itself is flawed because it doesn't consider all of the variables involved. It assumes that no one wants more than to live on the absolute minimum level of money.

There's a reason that historically price controls have been followed by shortages.

If we take the second option and say that the price can change but the profit has to remain the same then I don't see you how prevent inflation; as costs increase the 10% margin at the factory and 5% margin at the shop both increase, prices creep up and eventually inflation renders the $30,000 increase negligible. If we say that we view profit as an absolute figure rather than a percentage then you get a combination of both effects coming in; the price will still increase which creates inflation but with the profit margin becoming dramatically reduced it makes less and less economic sense to bother to make widgets or sell them.

You're still hanging on to that flawed line of reasoning. Yeah, situations with price controls have historically been met with inflation and shortages. But you're looking at nations with 1/10th the economic power of the US. Often with about 1/3rd it's population or less. Would there be shortages in the short run? Probably. Really it's almost definite. Wal-Mart doesn't stock each of it's stores with shitloads more product than it currently sells, though it has the ability to increase the throughput at a moment's notice through a massive fleet of trucks. Wal-Mart could afford, however, to constantly restock it's stores with absolutely ridiculous quantities of product, day after day after day. And would be able to access even more product to put on it's shelves with the increased spending.

America has massive surpluses of basically everything. Especially food and other basic necessities. We ship overseas and throw away massive amounts of food because we can't sell it all. And it should be noted that this paycheck wouldn't be a $30,000 check with your tax returns, but a $570 check mailed out weekly (or $1,140 mailed out once every two weeks). How much of that would be immediately turned over for rent, McDonald's, electric bills, medical bills, student loan debt, and more?

This is probably worth a different thread; it's a rather separate topic to the legacy of oppression one that opened this discussion.

Maybe. Feel free to open one and we'll discuss the implications. <3

Kylie: Price controls. One of the concessions made in my previous post was to institute in initial price controls, something Lassez Faire capitalism couldn't abide. Then Consortium brought up the above points.

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2014, 05:55:16 PM »
Um, no. In order to prove your assertion, you would also need to demonstrate that there were no other factors, and you're the one who opened with that assertion. Given the difficulty in proving a negative, maybe you want to walk back that part? I stated that the improving attitudes and increasing percieved whiteness of these groups was a factor in their improving status, not the sole cause.

Well, no.

What I actually said... and you quoted this so you should remember... was:

Quote
In pretty much every measurable way outside of employment rates (where the Jewish rate is slightly lower than the US average, although that is largely considered to be due to an aging population) US Jews are in a better position than non-Jews. And this came about not by specific or deliberate actions but simply by repealing the discriminatory laws that had once impacted on the Jewish community.

There were no specific or deliberate actions taken to overcome the "legacy of oppression" that Jews or Chinese Americans faced and the only formal measure that occurred was the repeal of discriminatory legislation. You said:

Quote
I would say it has more to do with shifting cultural definitions.

and

Quote
There was a shift in societal perception of these groups, granting them access to some or all of the benefits of white privilege.

(And considering the fact that these groups outperform non-Jewish whites across the spectrum shouldn't that rather change the concept of "white" privilege; if we're using the video game "easy mode" analogy then being born Jewish or Chinese American in the US turns it to "very easy").

This claim is presented utterly unsupported by evidence and when I asked for some you asked me to disprove you rather than provide some yourself. If you want to assert that the reason... or even one of the reasons... behind this improvement was that there was a change of attitude by the majority which pre-empted the improvement then you need evidence to support it not simply go "prove me wrong!".

I'm sorry, I didn't recognize San Francisco from a three-second clip of a random street. I wouldn't exactly say that's blatant - what part of the target audience do you think would recognize it? - but I'll give you dog-whistle.

The shop signs being in English wasn't a clue? Or the fact that one of the central foreground figures is black (not exactly a large population in China even in Guangzhou)?

You ignore the point that this ad lost - society got a chance to weigh in and said "no thanks". Are you conceding that?

