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I figured out the problem with America

Posted Over 1 Year ago by mariomguy

- Everyone has healthcare
- Jobs pay well
- Taxes low for those who can't pay
- Deficit decreased
- Electricity during winter

...I figured out the problem with America. People don't want this.

There are 52 Replies


Virtually everyone wants this save for those who actually own and control us.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

I think the thread was tagged for the thread title, which I've changed so the thread can ride.

Also agree with pacman here.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

pacman is right for sure.

Over 1 Year ago
RikaxNipah

I mean, we need electricity all year round, not just during winter. Texas and the surrounding region are especially hurt by the lack of it in winter because they don't have the infrastructure for actually cold and weather-filled winters. But I mean, in a year of a pandemic where a lot of people are having to work or school from home, electricity (and for that matter, quality internet) are clearly essential year-round.

Deficit, I don't care much about. It really doesn't matter anywhere near as much as deficit hawks like to say. And your average American almost certainly doesn't spend much time thinking about it outside election years where candidates pretend like it's a huge deal.

As for the rest, the problem isn't so much that Americans don't want this things. It's more they don't necessarily want everyone to have it, too. (This isn't universal, but clearly, some folks want everyone to have access to health care or decent jobs more than others.)

Over 1 Year ago
Jet Presto

If people want everyone to have healthcare, why are they supporting politicians who literally don't? Biden promised a public option for people below 138% the poverty line, and now he backed out and kept Obamacare the way it is. Trump and Republicans campaign and get elected to get rid of healthcare for people. In my state you won't get any help with healthcare if you earn too much from your job, and that seems to be the case for Obamacare all over.

There is literally a BATTLE right now in Congress over raising the minimum wage to $30k a year, which is still not enough to afford rent and food. Why are people still supporting these politicians?

The whole point of raising taxes on the wealthy is because right now billionaires pay less share than poor people. New tax laws are designed to reverse this trend and close loopholes, and Bernie's bill to do that was declined by a supermajority in the Senate.

Deficit goes up under Republican Presidents, goes down under Democratic ones, and would plummet under Progressive policies. We'd actually save tons of money switching to single payer and enacting some of these policies.

And finally, Texas voted to privatize their electric grid, deny federal regulations, and split off from the interconnect, so Texas literally can't get any help if there's ever a problem. It's the modern equivalent of burning bridges.

While Democrats are partially responsible for some of this, Republicans are responsible for all of it. People will continue to vote Republican and pretend the consequences aren't there.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

People don't want this.


I'm pretty sure anyone sane wants what you're describing.

If people want everyone to have healthcare, why are they supporting politicians who literally don't?


Because they're supporting politicians for other reasons instead, such as lower taxes for those who can't pay or jobs that pay well.

There is literally a BATTLE right now in Congress over raising the minimum wage to $30k a year, which is still not enough to afford rent and food.


Depends on the area. 30k here is very comfortable.

The whole point of raising taxes on the wealthy is because right now billionaires pay less share than poor people



The tax rate for their bracket is HALF. Not sure how they're paying "less share" than the people who get refunds every year.


Deficit goes up under Republican Presidents, goes down under Democratic ones


The deficit has consistently gone up with every administration since bill clinton. Starting in the obama years we've had "government shutdowns" used politically as well, and every time congress decides to raise the spending cap again.

Personally I don't know why we have a "deficit" concept in the first place. If the government actually followed the constitution and printed its own currency it would be irrelevant. The focus would change to preventing too much inflation, which is a much saner concern.

And finally, Texas voted to privatize their electric grid, deny federal regulations, and split off from the interconnect, so Texas literally can't get any help if there's ever a problem.


Texas is a separate issue. I'll cover it in the other thread.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

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Over 1 Year ago
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While $15 is an ok starting point, I really think minimum wage should vary based on cost of living in a given area. In many major cities, one might need $17-$20/hr bare minimum just to survive, while in many rural areas you can work 40 hours a week at $10-$12/hr and live comfortably. Either way though, the $7.25 federal standard is ridiculous anywhere in the country.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

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Over 1 Year ago
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I'm pretty sure anyone sane wants what you're describing.

:|

Because they're supporting politicians for other reasons instead, such as lower taxes for those who can't pay or jobs that pay well.

