The Plight of the Poor Whites

The Plight of the Poor Whites
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Why are white working class people turning to Right Wing groups like the Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists, NeoNazis and the like? Why are they supporting Trump and Brexit?

 

The working class whites used to have a good income from dangerous, dirty well-paid jobs in industries such as mining, ship-building, car manufacture, oil, steel and components industries. These jobs have largely gone. Automation and globalisation have taken these jobs away. They are either operating in countries where the workforce is paid a great deal less or automation has reduced the need for workers. Bosses have maximised their profits by cutting the wage-bill.

 

The working men and women not only used to receive a good wage for their hard work but also had the respect of the community who recognised the arduous and dangerous nature of their work. Consequently those working communities had great self-respect.

 

The world has moved on. Some of these industries are in terminal decline. We no longer need oil, gas and coal with its pollution and global warming. We need renewable energy.

 

While the new industries require labour a lot of the work is skilled or automated.

 

The working class has been left high and dry. They are unemployed or doing low-level, poorly paid work, delivering or stacking shelves.

 

Many white blue-collar workers feel desperate and totally let down by the system. They look for scapegoats and blame immigrants for taking their jobs. They have turned to Brexit and Trump – both running campaigns focussed on cutting immigration with lashings of blatant xenophobia and overt racism - both claiming that these policies will solve the problems and make the country great again. Neither will.

 

What is needed is an overhaul of the way society works.

 

Firstly we need to build new industries to replace the old ones. China has seen this. Their renewable energy programme has made them a world leader while the USA, under Trump, is vainly hanging on to old industries and the UK sits on the fence.

 

Secondly we need to seize the opportunities presented to create a better society. At present huge profits are going into the pockets of fewer and fewer. We need to provide a progressive taxation system so that these profits are share more uniformly. With the taxes gathered we should revitalise our infrastructure, provide quality education, health care and social care. This will provide quality jobs.

 

The desperate plight of the displaced workers requires urgently addressing before their anger turns to hatred and violence.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:04am
Until this problem is addressed we are going to have the election of populists such as Trump, the rise of nationalism as with Brexit and the rise of the right wing Nazis and terrorism - both of whom feed off this desperation.
wsucram15 Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:17am
Opher..I have discussed this often on here.
I remember the huge steel mills, my husband used to work at US Steel in Youngstown, Ohio.  He was there when it closed the first time, then bought by Japanese and closed the second time. This was in the early 80s.
He went from making almost as much money as I did in 2014 to making minimum wage when we moved to MD because there were no jobs in the area where we lived.  Most people, unless it was a family home and paid off, lost their homes..the area went into decline and to this day has not fully recovered. 
I watched it happen again in the later part of 2009 - 2014. It was bad, I dont think we have recovered or that we will as we have known job recovery in the past in the US.
You are right, it is the growing discord among Americans and no one can stop progress.  Retraining is needed to compete with the upcoming markets, not a jump into the past.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:20am
wsu - exactly! Until Trump starts turning his attention away from making promises to bring back old redundant industries towards the industries of the future the US will slump.
The workforce need retraining for well-paid jobs in new industries. The old ones are dead.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:30am
Good article on from Goodwin.  At time those poor Whites would not collaborate with Blacks to vote for leaders who would help them because poor Blacks would also be helped.  The Whites enjoyed their $50/hour high school diploma and less qualification required jobs. So we are into jobs that require educational attainment they cannot muster; so they scapegoat.  
 
Now there are no Blacks to collaborate with, so they seek out extremist groups. Still, they get jobs as police and correction officers. White have mastered a prison system where intercity Blacks are brought to upstate communities as job source for their prisons.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:34am
Dr Rupert - It is time for black and white to work together to oppose the spread of fascism. Perhaps it will be the very thing that will create unity? I hope so.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:37am
That's why people need worker retraining; low corporate taxes; and constant research and development of better products and services the world's consumers would buy.
George N Romey Added Aug 23, 2017 - 9:07am
Actually it's more than this. Closed factories mean less jobs for Engineers, Finance, HR and other professionals. They are forced to take jobs that would have gone to high school grads and high school grads start to compete with the working poor for jobs. No wonder there is so much hate. By the way it was pointed out that many supporters of Trump & WS are white collar workers. AI is also taking away those jobs too.
 
There is no private or public leadership and we wonder why there is so much hate,
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 9:11am
Dino - I agree - apart from low corporate taxes - I think another incentive to encourage creative development, research and investment would be more effective.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 9:15am
George - those are good points. The knock-on effect is huge.
AI is reducing the need for many jobs and increasing productivity and profits.
I would suggest increasing taxation on profits and income, increasing workers pay, reducing hours to a three day week across the board, employing more teachers, nurses, doctors, carers, police and support staff and creating a fairer, more caring society.
Billy Roper Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:17am
Whites could be kept complacent for a while by the bread and circuses of the economy and entertainment. Now they can no longer all be blinded to the demographic replacement going on as America polarizes towards balkanization.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:20am
Billy - the gross inequality in the earnings is scandalous. The wealth is creamed off into the pockets of too few.
Melina Ahl Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:34am
My home is in Sweden, but I live in The States about five months of the year. In Sweden we don't have anything like the poor white trailer trash that The States have.
 
