• Top Ten Favorite Films
    I thought of a few more:

    The Limey (Soderbergh)

    The Insider (Michael Mann)

    Both 1999.
  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    Check out Kore-eda Hirokazu if you haven't seen him: Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Shoplifters.SophistiCat

    Indeed I will—appreciated!
  • Chess…and Philosophers

    We’ll all be DEAD before we finish this game…
  • The Shoutbox
    I have this recurring dream where I’m looking for a small Italian pizza place in Boston. I never find it but I know the menu: pizza by the slice, calzone, homemade bread, pastries.

    Anyway, I realized today that it’s an amalgam of two small North End shops: Galleria Umbertos and Parziales. Anyone been to either? Fantastic.
  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    And here’s one probably no one has seen which I liked a lot: Coupe De Ville.
  • Top Ten Favorite Films
    Not sure if anyone mentioned Bicycle Thieves. Great movie.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    Yeah what’s hilarious is that it isn’t even done for comedic effect. This is how he wants his worshippers to see him: Superman.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Just the damage done to the environment for 4 years under his administration should get the chair.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    Yep. The list of Trump’s crimes grows. Will he be prosecuted? Probably not.

    Funny to watch the super-objective people who screamed endlessly about Hillary Clinton’s emails suddenly care about “presumption of guilt propaganda.” Lol
  • Finding Love in Friendship
    Can't love develop from friendship?RBS

    Friendship is the ideal, I think.
  • Chess…and Philosophers
    Pawn to g4.

    My best move yet.
  • Chess…and Philosophers


    There's no easy way that I see to do so.
  • Chess…and Philosophers
    @Hanover has dropped off the face of the earth. No move for over a day.

    I’ll assume concession. :wink: :chin:
  • Deaths of Despair

    The “opposition parties” you speak of didn’t exist then. Because neither they nor Labour nor the democrats nixed subsidies or bailouts— from Reagan to Thatcher to Blair to Clinton to Bush and Obama.

    In Friedman’s free market fantasies, perhaps things could have turned out well — who knows. Pretty much reduce the government to enforcers of contracts and private property laws, perhaps the military. It's never happened, so it's a nice story to tell while the ruling class transfers $50 from the working and middle classes to themselves over 40 years. Same with claims about "socialism" and communism and Marxism, incidentally -- it's a nice story to tell as you implement varying degrees of state capitalist policies, whether in Russia or China or Cuba or Sweden. But what Marx advocated for has never been tried.

    Of the two, I opt for what socialism always meant: worker control of enterprise. Democracy through and through, including at work. Pretty simple.

    adopt the principles of their enemiesNOS4A2

    Again -- what principles? There's rhetoric, sure. Based on real policies, however -- no different than anyone else. But not only did they "steal" the rhetoric, they implemented the neoliberal policies I've referred to. Clinton is a prime example. He didn't just steal the "government is the problem" slogan ("The era of big government is over"), he got NAFTA through and deregulated industries far and wide -- from telecommunications to Wall Street.

    So it beggars belief that all roads lead back to someone like Friedman or Hayek or… Pat Buchanan?.NOS4A2

    Yeah, but no one is saying all roads like back to Hayek or Friedman. Their ideas were very useful to the neoliberal assault, and they approved of a great deal of it.
  • Deaths of Despair
    So while it tried to steal the idea of free markets from their opponents, it retained the collectivism and statism, and that’s where we’re at today.NOS4A2

    Oh you mean the "opponents" that run to the state for bailouts and subsidies at every turn? Those statists and socialists?

    Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were neoliberals. Obvious from their policies. The rest is your own strange semantic contortions and residual Cold-War era fear of communism, apparently.
  • Deaths of Despair
    The big mistake about the neoliberalism theory is that it puts people like Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Obama, and Biden among its ranks.NOS4A2

    It's not a mistake, it's a fact. We don't have to guess about this, either: just look at the policies. There's a long record of it. The "third way" has always been vague window dressing.
  • Deaths of Despair
    One possible objection you could bring up is that what we live under right now would be more akin to "managerialism" than "neoliberalism."LancelotFreeman

    What do you mean by managerialism? That's also a term used for the period prior to neoliberalism in some quarters. I think I know what you mean though -- it's often called the "9.9%" (rounding off the top 10% but not the .1%). There's plenty of truth in that. But what I'm referring to with "neoliberalism" is a set of policies. Whether it's the managerial elite or capital elite is another story, and one I'd gladly discuss.
  • Deaths of Despair
    Is it being abused because of neoliberalism, or because people want it?Ciceronianus

    Is this serious?
  • The Economic Pie
    Directors that issue more dividend, will more readily be appointed later on in their career and a managerial culture is established as a result. Succesful directors are those that generate the most profit but nobody reviews how those profits come about and whether it reduces the capacity of the company to absorb shocks or basic long term fitness.Benkei

    Yes indeed. And no one reviews exactly how much of the profit is being distributed back to shareholders in dividends (or buybacks). But it's this part, in my view, that accounts for why, in (A) an age of soaring profits, (B) real wages continue to stagnate, jobs are cut, benefits are reduced, the gig economy of precarious work grows, poverty grows, debt grows, etc.