40% of voters supported him in that election... that's hardly a ringing endorsement by society. Todd Akin, he of "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" fame, got a lesser share of the vote during his election... does that mean that society at large got a chance to weigh in and now there are no issues with rape, rape culture, abortion or sexual consent? In fact if we're using the fact that a candidate lost an election as evidence that society got a chance to weigh in and say "no thanks" then a huge number of racist and homophobic politicians have lost elections... does that mean that society has rejected racism and homophobia?

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2014, 06:17:45 PM »
Well, no.

What I actually said... and you quoted this so you should remember... was:
See the bit about "simply by repealing discriminatory laws"? That was what I was challenging. This is saying that their position was achieved by challenging the laws and nothing else. I'll withdraw my argument about shifting social attitudes (though I still hold it as a hypothesis) as I really can't dig up a lot of concrete material right now, but that still leaves you with the burden of supporting this assertion.

The shop signs being in English wasn't a clue? Or the fact that one of the central foreground figures is black (not exactly a large population in China even in Guangzhou)?
In a three-second clip where the focus was elsewhere, half of which had a massive graphics overlay? No, sorry, it wasn't.

40% of voters supported him in that election... that's hardly a ringing endorsement by society. Todd Akin, he of "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" fame, got a lesser share of the vote during his election... does that mean that society at large got a chance to weigh in and now there are no issues with rape, rape culture, abortion or sexual consent? In fact if we're using the fact that a candidate lost an election as evidence that society got a chance to weigh in and say "no thanks" then a huge number of racist and homophobic politicians have lost elections... does that mean that society has rejected racism and homophobia?
For. Fuck's. Sake. Let me say it again, in large print, in the hopes that it will sink in:

I am not saying that these problems are over.

In fact, I find it rather insulting that you keep putting these words in my mouth despite my repeated repudiation. I am saying that they are not, as a rule, the prevailing attitudes, and that certain groups face far less systemic oppression than other groups, or than they historically did. Racism, sexism, you-name-it-ism are not over - looking at my post history should disabuse you of any possible belief that I think this - but certain subsets of them have passed out of common, actively-held belief by the general populace. Believe it or not, oppression does vary in nature and degree between differing groups.

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2014, 07:45:11 PM »
Yes... and no. How many people would buy the high end stereo is an important factor, there. If we're talking about the majority of the population living under the poverty line under crushing debt then most of that $30k is going to go to securing one's stability. Housing, food, utilities... And that's pretty much it. Minimum Wage living puts you right above the poverty line but it's not like you have cash to throw around after that point. Sure someone could live, with modest comfort, at the poverty line indefinitely, but if they ever hope to improve their lot in life or supply a better life to their family or friends then they're SoL.

But that doesn't correspond with the evidence we have; from roughly 2000 to 2008 as average household income increased so did average household debt. As people earn or are given more money they spend more money and generally not on paying debts down but instead on consumer goods. For the most blatant example of that look at Nauru; during the 1960's and 1970's it had the highest per-capita income in the world due to payments by companies which wanted to use it's natural gas (there's quite an interesting short segment on it here). The problem was that the people simply spent the money, their attempts to save or create a viable income stream were laughable (notably funding the musical flop Leonardo the Musical). As much as we may hope that people may pay down debt the truth is they're unlikely to.

And even if they do pay down debt, what happens when it's all paid off? Average US debt today (including mortgages) is just over $200,000 (note, that only applies to households that have some debt; if you remove the households that don't have any credit card debt for example then the average credit card debt drops from around $15,000 to around $7,200). That means that within a decade of getting $30,000 a year all that debt will likely be paid off and thus the issues about demand rise again.

A lot of people in this nation skip meals or don't eat for multiple days in a row because they can't afford to put food on the table. Basic Income would give them that ability. High end or luxury items would still be exactly that. They'd just be slightly more attainable by people working to improve their lot in life.

The poverty threshold (the point at which all basic needs can be fulfilled) is set at around $23,000 at the moment for a family of four. Even if we say that's too restrictive and it's closer to say $30,000 a family of four with two parents would get at least double that through the $30k a year gift. That's not just putting food on the table; it's giving $30k above that.