People in The States are poor because the rulers keep them that way. When President Obama ended the Bush2 Recession he helped USA corporations, and the stock markets, but the people who create the wealth are still not allowed to keep some of it. The wealth in the USA that poor people create is taken from them by their employers, chiefly by not raising worker's wages while wealth they create increases.
 
You have what--- about 53% of the wealth poor people create goes to off shore banks via "investors" who risked some of their money but did none of the wealth creation. Why do you people put up with that?
 
Where I live (when not in The States), and the entire region of eight countries around Sweden, our standard of living and quality of life is much higher than you people in The States. We live longer, happier, more prosperous, and much safer lives that people in The States. You all can easily look and see how we did that, but you won't look. In fact poor white people in The States actively oppose any and all attempts by the government to improve their lives. What in the world could you people be thinking?
 
Look at the poor white people in that state of idiots, Tennessee. About 70% of them need public assistance to feed their children to keep them from starving, but the majority of individuals voted to end that public assistance because they believed their neighbors did not deserve it. The idiots who needed food stamps to feed their children voted to end food stamps because they did not want "the undeserving" to feed their children with food stamps---- and then these voters got enraged when the food stamp program ended because of their votes.
 
You people cannot all be this stupid. What in the world do you accept this behavior for?
wsucram15 Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:44am
Melina..thank you. Although I did think the wealth distribution was higher than that and the poverty level much higher.
But you are looking at the current figures I am sure. 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:20am
Melina that unfortunately sums it up.
The Americans have an aversion to paying taxes. Someone on one of the threads called it stealing. They do not seem to recognise that the taxes go to supply quality education, health care, police and support the most needy. They try to do this on the cheap and have poor public services. That results in a poorly educated population who have difficulty understanding the basics and little or no chance of getting on. Couple that with a gung ho John Wayne attitude and patriotism that has been drummed into them from an early age and you have a close-minded ignorance.
I have stayed in Denmark and I can attest to the high standard of education, public services and quality of life. That is created by Social Democracy and that is like touching the blue touch-paper to a lot of Americans who have had all the propaganda about socialism and communism until they are full to the brim with brain-washed false information.
Trump was a tax evader and proud of it. In my book that is stealing from the poor. But the poor see it as laudable. Talk about stupidity.
Instead of supporting Trump they should be hauling him and his super-rich bandits over the coals.
There is a lot of irony, stupidity and extreme views in the States. They still think it's the Wild West.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:21am
wsu - It is the huge inequality that is creating the problem. If the people who are scamming off enormous wealth put it back into the country and created a fairer society there would not be a problem.
Linda Paul Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:27am
Education, education, education! Why have families from the rust belt and big manufacturing communities continued to slide since the 80s? They've had nearly 40 years, that's 2 generations, to educate young people from grade 1 - 12 to compete in a new world. But that is not happening. It is heartbreaking but understandable when the workforce of a pivotal generation switches mid gear. It is much more difficult for older workers to retrain, especially while having to provide for families and try to hang onto homes. But each generation of their kids should be capable of competing in the new paradigm, if the schools were teaching what is needed. And I don't mean cursive handwriting.
 
I also agree with Malina. Top level corporate benefits have soared since the 80s, while those who keep the cogs going, are barely treading water. That has to stop before this country can heal.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:34am
Linda - exactly. Though I would have put it -
EDUCATION!!! EDUCATION!!! EDUCATION!!! EDUCATION!!!
That is the future and that is what the US skimps on. I know I taught there for a year. My top classes of 18 year olds were achieving the level my 12 year olds were working at in England.
Pay your taxes. Fund public services. Or suffer the consequences - an ill-educated, ignorant population.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:49am
Melina
 
That will stop soon. The picture we see here in Switzerland of Sweden is one of constant migration of young people who have completely different cultures and behaviors (to put it mildly) and I have seen a report by a Malmö chief of police saying that they can't cope with increasing immigrant crime anymore. Whether it's wrong or not - maybe you can shed a light on it ?
Jeff Michka Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:04pm
Dr. Green writes: White have mastered a prison system where intercity Blacks are brought to upstate communities as job source for their prisons-The private sector prison industry is the industry that welcomes inner-city blacks with open arms in through their revolving doors.  Bring back and promote "stop and frisk" to keep their profits high.Yeah, that good ol private prison industry can become the new destination for Trump's coal miners.  The same bunch that doesn't want retraining "'cause they are too old to learn."  Plus, being a programmer isn't an "identity job".  So they can tell someone to "take that retraining and shove it."
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:07pm
SEF - mass migration causes huge problems. It needs controlling. Migration is good. Mass migration is not.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:07pm
opher goodwin notes: Pay your taxes. Fund public services. Or suffer the consequences - an ill-educated, ignorant population.-But that is a desired outcome.  If the population is ill-educated and ignorant, they'll be easier to handle, fool, and won't have social ambitions outside "their class."
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:08pm
Jeff - so what percentage of the out of work people refuse retraining?
George N Romey Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:27pm
I hear this "education" argument or in other words all young people should go to college, incurring thousands in debt to do so.  And what will await them?  $15-$17 an hour jobs and not much else.  The "college" solution is getting old, it doesn't work.  Workers will retrain if given the opportunity to do so and earn a living.  Its hogwash older workers don't want new skills.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:32pm
George
 