    How can (A) and (B) be simultaneously true? Where's all the damn money going? That's the question I tried to highlight in the Economic Pie thread.

    The second reason is that the labour movement in the US simply seems to have been crushed. It hasn't helped that labour unions were related to organized crime and their political power has been related only to work with one political party, but not much with the dominating party.ssu

    I tend to think this is one of the biggest reasons for the corporate takeover of government. They destroyed what was once a labor party -- the democrats. That's why destroying the unions was so high on Reagan's priorites. With the unions demonized and decimated, and the labor party out of the way, here begins the era of the Washington consensus. Both parties now take on this ideology (Clinton, e.g.), just as the New Deal-type ideology of "regimented capitalism" was adopted by both parties in the post-war era (Eisenhower, Nixon).

    Some recent favorites on these topics:

  • Chess…and Philosophers
    This Ne5 move I’m not entirely sure about, but I’m going with my instincts
  • Deaths of Despair
    I doubt that government efforts to ban or limit the purchase of guns or opiates will be successful, so I don't see deregulation as the source of their prevalence. Here in God's Favorite Country, we love our guns and our drugs and those of us who want them will find a way to get themCiceronianus

    The states with greater gun regulations, like here in NE, have far less mass shootings. Had the large pharmaceuticals been better regulated, it is unlikely we’d have the opioid crisis.

    To say we love our guns and drugs isn’t much of an argument. It means nothing can be done, because it’s just human nature or what people “really want,” so becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Similar arguments are made about transitioning to electrification— “people love their cars and furnaces.” Never gonna happen, because “human nature.”

    But many of these desires have been deliberately manufactured by the industries that push for their deregulating.

    As for guns our freakish regard for the Second Amendment will always stand in the way of effective regulation.Ciceronianus

    The second amendment was only interpreted as it is in 2008. Not long ago. That itself is also an affect of neoliberalism, as is the depression that arises from years of neoliberal policies that have destroyed the working and middle class.

    There are reasons why we’re an outlier in so many areas. And it’s not because the populace is stupider or more susceptible to painkiller addiction or anything like that. It’s a matter of how our society functions, how it’s structured and organized. In short, it’s largely a matter of public policy.

    I’d also add that blaming communism isn’t close to blaming neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is simply the policies I mentioned, which are as real anything. Nothing conspiratorial about it.
  • Deaths of Despair

    No. But feel free to say something relevant.
  • Deaths of Despair
    But gun control laws have steadily increased over time, not receded.NOS4A2

    Your source is?

    Oddly enough a number of laws making schools a gun free zone came into effect in the early nineties, right before the modern phenomenon of school shootings rose precipitously.NOS4A2

    This doesn’t affect the number of guns nor the ease at which they can be attained.

    I cannot see that deregulation has occurred, much less by any avatars of neoliberalism.NOS4A2

    The AWB was allowed to expire in 2004, and that was already very weak— for example. You’re also overlooking the role of the courts, particularly the Heller case and its affects.

    The NRA and right wing media have been in bed with gun manufacturers for years— lots of money in it. This has contributed to the push to loosen regulations. Even state regulations are being struck down by the courts.
  • Deaths of Despair
    I’ve just want to know of a single neoliberal policy that has led to a single death of despair, which for some odd reason includes mass shootings.NOS4A2

    Despite my feeling that you’re being disingenuous, since it’s a legitimate question I’ll try again:

    Neoliberal policies include tax cuts and deregulation. Deregulation is a policy. I don’t think that’s controversial.

    If you’re with me so far, the connection becomes clear: the lack of regulation on guns has resulted in, predictably, a massive number of guns — more in number than any other country and more per person than any country except Yemen (I believe). That’s a real effect, a result of doing nothing — nothing about controlling guns. Less regulation of guns, more guns in circulation. We see this in various state policies as well.

    More guns, as the article I cited mentioned, summing up the research, explains the prevalence of mass shootings.


    Neoliberalism = deregulation
    Deregulation = more guns
    More guns = more mass shootings

    That’s one connection.

    The other connection involves mental health during the neoliberal era. Which we can discuss too, if we’re serious.