A Person who makes $25,000 a year will not be able to afford a Mercedes Benz with Basic Income added to it. At least, not if they want to pay off all their bills, cover debts, put food on the table, and enjoy some nights or weekends out partying or enjoying themselves. And those who forgo simple pleasures in favor of getting a Benz are still working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks out of the year to afford a new car (assuming they get any vacation pay).

A person making $55,000 per year can certainly afford a Benz while still buying food, partying and paying off some debt. Under your plan it wasn't a $30,000 one-off, it was per year.

Really simplistic examples fall apart super fast. that's not a surprise. But let's get into it, anyway. You can work at a Widget Factory and pull down $55,000 a year or you can not work at a widget factory and make $30,000 per year. You'll have to make the choice to stop hanging out with work friends and disconnect yourselves from their lives, ignore the time and energy and emotional investment you've put into the company, and all other considerations to do it, but you could give up that $30,000 a year "Raise" and instead get a $5,00 a year "Raise". Sure.

Why can't you hang our with work friends? I still hang out with a lot of people who work at companies that I used to work at (and who often earn considerably more than me).

While you can find people with what could be described as stereotypical "working class pride" you can also find a lot of people... especially in lower level jobs... who don't care about their employer or work beyond picking up their pay.

Remember, each individual person would earn more than the US national average wage for a household today under the system. With prices being forced to remain the same that means that they get a pretty damn good lifestyle without having to work... and certainly without having to work fulltime.

And, again, I point to the ability to get the money you need to improve your life, pay off your debts, and work towards a brighter future for yourself, your family, and your friends.

But with $30k a year in my pocket I can also get the money I need to improve my life, pay off debts and work toward a brighter future while also getting to spend far more time with my family, indulging my passions, doing creative work like writing, crafting, painting etc, volunteering, doing charity work etc etc.

The key component to your example is, as it has ever been, that the factors presented are the only factors that are important to the worker's decision. Well... that and the terribly wrong conceit that $25k a year isn't worthwhile to someone making just above poverty level wages. "We're asking you to work the same amount as before for the same amount as before and you'll have even more money, too" does not equate.

As above, the poverty level for a four person household is $23,000. Under this system a four person household with two parents and two children would be earning going on three times as much without working. IIRC the individual poverty threshold is around $11,000... again, around a third of what they'd be earning under your system. With prices remaining the same the poverty threshold wouldn't change.

Let's also remember what might not equate; "we're asking you to work a full 40 hour week in a widget factory for less money than you earn simply by sitting there doing nothing."

And even when you do find these "Lazy" people that your premise pushes for, our unemployment rate is high enough that people from all over the nation would scramble to make widgets because they WANT $55,000 a year instead of $30,000 a year. And that's not even touching on the Migrant Workers who would be ecstatic beyond reason to get into a factory rather than traveling from location to location picking plants in the hot summer months.

1) I'm specifically avoiding the talk of "lazy" people because that wasn't my point. Very few people live to work... there's a reason we don't tend to do our jobs for free when off the clock. We have interests and wants outside our working lives; if given the chance to indulge them full time while still earning around three times the poverty threshold wouldn't you be tempted?

2) US unemployment level if 5.9%... that's not a historic low but neither is it particularly high.

3) So if the migrant workers are working at the factory and not in the fields (assuming they do decide to work in the factory to begin with), who's picking pants in the hot summer months? Why would they choose to pick plants in the hot summer months in pretty backbreaking, unreliable labour rather than simply collect their $30,000?

The premise itself is flawed because it doesn't consider all of the variables involved. It assumes that no one wants more than to live on the absolute minimum level of money.

The absolute minimum level of money would be around $11-12,000 per adult; that's enough to put them over the poverty threshold. This is roughly three times that.

You're still hanging on to that flawed line of reasoning. Yeah, situations with price controls have historically been met with inflation and shortages. But you're looking at nations with 1/10th the economic power of the US. Often with about 1/3rd it's population or less.