incurring thousands in debt to do so
 
Some do not WANT the majority to be educated...
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:41pm
George - I'm not talking college. I'm talking school. The level of education up to 18 years is simply not good enough; it isn't properly funded.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:42pm
Jeff - I am aware of that. The government might want an ignorant population but it is up to the people to vote to put that right. While they have the attitude to taxes that they have they will never do that.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:43pm
George - older workers might not want new skills but if the old jobs are gone they will need them. When the needs must....
wsucram15 Added Aug 23, 2017 - 12:45pm
George..it is a must and we have discussed why so many times I cant even make the point anymore because what we know now will change in even 10 years time.
What I just learned and continue to learn will change...and its expensive.
So hopefully, at least with younger people, the govt will do at least the first two years in the correct fields.  Its important to keep this country competitive.  The countries that are ahead, this is how they do it.
Linda..I am tried of hearing you cant retrain.  PPL are resistant, but tell them their families will starve and they learn quickly. Ive seen it.  I will say, some could not adapt...but many did and were able to change mindset and ability.  It was the relocation that narrowed the field down significantly.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 23, 2017 - 1:27pm
opher goodwin asks: Jeff - so what percentage of the out of work people refuse retraining?-Wish I had a firm number for all US, but only can reference WV, at 15% of those that received unemployment benefits a couple of years back.  Don't buy into Geo's  "Its hogwash older workers don't want new skills." No, it's the type of people that "I WAS A COAL MINER, MY DADDY WAS A COAL MINER, AND I want my son to be a coal miner and stand for sumpthin'."  The same folks waiting for Trump to get their coal jobs back to them. Weaponized ignorance.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 23, 2017 - 1:33pm
opher also notes: Couple that with a gung ho John Wayne attitude and patriotism that has been drummed into them from an early age and you have a close-minded ignorance.-That was the outcome of Ronnie Raygun and company selling American workers on them being this worker, going from employer to employer, jaw firmly set, toolbox in hand, awaiting the best wages to take a job, and if you weren't this solitary, John Wayne of the workforce, you were some kind of commie.  Unions=Commie dependence, non-union=all goodness and republican light.  "Free dumb and Liber-tea."
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 23, 2017 - 2:28pm
The assumption that " white privilege" automatically includes economic security had to be discarded as global competition and automation attack the real economy.By displacing the resultant fear and disappointment to reinforcing the concept of "white privilege" there is a turning to symbols thereof like White Nationalism,neonazism,the KKK etc.Education is not the answer unless emotional education can be packaged in some easy manner.This being the case,the nature of our leadership is critical to set examples that may buy us time to return maximum attention to the real causes of national decline.
George N Romey Added Aug 23, 2017 - 2:34pm
This narrative assumes that African Americans and Hispanics aren't suffering from neoliberal politics.  One just needs to go out and talk to some of them (like I have).  They are not in any better position than their white brethren and sadly both sides are at war while they both suffer from the same ailment.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 2:54pm
Jeff - I know change is hard for people. They grow up with expectations and those are blown out of the water. They have to learn to adapt. I reckon most people do. It is that rump that are obstinate and cause the big problems. They find it hard giving up the past and moving on.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 2:56pm
Jeff - Well good old Ronnie changed tack a few times didn't he? He ended up a right wing conservative.
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 2:58pm
PCT - Emotional education is a crucial part of the package as far as I'm concerned. As a Headteacher it was the main thrust of education for me - the most important element. Teaching kids to be human, tolerant and compassionate exceeded everything else. What is the point of highly educated people if they end up Nazis?
opher goodwin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 3:00pm
George - it doesn't assume that. I think the black and Hispanic population have historically suffered more than the whites and still are. I merely wanted to focus on a particular segment because they are the ones feeding the Nazis upsurge.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 23, 2017 - 3:33pm
Jehh Michka, you are right. The model is keep 'em dumb and stupid. Opher and George and others, it is less about education and retraining...it is more about being informed.
 
Being an informed person doesn't mean a college degree. You can have been to Eton and be an ass, look at Boris Johnson and many others. Is is NOT about education in itself ( although the true meaning of education is lost in contemporary education/ fact teaching and brain washing).
 
To become informed about life, politics, economics, the issues and the facts is not done through the media.  The media is right wing and part of the model to keep people utterly uninformed and to deliberately tempt the lowest common denominators of the human condition relating to scapegoating, strangers, foreigners, immigrants and hate unbridled. 
 
If people are busy pulling on white cones and having an outlet for their pent up aggression by shooting or mowing someone down in a car, well then they will not challenge the system in situ will they?
 
