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America a failed experiment?

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by NotMyBro, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. NotMyBro

    NotMyBro VIP Extreme Gold

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    This article from yesterday's NYTimes reminded me of Howard. Are we really this fucked???

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/opinion/kristof-a-failed-experiment.html?_r=1&

    A Failed Experiment
    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

    In upper-middle-class suburbs on the East Coast, the newest must-have isn’t a $7,500 Sub-Zero refrigerator. It’s a standby generator that automatically flips on backup power to an entire house when the electrical grid goes out.

    In part, that’s a legacy of Hurricane Sandy. Such a system can cost well over $10,000, but many families are fed up with losing power again and again.

    (A month ago, I would have written more snarkily about residential generators. But then we lost power for 12 days after Sandy — and that was our third extended power outage in four years. Now I’m feeling less snarky than jealous!)

    More broadly, the lust for generators is a reflection of our antiquated electrical grid and failure to address climate change. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our grid, prone to bottlenecks and blackouts, a grade of D+ in 2009.

    So Generac, a Wisconsin company that dominates the generator market, says it is running three shifts to meet surging demand. About 3 percent of stand-alone homes worth more than $100,000 in the country now have standby generators installed.

    “Demand for generators has been overwhelming, and we are increasing our production levels,” Art Aiello, a spokesman for Generac, told me.

    That’s how things often work in America. Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.

    It’s manifestly silly (and highly polluting) for every fine home to have a generator. It would make more sense to invest those resources in the electrical grid so that it wouldn’t fail in the first place.

    But our political system is dysfunctional: in addressing income inequality, in confronting climate change and in maintaining national infrastructure.

    The National Climatic Data Center has just reported that October was the 332nd month in a row of above-average global temperatures. As the environmental Web site Grist reported, that means that nobody younger than 27 has lived for a single month with colder-than-average global temperatures, yet climate change wasn’t even much of an issue in the 2012 campaign. Likewise, the World Economic Forum ranks American infrastructure 25th in the world, down from 8th in 2003-4, yet infrastructure is barely mentioned by politicians.

    So time and again, we see the decline of public services accompanied by the rise of private workarounds for the wealthy.

    Is crime a problem? Well, rather than pay for better policing, move to a gated community with private security guards!

    Are public schools failing? Well, superb private schools have spaces for a mere $40,000 per child per year.

    Public libraries closing branches and cutting hours? Well, buy your own books and magazines!

    Are public parks — even our awesome national parks, dubbed “America’s best idea” and the quintessential “public good” — suffering from budget cuts? Don’t whine. Just buy a weekend home in the country!

    Public playgrounds and tennis courts decrepit? Never mind — just join a private tennis club!


    I’m used to seeing this mind-set in developing countries like Chad or Pakistan, where the feudal rich make do behind high walls topped with shards of glass; increasingly, I see it in our country. The disregard for public goods was epitomized by Mitt Romney’s call to end financing of public broadcasting.

    A wealthy friend of mine notes that we all pay for poverty in the end. The upfront way is to finance early childhood education for at-risk kids. The back-end way is to pay for prisons and private security guards. In cities with high economic inequality, such as New York and Los Angeles, more than 1 percent of all employees work as private security guards, according to census data.

    This question of public goods hovers in the backdrop as we confront the “fiscal cliff” and seek to reach a deal based on a mix of higher revenues and reduced benefits. It’s true that we have a problem with rising entitlement spending, especially in health care. But I also wonder if we’ve reached the end of a failed half-century experiment in ever-lower tax rates for the wealthy.

    Since the 1950s, the top federal income tax rate has fallen from 90 percent or more to 35 percent. Capital gains tax rates have been cut by more than half since the late 1970s. Financial tycoons now often pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

    All this has coincided with the decline of some public services and the emergence of staggering levels of inequality (granted, other factors are also at work) such that the top 1 percent of Americans now have greater collective net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent.

    Not even the hum of the most powerful private generator can disguise the failure of that long experiment.
     
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  3. IlluminatiJones

    IlluminatiJones New Member

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    While on mushrooms in Amsterdam I got the distinct impression that the entire city was an experiment allowed to happen for research purposes.
     
  4. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    nope, but writing uplifting articles does not get an author published.
     
  5. cheezedbyfate

    cheezedbyfate Well-Known Member

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    akumba mumbwangi
     
  6. TaTa Toothy

    TaTa Toothy New Member

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    It's not tax cuts for the wealthy that was the problem, it is as it has always been, the waste of tax dollars on stupid shit and freeloaders that is the problem. Nobody ever wants to address this problem. Government should spend money on it's infrastructure (roads, bridges, power grids, etc), and the military. Period. When politicians line their own pockets and then cry we need to raise more taxes I say "FUCK YOU!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  7. DICKWAD

    DICKWAD RIP Sammy Gold Shot Dead

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    Every man for them self . We should all be self sufficient.
     
