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Forum Post: Is America too retarded to save?

Posted 2 years ago on March 30, 2012, 1:49 a.m. EST by francismjenkins (3713)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I'm on the fence, but this may be true.

69 Comments

69 Comments


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[-] 5 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

In answer to your question, it depends on who or what you think is "retarded". Did you mean the people themselves or the form of government? There isn't anything wrong with the constitution. The fault is and always has been with an indifferent and uninformed electorate.

You're not fighting a government of 1984, you're fighting one from "Brave New World". The majority are enslaved because they don't wish to be informed and don't wish to make the effort for change.

If it is the people, then your entire movement, any movement is truly pointless. If the majority can't be stirred then things will remain as they are and continue to decay.

[-] 3 points by po6059 (72) 2 years ago

the worst thing for any politician is an informed electorate.

[-] 0 points by CCNN (8) from Walla Walla, WA 2 years ago

Well said.

[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

I seriously doubt that America is beyond repair or salvation, and I firmly believe that there are a number of things we can do to fix the problems we have (and assuming we come out the other side we'll do so stronger and wiser than we were before we went in there). I've spoken at length on this site over the past several months regarding what I believe those problems are and what we need to do as a people if we want to come out of this recession ascendant.

The problem is that large multinational corporations are looking to move the country even farther in the same direction it's been going despite the damage it's doing to the nation and the people (largely because they're looking more at the short-term gains to be had by doing so in lieu of long-term sustainability), and they have the means and the money to convince large segments of the population that this is actually a good idea.

Breaking up the series of public perceptions that lead people to support the continued expansion of large corporations at the expense of the citizenry is proving to be far more difficult than I'd hoped but not necessarily all that much more difficult than I expected. I definitely believe it can be done, and between Citizens United and the Ryan budget it should start happening more and more now.

Also, as to the idea that the country might be specifically "beyond saving" rather than just royally screwed up and stubborn, I honestly don't know. I understand that it's tempting to want to just write the whole package off sometime, but I love the place enough that I don't personally think I'd ever write it off as irredeemable. I might want to administer a collective dope slap upside the head to large chunks of the population sometimes, but there's a big difference between wanting to swat someone and cutting off all ties with them, and I don't think I'll ever be able to do the latter with my country.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Absolutely not. But private tyrannies have done a very good job with their propaganda campaigns in the US, so it might be a little tough getting certain people to change their minds - but we've just got to keep on trying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpd3grtjkK8

the Occupy Movemnent has now spread worldwide and will eventually lead to radical changes - and it all started in the US of A. We've just got to keep on fighting for freedom and justice

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Yes, I do believe so...sadly, I really believe we're too far gone to be saved by anything worthy of believing in. But, I'm an idiot too so I guess I don't have any other choice but to hope that by some miracle, a change will occur. I truly believe that OWS is part of that miracle. :D

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

My feelings exactly :)

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

The government doesn't want you to save so that's a big problem. I'm a saver by nstute. I chose a state school I could afford with no debt but I'm lucky enough to live in a state with a top ranked state school. But still my first year out of college I lived in a mouse and mold infested house with s roommate to be able to save s few thousand dollars. I hardly ever went out either. It would have saved Mr money to.buy a house but I invested everything in better things and live comfortably now I think for age.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Yes. Or wo wouldnt be in this position to begin with

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Some American once asked me, "in what state is Nebraska?"

(So much for home school.)

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

LOL! There's some real funny video's on youtube (just enter in, "stupid Americans"). I guess this isn't very nice of me (but the video's are funny) :)

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

For many decades already, the U.S. has been teaching everyone through its political and financial policies that savers are suckers and investors are to be screwed as fools. The U.S. populace learned its lesson too well that we got too many "wise" guys and insufficient number of domestic suckers and fools to go around to be ripped off by persistent "benign" inflation, ergo the financial near-meltdown. There WERE non-domestic suckers and fools who did not keep close tabs on the metamorphosis of the U.S. so the eruption went around the world. America is NOT too retarded to save -- we are just too smart to save our fiat "money."

The shift to buy more efficient cars to save some money on gasoline has already happened in March data. The U.S. populace definitely responds to the price signal so whoever comes up with the proper formulae to reduce complicated matters to a single price can save America in a way.