The masses are but cannon fodder for the machine which feeds hate, the war industry and the elites. . . .
Linda Paul Added Aug 23, 2017 - 4:05pm
In response to George, I'm not talking upper education. I'm talking k-12! And beyond that we need stronger emphasis on trades...coding schools and the like, training that takes an already well educated secondary school student into a specialized field where he or she can actually make a living. Just because one's parents' jobs went away, doesn't mean the kids' opportunities went away....the simply changed. And it doesn't always take an expensive college education to move forward. Quite the contrary. I believe there is too much emphasis on college and not enough on real world jobs.
George N Romey Added Aug 23, 2017 - 4:54pm
Eileen & Linda way too much emphasis is placed on a college degree. However those that make hiring decisions are far likely to be college grads & brainwashed that a college degree equals intelligence and capacity. It does not. I've gotten to the point that I can have a much more enlightened conversation with a worker on the docks versus those one sitting in a private office.
 
More and more I walk out of an office of an executive wanting to put my head in a bucket of battery acid. Their listening and comprehension skills are zilch.
The Conservative Mind Added Aug 23, 2017 - 5:37pm
Opher, hope you do not take this wrong, but your article highlights the problems facing this country more thru its tone, than the point of view it takes. I assume from your opening statement, you have not spent much time on a factory floor, walking construction sites, or had a beer with skilled and semi-skilled tradesmen. These men and women, as a whole, readily accept losses due to purely economic reasons, but being legislatively shoved aside, or a job taken by someone willing to work for peanuts, is infuriating. Ever seen a painter, facing foreclosure, brought to tears as illegal labor undercut his livelihood? Is it racist for him to want fair competition?
The assumption that racism and economic frustration are one in the same is wrong. Poverty is a state of low productivity, nothing else. It has absolutely nothing to do with race. To convolute issues by insinuating a racial component where none exist is front and center of the problems facing the U.S.  Secondly, economic upheavals are nothing new, but exasperating the situation by allowing massive migration across borders is in no way helpful. As competition for jobs heats up, driving down wages with cheap labor causes hostility, and hostility that polls show goes across the social spectrum. Correspondingly, the more you hamstring economic flexibility, the more difficult it is to adapt to changing paradigms.
 As far as right wing extremism, it always follows when left wing lunacy is allowed to fester. Whether we are talking the progressive era, the new deal, the sixties, or today, the results have always been the same. In short, if you want to know where the rise in right wing extremism is coming from, it is a natural result of coddling the likes of progressive anti-free speech groups, Black Lives Matter, anti-cop hate speech, and yes even the transgender movement. Not only does extremism breed extremism, social upheavals do as well. Today both are in play.
 If we want to address the economic problems, give the economy some flexibility, and breathing room. If you want to calm down the rising tide of racism, stop making everything about race. If one wants to sustain a civil society, then it is necessary to maintain a level of civility and avoid radical upheavals in the social fabric.
 
John G Added Aug 23, 2017 - 5:43pm
There is enormous appetite in the nations ravaged by neoliberalism for socialism.
The fake populism of right wing demagogues like Trump, Farage etc is designed to channel that left wing tendency to candidates controlled by the elites. And to disguise the real problems. i.e ruling class looting.
That's the purpose of fascist movements. They are essentially ruling class hijacking popular anger.
Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are the most popular politicians in their respective countries.
That's no anomaly.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 23, 2017 - 5:45pm
Eileen d B sez: Being an informed person doesn't mean a college degree-Nope, but as JD Vance detailed in "Hillbilly Elegy," the education system does prepare those "outside" "class norms" to even know what those "norms" are.  Not having the knowledge of what's expected even from manners, for example, or how to behave at a business dinner, even as Vance had a degree in law from an "Ivy League" school. Despite his being well-educated and bright, he'd never been taught above his "class" level how to behave in other settings, he was "unprepared" for his professional life socially.  Think of the social behavior gap between a junkie hillybilly-backgrounded who dropped out of school grade 11, and a newly minted lawyer or doctor.  It's not just education, it's also the real chasm we have: class.  We do have a classless society: Upper classless, middle classless and lower classless.  Change needs to be dynamic, not just linear.
John G Added Aug 23, 2017 - 5:53pm
You can talk about education and taxes until the cows come home but it won't make a speck of difference if there are no jobs to go to.
Liberals have fallen for the same supply side garbage that conservatives believe.
You're the worst enemies of the working class. You care more about being called names by the loons on the right than you do about the general welfare of the working class.
William Stockton Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:50pm
Another race-baiting article by lopher.  Who'da guessed?  It is all the leftist morons have these days.   Low-wit trash.
Phil's Personal Perspectives Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:40pm
This is a sound and logical article.  It fairly accurately depicts the conditions that have effected our working people and the causes.  This type of change has a huge impact on people but is not the only time our country has experienced such turmoil.  The change from a largely agricultural economy to an industrial one at the turn of the century along with large scale immigration created similar stress.  Our workers back then were able to obtain training for the new economy. Today there is no training or even a minimal effort to help our workers to learn the skills needed for this global/automated economy.  Government can help and should help.  I do not see corporate American doing much investing in training American workers.  On a final note I am not so sure that the extreme right is growing just among working people who feel neglected or over looked.  Some of those who seek refuge among these ultra right wing, neo-nazi type groups really are just racists, bigots and zenophobes who may not be subject to the job loss and economic stress of others.
 
