• dclements
    493
    To give the devil his due, my hunch is it (discrimination against the poor) isn't intentional/deliberate - it can be likened to crime, but not organized crime if you catch my drift.

    Again, like I've always said, the flaw is in the system and not the people. Can you blame people for taking bribes if their salaries/pay ain't enough to make ends meet?
    Agent Smith
    How can you be sure that it isn't like organized crime in that there is a active conspiracy among certain wealthy people to undermine those that are either poor and/or the working class. I'm not an expert in US history but there has been times when certain business/corporate interests have mobilized much like a small military to undermine those that work and have actively harassed/killed those that have tried to do things like form unions/take actions for worker rights.

    West Virginia coal wars
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_coal_wars
  • dclements
    493
    "The only war is the class war." The rich get richer by making the people poorer.

    Workers create wealth through the various processes of their labor. The owners collect a portion of the worker-created wealth and keep it. The workers retain enough to maintain themselves, but not enough to become (even remotely) rich.

    What about social and economic mobility?

    There is some social and economic mobility in capitalist countries within the working class. Education, skill acquisition, brains, luck, hard work, thrift, and cooperative financial institutions can enable one to move up the economic ladder, but only a few get from the working class into the top tier of wealth. Home equity is one way many families have achieved upward economic mobility. However, there are numerous social and economic institutions making that upward mobility possible.

    Post-1930s depression-era legislation and post-WWII programs created a lot of the opportunities that enabled many families to accumulate wealth. Without billions invested in road and infrastructure construction, without billions made available to finance the suburban boom (in the 1950s and 1960s), without FHA and VA loans, without expanded college education opportunities, a lot of upward mobility wouldn't have happened.

    We like upward mobility, but there is also downward mobility, a less cheerful topic.
    Bitter Crank

    I agree.
  • dclements
    493
    There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."
    ~Warren Buffet (2006)

    Interview 2015:

    and Thomas Piketty (synopsis)


    ↪dclements I'm an economic democrat, so ... :mask:
    180 Proof

    :up:
  • Tate
    1.4k
    The mistaken belief that the common good is arithmetic, nothing more than my interests plus or minus the interests of others.Fooloso4

    It's worth noting that the American taxation system is presently reinforcing wealth disparity. Only a fool would let an anarchist paint them into the corner of arguing for a malicious system.

    The way to avoid that is: don't focus on the anarchist, focus on your own values (if you have any moral compass at all) and don't give in to the temptation to stray from what you know is right.

    Only choose allies who maintain their integrity so you don't accidentally end up on the wrong side of history.
  • dclements
    493
    You only just worked this out?Banno

    No, I have more or less know this for some time. It has only become more painfully obvious for some time.

    We live in a society that often tries to brainwash us into believing that anyone that wants to live the American dream can do it, while if you look at the facts it shows that around 50%-66% of the population either live near or below the poverty level - and this is true of even those that are working a full time job.

    And what makes matters worse is that even though Americans are more productive and working harder than any other time in history, US standards of living are constantly getting worse ever year.

    So much for Reagan's "Trickle Down Economics" where helping out the rich was supposed to help but the rich and poor at the same time.
  • dclements
    493
    It has become more apparent as the working poor have lost their economic power, and the social welfare gains of the C20th are rolled back. But don't worry, it's all going to get much worse.unenlightened

    The question I wonder about is HOW much worse it has to get before more people realize what is going on.
  • dclements
    493
    Another day a government failure, another call for the government to fix it. By now we’ve relinquished so much social power, and converted what little responsibilities we used to share with one another into state responsibilities, that I fear it’s too late to do anything about it. So far gone are we that we now pretend voting for this-or-that politician or this-or-that piece of legislation is tantamount helping The Poor, even though politics and charity are wildly divergent activities.

