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Old 04-20-2018, 11:05 AM   #256
Adder
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
There was a time when noblesse oblige worked. ... Investment bank partnerships of old come to mind.
Worked for whom? Because, no.

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But you also had Henry Fords (loathsome bigoted views aside) who realized the best way to sell the most cars was to allow workers to earn enough to afford them.
Ford realized, correctly, that continually replacing workers was more expensive than paying them more.

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I think the post-war boom in this country (yes, possibly a non-reproducible aberration, for a number of reasons) demonstrated that a benign elite could simply manage things, and profit a decent bit more than everyone else, while delivering broad prosperity.
Again, define "everyone else." Because, again, no.

And to the extent that the white world followed the pattern you suggest, I think you're missing just how much all of that was about staving off the reds. We don't need a revolution. We need a credible threat of one.

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Old 04-20-2018, 11:13 AM   #257
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
And we didn't have to nationalize the banks. We could have thrown them into some special receivership as a condition of the bailout.
This is a distinction without a difference.

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What fails needs to be left to fail or go through bankruptcy.
It's strange how this became a popular opinion immediately after definitive proof that it's a fucking horrible idea. We let Lehman fail and it started the biggest bank run in generations, which in turn created other banks (and others) who were insolvent on paper pretty much entirely because of the panic (i.e., they held assets that were worthless at the time but proved not to be entirely worthless). We should not do that again, even if we need a way to wind down a Lehman without straight up bailing it out.

And, actually, we had a way except that the Treasury secretary decided to try your way instead of further twisting arms to get someone to absorb Lehman and avoid the collapse.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:40 AM   #258
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by ThurgreedMarshall View Post
While this may be true, the bigger problem is that people don't even see inequality. If I hear, "But I worked hard for what I have," from some jackass who went to private school, came from money, was given internships and starter jobs through daddy's connections, traveled the world, was a legacy at every school he ever went to, was given his first car plus the down payment on their house and didn't pay for their wedding, and who married into even more money, getting me the fuck out of your local Starbucks is going to be the least of your problems.

TM
The "I don't see it" and "I see it but it helps me" are often tough to separate.

I've just been engaged in a debate over maternity/paternity leave policies in an organization that has had trouble attracting women employees, for example, and while there is an abstract acknowledgement of the problem, an effort to address it that requires expenditure (or effort) just leads to a barrage of complaints. Sitting in on a lot of boards, there is a completely different approach to these issues when you have a board with women (those boards often see benefits as problems to solve to maximize value) and a board that is all men (which often see benefits, especially relating to childcare and healthcare, just as costs to minimize).
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:48 AM   #259
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Re: We are all Slave now.

Ty's point on overt racism being a thing in the new conservatism is also right on point.

Also, I think the lack of forward movement on issues of both race and gender over the last generation is notable (with the sole exception of LGBT issues, where it has been a generation of great progress). Fundamentally, our kids are entering a workforce over the next decade or so that looks an awful lot like the workforce we entered, and there has not been a generation that has said that since the generation that killed reconstruction.

But if you look at minority and women partners in law firms, for example, there has just not been much progress.
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:26 PM   #260
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Re: We are all Slave now.

GGG:

Almost certainly because I am older, I cannot agree that the workplace now is pretty much the same as the one my wife, esq., and I entered in the early '70s. Less than 3% of our law school class was women. Less than 1% were black. When my wife went to work at what was then a mid-size law firm on Wall Street, there were no women partners and she was the second woman associate. Black lawyers were mythical creatures on Wall Street.

Is the profession where it should be on these issues? No. But it is far, far better than it was.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:01 PM   #261
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by ferrets_bueller View Post
GGG:

Almost certainly because I am older, I cannot agree that the workplace now is pretty much the same as the one my wife, esq., and I entered in the early '70s. Less than 3% of our law school class was women. Less than 1% were black. When my wife went to work at what was then a mid-size law firm on Wall Street, there were no women partners and she was the second woman associate. Black lawyers were mythical creatures on Wall Street.

Is the profession where it should be on these issues? No. But it is far, far better than it was.
You've got 15 years on me, and I had a little career before law school, so you probably got out of law school 20 years before me.

By the time I went to school, my law school was 51% women and the firm I went to had a number of great women partners, probably 5-10% of the partnership. Today, that firm may have broken 10% women partners, but if it has, it is just barely. The years between you and I were years of great progress, the years since - meh.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:57 PM   #262
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
You're missing my argument. There was a time when noblesse oblige worked. I could cite endless examples of past advantaged sorts who followed the rule, "don't be a pig and wreck a good thing." Investment bank partnerships of old come to mind.