Your article was very much to the point.
Arulnathan John Added Aug 23, 2017 - 11:50pm
Automation and artificial intelligence are going to take a lot of jobs soon. And this is a fact of life that has to be faced. Reskilling and retraining older workers to work better with the new technologies can help for a better future. But if the underlying societal blame issues and biases are not addressed and turned, a;ll the training and development will go down the toilet It is not easy but we have to make sense of this new workplace and we can choose to either become better or bitter.
John G Added Aug 24, 2017 - 12:29am
AJ There is plenty of work that needs to be done that isn't being done. There are plenty of people without work who would love to have it.
We have an epidemic of youth unemployment and diminishing skills, capital formation and infrastructure that will be required in the future.
Yet we are increasing the retirement age for labour.
Technology has changed the nature of work rather than eliminate it. That will continue to be the case.
We can send vast resources to the other side of the world to destroy whole nations and immiserate their people but we can't put workers together with the work that NEEDS to be done.
Why?
Because DEFICIT!!!!!!!!!
Arulnathan John Added Aug 24, 2017 - 1:38am
John G, your points are valid and sometimes, the expectations of the unemployed may play a part as well. There are rising numbers of graduates but fewer jobs that the graduates would consider to be commensurate with their education, and this is the case. If the unemployed were more willing to take the jobs available with the view to using them as stepping stones to later success, we can go some way towards solving the unemployment problems. But I concur that your point about the unequal spending and deficits in the economy are also contributing factors towards the general malaise in the country.
John G Added Aug 24, 2017 - 2:05am
AJ If the unemployed were more willing to take the jobs available with the view to using them as stepping stones to later success, 
No there simply aren't enough jobs out there because there is insufficient demand in the economy i.e. spending.
But I concur that your point about the unequal spending and deficits in the economy are also contributing factors towards the general malaise in the country.
I don't think we agree at all. There is insufficient spending to maintain demand at capacity because the government chooses to maintain a stock of idle labour and concentrates on the deficit, which should never be a policy target.
Austerity economics and deficit fetishism is a cult. A dangerous cult that has poisoned the minds of the masses.
The deficit needs to be much greater.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:07am
Eileen - while I agree with you that it is about being informed - good education makes people think and question - that is how they become informed.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:09am
Linda - I agree - quality education takes place up until 18 years but it should not be confined to careers. It should expand minds.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:18am
TCM - I have spent some time in a number of those jobs you talk about - warehouseman, roadsweeper, sewage worker, laboratory technician, dishwasher, factory worker - enough to pick up the vibe. I deliberately focussed on the white workers because they are the ones supporting the white supremacists, KKK and other neo-Nazi groups. I can understand their frustration at being undercut by cheap immigrant labour. But that is not the fault of liberal policies. It is the fault of greedy employers, poor laws and bad enforcement. Those things need tightening up. There is no connection with what is happening to the black community who still face institutional racism. The only connection is that as we move to greater equality the whites feel their position changing. They are no longer considered superior - they discover they are equal. About time too.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:20am
John G - I agree for once. Trump and Farage are obnoxious populists. Corbyn and Sanders are seen as authentic - not supporting the same old shit.
It is good to hear you explaining rationally.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:21am
Jeff - good education develops the whole person. It breaks down those class barriers.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:22am
Excellent article and responses. Perhaps work projects could be a temporary fix. President Trump should truly drain the swamp as FDR did. He worked the swamps, planted trees, made them into productive land, and more.  It is disheartening and counterproductive to see educated young people standing in cell phone shops selling cell phone plans. What if the gov taught and paid them to grow food? Would that not help our GDP?  Yes, American schools mislead children to believe a college degree is the holy grail and, thus, without one they are nothing. Therefore, even the white matter challenged youth aspire for unattainable college degree. I am a technically skilled person and educator, and I see where youth four- year complete college and have to enter two-year college to learn a skill.
 