So, they won't vote for politicians to raise wages, because they think lowering taxes is better? Newsflash, if wages are raised taxes can go down because more people can afford to pay, and more money will end up in higher brackets.

Depends on the area. 30k here is very comfortable.

Over here, good luck finding rent for less than $1200 a month. That's $14,400 a year.

The tax rate for their bracket is HALF. Not sure how they're paying "less share" than the people who get refunds every year.

Billionaires can claim losses and donations, and move their money to offshore tax havens. Despite having billions, they often end up paying less than 3% tax.

The deficit has consistently gone up with every administration since bill clinton.

Surplus during Clinton. Skyrocketing debt under Bush. Obama drove the deficit down, but screwed up with the bailout. Trump raised it up again.

...depending totally on where you live and what kind of accommodations you're seeking. I make significantly less than 30k per year, but I live in a nice place and I eat good food - and I even live in a metropolitan satellite area. I'm actually doing really fucking good with less than 30k yearly.


Well, you're lucky. Rent alone costs half of a $15 annual minimum wage, full time, and such jobs are incredibly rare. More often people work two part time jobs at $10 an hour and live with roommates because that's still not enough. Florida voted overwhelmingly to raise wages, but for some stupid reason we can't seem to vote for Presidents or governors or senators or congressmen that support the same thing.

Median cost of US house 2009 - $180,000
Median cost of US house in 2019 - $285,000

Either way though, the $7.25 federal standard is ridiculous anywhere in the country.

Not only are the poverty guidelines completely out of touch, but the minimum wage is already below those out-of-touch guidelines. Republicans counteroffer? Increase the minimum wage to $10 over the next few years. In some states the minimum wage requires working constantly and not ever sleeping or taking off or taking a break in order to afford an apartment without any taxes or any other bills. Dear lord. There isn't even a state in the country that has a minimum wage as low as the federal minimum. Republicans don't want people to get help from social services, and they don't want jobs to pay them. What is even the point of their entire party, then?

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

$13,000 covers mortgage and HOA. $3,500 annually for food. Rounding $500 for electricity, $500 for water, $1,000 for internet, though water is lower and electricity is higher. Cell phone costs $500 annually. Car insurance costs $1,200. $1,650 annual healthcare premiums, around $1,000 annual healthcare expenses. Other benefits add another $500. Total living expense before tax comes to $23,350 just for the basics, and I got a freaking steal on this place. Only paying $77,000 mortgage.

This does not include ANY extraneous expenses. For a person to live in my location, $11 an hour before tax literally does not cover it. $15 an hour would add $650 a month, and if you have car or house or child expenses it would be eaten up by that. Again, all of this is before income tax. Median income tax rate is 23%.

When you add 23% to the bare minimum cost of living, you get $13.80 an hour, full time, no breaks. This is no savings, an absolute steal on the location, likely splitting cost of a real house with 4 people, bare bones living. $15 an hour will not get you a good life, it will get you bare minimum living. Our grandparents got $18 an hour across the nation if you scale their minimum wage and cost of living to today. Scaled by business productivity it's $23. And Congress is having a fit over $15.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

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Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

What's that supposed to mean? The reality is minimum wage cannot afford you a living in any state in the country.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

U.S. culture is too individualistic and only cares about their own personal freedoms,

Over 1 Year ago
ShadowFox08

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Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

So, they won't vote for politicians to raise wages, because they think lowering taxes is better?


No, they're voting for politicians for a variety of other goals. And they don't have your particular opinions on how to accomplish those goals.

Billionaires can claim losses and donations, and move their money to offshore tax havens. Despite having billions, they often end up paying less than 3% tax.


Yeah there are some loopholes to taxation (such as reinvestment) -- however those don't exclusively apply to billionaires.

Surplus during Clinton. Skyrocketing debt under Bush. Obama drove the deficit down, but screwed up with the bailout. Trump raised it up again.


Looks like we're both wrong:



You're wrong about bush and obama, I'm wrong about clinton.

Rent alone costs half of a $15 annual minimum wage, full time, and such jobs are incredibly rare. More often people work two part time jobs at $10 an hour and live with roommates because that's still not enough.


Where the heck do you live? We have those kinds of wages here too in georgia, but the rent is saner (~700-800$).

There isn't even a state in the country that has a minimum wage as low as the federal minimum.