  8. shitcunt

    shitcunt Well-Known Member

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    Lets destroy the wealthy with taxes and then sit around wondering why we're still fucked.
     
  9. Brokenbad

    Brokenbad Well-Known Member

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    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
     
  10. IlluminatiJones

    IlluminatiJones New Member

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    America is fucked on three main fronts:

    1. the African-American problem. Unfixable: can't live with 'em, can't ship 'em back.

    2. they allowed profits to enter into things that have no business being "for profit" enterprises: health care and insurance, the penal system, education.............................

    3. the approach and attitude towards food, especially what they're feeding their youth: garbage in/garbage out
     
  11. FishySausage

    FishySausage Original Nuttah VIP

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    Jeez, hyperbole much?
    No one is saying "destroy the rich". Maybe just not make it SO MUCH EASIER for the wealthy to aquire wealth than the middle class.
    Jerkoffs like Trump, who have never dine better financially crying SOCIALISM!
    It's all so phony
     
  12. NotMyBro

    NotMyBro VIP Extreme Gold

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    Neglected infrastructure, endless debt, endless wars, totally corrupt politicians serving alien interests and a lying media... this cannot go for long... country's basically few years away from a French-style class war.

    The only thing that 50 years of tax cuts for the wealthy have done is to make rich richer and poor poorer.
     
  13. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member

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    Mediocrity and failure is what you'll get when you try to "level the playing field" or "make the rich pay their fair hare" or otherwise force the producers and successful people into reducing their quality of life. They'll just find a private solution to whatever is being ruined trough the public option and stop paying into the public option altogether.
     
  14. FishySausage

    FishySausage Original Nuttah VIP

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    And how do you suppose they do that?

    BTW even though it has never been easier in the history of out country for the rich to get richer, the past is full of success stories.

    Your theory is shit
     
  15. DaBUU

    DaBUU Active Member

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    What part of 'the top 1 percent of Americans now have greater collective net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent.' do you not understand?
     
  16. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member

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    Charter schools, move their business to a more tax friendly jurisdiction, gated communities, country clubs, private libraries, etc just as the article states. Public schools only cater to the c student. The a student gets held bail waiting for the retards to catch up.

    My theory is reality. If I can pay more for something better, I will. That's only going to change if you can obsolete the law of supply & demand.
     
  17. Dainty Jainty

    Dainty Jainty New Member

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    That's your number one? Then you've been perfectly brainwashed. Look beyond all silly distractions like race and culture and society around you. Go beyond that. It's the government's fault for a huge chunk of our problems. If the government was doing right by us, most of us wouldn't have to struggle so much and would enjoy a better life.
     
  18. Spazzmatazz

    Spazzmatazz Band Member Shot Dead

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    This is no place for facts!
    This is a place for crying for the foreseeable future about a multimillionaire who made his money by outsourcing jobs losing the election.

    Now seriously. Just how did all those red states suddenly turn blue?
    Was it because millions of Republicans suddenly believed Obama was a better choice?
    Did the Democrats somehow ship in voters and overturn the state?
    Or was it the Republicans saying, "No. Not this guy! What was the black guys' name again?"?
     
  19. Samurai

    Samurai Well-Known Member VIP

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    The vast majority of our power grid is not maintained by the federal government. Therefore the tax rate on the "wealthy" has nothing to do with the recent sad state of affairs. One could easily argue that the rampant environmental and other regulations are a tremendous dis-incentive for these companies to undertake the construction effort to upgrade their infrastructure. Let's also not forget the class warfare whining and bitching that would accompany any rate increases these companies tried to implement to actually, you know, pay for the upgrade. "Ahhh, Entergy Systems already pays their CEO $X million, and they want poor families to pay $5 more a month. It's criminal!"
     
  20. Humongous

    Humongous Well-Known Member VIP

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    Off subject, but who is that in your avatar NotMyBro?
     
  21. Howards Wig

    Howards Wig Active Member

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    It always amazes me that there are people who feel obligated to defend the rich. Make that, the obscenely rich.

    Some guy has a great idea, patents it, and can live off it the rest of his life.. awesome. A CEO making 100M, with really no intrinsic benefit to the company other than his compensation is decided by other CEOs, and something is fucked. The greatest lie in America is that wages are driving jobs off shore. This is not true. It is the obscene desire to maximize profits so a limited group may benefit.

    Education is more expensive than ever. Jobs are fewer. Manufacturing is moving to foreign countries every day. It is not hard to do the math that the standard of living will continue to decrease, especially as a nation of shopper's hits the wall (with black Friday a nice example). Having said that, I love my Honda generator. :)
     

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