There is a savory grace about our zeal to close the barn doors after all of our horses have bolted. We often suffer from skip-generational amnesia and enjoy ripping things out with our itchy fingers to "improve efficiency."

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yet, we did okay with 70 years of Glass Steagall and fiat money, so I'm not convinced by the Austrian argument (although there's a few arguments by economists like Hayek that I like, but maybe for different reasons than Hayek himself first proposed). Yes, inflation can erode savings, but only where inflation outpaces interest rates, but this sort of situation isn't sustainable (eventually, currency devalues and provides somewhat of a natural check against inflation).

We might say that inflation = currency devaluation (although the fact that currency value is "relative" complicates the issue somewhat), nevertheless, however we define inflation, at very minimum it must eventually erode currency value (unless we can increase economic activity enough to balance out the MV=PQ equation, and offset inflation). But here it becomes yet more complicated. Short term, the multiplier isn't all that great, but long term, it can be. So I think this throws somewhat of a monkey wrench in Keynesian theory (at least as it was originally conceived).

Keynes acknowledged the fact that increasing the money supply via debt will eventually cause inflation (whereas Austrians will say that increasing the money supply IS inflation), but Keynes would say that given the multiplier, in the short run, enhanced economic activity offsets inflation (and in the long run, we're all dead, so who cares).

I think the true nature of economics is far more complicated than theorists like Hayek or Keynes imagined. I like Hayek's economic calculation argument, not because I think it's impossible that the information problem could be surmounted, but rather because I think it would be undesirable to have a central planner. I think Keynes' mantra of "animal spirits" is simple common sense (and it is being validated by modern behavioral economists), but I think the multiplier for things like infrastructure projects is more profound when examined on the basis of "long term" returns (which is sort of the opposite of what Keynes believed, or at least what he thought to be relevant).

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

Keynes' theory operates well in times when wool can be pulled over people's eyes. The Austrian school's theory is becoming more correct because there are fewer and fewer "fools" around. The response times of the financial markets are getting shorter and shorter so the "eventually causing inflation" becomes shorter, too. In the oil market, for example, you can literally chart in near real-time the "ripple" of price changes due to a breaking news. The fact that another very expensive undersea optical fiber cable is to be laid down between London and New York to shave a tiny bit of time shows that the Austrians are getting closer to reality that increasing the money supply has instantaneous effect on inflation.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

That's not Austrian theory. Under Austrian theory, increasing the money supply IS the definition of inflation. However, even the examples you're pointing to, don't do much to prove your point. I mean, disruptions in oil supplies, or projected disruption in supply (for instance) has nothing to do with monetary policy. I'm quite sure the leaders of Iran would continue being crazy even if we followed a tight monetary policy :)

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

Yes, the Austrian theory defines increased money supply AS inflation. I was highlighting the lag time it takes the Austrian theory to match financial reality. I do not subscribe to the Austrian theory because of asymmetric information (i.e., there ARE "fools" around who do not watch the fundamental basis of what the financial game is all about). I was really saying that as the world wises up, more people will be tracking monetary policies closely although right now the ones in the know are few and far in between but they do freeze and move the financial markets and the process involved is becoming more instantaneous. The perception of a tight monetary policy helps with getting more money from investors and that is what can make a country grow and modernize. There are times when accommodating monetary policy is required to stabilize the financial markets but aside from those emergencies fiscal stimuli should be the primary means of steering the economy. Why should we subject the value of our currency to doubts in normal times? We went through those doubtful times and they were most unpleasant -- even the earnings and balance sheets of corporations became subject to doubts. That does not help with investors nor does that help with employment.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Awesome that you mentioned asymmetric information theory (it is a good theory in my opinion). It just makes sense. How can people rationally rally up or down the value of money, if they don't understand even the most basic fundamentals of finance or economics? I think people do eventually react to monetary policy, but there's obviously lag time. Contrary to what Austrians would say, people don't react to rational predictions regarding interest rates or money value, they tend to respond after the damage has been done (because they're not sophisticated enough to make these predictions).

Nonetheless, I don't argue that we should borrow our way into oblivion. I think (for a variety of reasons, not solely raising more revenue) we need a value added tax (or a consumption tax). I think the most obvious problem our economy suffers from is overspecialization and a move away from production (distorting the balance between consumption and production).