Most of the southeast (including my state) is like that:



Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

U.S. culture is too individualistic and only cares about their own personal freedoms,

I think the problem is more with brainwashing.

I'm not sure how you're confused about what I said.

You said that 30k isn't enough for rent and food. I make significantly less than 30k. I have rent and food, both of good quality.

Perhaps there are some places in the country where people can afford a living on less than 30k. But not everyone. Minimum wage can't afford you a living in any state, and $15 is barely enough to afford a living in many states.

No, they're voting for politicians for a variety of other goals. And they don't have your particular opinions on how to accomplish those goals.

I get it, they don't like abortions, they love it when FBI terrorists are able to purchase guns and ammunition without any regulations, and they especially love it when poor people die because of our crappy healthcare system that overcharges everyone up the ass. But why would the party of personal responsibility want to make it harder for people to earn a living from working?

I'm sorry, but you don't just vote for the one issue, you vote for the whole package. And if the package includes things you don't like, you need to vote for someone else. Because people continue to make excuses and vote for terrible leaders, we continue to have terrible leaders.

Yeah there are some loopholes to taxation (such as reinvestment) -- however those don't exclusively apply to billionaires.

But billionaires can take advantage in ways ordinary people can't. They can afford business licenses across countries. They can dump their money in shopping malls and expensive high rises and claim losses. When 70% of Americans don't have $1,000 in savings, these are things ordinary people can't do. The wealthy have exclusive access, and many have called out the double-standard.

Looks like we're both wrong:

No, the chart shows everything I stated quite clearly. Surplus under Clinton, skyrocketing debt when Bush came in office, he took some measures to reduce, but the great recession hit and the economy was in freefall as he was left office. Obama spent 8 years reducing that deficit he inherited from Bush. And he handed a deficit similar to what Bush gave him prior to entering office, and Trump made the deficit rise significantly, and then it all exploded because of COVID, which exasperated under Trump from wealthy tax cuts plus additional 200 billion annual spending on the military and the wall.

Where the heck do you live? We have those kinds of wages here too in georgia, but the rent is saner (~700-800$).

Sarasota, Florida. Most houses are 2-8k/month rent. Options are extremely limited if you're only spending $1,300 a month. If you want to buy, prices range from 200k for a decent small condo, or millions for beachside property. If you do own a condo, HOA fees are frequently $300-$600 additional per month.

Most of the southeast (including my state) is like that:

Yeah, this is a problem. These wages do not reflect the ever-rising costs of living.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

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Over 1 Year ago
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But there is plenty more reason to increase the minimum wage to $15, including the fact that prices are continuing to rise while wages continue to remain stagnant.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

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Over 1 Year ago
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Great. Now we just need to get a majority of districts to agree and we can actually start to lift people out of poverty.

The battle in Congress for $15 an hour is still going on.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Also, how much is your rent? I proved $12 an hour doesn't afford you a living where I live in Florida, I'd be interested to hear prices for other locations.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Virtually everyone wants this save for those who actually own and control us.


Could have ended this thread on first post. I gotta agree with this stance.

Over 1 Year ago
Rika

Um, no. You guys realize there were people on the ballot who supported all this. Howie Hawkins, Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders. None of them won.

The reason we don't have these things is you people don't vote for it. America votes for people like Biden and Trump. America does not vote for people with actual solutions to our problems.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

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Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

Um, no. You guys realize there were people on the ballot who supported all this. Howie Hawkins, Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders. None of them won.

I have voted for Bernie and the Green party. You realize the electoral system and media/propaganda apparatus are fixed in such a way that all but ensures people like that can never win, even when they are the clear favorite as Bernie was in 2020.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Also for elaboration on what CZM is saying, check out Manufacturing Consent by Herman and Chomsky. I believe it is even available in movie form.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Fact of the matter is most Democrats voted for Biden, and most Americans voted against the people who actually supported the policies they need. Fact is we several people on the ballot in 2016 and 2020 that supported single payer healthcare, a livable minimum wage, action on climate change, and pulling out of pointless foreign wars. In both primary and general elections, those people were passed up.