True about uniting and seeing who the real enemy is. But long ago, when enslaved Blacks and White indentured servants were down with fighting the oppressors, slave masters convinced poor White they are better than Blacks. Thus that divide,where they would rather starve than do things to benefit themselves because it would also benefit Blacks.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:23am
John G - there are plenty of good jobs that the working class can do. If the public services are properly funded, if the infrastructure is addressed.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:25am
William - nothing at all race baiting about this article - not in the least. Have you read it? Another knee-jerk response without foundation.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:05am
PPP - thank you. You are right that there are the usual bigots and racists but it was the growth in these groups that concern me. I think the bigots and racists have always been there.
There is a great change and it takes time to adapt. There is always turmoil at times of change.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:18am
Opher:
    I find for decades that poor whites often chose to be Republican because they believed in being good and in free market Capitalism. They like being good, they don't like socialism, they believed their country was good and they want it to be good again.
     Liberty, equality of rights, populism, individualism, free market capitalism, respect for the Constitution of the United States, belief we are a nation under God and so not above right and wrong: These are the traditional American beliefs.
    The poor whites your talking about were either protectionist democrats, or people that became disillusioned they felt their country sold out their beliefs.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:43am
AJ - it needs more than reskilling. We have to restructure society. We will not need the workforce. We have to ensure that a fair taxation prevents a few taking all the wealth leaving nothing for everyone else, we have to look to retraining people in the caring professions; we have to look to teaching people how to be creative to live in a three day work week.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:44am
John G - exactly - infrastructure always needs a workforce.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:46am
DRG - yes there are lots of really valuable jobs that people should be doing. I think it comes down to fair taxation so there is the money to do these jobs.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:48am
Barath - I think the poor whites were brainwashed. They bought into the republicans out of deference or aspiration or because they have been told there are no alternatives. Social democracy is a good alternative. It works.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:50am
DRG - that was the standard tactic the lie that southern politicians sold the white sharecroppers - in the words of Bob Dylan 'You're better than them, you've been born with white skin' - and they fell for it - divide and rule. It is the same tactic that got Trump elected.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 24, 2017 - 8:58am
Opher:
   "Well I'm aYankee Doodle Dandy, A Yankee Dodle do or die, A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam born on the Fourth of July,
     Yankee Doodle went London, Just to ride the ponies, I am that Yankee Doodle boy"
   I wouldn't say it's indoctrination, the American people are smart, they believe in being good. We are a nation founded on certain principles and  If our experiment fails, the knell of popular Liberty will be sounded all over the Earth.
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 9:26am
Barath - the Americans buy into an ethos - it is this maverick, Wild West, we're all free and we don't need government or interference.
It's niave.
It isn't the Wild West. Civilisation requires cooperation. Taxes pay for the rudiments of civilisation - education, social care, health, infrastructure, police, defence. They need to mature and buy into it. We've moved on from Buffalo Bill.
Arulnathan John Added Aug 24, 2017 - 9:42am
Other, thank you for sharing your views. The views about restructuring society and pushing for creativity are needed.
 
Arulnathan John Added Aug 24, 2017 - 9:43am
My apologies for spelling your name wrongly, Opher. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 9:48am
Arulnathan - I am glad that you agree. For me, as an educator, creativity and personal and social education are fundamental to any education system and society.
Arulnathan John Added Aug 24, 2017 - 9:51am
Opher, I concur completely with your views. Creativity and personal and social education are crucial as building blocks for education and society. Their value cannot be highlighted enough.
George N Romey Added Aug 24, 2017 - 10:28am
First both parties have lied to large chunks of their base.  As far as education. Since WW2 we have tied education to a successful life financially.  We haven't come to grips as to what post high school education should do for a young person.  To expect a young person to go into $50K of student loan debt for "creativity" purposes is dangerous and naïve.
 
We need a total reboot of education, work and life.  Until that happens the discussion is mute.  We continue to try to live life in 2017 with an educational and work system from 1947.  Sadly there is zero public or private interest to make necessary changes.  Why?  Because if you are born into wealth and privilege none of this argument applies to you.  You will always be gainfully employed and use education for "enlightenment."
 
The CEO and Senator's son will never know what its like combing the online job ads day after day, month after month, year after year to end up working for $14 an hour while the student loan interest piles up.
Even A Broken Clock Added Aug 24, 2017 - 10:44am
Opher and all contributors to this thread - this is exemplary discussion. Even though there are many different opinions among the commenters, the discussion is continuing on a mainly civil tone and people do seem to be listening to each other.
 
Part of the problem that we have in the US (and may be unique to this country) is that education and intelligence is not viewed as a desirable and popular trait. This begins early in life with those who show brains being labeled as nerds and being the targets of bullying, while those who demonstrate strength and athletic skill are celebrated beyond their merits. Look at Texas where they build huge temples at their high schools to the mythic Friday night religious ceremony in fall. Does Texas celebrate their science fairs with similar pomp and honor? Is there adulation for those who are on the honor role? Does Texas devote the same resources to reaching out to the poor students that they provide for athletics?  No and hell no.
 
I live in West Virginia, heartland of the opoid crisis and home of the myth of the noble coal miner. You have counties that have gone from 100,000 people in the 1950's to nearly 20,000 today, and those that are left are subject to the environment telling them the only thing going for them is to get high. To change the culture of hopelessness is a daunting task, and thus the tendency to glom onto the coat tails of a successful and charismatic businessman who tells them the answer to their misery is to exclude all others who aren't really us! And we know who us means, don't we? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 24, 2017 - 10:52am
Opher:
   As conservatives We're not against any taxation, we're for equitable taxation. We support private sector solutions. We are a free market, free enterprise system. Only countries that believe in Liberty and free enterprise can unlock the potential of their economy for innovation and growth. We are against the growth the federal government, and that every problem should be solved by government because it doesn't work. We are against wasteful and inefficient government spending and welfare programs that don't cure poverty but create unemployment.
  " Government is never more dangerous than when people want it to help them, but they don't see it's great power to harm them"
Ronald Reagan, 1980 Republican National Presidential Convention Acceptance Speech.
 