    The problem with the class war idea is that it isn’t true, and worse, pegs as good or evil one who may be the opposite—it’s unjust. Better to approach the blame game on an individual basis, to witness if one helps the poor or not, rather than making such determinations from which tax bracket or party they occupy. I wager you’d be surprised.
    NOS4A2

    I could be wrong but many of our current problems are not all that new. In a many ways the issue of "class warfare" has been going on since about the start of the industrial age which I think was about 1850. Because it isn't a new problem, it is plausible that measures taken in the past to help worker rights might hold some insight into what might work today in order to restore some of our rights.
  • dclements
    493
    Class war is very real and very damaging to the world. Don’t pay attention to those who pretend it doesn’t exist — they’re unwitting puppets for pure tyranny. Always have been.Xtrix

    I agree.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    The question I wonder about is HOW much worse it has to get before more people realize what is going on.dclements

    I can tell you the answer, but you're not going to like it. People will starve, they will get on the train to the extermination camp, and they will die by the million still believing in their religion, their country, their government and its ideology, and still convinced that they themselves, or Johnny Foreigner are to blame.
  • dclements
    493
    Here are a couple videos/links on this subject:

    Mother Jones - It’s the Inequality, Stupid
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph/

  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    ... don't focus on the anarchist, focus on your own values (if you have any moral compass at all) and don't give in to the temptation to stray from what you know is right.Tate

    This, in my opinion, is part to the problem. It presents it as if it is simply a matter of competing values. Each side believes it knows what is right. Ranks are closed. Information is treated as if it is polemic and handled selectively.

    It has become a form of vicious relativism. Once a point of attack and contention against the "left" by the "right", it is now standard practice on the right, albeit cleverly disguised as championing the truth. It is perpetuated by an acceptance of the belief that the mainstream ("lamestream") media is the enemy of the people. Thus, a significant part of the population is ignorant of what is going on. Or, to the extent they do know, they dismiss it as spin. They have their own sources of news and information, which provide the comforting illusion that they and they alone are informed of the real truth.
  • dclements
    493
    "Collectivism" as if it's a bad word. Lol.Benkei

    I agree. I could be wrong but it seemed like during the Cold War, those in power in capitalist countries like the US were a little more careful in how they treated their workers perhaps out of fear that if socialist ideas spread too much in Western countries it might tip the balance of power a little more in Russia's (and it's allies) favor.

    However since the end of the Cold War in certain Western countries values have changed and the powers that be that control the media likes to tell us that the only social/economic model that works is capitalism, even though there has never been (nor can there really ever be) "pure" capitalism since people in power use their resources to manipulate the system to make it do whatever they want it do at any given time.

    If I have learned anything from studying philosophy and history is that when one ideology is considered the only thing that "works" (like Abrahamic religions before the modern era), people often become more simple minded and are less objective than they would be otherwise.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    don't focus on the anarchist, focus on your own values (if you have any moral compass at all) and don't give in to the temptation to stray from what you know is right.
    — Tate

    This, in my opinion, is part to the problem. It presents it as if it is simply a matter of competing values. Each side believes it knows what is right. Ranks are closed. Information is treated as if it is polemic and handled selectively.
    Fooloso4

    Focusing on your own values is relativism?
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    Focusing on your own values is relativism?Tate

    That is not what I said.
  • dclements
    493
    The idea of class war need not demonize the rich but only describe a tendency of the rich to maintain their luxuries and privileges at the expense of outsiders. Indeed, the poor are often encouraged to emulate the class consciousness of the rich. One way to clean my own room as a shrewd prole is to form free associations with other such proles and do what the rich do, team up explicitly in order to better squeeze politicians for tax money, protections, and privileges.Pie

    But what is the rich you are describing are acting like demons? Has anyone ever said we shouldn't demonize people like Hitler, the Nazis, or Putin and the Russians?

    It is almost a given that whenever the poor/working class "team up" in order for them to better themselves (and have more leverage with those that they work for) those in power put them down as fast as they can. If you don't believe me read up on the West Virginia coal wars where those that owned the coal mines would employ "security forces" that would often go around killing and terrorizing any workers that dare stand up to them.

    West Virginia coal wars
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_coal_wars
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    It was their property. One edict was even called “Decree for the Reporting of Jewish-Owned Property”.NOS4A2

    Well then why did you ask? I'm no historian. I made my position quite clear. Property is determined by law. So if you say it wasn't a law then it was their property. But in that case, I'm baffled as to why you mentioned it.

    My argument is that it is immoral to take from othersNOS4A2

    So no returning of stolen goods? No legal resolution of land disputes (just fight it out?), no use of communal resources...?