I understand how the system displaces votes and squanders independents, how do you think I feel when I get a survey that basically asks me "OK, so we get you don't consider yourself Democrat, but why do you vote for Democrats anyways?" But when push comes to shove, if there is an option for a third party President, we should take it. It's the only way out of this mess.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

That is my point though. Third parties will never win when they are systemically screwed over. They don't have the same amount of money or corporate backing for bankrolling ads and nationwide canvassing efforts. They are systematically shut out of debates; the one time a third party candidate (Ross Perot) actually polled well enough to qualify for the debates, they changed the eligibility standards soon after. Hell, the third party candidates don't even appear on the ballot in many states.

I would love to see third parties actually become relevant in both federal and state/local politics. But rules need to be changed. We'd need to break up the two party duopoly on a more systemic level. Get money out of politics, eliminate first past the post elections, etc. Simply having a Green party candidate run for president every four years isn't enough to disrupt the system.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

If everyone did internet research on their candidates and platforms before voting, like a normal person, nothing else would matter. People would vote for the people who support the things they want and that's that.

You can blame the system all you want, but no one becomes President without people's votes. I'm gonna stop blaming the system and start blaming the people.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

If everyone did internet research on their candidates and platforms before voting,

You assume every region of the country even has adequate internet/Wifi.


You can blame the system all you want, but no one becomes President without people's votes.

And no one gets votes without exposure/name recognition, unfortunately. And neither Jill nor Howie had either, good as their platforms might have been.

I'm gonna stop blaming the system and start blaming the people.

Presidential elections are not even determined by who gets more votes, though (electoral college).

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

You assume every region of the country even has adequate internet/Wifi.

Most homes have internet. Most phones are connected to the internet. Most children have internet at school. Most adults have access to a library with internet. The few million people who don't have proper internet access will not tip the scale when hundreds of millions of voters can search "2020 candidate platforms" and find all the info they need.

And no one gets votes without exposure/name recognition

Nope. Anyone can search platform and vote for platform. I don't care if the name is recognizable, their platform is better. If everyone researched like me, this mess would be fixed.

Presidential elections are not even determined by who gets more votes, though (electoral college).

But the EC stays faithful to their constituents and have never swung an election. Even with Trump, they didn't swing the election.

Bottom line, these are all excuses for the lack of personal responsibility people are taking with their own votes. If the people of America researched platforms before they voted, all the problems would go away. We cannot fix anything without fixing our people.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Most homes have internet. Most phones are connected to the internet. Most children have internet at school. Most adults have access to a library with internet. The few million people who don't have proper internet access will not tip the scale when hundreds of millions of voters can search "2020 candidate platforms" and find all the info they need.

"Most" isn't all though, and there are more people than you think who simply aren't "plugged in" to online stuff, especially in rural areas. Actually getting widespread broadband to rural areas was one of my favorite oft-unmentioned aspects of Bernie's 2016 campaign, but that is its own separate issue.

Nope. Anyone can search platform and vote for platform. I don't care if the name is recognizable, their platform is better. If everyone researched like me, this mess would be fixed.

Not everyone has the time and energy to do that kind of research though, between things like working multiple jobs, socializing, family, kids and other things. Hell, many people don't even think about politics until they are in the voting booth. I agree we need a better educated populace that does research and can discern facts from dishonesty, but simply saying that this *should* be won't will it into reality. Reeeing at people for not voting for Jill or Howie when they've likely never heard of them (and they might not even have appeared on their state's ballot) is not an effective strategy for obtaining the outcomes you want.

But the EC stays faithful to their constituents and have never swung an election. Even with Trump, they didn't swing the election.

Hillary beat Trump by several million votes. Hillary sucks too obviously, but if we abolished the EC and went strictly by popular vote, Republicans would never win a federal election again, which would likely shift America's overall political paradigm to the left.

Bottom line, these are all excuses for the lack of personal responsibility people are taking with their own votes. If the people of America researched platforms before they voted, all the problems would go away. We cannot fix anything without fixing our people.

Again, I wish it were as simple as telling people to do their research and vote Green. But if it were that easy, it would have happened. I am all for third parties and have voted Green in the past (shoutout to Ralph Nader, an underrated American treasure), but I have watched this shit go on for years and years to no avail. In a recent poll, 60+ percent of the American people agreed both major parties suck and it is time for a new party to shake things up. Yet third parties will never be relevant without election reforms (abolish EC, ranked choice voting, voting rights expansion, money out of politics, etc) and without better political strategy from third parties themselves. The Green Party is great on policy, but when is the last time they tried a 50 state strategy at the state/local level rather than focusing solely on the presidency? Why do we seldom hear from them until election season rolls around? Clearly progressives need better PR and strategizing in order to actually gain public recognition and electoral victories. Again, I will always root for someone attempting the third party route, but the Greens cannot just continue doing what they've been doing and expect that they will magically win eventually.