Michael Cikraji Added Aug 24, 2017 - 10:57am
@ Melina,
I had a friend from Norway that made the same argument about how things are so much better in Norway than the US. Although I've never been to Norway or Sweden, I'm to entirely agree with you two. However, I think it is a tad unfair to compare the US to smaller nations like that. Sweden has about 10 million people, and you're all pretty homogeneous. The US has over 32x the amount of people, more land, and is super diverse.
As an example, how about this? Let's compare Sweden and Lichtenstein! Guess what? In comparison, Swedes are a bunch of broke, hillbilly bums....  
 
Dave Volek Added Aug 24, 2017 - 10:58am
Opher:
Good article. It summarizes a lot of the social changes America has faced.
 
My only comment would be that immediately after WW2, the American worker had an advantage over most other workers in the world. America's economic infrastructure was intact; most workers had the opportunity for a quality education. In contrast, infrastructure in Europe was decimated and educational systems had to be built up again. It was just cheaper to produce goods in the US than elsewhere. And the labor movement gained significant social influence. About 1970, the rest of the world started catching up. And as the law of supply and demand works its magic, the American worker lost his/her competitive advantage. In my understanding of history, the period from 1945 to 1970 is an aberration in the relationship between the working classes and the elites. We are simply going back to the way things used to be.  
 
This does not mean that we should be going backwards. Society functions better if people are happier. And people are happier if they can move beyond a state of poverty or working poor into a state of lower middle class. To attain this, I advocate for slow introduction of "Universal Welfare" or Guaranteed Income.
 
And as Melana has stated, the people in the US that could benefit most from this social program are most likely to vote against it. Strange world it is.
George N Romey Added Aug 24, 2017 - 11:13am
Dave yes those 30 years after WW2 were unique. However beginning in the 70s there was an effort to undermine labor and direct more of the profits back to shareholders and executives. Technology helps in that quest. Productivity soared over the past 40 years while real incomes declined, all by design.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 24, 2017 - 2:53pm
opher goodwin writes: Taxes pay for the rudiments of civilisation - education, social care, health, infrastructure, police, defence. They need to mature and buy into it. We've moved on from Buffalo Bill. - Horrors!!! PAY TAXES?  That's for stupid people and commies who want a functioning nation and society.  People who pay taxes are just fools and tools...government has no role in a "smart person's" life.  John Waynism is the only way to go...that fierce independence that leads to wealth.  Look, and you've ran into them here, most of these clowns still believe in trickle-down economics, and if the wealthy can only keep every dime they have, they'll run out, invest in new businesses, hire people, etc.,etc.,etc.  They still have to pay some taxes..right now, so they won't "invest" in these new businesses. Riiight.  This trickle down nonsense has been the centerpice of R politics since Ronnie Raygun was president.  Notice how successful it has been.  LOL.  The American sucker is the "good 'Murrican."  "We'll elect Trump.  He's a TV STAR...and we'll all bask like stars in his shadow"..."He's so cool when he says 'You're fired.'" to some woman or minority!"  Yeah....long live the Orange Il Duce....not. EABC says: I live in West Virginia, heartland of the opoid crisis and home of the myth of the noble coal miner.-Must be grate all those miners are off heroin, food stamps, etc. and back to work.  Now they won't have to game food stamps for cash, or sell their children as prostitutes for drugs since the OID has swept all that away with one swipe of his small hand. 
Bill Kamps Added Aug 24, 2017 - 3:34pm
Melina, it is true that in Scandinavian countries the  standard of living is  higher.  So is the level of education.
 
One thing those countries have done, is reach a consensus, on the level of taxation they want( fairly high), the kind of health care they want,  and the style and level of government services that they want.  In Norway for example a beer in a pub costs $25.
 
One advantage those countries have, is they have a small population. Norway is 5M and Sweden is 8M.  Houston Texas, where I live the population is greater than Norway.  The US has a population of 320M.
 
So it may be possible to convince 5M or 8M that it is a good trade off that beer costs $25, in exchange for a certain standard of living.  But it is not  easy to convince 320M to this same conclusion, regardless of the merits of the conclusion.
 
So yes, collectively we are stupid, because there are immense differences between Calif, Mississippi, and New York.  We  have a far more diverse population, and therefore it is more difficult to reach a consensus.  Some of our individuals are smart, but we dont agree, and we have a political system where unless we are in agreement, it is easy to thwart change.
 
This is not to mention the large cultural diversity that we have, and the  baggage that we carry for having slavery for a few hundred years, and legally enforced discrimination for another 100 years.
 