California's frequent power shortages in the late 90's and early 2000's were at least partially the fault of price controls that meant that it cost more for utility companies to buy electricity than they were allowed to sell it for. Market manipulation (notably by Enron) deservedly gets much of the blame but price controls shouldn't be ignored either; it forced Pacific Gas and Electric Company into bankrucpcy within three years. Likewise one can look at the situation relating to oil in 1973 where the US introduced price controls and was caught out when the wholesale price shot up, leading to huge queues, rationing and rioting.

Would there be shortages in the short run? Probably. Really it's almost definite. Wal-Mart doesn't stock each of it's stores with shitloads more product than it currently sells, though it has the ability to increase the throughput at a moment's notice through a massive fleet of trucks. Wal-Mart could afford, however, to constantly restock it's stores with absolutely ridiculous quantities of product, day after day after day. And would be able to access even more product to put on it's shelves with the increased spending.

What happens when the wholesale price increases? What happens when there's an sharp increase in oil prices and it costs more to get goods to the stores then they make by selling them? What happens if electricity prices go up? What happens when Walmart staff on zero-hour part time contracts earning minimum wage decide that it's not worth working there and don't? What happens when international traders, not bound by these price restrictions, massively hike the costs of imports?

And I thought we wouldn't see a huge increase in spending, with most of the money going on paying off debt?

America has massive surpluses of basically everything. Especially food and other basic necessities. We ship overseas and throw away massive amounts of food because we can't sell it all.

A significant amount of food waste is bought by consumers and then not consumed; it's not all overproduction, it's also overourchasing; people purchasing more food would likely only contribute to that. For example, 33% of the seafood that reaches the consumer is wasted, far more than at the production stage (11%), handling and storage (5%), processing and packaging (5%) or distribution and retail (9.5%). For an even more stark example, 17.5% of all milk that reaches consumers is wasted... vastly more than the 3% lost at production, 0.25% lost at handling and storage, 0.5% lost in processing and packaging and 0.25% lost at retail (i.e spoiled or unsold).

And it should be noted that this paycheck wouldn't be a $30,000 check with your tax returns, but a $570 check mailed out weekly (or $1,140 mailed out once every two weeks). How much of that would be immediately turned over for rent, McDonald's, electric bills, medical bills, student loan debt, and more?

Aren't most of those bills paid either at least monthly (if not tri-monthly) or on a meter system rather than on a weekly or bi-weekly basis? On that account relatively few.

Anyway, back of a matchbox maths.

Average rent in the USA for a three bed apartment is just over $300 a week (although presumably the people we're aiming this at would be living in properties that cost less than the average apartment). Basic utilities are just under $40 a week. Weekly student loan repayments are around $50. Out of pocket healthcare expenses average out at around $60. That combines to $450 leaving $130 for McDonalds and other expenses each week... and remember, that's the average where a huge difference can be made depending on where someone lives for example (a relatively slick three bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Kansas City can be had for $795 a month which averages out to under $200 a week giving an extra $100 to spend).

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2014, 08:21:18 PM »
See the bit about "simply by repealing discriminatory laws"? That was what I was challenging. This is saying that their position was achieved by challenging the laws and nothing else. I'll withdraw my argument about shifting social attitudes (though I still hold it as a hypothesis) as I really can't dig up a lot of concrete material right now, but that still leaves you with the burden of supporting this assertion.

In the early 1900's when most of the discriminatory laws were still in place both Jews and Chinese-Americans were demographically an underclass. As the century progressed these laws were repealed and the Jews and Chinese-Americans improved demographically. Now, with around 50 years of those laws being repealed entirely both have risen to be right at the top of pretty much all the key demographics; income, life expectancy, education etc in a way that they hadn't done throughout the entire previous history of the US when those laws were in place.

That's a supported assertion. The laws were in place; the group were an underclass. The laws were removed; in a short time (in historical terms) they rose to the top of the pile.

Now, the interesting question... and the one that touches more on the thread title and many of the points in the original post is why these two groups were able to throw off their "legacy of oppression" and progress to the top of the demographics once those laws were appealed but why African-Americans (for example) haven't been able to... and why recent African immigrants outperform African-Americans demographically. Jews and Chinese-Americans were oppressed in similar (if not always quite as severe) ways to African-Americans over their history and you'd think that prima-facie African immigrants should face the same legacy of oppression today.