Keeping in mind the basic rule, savings represents future consumption, and the historical trends, only widespread and long term increases in average wages significantly pushes up savings rates, in my view we need to both create more favorable conditions for manufacturing in the United States, and move the pendulum towards savings (versus consumption). Only one thing really pushes up wages, more employment (simple supply and demand), and tax policy does influence behavior. Of course we should also create more incentives to save. This doesn't imply that I endorse radical growth in government (ideally, we should reduce overall government spending). My main disagreement with conservatives has to do with where we cut (and what our priorities should be).

Besides that I also support ideas like promoting more employee owned companies, participatory democracy, good and functional financial regulations, and so on (but apparently neither democrats or republicans agree with these ideas) :)

[-] 2 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

The U.S. has swung too far towards consumption from production over the last few decades. We know that the U.S. populace responds to price signals such as higher gasoline prices leading to purchases of new cars with better gas mileages so a value-added tax makes much sense. It can send the signal of fiscal resolve to the bond markets and can lower or maintain the interest rates charged on our very huge national debt and the savings there can be substantial (a small percentage of a nearly infinite sum is no small change that can fund quite a lot of desirable things). It can also slow down consumption and increase domestic production bringing consumption and production into better balance. The U.S. policies need to swing more in favor of savings because we have gone too far in the direction of borrowing and consuming. All of that debt overhang will be a very wet blanket over our economy for years. Of course, I prefer us not to be in this mess to begin with but we have got to dig ourselves out somehow and some economic pains are inevitable so the least pain question should be researched and answered well.

I like your ideas about employee ownership of companies, participatory democracy, and good and functional financial regulations. Our government must NOT change the rules of the financial game to favor the de facto bribe-paying corporations or individuals because that IS CORRUPTION. It should not muck around with the value of our currency except in financial emergencies such as late 2008 to early 2009. This will respect the private sector's and our elected branches of government's allocation of monetary resources as well as assuage the bond investors.

[-] 1 points by Riley2011 (110) from New Britain, CT 2 years ago

Fran- you have a very simple question, but my God, it is thought provoking. I think that we are a lot off "too" many things... it's as if the spirit of America is dead...what made this country great- the grit and hard work...people pulling together Now, people are blindly laying down and saying "ok" to Obamacare.... How can any government punish a poor person who cannot afford health care? Really... I can barely afford it and I make an ok salary- basically middle class... How can the government tax you- how can they enforce it? The IRS has already had its ranks cut and now they are going to have to enforce this rule against Americans? With what agents? Americans react when a young man is gunned down in Florida- which they should- but there is no thought to these gas prices that are going through the roof- food prices that are going up and a media that has made 9% unemployment seem like it and the millions of homes that were lost no problem Folks love the President so much that they have no problem wit trillion after trillion being borrowed...relly- you can blame it on the last guy- so open the checkbook How do we get the money? We are all middle class folks- going to have to pay more in taxes- there are not that many rich people to bail us out... So, maybe we won't be able to write off our house not too long down the road, or just get taxed more... So, Fran...we are great at emotion...but so buried in party drivel...that yes, we are mentally disabled...

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

We have problems galore but you can highlight the linkages between them and explain to people how one thing leads to another. I had my eyes really opened when I started digging into various actions and events by my cultural and biological forebears and discovered pivotal moments where just one person's change of mind and conviction could have great effects. I realized then that I am not just an individual but really a collection of decisions and memories past and just in the same way I will be passed into the future so seeing myself in context made me transcend myself.

[-] 1 points by Johnw (44) 2 years ago

No it is not, things can be much better. Please read http://thenewthirdparty.blogspot.com.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Unfortunately, the biggest reason the 1% get away with what they do is because most of the 99% are too stupid to stop them.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

As cheesy as this sounds, it's only too late is you believe it's too late.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Too late and too retarded are different things (okay, maybe "retarded" isn't the best word, but). If everyone becomes well informed we'd be much better equipped to solve problems; but this also implies a grasp of inductive reasoning (or to paraphrase Hume, the problem of induction and how to use it properly), understanding our biases (and the need to challenge them), the underlying roots of human biases, and at least a cursory understanding of human nature (e.g. pattern seeking, tribalism, group think, and a little biochemistry, like how dopamine and adrenaline influence our thinking and behavior). It sounds like a lot to know, but it's not really.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Yes and no. At this point in time, YES. I know too many people that say this when they hear about something terrible, "I don't care."

And then they continue talking about the funny video they saw online.

For the larger portion of Americans, they will have to lose everything before they do anything.

But this doesn't mean the smaller portion of us that do care can't make changes. Try and inform as many people as you can.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

It's really hard to tell. I'm not completely without hope that people can be inspired, but I'm fairly certain that in order for that to happen, they need to believe whatever change we're talking about, can be accomplished. In other words, most people (save the small segment of our population with good exposure to a wide variety of ideas) need to understand how we get from A to B, B to C, and so on. It's unlikely most people will gravitate to hypothetical untested ideas that they can't wrap their minds around. It's unfortunate that the message needs to be simplified, very long term goals couched in language that people are already familiar and comfortable with, and proposals for tangible (more immediate) action, disseminated in digestible (incremental) bits, but this is the world we live in.

[-] 1 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 2 years ago

Save from what.Save for whom?

[-] 1 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 2 years ago

Marecans is not to retrated to svae!!! Y I so fat, u saye? I svae calories form my feddings for case in emergincees. also even I vote conservatives.

-Retarded American

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[-] 0 points by Nulambda77 (1) 2 years ago

Yes. And reading this thread is the proof.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

Depends what you mean

If you mean laziness and want other people to do and give them stuff for free then yes.

I hate my generation and i wish half of them would fall off the planet. The worst part is looking at all the potential and the skill but no one using it. Even in college i see this and it makes me mad.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Ya know........I am one step away from this.

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[-] 0 points by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA 2 years ago

Sometimes I comfort myself by thinking lots of people live in third world countries, so if they can handle it I guess I can too.

[-] 0 points by shooz (17884) 2 years ago

Don't be so doomy and gloomy francis.

The world isn't this forum...........:)

Mostly, the people in the US of A are just distracted.

[-] 4 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

This forum isn't terrible ... but for instance, on facebook, where I like to make light comments once in a while, just to gauge how people respond to ideas ... at the mere mention that our system isn't the wonderful miracle most people thought it was, people often freak out. Most people aren't accustomed to doubt. They're comforted by an unquestionable belief system. When that gets shaken up, they feel attacked, and the only response is a sort of evolutionary group think fear based response.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2240) 2 years ago

I feel this as well the mere mention of this (even to family) they sort of back away like deer in headlights. I half expect people to start screaming and pointing like in the body snatchers. I'm afraid to put any movement stickers on my car for fear of consequences or retaliation at work and in parking lots. It's so strange to me people mention their woes but don't want to talk about changing the system that is working against them not even discuss it. It's this fake sort of positivism where your not allowed to discuss anything that might be deemed as negative or you are trying to spread a negative attitude and depress people (or maybe they just have theirs and don't give a shit about the rest of the country.) There has also become a complete no tolerance policy about discussing politics in the workplace. This sort of thing used to be called water cooler talk made life interesting, now people discuss American Idol or Dancing with the Stars or endlessly complement each others clothing (excuse me while I go get a rope to hang myself out of boredom and hopelessness.)

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Precisely, people don't understand how profoundly they're controlled. In fact, they don't even want to know. They prefer willful blindness, and immersing themselves in the trivial. My problem is, I'm just not wired in a way that allows me to find satisfaction with this sort of life. I struggle to think of ways that can bridge between ideas that most people might be willing to consider, and the change that would truly improve our society. Suffice it to say, this will be a long process (but the problem with "long processes" is it gives the powers that be plenty of time to co-opt change).

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Here is a prime example of how they are controlled. The NY City School district wants to "ban" certain words.

Here's the link:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/28/new-york-city-schools-ban-loaded-words-from-tests/

[-] 2 points by shooz (17884) 2 years ago

With some people, you have to break it to them gentle.

Kind of lead them up to it.

They get lost in the distractions, and the truth can be frightening at first.

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yeah, you're spot on ... I need to learn the art of subtle persuasion :)

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I think a lot of people realize that our system has some serious problems but as long as they are happy and comfortable in their own lives radical change is threatening to them. There is that old saying that is something like "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know." Any system will have it's problems so people who are happy and comfortable with their current lives probably don't see any reason to support radical change.

[+] -4 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

No they arent. They just dont buy all of what OWS is selling.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17884) 2 years ago

If you're not buying, then what are you doing in the shop?

Since you obviously can't afford it, you should go somewhere where thought is not required.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

It's not that at all - we live in a world of abundance; what we spend today we can immediately replace tomorrow. An economy less flush with cash encourages - demands - frugality.

[-] -1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

America is doomed because of two types of takers. There is the wealthy, power elite who want to take it all and then on the opposite side is the able poor who want more hand outs. Those of us in the middle end up paying the way for both of these groups, but we are dwindling and eventually there will be no one left to rob.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I think the real question we should ask is why does our society produce these people? My opinion is it starts at childhood. Our society is structured in a very unnatural way. We rarely see the extended community participate in raising our kids. We live in isolation. Our kids are immersed in television and consumerism practically from birth. Our school system is more like information dump. We don't inspire learning for the sake of learning. If learning is not calculated to enhance materialistic goals, it's not valued by society. In other words, our society is indoctrinated in narcissism, and so the results (which you elude to above) are all too predictable. So I would opine that we need to do some serious introspection as a society (the blame game is unlikely to help us solve these problems).

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I was going to say this very thing in a reply to you in another thread (in which you had replied to me). Things are inextricably linked and very complicated. I often think about my childhood (I'm 49) and the relative freedom I had compared to today's kids. We protect our children, or try to, much more than our parents ever did, some of which is good (like wearing a seatbelt in the car), some of which is not (disallowing teachers to discipline our kids in school). We drive them everywhere, don't let them roam outdoors freely for fear of their safety, take up their battles for them with teachers and coaches and other parents. Technology has created a lot of issues that we never had (cable TV, smart phones, internet) to worry about because it wasn't in existence. Many parents simply can't have one stay at home to raise the kids, so we have more latchkey kids. Because of the cost of education, there is an economic element to the outcome of the education (getting a job) that is much more focused now. With the specialized nature of many jobs now, kids who just have a general liberal arts education have no chance. They need to know how to do something specific, have in-depth knowledge of something in particular to translate that knowledge into a job that will take care of them and their eventual family. They can go read and learn other stuff on their own time, but when you're paying $20 or $30,000/year for a degree, and borrowing a lot of it, it doesn't make sense financially to train to be a gym teacher. Our society values achievement, and structures competition for that achievement. It's kind of like kids' "club" sports, where instead of kids playing a lot of different sports, there are now entire industries devoted to specialization in each sport, to extreme achievement in particular skills. You are free to not participate of course, but your kid eventually becomes a jack of all trades instead of mastering any, and falls behind (unless they are a special athlete). It is just the nature of not only our society, but the world now. Our athletes compete globally now even in the teenage years. Our businesses have much more competition to worry about now with the advent of globalization, so in turn they are expecting higher and higher knowledge and capability from their potential hires. It is a very stressful environment all the way around, but one I don't see changing.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Benjamin Franklin said it best: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Of course it's more complicated than that. With all the access to information we have today (which I think most would agree is generally a good thing), we can see the carnage caused by accidents, crime, etc., almost real time (and with full visualization). We learn when a child goes missing almost immediately. This information contributes to a tendency towards a larger police state (other factors are also important, for instance, parents work more often and tend to be less involved in rearing their own children compared to past generations, we lack the sense of community we once had, and so there's no shared responsibility for raising children, etc.). This is all compounded by the fact that suburbanization pretty much physically eliminated our community structure (upon which our liberty evolved).

So we have a very steep hill to climb to change this aspect of our society.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I agree, Francis. A lot of people, especially kids, laugh when you talk about the days of yesteryear and how great they were. But it's true. Relative to today, it seems like our parents didn't care about us, or weren't worried about us, but that's not true. They weren't that far removed from their parents and the World Wars and the Great Depression, truly hard times and times of truly great sacrifice. Perhaps compared to that those times, the thought of their kid riding their bike in the street or swinging upside down on a jungle gym didn't instill any special concern for our parents. I can't put my finger on where it all started turning south, but, for instance, all of my parents friends had carte blanche approval from my parents to discipline me themselves if I misbehaved. I got paddled a couple of times with a wooden board at school for being disrespectful, and no one said a word, including me. I knew I did it, I knew beforehand what the punishment was, and decided that it was worth it to tell off the teacher. No way you could get away with that today. I didn't turn out abused, or become an abuser myself. It was all just very simple. Consequences for actions. We've gotten away from that.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Gen X has wisdom to share, and it's our time. Boomers are too old (save its youngest members), and 20 year old's are too young :)

They can have all the input in the world, but at the end of the day, it will have to be Gen X who does the heavy lifting (assuming we want change in the reasonably near future). We're young enough to identify with the aspirations of our college age brethren, but old enough to already have our law degrees, our engineering degrees, our science degrees, etc., so we bring much more to the fight!

But this is not pretentious, it's just reality. We don't need to think of those with valuable experience and education as "leaders" in the traditional way, but we must value experience and education (or else we're doomed to failure).

I think, however, we're very fortunate to have people who are both so young, and so filled with aspiration. It's certainly an inspiration for me, and it's also true that younger people (like college students) need to be involved at every level. For one thing, they keep those a decade or two older honest. But more importantly, they will be us in about ten years (but hopefully, better).

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

We are also the smallest group.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Gen X runs from 30 something to 40 something, but yeah, we probably are the smallest group. It's sort of funny, you see a lot of people on either side of our demographic in this movement (I've seen plenty of people who were obviously fairly old at rallies, with a bunch of gray hair, more people who made me wonder whether or not they graduated from high school yet, but apparently not a very large number of 30 or 40 somethings).

When 30, 40, and even 50 somethings get pissed, then the establishment has some real problems on its hands. It's easier to marginalize very young people or very old people (unless they show up in overwhelming numbers, and even though OWS can attract a decent amount of people to a rally, it hasn't been enough to do more than spark a conversation, and even change the conversation, but we still haven't grown out of the trappings that the media tries to pigeon hole us in).

Transcending those trappings requires not only articulating a message, but also anticipating objections, and overcoming those objections before they're made. This probably requires people who "look" credible (according to the metrics average people use to evaluate credibility, which can be sort of arbitrary, but it's something we have to deal with nonetheless).

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Most of your 30, 40 and 50 year olds are going to be at work if they have a job.

I am wary of marketing strategies for OWS. MSM is made up of conglomerates. At some point transcending is more about reducing oneself to an overly simplistic message.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Well, sure, but they don't work 24/7 (or hopefully not), and surely they can make time every once in a while to show up at a protest rally (or become involved in other ways). The point is ... I think it would be a good idea to reach a more diverse collection of people. I'm also not suggesting some sort of mass marketing campaign, although marketing (in some way) isn't necessarily a bad idea (but there's many ways to market ideas).

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Unless.............you know those changes that have been made with radio?

That gives the opportunity to deliver the message without having to sell out AND is community centered. Maintain integrity.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yeah, I love the OWS radio idea, but of course starting a radio station is no easy task. It requires expensive equipment, FCC approval, and all sorts of other things (and I think at this point, OWS probably lacks the resources and organizational infrastructure to pull something like this off, although it would be great if it could do something like this).

There are other ideas worth considering (if something like a radio station proves to be overambitious or premature at this early stage in the game). A weekly youtube broadcast, newspapers, campus activism (many of which OWS already does to some extent).

But even in these areas, some amount of expertise would probably be beneficial.

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

How about starting up a radio station on the internet? That way we can bypass much of FCC broadcasting restriction and achieve global reach immediately. It can go out from cyberspace wherever people put in WiFi or use their smart phones, for example.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Like a Pandora sort of thing ... sounds like an awesome idea.

[-] 1 points by grapes (2765) 2 years ago

Yes.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

I agree with much of your post. I think the newspaper is a great idea. I thought that OWS already had a newspaper. Most universities already have newspapers but most of the information is campus related. They can be as limited to the experience of those who are seeking degrees in journalism (experience). Still many are in their twenties. Still doesn't nail the 30, 40 and 50 year olds.

One of the things that I have noticed is not that people do not know about OWS. They do not know about the issues.Further, there are those that have no knowledge of something that we take for granted in every day conversation (ALEC, war on women legislation, banks as slumlords, Keystone Pipeline). Whatever avenue is utilized it is towards those people that any efforts should be directed.

I agree there are enough people that it could be utilized more effectively. As an aside, I thought you were a lawyer.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I am a lawyer .... and yeah, how do we reach those "not in their 20's" ... but "plenty of stamina left" people? The funny thing is, while people in their 30's or 40's tend to have more training, experience, etc., which could help OWS a great deal, that additional life experience also implies they will be much more critical of ideas they view as a radical departure from the status quo.

It's easy to get a 20 year old to a protest. If for no other reason, it's exciting. People in their 30's and 40's require a different approach. They're not going to get involved in something for mere excitement value (unless we're talking about something like sex), they need to believe in it, and in order to believe in it, they need to understand how it can work (in a practical sense), and why it's a better solution. They will often put forward objections to new ideas that a 20 year old is unable to answer, because they don't have as much life experience (so they haven't encountered all the different problems someone a decade or two older has encountered).

How can we reach them? I think a newspaper is a decent idea. I mean, look at all the free newspapers available at almost every corner of NYC. OWS could distribute a newspaper in the same way, and a newspaper provides an opportunity to thoroughly address issues, in a way a wider audience of people would probably appreciate.

The good news is people in their 30's and 40's are still on average much more open to change compared to older people. It just requires more sophisticated arguments to persuade them.

Another one I heard, was a OWS facebook sort of thing. Novel idea, I'm not sure how viable it is ... but it sounded like a cool idea, and a weekly or biweekly (or whatever) youtube broadcast just makes sense (that's something that could be done very easily), and I think these ideas can be done without impeding on the leaderless model.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Those in their 30s and 40s may not so much be critical as to looking at long term effects of whatever actions they may engage in. Those in this age group have a tendency to look at what they are risking versus what responsibilities they may have. So, perhaps, the question should be, what is doable? Secondly, how does this issue directly impact them?

I had a discussion the other day about local hate groups in the area. It wasn't believed that any were local and two of the groups were not even known to the individual. In this situation, I did all of the five minute research and printed it out from several sources: creation of group, areas of operation, recent and present run ins with law enforcement-no anecdotal information. I am puzzled that it had not come to this persons attention at all. I do not believe that this individual would have looked into it. So, in some issues, how do you start from scratch?

The person that I was discussing the above with was educated. However, how do you break down the information of an issue without over dramatizing it or dumbing it down? How do you explain legalese to someone that has had no contact with a court? If someone encounters a court order but has no clue what standard form is-they can get lost real quick and flip out.

I like youtube broadcasting. In fact, I think that if in any given local areas that it should not be too hard to video tape some issues (relevant locally-especially) and move them to disc and make lots of copies. It is dependent on the issues.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Very well said Francis. You hit the nail on the head. And add to that when they are confronted with the real world they don't have a clue as to what it takes to survive.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Its pretty much the parents fault. They dont discipline their kids or demand excellence. My 3 kids are a) pediatric cardiologist b) emergency physician c) Large animal vet surgeon. They worked hard, pushed in the rear by me, and have much to contribute.OTOH my friends kids are basically floundering, the boys especially.

parents need to kick their kids in the ass and make them perform at their peak.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17884) 2 years ago

A child abuse endorsement from a doofus?

Who would have thunk?

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (34903) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is now becoming to be more and more understood that those who have grown up being abused are likely to be abusers themselves. How wide spread and as yet UN-recognized is abuse? How many forms of abuse are there? How does society allow or perpetuate certain abuses unknowingly?

This is an issue of growing public and medical awareness and so a start to begin effective treatments.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

It's not the abusers who demand expansion of the police state, it's the good people, which makes this issue much more complicated. Every time we hear about a bad accident, abuse, a kidnapping, terrorism, etc., the inclination is to pass more laws, enact harsher penalties, create new agencies, hire more police, install more cameras, arm police with more powerful weaponry, expand our military, etc. This is the slippery slope we're on.

I guess as the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

[-] -2 points by shooz (17884) 2 years ago

In the case of conse(R)vatives, it just might be too late.

They just might be too lazy.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/another-blow-for-conservative-thought/