But those days are long gone. And if we want to talk about whose dick is most prominently inserted in the poor's ass, the upper middle class and affluent-but-not-rich are the real culprits I see. The rich can pay greater taxes. It's the aspirant affluent who refuse to cough an extra $3k of their $600k salary because they want to use that money to put Mackenzie Childs doorknobs through the first floor, a liposuction tune-up, or bring the nanny along on summer vacation.
If I am missing your argument (and I use that term loosely), it's because it, like a chameleon, keeps changing color to fit into your newest point. The argument we have been having is about your justification for libertarianism, that the poor cannot be trusted to sip the tasty benefits of self-governance because they will drink too much, wreck the place, and the party will be over. For that reason, the argument (implicitly) is that only the better off (let's call them "libertarians" though many aren't) should get to drink and the unwashed should get to watch them and appreciated their wisdom in limiting government to the role of protecting the private property rights ("the law in its infinite majesty respects the right of the rich and poor alike to buy the only bridge in town and charge tolls for crossing").

In that argument you have given ground and given ground, and now are explaining that while government does screw the poor, we shouldn't think about how the rich gobble the food at the table (we've moved from drinks to the meal now), but should focus on the upper middle-class and the crumbs they get. ("Not crumbs!" you're going to say. "It's a full meal. The rich aren't eating because they filled up at Masa before they came over, and they don't like the government grub." Go ahead, just say it.)

What. ever. You are still saying, OK, so the government doesn't do anything for the lumpenproletariat but it just has to be that way because if it did, they'd drink us and eat us out of house and home, and then we'd have no democracy and we'd just be sitting by the side of the road, presumably without any of the benefits of the Schumpeterian destruction that you're otherwise always insisting is going to bring the phoenix-like rebirth of our economy -- somehow letting the government help poor people will nullify all of the advantages of heightening the contradictions. It's Marx for capitalists, I guess.

Quote:
Older generations did follow a "don't wreck the place" rule. Sure, you had Fricks and Rockefellers who plundered the environment and abused workers. But you also had Henry Fords (loathsome bigoted views aside) who realized the best way to sell the most cars was to allow workers to earn enough to afford them.
It's so nice that you believe the press clippings of the older generations' plutocrats.

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If you had immigrant grandparents who did alright here and were thankful for the opportunity, they probably drilled it into your head: "Treat people fairly, and don't draw attention to yourself."
My grandfather, the son of a man who got off a boat from Germany and homesteaded in South Dakota, once told me that the only two institutions that had ever done anything for him in his life were the Democratic Party and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Maybe he should have spent more time reading about what a swell guy Henry Ford was.

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What you've just described is an incurious and narrowly focused person. You are correct - the rich are often just as clueless. But never the whole household. There's always at least one person in a rich household who took advantage of educational opportunities and grasps complex issues from numerous angles. This is usually the brother or sister who runs the family business, or manages the family funds, while the rest of the kids sell real estate, broker antiques, or tinker on their horse farm.

The poor are often too harried by life, trying to simply survive, to avail themselves of educational opportunities which would give them a better grasp of the issues. Hence, they acquire the narrow view you describe.

Again, the worst class are the non-earning members of the newly affluent. The spouses and children of docs, lawyers, small business owners... These people are often amazingly, shockingly incurious. And dull as all fuck.
You just told me that the poor are irrational. I then told you that they are rational and want ordinary things, not incurious or narrowly focused. That's your myopia or stereotype, not mine. I think people are mostly the same. And you don't.

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I have never bought the argument there is always an elite that exploits everything. I think the post-war boom in this country (yes, possibly a non-reproducible aberration, for a number of reasons) demonstrated that a benign elite could simply manage things, and profit a decent bit more than everyone else, while delivering broad prosperity.
When the economy is growing and every is doing better, the fact that the well off are exploiting everyone else doesn't bother people as much.

Quote:
I think we need a full on revolution to stop an emerging class system that will destroy this country. You might call my affinity for the old notion of noblesse oblige classist, and perhaps it is. But that was a class system that benefited people more broadly. What we have to today is a vicious, stagnant system that makes it near impossible for talented people of modest means to reach the higher levels. This undoes the whole idea of the American Experiment.
I see a society that in significant ways is more equal than it used to be, and a government that can continue that progress. I also see a conservative movement that feels threatened by the change, and is trying to stand athwart history, yelling stop. Which side are you on? Oh yeah, Gary Johnson's -- I forgot.