For. Fuck's. Sake. Let me say it again, in large print, in the hopes that it will sink in:

I am not saying that these problems are over.

In fact, I find it rather insulting that you keep putting these words in my mouth despite my repeated repudiation. I am saying that they are not, as a rule, the prevailing attitudes, and that certain groups face far less systemic oppression than other groups, or than they historically did. Racism, sexism, you-name-it-ism are not over - looking at my post history should disabuse you of any possible belief that I think this - but certain subsets of them have passed out of common, actively-held belief by the general populace. Believe it or not, oppression does vary in nature and degree between differing groups.

I don't disagree with any of this.

But antisemitism is alive and well and pretty well ingrained into society at large... again, look at the reaction by non-Jews whenever Israel does something newsworthy and follow twitter (in today's world frequently cited as evidence of "isms"). Or look at these stats produced by the ADL (so admittedly a biased source): 30% of Americans believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than the US and 30% believe the Jews killed Jesus.

And I disagree with your way of supporting your assertion. The fact that a politician who ran a dog-whistle (to be very generous to him) anti-Chinese-American ad lost an election isn't evidence that society as a whole has said no to racism against them when he still got 40% of the vote. And if losing an election where you dogwhistle a particular 'ism is evidence that society as a whole has abandoned that idea then the fact that so many Republicans who made sexist, misogynistic and racist (primarily at Hispanics and African-Americans) comments during their election campaigns lost should likewise mean that those 'ism's are a thing of the past; I think we'd both agree they aren't. 

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2014, 09:10:06 PM »
In the early 1900's when most of the discriminatory laws were still in place both Jews and Chinese-Americans were demographically an underclass. As the century progressed these laws were repealed and the Jews and Chinese-Americans improved demographically. Now, with around 50 years of those laws being repealed entirely both have risen to be right at the top of pretty much all the key demographics; income, life expectancy, education etc in a way that they hadn't done throughout the entire previous history of the US when those laws were in place.

That's a supported assertion. The laws were in place; the group were an underclass. The laws were removed; in a short time (in historical terms) they rose to the top of the pile.
"Simply" is the key problem here, though. Are you saying that nothing else happened that improved their lot? At all? Because that's what that implies, and what I was objecting to.

Now, the interesting question... and the one that touches more on the thread title and many of the points in the original post is why these two groups were able to throw off their "legacy of oppression" and progress to the top of the demographics once those laws were appealed but why African-Americans (for example) haven't been able to... and why recent African immigrants outperform African-Americans demographically. Jews and Chinese-Americans were oppressed in similar (if not always quite as severe) ways to African-Americans over their history and you'd think that prima-facie African immigrants should face the same legacy of oppression today.
Well... for one thing, there hasn't been quite the same cultural shift. There might not be explicit laws against being black, but it's an awfully good way to get shot while unarmed, or to get far more scrutiny from police, or worse sentences for the same crimes, or to be targeted by subprime lenders...

As to the question about African immigrants: I'd argue that transoceanic immigrants from impoverished nations that often have problems with violence are self-selecting for exceptional drive and willingness to tolerate shit conditions. They should be expected, given similar opportunities, to perform above average.

But antisemitism is alive and well and pretty well ingrained into society at large... again, look at the reaction by non-Jews whenever Israel does something newsworthy and follow twitter (in today's world frequently cited as evidence of "isms"). Or look at these stats produced by the ADL (so admittedly a biased source): 30% of Americans believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than the US and 30% believe the Jews killed Jesus.
First: I'm not able to view the article, but if more than one-third of those groups overlap... then they're still a minority in society at large. (Somehow, I expect the overlap is way way higher. Second: I think I'm expressing myself poorly; let me try to put it in other terms. "Jews are bad" is not one of the memes that define and shape US culture. Even if thousands of people express the idea, those people appear to be a minority, and cultural portrayals of Jews and Jewish culture are neutral to positive - the antisemitic stereotypes basically don't turn up in the zeitgeist, except to be mocked. Policy and culture aren't shaped in any meaningful sense by antisemitism.

