Some people like to argue that more economic inequality is a good thing, because it is a "natural" byproduct of capitalism in a world of "makers and takers," "winners and losers," "wolves and sheep," [insert your favorite Manichaean metaphor here]. However, too much inequality is deleterious for both economics and politics -- for reasons that are intertwined.
Those who amass exorbitant wealth often increasingly use a portion of their gains to capture politics. While the mythological promise of trickle-down economics is that we must not have progressive taxation, because giving more money to the already wealthy is the only way to spur economic investment and innovation and create jobs -- in actual fact the majority of tax cut windfalls go to stock buybacks, offshore tax havens, regulatory capture, political lobbying, and campaign donations. All this is a runaway amplifying feedback loop that tilts the playing field further away from equal opportunity, social mobility, and democratic...
First, we have to go all the way back to the Enlightenment Age to remember the profound historical rift opened up between Emotionality and Rationality -- a divide that still rages fiercely in our politics today (even moreso of late, as it is consciously being stoked by Bad Faith actors both externally and internally).
Next, we look at how Emotionality has been aggressively gendered since (at least) then: women are the emotional sex, we've been told. Men are the rational, cool-headed arbiters of the Best Decisions -- mythologically, after long periods of research, praxis, and careful deliberation.
This allows the impulsive, cowboy, "Men of Action" strain of political derring-do to pass by largely unexamined as maintaining Rationality -- even when the only commonality between the two paradigms is often the possession of a Y chromosome. In other words, typically men get to appear rational even when acting impulsively, while women have no such culturally-accepted Emperor's New Clothes...
Have seen a lot of moving speeches in my time, but @Emma4Change silently weeping for 6 minutes and 20 seconds in front of a million people on the DC Mall is the most profound thing I’ve seen in some time #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/zaWC0Km0gq— barb dybwad (@doctorparadox) March 24, 2018
Youth activism has long been a venerable historical tradition in America -- from the Civil Rights movement to the anti-war Vietnam protests, to the Parkland school shooting survivors today. In all three of those examples, the moral force of the group's argument was buttressed by the very real stakes of their own lives in the balance.
These young people have more gravity and poise than so many of their elders -- particularly those whose inaction the activists deplore. Maybe this generational churn has a common feeling -- a tinge of status quo complacency, lazy corruption, and entitled hubris on the part of the so-called leaders of civil society; a groundswell of optimism, bravery, stre...
If -- as the #2A crowd is wont to say -- the 2nd Amendment is meant as preserving a citizen's right to have firepower on hand to stop an oppressive domestic government, then it would follow that the 2nd Amendment would want individual citizens to possess nuclear technology -- otherwise, the federal government easily has a monopoly on the use of force. Our handguns, rifles, and even semi-automatic stockpiles are nothing in the face of the United States' nuclear arsenal.
However, we don't see anybody seriously advocating for the position that individual people ought to have the right to nukes in their homes (and possibly concealed carry?!). Why? Because it is at that point in the thought experiment that the absurdity of the #2A argument is unmasked -- that at some point there is a limit as to how much power to do violence the average citizen needs, so as not to overburden and endanger the safety and security of its citizens. Too much violent firepower threatens the safety and liberty...
* Abusive of others for pleasure
* Unreasonable sense of entitlement
* Rigid and intolerant
* Cold; callous; lacking in empathy
* Lacking in conscience; feels justified to any action to achieve one's goals
* Sees others as enemies
* Avoids taking responsibility
* Lacks integrity
* Over-inflated sense of self-worth
* Overconfidence; tyrannical righteousness; absurd moral authority
* Extreme hypersensitivity when slighted; persecution complex
* Black and white thinking; general extremism of belief and behavior
* Prone to concrete thinking, vs. abstract thinking
* Resents authority
* Poor morals
* Hypocritical; holds others to standards one does not meet oneself
* Blame shifting
* Lack of object constancy -- have trouble seeing people as complex entities worthy of consideration
* no concern for coherency of thought, or consistency of value system
* Treat people like appliances, expecting them to perform to their ...
For the daily Brush Burning Index, 165 or higher is extreme.
The value of that index tomorrow (Thurs) in Los Angeles is an incredible 296, the highest it's ever been.
These scenes from the 405 today are unbelievable (CNN has some intense video as well). That's my daily commute -- seeing those hills completely engulfed in flame looks terrifying. That major artery serves some 500,000 vehicles per day (and it feels like at least 450k of them are *definitely* during my commute) -- the one other time it's been closed since I've lived here was such a citywide event that it had an official name: Carmageddon.
In actuality, it was a breeze to drive on Carmageddon -- especially going east to west on the 10. No one was out that day -- we got from Culver City to downtown in about 10 minutes. Today was a different story -- I can only imagine that, in addition to looking like a literal hellscape, it was a severe nightmare to be getting anywhere in the city today. I'm grateful that our office...
Money's value is as an exchange medium.
The more concentrated the money becomes, the less it is being exchanged.
When less money is being exchanged, the economy grows more stagnant.
If the economy continues to grow more stagnant, recessions typically take hold -- and deflationary pressures begin to realize the underlying devaluation of the currency and reflect that by lowering real purchasing power.
Suppose one person manages to hoard all the money (essentially this is the condition of Gini Coefficient = 1). Then, money is worthless. It ceases to have any exchange value.
Sadly this thought experiment isn't as extremist or far-fetched as one might think, considering the stats:
The three wealthiest individuals in America own more than 50% of the domestic populationThe eight wealthiest individuals in the world own as much as half the entire planetAnd this doesn't even begin to broach the topic of how overly concentrated money affects political power...
While we wring our hands in the United States over whether or not such a strategy is even conceivable, the erstwhile President of Russia has been running this playbook out in the open in Ukraine and Eastern Europe for some time. With help from Propagandist-in-Chief Vladislav Surkov, Putin has leveraged the open secrets about the psychology of crowds we learned in the late 19th and early 20th century to stir up emotional antagonisms within the political spectrum -- to predictable results.
It's no accident that fascism is on the march in America. The conditions have been brewing for some time, predominantly since the Conservative movement began breaking away more militantly from democratic principles and towards authoritarian philosophy (elite rule by force: preferably invisible force via economic hegemony for the middle and upper classes, and violent force / the carceral state for The Undesirables) in the late 1970s and 1980s. All Putin had to do was make use of available prevaili...
Considering your thought patterns and style of interacting with the world, which set of traits seems to characterize you more:
InternalizerExternalizerBelieve it's up to you to change thingsExpect others to do it for youMentally active; love to learn thingsImpulsive and reactive; take action before thinking about things, to blow off anxiety quicklySelf-reflective; learn from mistakesAvoid self-reflection; rarely use mistakes to learn how to do better next timeSolve problems from the inside outAssign blame to others; believe if others would only give you what you want, your problems would be solvedSensitive; try to understand cause and effectInsensitive; prefer to forget and move onSee life as opportunity for self-developmentFirmly attached to the idea that things in the outside world need to changeWork hard to cope with realityStruggle against reality, often by attempting to avoid itInstinctively take responsibility for solving problems on your ownFeel that competent people owe you...
There are (at least) 2 sides to every transaction or interaction. Every time someone narrows the frame to eliminate all but one position, they are either:
a) intentionally attempting to manipulate the conversation in a particular direction, to influence the outcome in a way that favors their preferences (propaganda)
b) deficient in the empathy required to understand a different valid position (or possibly even to understand that there are different valid positions)