Quote:
We've allowed the merchant class to morph into a rentier class. These people know no bounds. They are your Mnuchins, your Pruitts, your [Insert everybody on Wall Street in 2008]. They're blunt, thoughtless elitists. Nihilists, really. You don't get rid of these people, or their corrosive mindsets, with government policy giving the poor more power. You get rid of them with Great Depression level crisis that shocks some decency out of politicians and business people alike. You need an extreme event the forces politicians to elevate their sense of decency over their careers and say, "Wait minute. This is not America anymore. We need to stop this. We can't destroy the environment, create massive underclasses like Brazil, run a budget indistinguishable from that of a Banana Republic, and worship consumption. this degenerate behavior does not work."
Voting Democrats into office would help. Just sayin'.

Quote:
I view this as a flaw rather than a feature at the moment. The system is precluding necessary radical change.


I agree with the first half. As to the second, I don't. I think we need a political civil war. We need a giant reset.

We're going to get it one way or another. 2008 is not over. Not by any stretch.
If you think violence and instability are better ways to resolve disagreement, it's odd that you haven't moved to Syria or Somalia. Not sure what you mean by the "system," but the point of having a government is to avoid anarchy, which turns out to involve a lot of dead-weight loss. Civil war: Not as much fun as it's cracked up to be.

Quote:
I never said I didn't want those things. I was unclear, so I'll be clear here. When I said, "Here's money, you're on your own," I meant, "The state will continue to provide the basic necessities to qualify as a state," which include most of your list (I'd eliminate a few).
What you and other libertarians don't seem to grok is that everyone has "basic necessities" that differ, and that the things that matter to you aren't "basic necessities" for other people, while things that are "basic necessities" for them aren't for you. Of course you would eliminate a few. What government does is to take everyone's wish list and find a way to reconcile all the competing interests, imperfectly for everyone.

Of course, if you announce that the things that some people need aren't "necessities" and so they don't get to submit their wish lists, then those people get screwed, relatively.

Quote:
Our form of noblesse oblige worked. But it's long gone. Now we just have a Gatsbian mess.
It didn't. That's why it's gone. And The Great Gatsby wasn't science fiction when written.

Quote:
They need to learn the lesson that comes with going too far. You think that can be delivered via the ballot box. I think we need a crisis, and one where investors are savaged, and labor's value increases radically in relation to capital's.
No they don't. The poor don't need to learn lessons about what it's like to get screwed. Please read this, because Marina Hyde is brilliant and it's totally on point. There will be a quiz later about the Self-Knowledge Impregnator, so better read it to find out.

In any crisis, the poor will be screwed most of all.

Quote:
Trump demonstrates my point about ordinary people being seriously uninformed.
Trump is seriously uninformed and he is rich. Please don't tell me it's because he's new rich. Just resist the temptation.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:37 PM   #263
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
If I am missing your argument (and I use that term loosely), it's because it, like a chameleon, keeps changing color to fit into your newest point. The argument we have been having is about your justification for libertarianism, that the poor cannot be trusted to sip the tasty benefits of self-governance because they will drink too much, wreck the place, and the party will be over. For that reason, the argument (implicitly) is that only the better off (let's call them "libertarians" though many aren't) should get to drink and the unwashed should get to watch them and appreciated their wisdom in limiting government to the role of protecting the private property rights ("the law in its infinite majesty respects the right of the rich and poor alike to buy the only bridge in town and charge tolls for crossing").

In that argument you have given ground and given ground, and now are explaining that while government does screw the poor, we shouldn't think about how the rich gobble the food at the table (we've moved from drinks to the meal now), but should focus on the upper middle-class and the crumbs they get. ("Not crumbs!" you're going to say. "It's a full meal. The rich aren't eating because they filled up at Masa before they came over, and they don't like the government grub." Go ahead, just say it.)

What. ever. You are still saying, OK, so the government doesn't do anything for the lumpenproletariat but it just has to be that way because if it did, they'd drink us and eat us out of house and home, and then we'd have no democracy and we'd just be sitting by the side of the road, presumably without any of the benefits of the Schumpeterian destruction that you're otherwise always insisting is going to bring the phoenix-like rebirth of our economy -- somehow letting the government help poor people will nullify all of the advantages of heightening the contradictions. It's Marx for capitalists, I guess.



It's so nice that you believe the press clippings of the older generations' plutocrats.



My grandfather, the son of a man who got off a boat from Germany and homesteaded in South Dakota, once told me that the only two institutions that had ever done anything for him in his life were the Democratic Party and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Maybe he should have spent more time reading about what a swell guy Henry Ford was.



You just told me that the poor are irrational. I then told you that they are rational and want ordinary things, not incurious or narrowly focused. That's your myopia or stereotype, not mine. I think people are mostly the same. And you don't.



When the economy is growing and every is doing better, the fact that the well off are exploiting everyone else doesn't bother people as much.



I see a society that in significant ways is more equal than it used to be, and a government that can continue that progress. I also see a conservative movement that feels threatened by the change, and is trying to stand athwart history, yelling stop. Which side are you on? Oh yeah, Gary Johnson's -- I forgot.



Voting Democrats into office would help. Just sayin'.



If you think violence and instability are better ways to resolve disagreement, it's odd that you haven't moved to Syria or Somalia. Not sure what you mean by the "system," but the point of having a government is to avoid anarchy, which turns out to involve a lot of dead-weight loss. Civil war: Not as much fun as it's cracked up to be.



What you and other libertarians don't seem to grok is that everyone has "basic necessities" that differ, and that the things that matter to you aren't "basic necessities" for other people, while things that are "basic necessities" for them aren't for you. Of course you would eliminate a few. What government does is to take everyone's wish list and find a way to reconcile all the competing interests, imperfectly for everyone.

Of course, if you announce that the things that some people need aren't "necessities" and so they don't get to submit their wish lists, then those people get screwed, relatively.



It didn't. That's why it's gone. And The Great Gatsby wasn't science fiction when written.



No they don't. The poor don't need to learn lessons about what it's like to get screwed. Please read this, because Marina Hyde is brilliant and it's totally on point. There will be a quiz later about the Self-Knowledge Impregnator, so better read it to find out.

In any crisis, the poor will be screwed most of all.



Trump is seriously uninformed and he is rich. Please don't tell me it's because he's new rich. Just resist the temptation.
If you took this post and copied it into a blank MS Word document, it becomes an almost three and a half page doc in singled-spaced Times New Roman 12. I understand that there are many different ideas (I'm being generous) presented in Sebastian's post that need to be addressed and responded to, but I am going to suggest that there may be an undervaluing of pith here on the political issues lawyer chatting board. I know that the typical response to this sort of criticism is, "If it's too long for you, then don't read it you fucking jackass lord of the douchebags. Go fill your mouth with poison ants and shove your head up your ass." I stand by my call for pith.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:41 PM   #264
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Unhappy Re: We are all Slave now.

All this class talk reminds me of my biggest class faux pas-

My first big law, I got into because they bought my new IP boutique. It was seriously white shoes. I came from pretty humble beginnings, recognizing others had less, but certainly I was in the more humble background side of that firm. I don't think they'd have hired me absent the merger.

My first day there I met Lloyd. His grandfather started a major chemical company and sold it. He was head of associates. I was called into his office to learn about the firm. I sat at his desk and fell in love with his voice, and he had the best blue eyes. And he had Yale crew awards behind his desk.

And all I knew was, I was in over my head.

We brought in a patent client who was the son of a man who invented a machine that lead to a company that was sold for $X0000000000. That is, the son had the same background as Lloyd. He was starting a company to try to repeat his dad's success (crashed and burned and lost tons of money as it turned out), and he needed corporate/business help. My IP GP brought in Lloyd. To say the least the son and Lloyd had a lot in common, and saw really good people in each other.

We're working together one day, and son steps out. Lloyd says to me, "Boy, that ____ is one helluva guy!" I said, "Yeah, I wished he'd adopt me."

Turns out that isn't something one should say about one really rich kid to another really rich kid. I got a mean look from Lloyd
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:02 PM   #265
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by Pretty Little Flower View Post
If you took this post and copied it into a blank MS Word document, it becomes an almost three and a half page doc in singled-spaced Times New Roman 12. I understand that there are many different ideas (I'm being generous) presented in Sebastian's post that need to be addressed and responded to, but I am going to suggest that there may be an undervaluing of pith here on the political issues lawyer chatting board. I know that the typical response to this sort of criticism is, "If it's too long for you, then don't read it you fucking jackass lord of the douchebags. Go fill your mouth with poison ants and shove your head up your ass." I stand by my call for pith.
I love your pith. Please send any you can spare.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:04 PM   #266
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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