Btw have you heard of the Movement for a People's Party? It was conceived in early 2017 in the aftermath of the 2016 shitshow, particularly the Democratic primary that year. Seems like something you'd dig, and I think it could pave a new way forward for the populist left and third party politics more broadly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movement_for_a_People%27s_Party

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Also what do you think of ballot proposals at the federal level, so that people would be voting directly on issues rather than individuals? So instead of Candidate X vs. Candidate Y, simply ask "Do you support Medicare for All?" or "Do you support marijuana legalization?" I think you'd find that the people are actually far more progressive when these issues are detached from candidates and partisan politics.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Not everyone has the time and energy to do that kind of research though, between things like working multiple jobs, socializing, family, kids and other things. Hell, many people don't even think about politics until they are in the voting booth.

Well, if people can't take the time to make the right choice, then they deserve what they get. A bunch of corrupt good-for-nothing talking heads. This is the problem with telling people to go vote: if they don't know what they're doing, they will do the wrong thing.

Hillary beat Trump by several million votes.

Now, this is different than faithless votes. Most people in California are Democrats, and California has an overwhelming population. The EC does go against popularity by restricting the maximum influence one state can have. This is another reason why Democrats have Congress, but not the Senate.

Yeah, I do think the EC must go. But that's not the only problem.

Again, I wish it were as simple as telling people to do their research and vote Green. But if it were that easy, it would have happened.

Well, it might not ever happen, but that's not going to make me vote for people like Biden who are right now putting a halt on forgiving student debt and even his own paltry healthcare promises, and is starting wars again.

Also what do you think of ballot proposals at the federal level, so that people would be voting directly on issues rather than individuals? So instead of Candidate X vs. Candidate Y, simply ask "Do you support Medicare for All?" or "Do you support marijuana legalization?" I think you'd find that the people are actually far more progressive when these issues are detached from candidates and partisan politics.

I can't believe Americans are so stupid they won't vote for people who support the policies they want. They deserve what they get.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

I'm not saying it is wrong to vote third party over the Democrats. I am just saying we can't keep doing the same thing over ans over and expect different results. It is useless to whine about how stupid the people are and refuse to re-strategize. If you really want these things, you have to push forward even when you are frustrated with people and institutions. It has never been easy to be a populist, leftist or pro-worker. But the socialists, communists, unionists and anarchists of the early 20th century who helped force labor laws and the New Deal didn't give up on the people, and neither should we.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

I can't believe Americans are so stupid they won't vote for people who support the policies they want. They deserve what they get.

Most people don't vote based purely on policy. They never have historically. Cultural issues, partisan bias, concerns about so-called "electability" and other things all play a role whether we want them to or not.

But if the issues themselves appeared on the ballot, progressive ideals would be better reflected in actual policy than when we are forced into voting for individuals. Just look at 2020. Florida, for instance, went for Trump, yet also voted to raise the minimum wage. People generally know what is good for them if you go issue by issue.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Well then, I have news for you. If people never change their voting habits, America will never have a good President.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

@Riven - Rent in Asheville, NC is basically what mariomguy cited.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

I just saw a not-amazing 1bed1bath apartment listed for $1115/mo and it is market-comparable for the area.

Cost of living increase has faaaar outpaced wage increase in this country.

Over 1 Year ago
Tek Shmansen

Well then, I have news for you. If people never change their voting habits, America will never have a good President.

Electoralism has always been a battle of varying shades of evil in this country. Even FDR had to be pushed into many of his positions by socialists and organized labor, as well as his progressive VP Henry Wallace. And when the establishment started to see that Wallace was a real threat, they forced him out of the vice presidency at the 1944 DNC in favor of party lackey and eventual president Harry Truman. The establishment and corporate interests always find a way. And unless/until we can achieve electoral reform, there will never be a "good" candidate who is viable, because the system will not allow it. They will always find a way to undermine and disrupt even super popular movements and candidates.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

You're completely missing the point. The only, the ONLY reason parties have so much power is because from the very beginning American voters preferred to vote for parties than for President. We always had two dominant parties from the very first election onward. Third parties never won. The smart people never won. And until we get smart voters, they never will.

People prefer subjugation because it's easy, and it's marketed very well. But the truth is no matter how "rigged" the system is, nothing's stopping people from voting for a better President, and they consistently choose not to. Nothing you say will change that fact. This would all be over if people vote different. Gerrymandering would mean nothing if people vote different.

I already have several friends who left the United States over this, and broke off friendships with me for purely political reasons. I've already resigned this nation to the inevitable. Now, there are kids picking up after the voting habits of their parents, conservative televangelists, and white nationalists. We don't teach critical thinking to our students, and we sure as hell don't teach it to our adults. People who watch the news know less about current events than people who don't. And even if you fix every system in the country, nothing will ever change until our people do. And if our people really did want change, I'd have seen it in the voting booth by now.

So nothing else matters. People chose parties over President. They always have, and they always will. And as long as somebody's getting rich, insulin will stay expensive, the military will stay overfunded, people will stay poor and uninsured, and as tax cuts for the rich remain, the deficit will continue to skyrocket. These problems will never be solved, not because there's some mystical hand drawing districts in a certain way, but because of the 122 million people who voted in 2020, only 402 thousand went to a President that supported single payer healthcare. One third of one percent. What the hell.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

I agree we largely have a politically dumb, easily manipulated population, but that is no accident or coincidence. It is pretty much fully engineered in our education policies and reinforced by the mainstream corporate media. My point is, people being uneducated is far from the only barrier we face for progressive reform. Thinking everyone would suddenly vote for the Green Party in a landslide if they were simply "educated" enough is wishful thinking, and thinking a Green Party president could actually do shit with no representation in the legislature is equally naive. The Greens and progressives generally need to rethink their game plan. I mean, Bernie Sanders has done more for progressivism as an Independent infiltrating the Dem party than the Green Party has ever done. Again I am not against third parties, but they clearly need to change their strategy if they ever want to become relevant.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Bernie Sanders hasn't done shit with Democrats. He made his swarm of supporters elect Biden with the promise that Biden will listen, and guess what? Biden's not listening. Biden moved right even on his own paltry campaign promises.

If people elected Greens that would be a different story. This is not hard to do with the internet and searching for the candidates prior to elections. 132 million Americans voted for American Idol. If they can do that, they can elect a decent President. The system won't change until people vote for the change they want to see. And as long as the Green party exists, the option for a positive change is always there.

Stop blaming the system for producing crappy Democrats and Republicans. Blame the people who vote for them.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Bernie Sanders hasn't done shit with Democrats.

He has done more than any politician in the past half a century in moving hearts and minds to the left. M4A, $15 wage, etc. wouldn't even be a part of the national conversation if not for the movement he helped spark in 2016.

That is not to say I don't have my criticisms of him and the other progressive legislators though. While they occasionally score minor victories, they often seem too timid to really challenge established power and differentiate themselves from the corporate Dems.

If people elected Greens that would be a different story.

Issue is, the Greens don't do much as far as canvassing and running candidates at the local and state level. They simply run a presidential candidate every four years and nothing else. That isn't effective strategy, clearly. I like them on policy, but it is clear to me they have no idea what they are doing as far as strategy and ground game. You have to have dozens of candidates running for the House and Senate and dozens more running at the local and state level. In fact it is easier for independent and third party candidates to win at these lower levels. Why don't they ever invest in that? Seems like a missed opportunity imo.

Stop blaming the system for producing crappy Democrats and Republicans. Blame the people who vote for them.

I mean, it is a combination of factors. But I am less interested in attributing fault than in affecting real world change and producing better outcomes. Being whiny and having a superiority complex over people who don't vote the way I want them to is simply unproductive and will persuade no one.

Basically, you can't just sit there and wish people would vote a certain way and then whine and throw a tantrum when it doesn't happen. It requires a coordinated effort and strategy to *make* it happen.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

It's not a superiority complex if it's truly superior. Americans had the chance to vote for a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, reduction of military, action on climate change, 100% renewable energy, and literally everything we want to make life better for everyone AND lower the deficit, but only 0.3% of people voted for it. These are things most people want, but will never vote for. So neither party has any reason to take responsibility. They will continue being corrupt and doing terrible things and people will continue voting for them.

If everyone voted like me, we wouldn't have hundreds of thousands of people dying and millions going bankrupt every year from our healthcare system. It's not a complex if it's true. And the system isn't broken if people have the ability to make change for the better. No, the problem isn't the system. It's the people feeding the system and keeping it alive that feed this system and keep it alive and refuse to supply Bernie Sanders with like-minded individuals or do anything to change it.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

I agree with you to an extent. I agree with your goals, but we need a plan to actually put us in a position to make it all happen. Even if Bernie or a Green Party candidate were president (which is already a long shot), they wouldn't be able to get much done without fair courts and a more progressive legislature. Progress on behalf of ordinary people is an uphill battle. Always has been, always will be. Resigning to failure because you think the people are just too stupid to vote the right way is defeatist and undermines any purpose you might have to discuss/involve yourself in politics in the first place. Let's not lord over them like some infallible god. Instead, approach people with empathy and *persuade* if you have real belief in the superiority of your ideas. They are good ideas, and I think people are capable of being moved. These things aren't set in stone.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

People cannot be persuaded. They will reinforce their own personal biases when presented with conflicting information. Without proper education on logic, people will be easily swayed by propaganda and mass media more than common sense. The system isn't broken if people had the choice to fix the system every election, and every election 99.7% of American voters voluntarily chose not to. And even though the majority of our people want single payer healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, etc, they will continue to vote for Republicans who poison drinking water, rip food and healthcare from people, and turned schools into security prisons before thinking having more guns than people might not be the best idea, all because those people have "Christian values."

If our people change, the system will be turned overnight. If our people don't change, no amount of fiddling will change anything. And people don't change via logic, people are guaranteed to be stupid forever. Elections are a popularity contest, and stupid politics are incredibly in-vogue right now. Even Bernie Sanders and AOC had to label themselves as "Democrats" in order to get their voices heard, but in the end they were drowned out anyways.

It's easier to undergo the extensive immigration process to enter another country than it is to turn this around. Our people are way more broken than the system.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Sure. The art of persuasion is never purely about facts and logic. The way you present yourself, the framing of the discussion, emotion, etc. all play a role whether we like it or not, because it is humans we are trying to appeal to, not vulcans.

It also doesn't help that education is horribly underfunded in a lopsided way while corporate news media is a subsidized billion dollar industry. And then we wonder why people are so brainwashed and vote against their own interests.

And also even if a third party candidate won the popular vote (which is already a pipe dream), they would likely lose the EC. Even Democrats often lose the electoral college while winning elections by millions of voters. Abolishing the EC and doing ranked choice voting with proportional representation (instead of first past the post elections) would help third parties enormously, as opposed to complaining that some obscure third party candidate that few people have heard of didn't win in a landslide. Oh and more ballot initiatives too. That would help.

Over 1 Year ago
pacman

Sure. The art of persuasion is never purely about facts and logic. The way you present yourself, the framing of the discussion, emotion, etc. all play a role whether we like it or not, because it is humans we are trying to appeal to, not vulcans.

Pretty much this. I don't recommend anyone get sucked into the rhetoric that all Americas are morons. You'll be surprise what kind of folks you run into that honestly think we can do better, but can't really do much about it given the current state of things (with all the polarization and distrust in American discourse right now). All the misinformation and mistrust of institutions right now makes it down right difficult to discern fact from fiction.

The system isn't broken if people had the choice to fix the system every election, and every election 99.7% of American voters voluntarily chose not to.

It may not be "choice" in some cases. In some cases it's people not giving a shit (which is unfortunate and you can't change those people anyway), not having time to try to "fix" things (which is more realistic given the here and now is more important to some). Of course people in positions of power also make badge judgments to not fix things (due to their own bias and inability to get away from their own self-benefit) - that much I agree with you on.

...people are guaranteed to be stupid forever.

Is it really stupidity, or is it something else? I think you're getting sucked into the notion that people are morons. Not all are, obviously, it's easy to get sucked into this mindset given what's going in on general discourse right now. I myself am suspect to this given I am tired of the level of shitty behavior going on right now.