Now compare this to how black people, as the most obvious example, are handled. It's not hard to find black people portrayed in the media as violent criminals, doing little or nothing productive. Black culture is mocked, undervalued, or decried as harmful. There is active and visible anti-black bias in employment and law enforcement - bias which, in turn, leaves them less able to meaningfully impact the wider culture. Politicians still get elected on dog-whistle platforms about reducing black entitlement and black crime. Laws are being passed to disenfranchise groups of people that just happen to be predominantly black.

That's the shift I'm talking about. Jews were where blacks are once, and they still have to deal with antisemitism - but it's nowhere near as all-pervasive and omnipresent, and it doesn't shape their world to anywhere near the same extent. Hell, if you're going to say "Look at attitudes toward Israel", then I would argue that there's a strong overtone of pro-semitism in American policy.

And I disagree with your way of supporting your assertion. The fact that a politician who ran a dog-whistle (to be very generous to him) anti-Chinese-American ad lost an election isn't evidence that society as a whole has said no to racism against them when he still got 40% of the vote. And if losing an election where you dogwhistle a particular 'ism is evidence that society as a whole has abandoned that idea then the fact that so many Republicans who made sexist, misogynistic and racist (primarily at Hispanics and African-Americans) comments during their election campaigns lost should likewise mean that those 'ism's are a thing of the past; I think we'd both agree they aren't.
We will agree that they aren't because, yet again, I never said any of this - including discrimination against Jewish or Chinese people - was a thing of the past. Again, though, it's not an idea that shapes culture or policy on any meaningful level. And no, one politician isn't definitive - but again, literally every single example that year (and there are multiples on both sides of the US political divide) lost. They literally asked everybody, in a number of places throughout the US, whether someone whose defining aspect was "says bad things about the Chinese" is representative of their values and desires. Every single time, in every single place, the majority said no. If that's not the broader society rejecting an idea, what exactly is?

Offline elone

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2014, 09:27:54 PM »

Now, the interesting question... and the one that touches more on the thread title and many of the points in the original post is why these two groups were able to throw off their "legacy of oppression" and progress to the top of the demographics once those laws were appealed but why African-Americans (for example) haven't been able to... and why recent African immigrants outperform African-Americans demographically. Jews and Chinese-Americans were oppressed in similar (if not always quite as severe) ways to African-Americans over their history and you'd think that prima-facie African immigrants should face the same legacy of oppression today.

This statement to me seems to imply that Jews and Chinese Americans are genetically superior as a group than are African Americans, or are you just saying that African Americans are just naturally lazy and have no desire to raise themselves out of poverty. Also, to think that discrimination against Jewish and Chinese in this country can be in any way similar to hundreds of years of slavery is just wrong.


But antisemitism is alive and well and pretty well ingrained into society at large... again, look at the reaction by non-Jews whenever Israel does something newsworthy and follow twitter (in today's world frequently cited as evidence of "isms"). Or look at these stats produced by the ADL (so admittedly a biased source): 30% of Americans believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than the US and 30% believe the Jews killed Jesus.

To quote any study done by the ADL, even with a disclaimer, is inviting controversy. If there is any group that has no  clear moral compass when dealing with the subject of anti-semitism, they are it. Throwing the anti-semitism card into the game every time someone speaks unkindly of a government's actions is old news.

Also, while there is definitely still anti-semitism in the world, there is also a lot of justifiable criticism of the policies and government of Israel. This does not translate nor necessarily imply anti-semitism any more than criticism of the United States government implies anti-Christianism.

Sorry for getting off track on this thread, but someone had to say something about this.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 09:37:33 PM by elone »

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2014, 09:31:54 PM »
Honestly, I was avoiding the "questioning Israel is antisemitic!" thing because holy shit is that a huge derailing shitfight waiting to happen... which was kinda small-minded and lazy of me. So I'm glad you said it.

Offline elone

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2014, 09:41:39 PM »
Honestly, I was avoiding the "questioning Israel is antisemitic!" thing because holy shit is that a huge derailing shitfight waiting to happen... which was kinda small-minded and lazy of me. So I'm glad you said it.

You are right about that shitfight, it seems to be a taboo subject here on E. Not one word on Gaza. Enough said, sorry for derailing this interesting topic, I have followed every word of it and find it quite interesting.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2014, 10:01:26 PM »
I'm not gonna go into a point by point discussion because it's rapidly becoming obvious that it's not going to help. But here are three notes.

Yes. People who get a WINDFALL are more likely to use the windfall on immediate needs, enjoyment, or securing things they want but normally cannot afford. Look to Tax Returns or Christmas Bonuses, maybe Inheritance or Lottery Wins for an example of what I mean by that. People who essentially get a -raise- don't typically go out and rack up a shitload of additional debt. When it's a consistent amount of money that will not decrease over time they are more likely to treat it in a completely different manner. And sure, people took on additional debt from 2000 to 2008. I wonder if that might have anything to do with the predatory lending practices that collapsed the housing market and wiped most of those people out?

Yes. Apartments on average don't cost a whole lot compared to the money being discussed. And then you hit big cities and other places with large minority populations and you'll see the prices jump higher for less space, quality, and so forth. Of course all of that is kind of irrelevant since the intent is to help repair economic oppressive structures that have kept people from owning HOMES. Cars. Real Estate. Real Property that gives them further buying power over time through improvements and the ability to apply for liens.

As for the Benz: Credit is important. And sure. Someone who works a 40 hour a week minimum wage job (or more likely two jobs at 20 a week) can afford a Benz... So? That's another debt that will last for 3-7 years (depending on credit rating and such). Shouldn't that be an option? Shouldn't that be something that we look towards? More people having the buying power to help revive the automotive industry? Or is it specifically the idea that only people of a certain "Class" should have new cars of this kind? Even if it is that case, Benzes aren't that much more expensive than Hondas. Low end of a new Benz is right there with the mid-range of a Honda. High end is beyond it but, hey, if someone's willing to spend the money what, exactly is the problem?

It just really seems like you're using a lot of "Well they're poor." in your position. The insistence that 30k is too much, that nice cars or good stereos will be purchased, and 11k is closer to "Right" and I can't help but ask: Why? We are the wealthiest nation on the planet. Why shouldn't our lowest class of people have money and nice things and a good life, just for being Americans?

Homelessness: Severely reduced (There's kids on the street)
Muggings: Severely reduced (People who are desperate attack others)
Prostitution: Severely reduced (People who are desperate turn to it)
Gang Violence: Significantly reduced (People getting out and moving)
Destitution: People would have the money to support themselves and live good lives.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2014, 10:04:01 PM »
Oh. Unemployment. VERY Misleading.

5.9% of people are DRAWING Unemployment Benefits.

Shitloads more are past the maximum limit on Unemployment.

Also 5.9% of the country is 18,644,000 people. That's a hell of a lot of people, no matter how small 5.9% looks.

Offline elone

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2014, 10:25:35 PM »

Homelessness: Severely reduced (There's kids on the street)
Muggings: Severely reduced (People who are desperate attack others)
Prostitution: Severely reduced (People who are desperate turn to it)
Gang Violence: Significantly reduced (People getting out and moving)
Destitution: People would have the money to support themselves and live good lives.

I'm not nearly as optimistic.

Homelessness: Rents raised, housing prices triple. People taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords. Living in their Benz parked on the street.
Muggings: Increased, more people with money to rob.
Prostitution: Becomes a more lucrative profession, more people with money to burn means higher pay.
Gang Violence: Gangs go to better neighborhoods. Drug use increases and gang turf wars increase.
Destitution: People blow their money and are left wanting more. Rioting ensues.

What you haven't accounted for in all of this are human failings. Not everyone is going to be content just because they have more money. Greed would quickly kick in. Actually, this would make a good novel, could be either wonderful or disaster.