    Also: if we don’t like “death of despair,” fine. Call it what you will. I don’t see many happy, healthy people commit mass shootings, but so be it.
  • Deaths of Despair

    Excellent idea! Why don’t you two geniuses go discuss it together? :ok:
  • Deaths of Despair
    Note: imagine thinking deregulation has zero effects, and isn’t a policy. :lol:
  • Deaths of Despair
    Regarding mass shootings and guns, for those interested:

    Perhaps, some speculate, it is because American society is unusually violent. Or its racial divisions have frayed the bonds of society. Or its citizens lack proper mental care under a health care system that draws frequent derision abroad.

    These explanations share one thing in common: Though seemingly sensible, all have been debunked by research on shootings elsewhere in the world. Instead, an ever-growing body of research consistently reaches the same conclusion.

    The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.

    Notice the graph at the top. Really says it all.

    But we mustn’t let that stop us from denying it, because admitting it’s guns could somehow undermine our religious beliefs in the magic of free markets and that government can do no good.

    Also, regarding the stupid NRA talking point about the Swiss:

    You want a gun in Switzerland even after you finished military service? Fine, but you have to apply for one and get a license unless you want a hand bolt-action rifle or a multi-barreled hunting rifle– in which case you do not need a license.

    So, let’s say you are Swiss, you have military experience, and now you want a real, thoroughly lethal gun, not a multi-barreled hunting rifle that’s good for bringing home venison, and also, you’re 18 or older: Can you pack heat without a bureaucratic problem?

    Here for the Swiss, unlike Americans, regulations are quite a bit more finicky. Not only are you supposed to be criminal record-free in order to get a gun, but you also must be deemed unlikely to cause harm to other Swiss. Local police who have doubts about a prospective gun owner’s well-being (or even those who are assured of the same but worry nonetheless) may and sometimes do ask local psychiatrists or friends about an applicant’s mental state or alcohol and drug use.

    Also, that gun license, even when approved, is only valid for a maximum of nine months, and applicants are allowed only one weapon. Period.

    That’s right. Twenty semi-automatics are unlikely to find their way into the basements of Swiss adolescents. So if the NRA wants to point to Switzerland, it needs to tell the whole story, please…

    Guess government regulation really does work. Hmm…or wait, if it does it means it’s not a policy— or something.
  • Deaths of Despair
    It should be easy to name one neoliberal policy that contributed to just one school schooling.NOS4A2


    Deregulation is a policy and a choice.Mikie

    it is that I find politics often descend into bias, emotional appeals, and tribal warfare.Philosophim


    The rest of the internet is flooded with such posts, and I do not want to see it infecting these boards here as well. Please, continue to be provocative! But, also try to make the post philosophical and not a general political statement.Philosophim

    Eh — Anyone who knows anything I’ve written over the last 4 years knows I’ll get into the topic more thoroughly, provided they’re serious. I don’t do provocative threads too often. But notice that it quickly flushes out the simpletons. That’s worthwhile to me so as not to put much effort into them in the future.

    In any case, your point is taken.
  • Deaths of Despair
    No neoliberal policy or lack thereof put a gun in anyone’s hand, I’m afraid.NOS4A2

    Yeah, it’s a complete mystery that we have more school shootings than any country on earth. Nothing to do with policies. Maybe it’s ectoplasm.

    Go back to sleep.
  • Deaths of Despair
    To be clear, you are interested in laying the blame for something that pre-dates these policies on these policies. Got it.Pantagruel


  • Deaths of Despair
    This thread is specifically about deaths of despair and their roots in the aforementioned (neoliberal) policies.
    — Mikie

    Which is why I referenced anomie again (and again).

    And which is why I’ll reference, again and again, why that’s completely irrelevant. I’ll do so as long as it takes. I’m not interested in hand-waving, I’m interested in REAL POLICIES.

    Sure, maybe spiritual decline, nihilism, degradation of norms and values, “anomie,” etc., are interesting. We can make up a story about why neoliberalism exists and how the “real” reason is attributable to anomie or anything else. That’s not the topic.

    How does a government impact your life without a policy?NOS4A2

    Ask the families whose kids died in one of the many school shootings we have.

    Deregulation is a policy and a choice. It’s the choice to let industry do whatever they like, with obvious outcomes.
  • Deaths of Despair
    By deaths of despair I mean suicides, including mass shootings, and drug overdoses . . . . . it’s fairly obvious to me based on common sense and the evidence: it’s the guns.
    — Mikie

    Guns cause drug overdoses?

    School shootings, for example. Unlike any other country and unlike any other time in American life.Mikie

    Sure, we can claim there’s no answers to why this is the case, but it’s fairly obvious to me based on common sense and the evidence: it’s the guns,Mikie

    Not sure why you’d want to deliberately misquote me like that.
  • Chess…and Philosophers

    Should be a slow one. @Hanover has yet to accept my challenge. :brow: