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Forum Post: Item: Poverty

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 29, 2012, 2:32 p.m. EST by GNAT (150)
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79 Comments

79 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

On the matter of Poverty and the New Economics we all need to start thinking about, this is a very important thread. We all should read, reflect and research what is written here. Thank you all and I concur with shadz66's short comment below, because we need a beautiful world for our kids going forward. Shine On! Never Give Up!! OCCUPY THE ISSUES!!!

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

Unions work hard to keep people from being exploited.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

We need to start thinking about ethical economics, not just economics. So, if you consider the means of production as being made up of labor and capital, then what we need to do is start considering that the labor factor in production is provided by a human being, not a hunk of metal or computer or food or whatever. The labor piece should, therefore, be given a value that considers the needs of the human being to provide a living for himself/herself and his/her family. That would be ethical and humane and that is the direction that the study of economics should take.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Awesome Comments Here !!! Crystal clear heart vibrations on this thread !! Here's to you bw, shine on !

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Thanks. :)

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Solidarity + Thanx for your very important comments on this thread.

More pertinently re. the thread, please peruse my 'Poverty' comment @ rkg below.

e tenebris ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Oh, sweet. Thanks for the tune.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

See: "The War Against the Poor, Occupy Wall Street and the Politics of Financial Morality" by Frances Fox Piven : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29649.htm here appended in order to compliment this important thread. Glad you liked the tune and by a different group but with a similar title : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mio5-zXZnI .

consilio et animis ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

The War Against the Poor must end and I do believe Occupy is one place where healing can begin. Shifting our profit-based economy, that leaves people behind, to one of ethics and morality, centered around the human being, is essential for ensuring a healthy society going forward.

Thanks for the great article, and the tune. Super sweet. :)

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"Escalating Poverty and Inequality Remain Largely Ignored", by Ted Morgan :

Also if you've time, please consider - "Poverty in the U.S.A" - Chris Hedges with Jeremiah Wright :

Yes, OWS is at the vanguard of change towards an economy "of ethics and morality, centered around the human being" & we must all persevere in sharing all our good thoughts and ideas for true progress.

Finally : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa6sjtZTgco but much cheesier than the others though,lol :)

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Great links. I have to say, though, that OWS is fighting a great battle because we live in a nation, here in the U.S., that, forget caring about the poor, it largely degrades the poor. It's a huge problem and doesn't say much about the society we live in. It is rather superficial, materialistic, fear-mongering, greedy, individualistic, barren, and sadly, void of love.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." - Mahatma Gandhi

We should take heed of that, and, thanks for the last link. I loved it.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

OWS is far more important than we here know because history itself is playing out around us as we all spiral towards a 'quickening to a reckoning' - whilst ...

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

LOL! Just the title of that article made me laugh. I'll read it now. LOL!

"People think a billion dollars buys you a President, but they’re wrong,” he says. “It barely gets you a lemon like Mitt Romney.” So funny!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

LOLx2 !! This time you could excerpt the whole thing, pehaps !

spero ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

A shift in paradigm a shift in perspective. The poor are not the problem. It is what makes the poor - poor - that is the problem.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Definitely.

[+] -4 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

Sadly ows has not have enough followers to get anything done

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

So what are you doing here?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

lee can 'splain it to you better than I can.

http://leecamp.net/tag/occupy-wall-street/

That one was for the anniversary.

This ones more up to date.

http://4closurefraud.org/2011/12/05/lee-camp-is-occupy-wall-street-having-an-effect/

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

yes

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

:-) & WhoTF keeps voting you down for the merest breath of a comment ?!

WTF is that about ?!! H8 like that corrodes the spirit and twists the soul !!!

honi soit qui mal y pense ...

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

lol. I'm a squeaky wheel and I have no use for cliques or idiocy. Basically I'm an ass :)

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Re. 'POVERTY' - 20 facts about hunger in America that will blow your mind

#1. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#2. In October 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. By August 2012 that number had risen to 47.1 million Americans.

#3. Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#4. It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.

#5. According to new numbers that were just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in poverty increased to a new all-time record high of 49.7 million last year.

#6. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.

#7. Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.

#8. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#9. Overall, approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

#10. In the USA today, close to 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.

#11. One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy $500 billion each year.

#12. Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6 percent poverty rate.

#13. In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#14. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty.

#15. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30%.

#16. Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.

#17. There are 314 counties in the USA where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

#18. More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#19. Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.

#20. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, approximately 40 percent of all food in America “is routinely thrown away by consumers at home, discarded or unserved at restaurants or left unharvested on farms.”

~

Please use the ICH link below, in order to access all embedded corroborating links for the list above.

Oil your squeaky wheel if you like but persevere in all you do for The 99%. Solidarity.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Those facts are absolutely mind-blowing. Thanks for the awesome comment and all the great and important links. :)

I remember that Lakey article from early this year, btw. Very inspiring.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

You're welcome & George Lakey's article warrants real reflection. I also append :

"Big business is hoarding trillions of dollars rather than investing these funds in job creating production and services. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that these funds are up to $2 trillion. Without a thriving consumer base, the big business owners have no motivation to invest in goods and services. Without this investment, there will be no thriving consumer base. The economic elite sees no way out of this Catch 22, so they are looking for other ways to enrich themselves.

"One way they are doing this is by treating the world economy as an enormous casino. For instance, it has been estimated that the total amount of derivatives being played in the market comes to $1.2 quadrillion — 20 times the amount of money currently in the global economy. While the results of such reckless investment produce impressive portfolios for a few today, everyone else is exposed to potentially disastrous risks in the future.

"The 1% does need to obtain real money from somewhere, however. Productive investment is out of the question for the reasons discussed above. Austerity is a weapon they can use to muscle their way towards grabbing the vast pools of social capital in government programs meant to benefit working people. Rather than acting as organizers of production, the corporation and bank owners are using austerity to act as parasites, draining the economy as a whole."

In 'post script', I should add that I thought that this appended and excerpted article was so good that I made a 'forum-post' of it : http://occupywallst.org/forum/austerity-the-1s-global-battle-cry-by-mark-vorpahl/ and the full article - http://workerscompass.org/austerity-the-1s-global-battle-cry/ . Solidarity !!

e tenebris lux ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Awesome. Makes me kind of speechless because it is very hard to swallow the fact that austerity measures do in fact benefit a very few people who can take advantage of the economic situation while so many other people are harmed.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Austerity Is Collective Punishment !!! It is the clearest example of 'Hoover-Up Economics' rather the self-evidently faux 'Trickle Down' BS !! It is a crime ! Indeed, has there been any accountability from The Banksters after all that led up to and the consequences of - the 2008 GFC? It is clear that we are all still dealing with and paying for, that now but our meek complicity in our own penury will be tantamount to clamping shackles on ourselves. Outrage, education, agitation, organisation and the search for new paradigms is totally in order and many thanx for all you do in this regard and I again append :

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Americans must stand up against austerity. It has brought devastation to millions of people in Europe and will do the same here while a few enrich themselves.

Thanks for the Einstein piece. He's no dummy eh? LOL. "Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society."

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

As Einstein says : "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career." - true then (May 1949) ; so true now. That Eistein - nope, he's no dummy, he'll go far, for sure.

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Well I'm thinking Austerity is the worst kind of Violence... Like the worst kind of Violence is Poverty.

We have a Corporate Welfare-Government System, so hey, those guys in the Corps will be A-Okay.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Austerity IS "the worst kind of violence" for sure, slow. insidious and generational. Also please see :

fiat justitia ...

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Then you better figure out a way to destroy capitalism, because that economic system has nothing to do with ethics. How could it? It is totally driven by the almighty dollar...the profit motive. Your "ethical economics" would impact the bottom line by giving employees a living wage. That cannot be allowed, because it is in direct conflict with the holy directive -- maximize profits.

Ever wonder why large corporations have a Human Resources department, and not a Valuable Employees department? That name ought to give you an indicator of the capitalistic corporate mentality. Labor is just another resource like electricity or paper...a means to an end...and that end is to make the capitalist (R)ich...Period!

Now if you had worker-owned cooperatives that would allow democracy to exist in the workplace, well maybe you might get there. But it is impossible and will remain impossible under the dictatorial, corporate, capitalistic empire model that we have.

Anything else is fantasy.

The End

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

LOL. Look, nothing is impossible. We can change the framework under which people think about things. We can demand that our economic system be ethical, that it put humans ahead of profits. It's not an outrageous thought. This could even be done with the capitalist system remaining in place. The percent of profits dedicated to the labor portion of the means of production could be legislated.

You make a good point, but would this stop the greedy capitalist? Hell no. He'd make money anyway. Just like raising taxes would never kill a job. That is a total myth because demand creates jobs, not taxes. Just think, if everyone made enough money to live decently, demand would increase because, oh my, people might have money to spend. Real money, not credit card money.

Would worker-owned cooperatives be ideal? Yes, but in the meantime we could have a capitalist system that puts people first even if it has to be forced and legislated.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Your idealism is beautiful, but hopeless, or it would already have happened by now. Look at the entire history of capitalism (which is hundreds of years old). There is no indicator of compassion or ethics involved. It is not part of the formula for "success". Ethics has never been, is not now, nor will ever be a part of capitalism. For one thing, capitalism is exploitive by nature, and that means it will use any means at its disposal to achieve its end. This includes bribing politicians and lobbying for laws that benefit it. It is absurd to even think about using the word "ethics" in the same sentence as capitalism because it is the most evil, exploitive, and unethical economic model ever devised by the mind of man.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

I agree 100% that left to it's own devices capitalism is purely evil and exploitative. But, look, capitalism isn't leaving any time soon. Sweeping change takes a while. What we need to do right now is regulate capitalism. Legislate ethics into capitalism. Sure, it will no longer be the free-wheeling laissez-faire capitalism or crony capitalism that corporations love. And, who knows, it might need a new name. But, changes can be made and they can be made quickly and they can be made to benefit the people.

[-] 6 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I think you're both right. The hybrid, I don't believe involves any great compromise from either side. We put up guardrails, regulate and bend capitalism to the peope's will until the system benefits humans instead of corporations....until it's son different that it must be called by another name. I am confident this can be done because a). I know the people have, can and will awaken and b) I know that once the 99% realizes it is the 99%, we'll be in a position to make decisions from a position of united strength rather than demands from a position of divided weakness. We don't have to scrap our republic to do it either. What we need is to eject the scoundrels who have hijacked our political system.

All easier said than done of course but totally doable. First step, we Americans need to all wake the fuck up. Step two, wield our collective power.

I view OWS as being on the front lines of getting the fire started and fanning the flames on this decade long process.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Very well said. I see Occupy as the front line movement of this upcoming change also. And, I do think the discourse has shifted in this country because of it. For instance, who ever would have thought that McDonalds' workers would have the nerve to stand up for themselves? Bravo. It's a beautiful day. The seeds of change have been planted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/nyregion/fast-food-workers-in-new-york-city-rally-for-higher-wages.html?ref=todayspaper

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Thanks for the link!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Yes, OWS supporters spoke up and this enlivened and emboldened all kinds of groups and individuals in the last 14 months to speak up. When Walmart workers stood up, I think it really got a lot of the 99% thinking and talking. Hence McDonald's.

Privately, those in the 1% and their minions who are on the front lines of keeping wages and benefits down and productivity and profits up have to be beside themselves. They're not used to people standing up for themselves, especially collectively. That's what really scares them -- because the 1% knows quite well that they only rule if we the 99% are divided. When we start recognizing that we have more in common than we have dividing us, the corporatists will no longer be able to maintain the status quo.

Water has been building up behind this dam for a long long long time. And now the dam is cracking in a good way.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

OWS really has made a difference. I just love that photo of the McDonald's workers. It is truly inspiring. Solidarity!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

As serious as this all is, this is also getting fun again.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Yesss!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

And it ought to be fun. It seems a tremendous release of tension occurs when more and more people around the country start acknowledging the elephant on the room.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I get what you're saying. From my point of view, your suggestion is like trying to put yet another patch on a bicycle tube that already has so many patches on it that it will explode at any moment. At some point, you have to throw the whole rotten thing out and start over. Capitalism might have served a useful purpose during the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and even through the 20th century to some degree, as a means to develop technology. But now it has proven to be destructive environmentally, humanistically, economically, morally, and (of course) ethically. Capitalism MUST be replaced with something sustainable and beneficial for the long-term health of this planet, its animals, and humanity. Anything less is a "compromise with the devil". And you know what happens when you make deals with the devil...you always lose in the end.

The problem with humanity is that it is almost universally short-sighted. If we are to save ourselves, we must take a long-range view of things.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

I don't disagree with you, but Americans aren't exactly out in the streets calling for a revolution, so we must plant the ideas first. People must first understand that their economic system is failing them. You already get this, but most people do not. They also don't understand that the economic system can be changed to work for them. We need to get the word out. Capitalism, unregulated, or poorly regulated to benefit the wealthy and corporations is NOT inevitable. It can be changed and then what will it be when it is changed? That is up for question, but surely, it will benefit all people.

[-] 4 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Very well said. So important for people to realize it doesn't have to be this way. Another world is possible.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Sorry, you and I must part company on this topic. I won't beat this dead horse any longer, but the reason I am so emphatic about it is that we are out of time. We don't have the luxury of doing it your way.

Read this in its totality.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

I voted for Jill Stein. If I remember correctly, you were worried about voting for a 3rd party. So, you think the Dems are going to bring this change? Jill Stein would have, but too many people are chicken to really go for the changes we need to make, that is why it won't happen overnight. How exactly do you want to make this happen faster? I really want to know.

Thanks for the link. I like Chris Hedges.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I hate 2-party as much as anyone else. But politics in this country isn't ready for a winable 3rd party, so for now it is a spoiler. The thought of a plutocratic puppet like Romney winning the presidency turned my stomach, so my vote for Dem was based on pragmatism. All of the arguments for not voting 2-party were, in my opinion, based on fantasy. Obama buys time for Occupy and other progressive organizations to gain some ground and gain some numbers...to spread the word among the masses. With Romney, in my opinion, Occupy would have been as good as dead, at least in any kind of effectiveness, as its progressive voice would have fallen on totally deaf ears in national government (it pretty much does now anyway). That is the only reason I was concerned about votes draining off to 3rd party in a close election (and all the indicators were that it would be very, very close).

As far as making things happen faster, there needs to be a concerted organized effort on the part of not only Occupy but any and all other progressive organizations to push for a Legal fight to reverse the last 30+ years of Neo-Con destruction they have put in place. I would like to see Occupy develop a Legal arm to challenge conservative efforts (perhaps of sympathetic lawyers who could volunteer their time...or get paid somehow perhaps, don't have that detail yet), because I do not believe mere protesting can get the job done. Protesting is important and has its place, but I don't see how it will get Glass-Steagall reinstated, Citizens United reversed, corporate personhood revoked, and all of the other focal points that are constantly discussed on this forum.

There also needs to be, for lack of a better term, a propaganda arm of Occupy and other progressive orgs that can effectively reach the masses and make them aware of just how dire the situation is. The state-controlled MSM and the power-elite of this country have done a thorough job of distracting and demoralizing the population, and it will require a herculean effort to wake them up as to what capitalism is doing to this planet. Quite frankly, I don't think a large segment of the population actually makes the connection between capitalism's relentless drive for profits, human and natural resource destruction, and our rapidly accelerating path toward planetary uninhabitability. If they truly did understand that connection, why would they not take action by the millions to insist on a rapid response to the threat? Would they voluntarily choose suicide? Yet everyone seems to just go about their business, too busy with life distractions, and shrugging their sholders while chanting the collective mantra "What can I do? I'm just one small person". It is collective madness and resignation. It is capitulation to perceived irreversable circumstances. This MUST be reversed, or I can guarentee with 100% certainty that we are all doomed. That sounds overdramatic perhaps, but I don't think that anyone who truly understands the ramifications of what is unfolding before our eyes could possibly deny the truth of it. In my opinion, we have one chance at this...just one...and we better get it right..or else.

Did I answer your question or are you wanting further details?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Truly awesome comment, Underdog! Much to think about there. Getting people to realize the deleterious nature of capitalism is of the utmost importance. You give many good ideas there. Thanks!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Would you consider supporting the current effort to remove indef detention from the new defense budget.? I think Jill Stein would.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/support-mark-udalls-aendment-to-end-indef-detentio/

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Yes. Thanks. He won, now he better listen, lol.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Yes, I agree Pres Obama should have vetoed the defense bill last year & should this year if it includes indef detention.

This petition is in support of an amendment to get indef detention removed from the defense bill before the Pres even sees it.

because we all know a Presidential veto is likely to be overturned by congress.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

I'm not an expert on this issue but there is more to it than just indef detention that is a problem, but any steps in the right direction are good.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

There are quite a few rights violations that we must repeal. Patriot act, warrentless wiretaps, drone strikes, indefinate detention/Gitmo & others.

This one is being debated in congress today so we can make our preferences known, & please feel free to spread it around. There is great value/strength in numbers.

Thanks

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I think you're both right. The hybrid, I don't believe involves any great compromise from either side. We put up guardrails, regulate and bend capitalism to the peope's will until the system benefits humans instead of corporations....until it's son different that it must be called by another name. I am confident this can be done because a). I know the people have, can and will awaken and b) I know that once the 99% realizes it is the 99%, we'll be in a position to make decisions from a position of united strength rather than demands from a position of divided weakness. We don't have to scrap our republic to do it either. What we need is to eject the scoundrels who have hijacked our political system.

All easier said than done of course but totally doable. First step, we Americans need to all wake the fuck up. Step two, wield our collective power.

I view OWS as being on the front lines of getting the fire started and fanning the flames on this decade long process.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

You could actually find the true value by finding the percentages of labor and operational costs including materials up to production level. - expected profit margin from the total revenue from the sale. Then apply those percentages to the remaining revenue. The percentage of remaining revenue matching the production percentage of labor should be the percentage paid to employees. Then we can cap what any expected profit margin may be by legislation.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

But where are your percentages coming from? Any calculation of the value of labor should take into consideration the fact that the laborer is a human being.

Also, wages as a percent of profit is way down over the past 40 years. We certainly can and should legislate that wages be at least x% of profit.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Yeah, I will come up with something soon. I'm no biz expert but I feel challenged by this aspect.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

It is the crux of the matter. How do we value labor? Economics is a field that needs a total revamping in my opinion. But, that said, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx all have well-known labor theories of value. I particularly like Marx, probably no surprise.

"Marx uses the concept of "socially necessary abstract labor-time" to introduce a social perspective distinct from his predecessors and neoclassical economics. Whereas most economists start with the individual's perspective, Marx starts with the perspective of society as a whole. "Social production" involves a complicated and interconnected division of labor of a wide variety of people who depend on each other for their survival and prosperity."

Also, "Marx describes capitalism as having an institutional framework in which a small minority (the capitalists) oligopolize the means of production. The workers cannot survive except by working for capitalists, and the state preserves this inequality of power. In normal role of force is structural, part of the usual workings of the system. The reserve army of unemployed workers continually threatens employed workers, pushing them to work hard to produce for the capitalists."

Economics is a social science, not a hard science and that is part of the reason why it is so esoteric.

If I could only recommend one book to read on economics, I would recommend Das Kapital.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

The blending of anti-individualistic ideas into most material on socialism is what keeps my interest low. Socialism has a really good perspective on social issues but the lack of individual sovereignty I think is the holdup in working it into our current system.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

This could all be done within the capitalist economic system we have in place right now. Capitalism with checks and balances.

And, don't be afraid to read Das Kapital because you don't like socialism. Das Kapital is about capitalism, not socialism.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Right on. I'm not ant-socialism any more than anti-capitalism. This just seems to be the big holdup. A capitalist problem that is anti-individualistic is that people can buy and paralyze big swaths of undeveloped land, when there should be more tolerance for someone to go out and claim unused land to build a family home or just live on, at a marginal cost if any.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

Yes. It isn't really about capitalism vs. socialism. In the end it is about what is best for human beings. I like what you describe there. Humans have basic needs that should be met quite easily by any economic system. If they can't be met then that economic system is void. It is a failure, it has no value and should be scrapped.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Exactly.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

Awesome comments on this great thread and also fyi - 'Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low' - http://www.nationofchange.org/corporate-profits-hit-record-high-while-worker-wages-hit-record-low-1354554553 . Keep Occupying The Real Issues! Never Give Up! Solidarity.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 1 year ago

So long as people's allotments of production are tied to an hour of labor, there will always be injustice. Minimum wage is just a momentary bandaid which will never alleviate the real problem. Consider the situation exasperated by advancing technology particularly automation. More can be produced with less labor. So what happens in our present economic arrangement? Since less people are required to produce a product, some people will loose their jobs as result of the production efficiency advance. Although more is produced, less people will share the benefit. A few folks get richer while other folk are getting poorer. The only way out of this situation is to step away from the concept of hourly labor rate, which the idea of minimum wage only reenforces, by truly restructuring production apportionment in a manner which permits all citizens of a community to have a share in the production profit.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

poverty can easily be dealt with. the solution to poverty and the human crisis in general is the same solution to the environmental crisis. PERMACULTURE. lets do it!

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Could you be more specific?

[-] 2 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

sure by breaking up the factory farm monopolies and ending subsidies to big agriculture and taking that money and spending it in the training and educating the poor and unemployed in the techniques and theories of permaculture we can put untold millions of people to work on organic farms nationwide and reinvigorate the economy at the same time helping people to reconnect human beings with the natural cycle of life and death and the natural world.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Agriculture is due for a revamp, for sure.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

"The second problem is that of exploitation. Business owners often complain about how the minimum wage is simply too high for low skilled jobs and that the fair wage for any job should be determined purely by the market forces of supply and demand. That would be fine except for the reality that wages for low skilled workers are not determined by fairness but by the desire of businesses to maximize profit, and that workers are not livestock or grain whose worth should be measured solely in terms of supply and demand."

Thanks for the link.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

I love strikes because a quick decrease in the supply of labor creates an immediate demand for it. ;)

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 1 year ago

American workers must start standing up for themselves. Short term pain for long term gain.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Truth to power

[+] -4 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

So in a way, it's like a job sharing thing!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1989) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

A post should have more than a link.

it is written by the Darwins

[-] -3 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 1 year ago

Here we go again blaming corporations and greed when the problem is with the people of this country.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2390) 1 year ago

whypoverty.net