You also should realize in some cases it's stupidity while others it's ignorance and conditioning (media families culture of surrounding area etc) that make them think you're not correct.

Over 1 Year ago
Forte Lambardi

Sure. The art of persuasion is never purely about facts and logic. The way you present yourself, the framing of the discussion, emotion, etc. all play a role whether we like it or not, because it is humans we are trying to appeal to, not vulcans.

I managed to convince my best friend that his political party cannot guarantee my health and life. He said that with his own words. Now, he just do everything he can to avoid talking politics with me, and he will not engage on anything political. It would be so much easier if people demanded more of their representatives or admitted fault when they are wrong. But no plea, however emotional, however well supported, however ironclad in the truth, will get a brainwashed person to admit the political beliefs they held their entire life is wrong.

It also doesn't help that education is horribly underfunded in a lopsided way while corporate news media is a subsidized billion dollar industry. And then we wonder why people are so brainwashed and vote against their own interests.

Precisely. How many logical fallacies do schools teach? How are students taught to think critically and creatively? They don't. They teach writing in blocks through 12 grades. I literally got a B on a writing assignment because, according to my teacher, while I wrote better than anyone in the class, I didn't follow the block format. School takes creative critical thinkers and crush them. Money has nothing to do with that, it's the curriculum.

And also even if a third party candidate won the popular vote (which is already a pipe dream), they would likely lose the EC.

It shouldn't take abolishing the EC for people to realize Republicans aren't doing any good in this country. They have a majority in the Senate because of the EC, but they wouldn't have gotten there at all if a substantial portion of the population didn't actually agree with it.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

Pretty much this. I don't recommend anyone get sucked into the rhetoric that all Americas are morons. You'll be surprise what kind of folks you run into that honestly think we can do better, but can't really do much about it given the current state of things (with all the polarization and distrust in American discourse right now). All the misinformation and mistrust of institutions right now makes it down right difficult to discern fact from fiction.

PFFT. America has the most expensive, least effective healthcare in the world, spending twice what some of the top spenders do per capita. 44% of Texans are uninsured: that's a lower rate than every single developed country on the planet. We incarcerate more people than any other nation at a higher rate than every other nation, and our prisoners get significantly longer sentences. 7% of all homicides are committed by police, and most cities' largest budget item is the police. If you scale the minimum wage in the 1960s to today, you'll find it takes 7x more working hours to afford college or a home. The price of the same drug that cost $20 in the 1990s costs $300 today. Jeff Bezos got $78 billion richer during COVID while firing people who want to form unions to prevent 12-hour work days and corrupt bathroom policies. And more than 85% of our nation's Democratic and Republican candidates teamed up to vote down a Bernie bill to reduce drug prices, and again to close tax loopholes for the wealthy. The median income for an African American household is 40% lower than the median for a white American household, but most businesses have reached parity in hiring and employment.

People need only look at the facts to see the problems and find solutions, but no one wants to do the work. They would much rather have someone else spoonfeed them propaganda than think for themselves.

It may not be "choice" in some cases.

If you made it to the polls, or got your ballot in the mail, you are one inch away from choosing a dictator, a corrupt neoliberal, or someone who promises better healthcare for all. No, it's a choice. Americans persistently choose terrible leaders.

Of course people in positions of power also make badge judgments to not fix things (due to their own bias and inability to get away from their own self-benefit) - that much I agree with you on.

Corruption wouldn't exist if people chose not to vote for it.

Is it really stupidity, or is it something else?

It's stupidity. If my best friend in the whole world admits his political preference cannot guarantee my life but still retains them, then people are too stupid to change even when they know they're wrong. The option for change does not exist.

You also should realize in some cases it's stupidity while others it's ignorance and conditioning (media families culture of surrounding area etc) that make them think you're not correct.

But ignorance and conditioning requires people who are completely incapable of critical thinking or understanding the consequences of their actions vote under idiotic circumstances. Rick Scott was involved in one of the biggest Medicare frauds in the history of this nation, his company overbilled over $2.1 billion, and he was elected to our Senate. He alone represents half of Florida, or 10.75 million people, or 3.3% of the U.S. population in our Senate government. It doesn't take a genius to do the research and find this out before voting. American voters consistently refuse to wizen up.

Over 1 Year ago
mariomguy

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