    That my money was given to me for services rendered is enough to know that it is mine.NOS4A2

    So tax taken by tax code prior to you receiving your wage packet is OK? It's just the method you're bothered by?
  • dclements
    493
    I'm not sure but the days of making big money through exploitation are over i.e. the rich-poor gap is increasing alright but by other, more benign, more honorable, methods. What these are is currently beyond me, but the bottom line is the rich have nothing to be ashamed of, conversely the poor have nothing to complain about! :snicker:Agent Smith

    I disagree. One of the easiest (if not THE MOST EASIEST) to make money today is to find a way to exploit others. By either making others feel like they are not worth anything (or in some way a substandard citizen or human being), one is able to make them live/work in conditions that they would not be willing to deal with otherwise. And even if you can't make them believe as you want them to you can always either violence or the threat of violence in order to make them behave the way you want them to.

    It has been going on since the beginning of civilization and will likely continue to go on for the foreseeable future. Western civilization has been built on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised and it will continue to be that way since it seems to be the easiest/profitable way for those in power to run things.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    That is not what I said.Fooloso4

    I misunderstood then. Earlier in this thread, NOS4A2 manipulated Isaac into saying that a Nazi attack on Jews was ok.

    Amorality on the part of the majority is, in large part, responsible for wealth inequality. So I link Isaac's questionable moral compass to the problem.

    If everyone stuck to their moral guns, the world would be different. We don't do that, though. We value strength over morality. Even leftists do that, as this forum demonstrates.
  • dclements
    493
    Pretty sure fiat currencies are owned by the government anyway. So technically all of NOS4A2’s money is the government’s. If he doesn’t want them taking any of their money back then he should manufacture his own goods and barter them for the things he needs.Michael
    You are partly right, the money in our pockets are merely "IOUs" from the government and they are only worth something if the government and other powers that be say they are worth anything. At any time they can either print out so much currency that the money in your pocket isn't worth anything, or take the money through either taxes or other means.

    Also if one is labeled a "enemy of the state" any wealth/property can be confiscated through one of several means. Most private citizens don't really own any real wealth or other resources that can not be taken away in a blink of an eye if they do something that either the government and/or some other power disapproves of. It is also a given that even "if" you are a person in good standing and have a little more wealth then others, you can be charged with fictitious crimes and/or sued into bankruptcy until you have nothing.

    Any US citizen that likes to think they are an island unto themselves and could survive whatever the government or someone with power throws at them is just fooling themselves. In reality, they are on a leash just like the rest of us are, and with one little yank of the rope they would be force to come to heel just like any of the rest of us would have to.
  • Isaac
    8.5k


    Just to clarify. The capital levy appears to have been made law, so it turns out the property did legally belong to the Nazi government.

    Confiscatory taxation of Jewish property took mainly three forms. The first was a tax on migration. Introduced already before 1933 to stem capital flight, it was changed in 1933 to impose a 25% wealth tax on all wealth transfers out of Germany beyond a lowered threshold. Furthermore, large parts of a migrant’s remaining domestic assets were credited to a blocked account at an affiliate of the Reichsbank, Germany’s central bank at the time, and only a fraction would be converted into foreign exchange (e.g. Drecoll 2011). Jews applying to emigrate would automatically be treated as being suspicious of attempted tax avoidance, creating the strongest incentives not to understate declared asset values (Bajohr 2001). This could also imply that assets sold to non-Jews under duress at below-market prices were still assessed at book values for the purpose of calculating the migration tax. Table 1 collects the data and calculates an effective tax rate on migration, which combines the nominal tax rate and the transfer quota until March 1938.

    The second form of confiscatory taxation was a capital levy on Jewish wealth imposed in 1938 after the annexation of Austria. Earlier the same year, all Jewish assets had been registered with the local tax office. As with the migration tax, assessment was at book values according to the tax code to prevent undervaluation. The capital levy was first set at 20% and later increased retroactively to 25%, as the intended revenue target was originally not met. Based on its revenue, the implied net value of Jewish assets in 1938 would be 4.5 billion Reichsmarks, a value also cited in the 1947 source underlying Table 1. In a study of Jewish dispossession in Austria, Junz (2002) finds a slightly lower value of 4.3 billion Reichsmarks.

    A third form of confiscatory taxation consisted two further levies. The first targeted the proceeds from the foreclosure of remaining Jewish businesses, imposed after the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938. The second consisted in the final transfer of all previously confiscated liquid assets to the central government budget under an executive order of November, 1941. Table 2 lists all fiscal dispossession in Germany excluding Austria after March 1938.
    Albrecht Ritschl Professor of Economic History, LSE
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k


    There are various forms of relativism. If we reject the idea that there is an absolute moral authority that determines right from wrong, good from bad, that is accessible to us, then the alternative is some form of relativism. This differs from "vicious relativism" in that it does not treat all moral claims as equally valid or invalid or dismiss them as undecidable.

    If everyone stuck to their moral guns, the world would be different.Tate

    To what end? A shootout?

    Anti-abortion advocates are not only sticking to their guns. They have an array of weapons and are using them effectively, ignoring the collateral damages.

    Is it just coincidence that they frame both abortion and gun control in terms of the sacrosanct need to protect the unprotected?
  • _db
    3.6k
    I'm wondering if anyone else on this forum has similar opinions and/or feels that there is some kind of "class warfare" going on where some of the rich and powerful are trying to undermine the poor and disenfranchise who should be getting help but are not.dclements

    Jane Mayer documents this in her book Dark Money. TLDR: in the last few decades, enormously wealthy billionaire dynasties (the Kochs, for instance) in America have financed countless political action committees, think tanks, lobbying campaigns etc in an effort to abolish government intervention in a ludicrous right-wing libertarian "free-market" capitalism that could easily be described as fascist.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k


    Yes. But don’t expect them to read Mayer. That’ll screw up the very neat “Government is the problem” mantra.
  • dclements
    493
    Jane Mayer documents this in her book Dark Money. TLDR: in the last few decades, enormously wealthy billionaire dynasties (the Kochs, for instance) in America have financed countless political action committees, think tanks, lobbying campaigns etc in an effort to abolish government intervention in a ludicrous right-wing libertarian "free-market" capitalism that could easily be described as fascist._db

    I added it to Amazon wish list and will but it when I get the chance. :D
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I'm wondering if anyone else on this forum has similar opinions and/or feels that there is some kind of "class warfare" going on where some of the rich and powerful are trying to undermine the poor and disenfranchise who should be getting help but are not.dclements

    As things stand, the demagogues propped up by a segment the rich and powerful acting purely out of self-interest have managed to recruit a significant portion of the poor to their cause. It is the age old story of the demagogue posing as savior. It is, however, risky to scapegoat the rich and powerful, since they are behind the demagogue. It is the "elite" who are held up as the problem even though it is a group of elite who attack the elite.

    It is relatively safe to attack the elite as opposed to the rich. The only thing they are in danger of losing is their elite status, which is exactly what they require in order to scapegoat others like themselves.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    If everyone stuck to their moral guns, the world would be different.
    — Tate

    To what end? A shootout?

    Anti-abortion advocates are not only sticking to their guns. They have an array of weapons and are using them effectively, ignoring the collateral damages.
    Fooloso4

    Abortion is an exception to the rule. We generally agree on moral principles like: it's not right to ignore people in need. There's a whole philosophy behind ignoring that duty.



    Capitalism did something amazing. It took the old aristocracy out of the picture and made everyone equal under the law.

    Immediately, a new aristocracy appeared. They have shaped public opinion to support their agendas.

    I think the system needs a revision that will only come when some event breaks the power of the reigning aristocrats.

    Will a new elite immediately appear after that?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Abortion is an exception to the rule. We generally agree on moral principles like: it's not right to ignore people in need.Tate

    Nonsense. Even abortion can be rendered down to an agreed moral principle (don't kill innocent people), or expanded out to a disagreement (don't terminate a foetus).

    You can make basically any moral rule sound universally agreed by simplifying it, or you can explain disagreements by considering the details. All it reveals is the intentions of whoever is doing the comparison.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Capitalism did something amazing. It took the old aristocracy out of the picture and made everyone equal under the law.Tate

    :rofl:

    Sorry…but this is amazing.

    A nice fairytale for kids.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    Abortion is an exception to the rule.Tate

    Is it? There is a great deal of unresolved disagreement: We cannot even agree on the status of moral principles let alone what they are.

    I think the system needs a revision that will only come when some event breaks the power of the reigning aristocrats.Tate

    They are not aristocrats. They are plutocrats.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.