In the end, it is far easier to reach a consensus in a small population than in a large one.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:02pm
George - I'm not talking about post 18 education here. I'm talking about education up to age 18. That is my area. It should be wide, expansive, creative and focussed on developing knowledge, skills and qualities. It should be creative and social and foster questioning and inquisitiveness. Empathy, compassion, responsibility, respect, tolerance and give a student the grounding as a civilised individual in a democratic society.
Post 18 we can focus on careers.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:03pm
AJ - I'm glad you concur.
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:06pm
EABC - I'm am glad that we can all enter into debate and respect each others views. That is so good.
I find it sad that intelligence and study is not valued and seen as nerdish. In my view that is an outcome of a system where some people are valued more than others. It causes resentment. We successfully countered that in my school with mixed ability and the valuing of all students through the effort they put in. It worked.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:08pm
Barath - I hear you. The government is often frustrating. It spends too much on itself and the bureaucratic monster and not enough on services. I think it is incumbent on the people to demand quality services.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:10pm
MC - I am aware that the scale produces difficulties in executing such a scheme but I would think that with federalisation and accountability it is not impossible.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:16pm
Dave - that is a very good point. Europe (and a lot of the rest of the world) was devastated by war and the US had a huge advantage. That was even more because the US had made a huge sum selling arms to Europe before they entered the war. I believe it was only ten years ago that we finally paid off our war debt to the US.
Germany prospered because it had to build its infrastructure anew. Hence it modernised and built highly efficient systems. It also was not allowed a military presence and so was able to put that money into its economy for development.
I would support the idea of 'universal welfare'. I think we have that in Britain with a minimum wage, a top up for low wages and welfare for the unemployed. Despite the fact that it is abused by a minority it seems to work well.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:18pm
JM - ha ha.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:21pm
BK - Yes it is true that goods in Scandinavia costs more - beer certainly wasn't that highly priced when I was there though - but wages are high, taxation is high, services are excellent and the quality of life is very high.
I agree that there is a problem with both scale and people attitudes in the States.
Bill Kamps Added Aug 24, 2017 - 4:46pm
Opher, one of the problems we have in the US, is that we can make a choice, as a country.  For example, in health  care, it can be quick, it  can be the best quality, and it can be inexpensive.  Generally you can have two, but not all three.  We refuse to choose, other countries have chosen and  compromised.
 
The government is  different also in Scandinavia.  In our government, it is organized such that it is easy to stop bills from passing.  This is one of the reasons our government is always so inept at things.  It is designed to be clumsy.  This works when government is small, like it was before 1900.  It doesnt work well when government is large, and the services we try to deliver are complicated.  They have a parliamentary government, and those governments are more easy to deliver services. 
 
Some of the state governments work better, some dont work very well.  The  state government in Texas doesnt work too badly, but  then they only meet 90 days, every other year.  So a lot of things  are pushed down to the county or even city level, which is better because  the  closer to the people you are, the better things works.  NYC, a very complex city to run, works better than the Federal government, for example.
opher goodwin Added Aug 24, 2017 - 6:21pm
Bill - it seems to me from my experience of living in the US and working there for over a year that it is a land of great division. Some people have lots and some people have nothing. There is an attitude that those who have nothing deserve all they get - they should have worked harder. It is very harsh.
In terms of health care, which I experienced first hand, it is extremely costly and two tier. People who are insured get great service. Those who can't afford it or don't have the right job get very poor service.
The American system fails a lot of people, causes great stress, and is incredibly expensive. A universal health system run like the NHS here in Britain would be much cheaper and offer a better service - somewhere in the middle.
The ineptitude of government is obvious. But I think a federal system of social democracy, taking legislation down to communities could be made to work and would be far fairer.
John G Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:33pm
Goodwin. John G - I agree for once. Trump and Farage are obnoxious populists. 
We don't really agree at all. Trump and Farage are fake populists. Corbyn and Sanders have policies that are popular.
George N Romey Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:34pm
We for many years had that Independent spirit and it served us ok. Then suddenly opportunity dried up & doing all the right things meant very little. This is the sore spot for the anger-the termination of a high standard of living and the social contract.
 
Poor people in less developed countries have never known better so they accept their fate. The opposite as we experienced in the 30s and today means an angry citizenry. In the 30s FDR kept the calm. Today we have Trump need a say more. So will this ultimately lead to some kind of social revolt? Stay tuned.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:34pm
Opher:
     I thought in the UK that socialist labor policies were in general held to blame for slow growth in the post war era until the end of the 70's until Margaret Thatcher came in.
Also, it is because in America we believe in freedom as Thatcher did so we stress the private sector and try to limit the size of the federal government.
John G Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:39pm
 Goodwin. I think it comes down to fair taxation so there is the money to do these jobs.
This is where liberals fall over themselves trying to be 'fiscally responsible' and lose the argument because they talk about raising taxes.
Taxation pays for nothing. Government spending pays for itself.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:08am
John G- well I agree that Trump and Farage are fake populists and Corbyn and Sanders had popular policies. But I also think that Corbyn and Sanders have policies that are moving in the right direction and do not support the political machine. They would change it.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:09am
George - it needs a social revolt in order to change this corrupt system.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:16am
Barath - Thatcher was an evil divisive person who is well hated here. She squandered Britain's wealth. She sold off everything she could to foreign investors at knock-down prices for a quick profit, she wasted the huge income we garnered from our North Sea Oil bonanza, she sold off our social housing at low prices, deregulated the banks and industry leading to BSE and laying the foundations for the economic disaster. She decimated public services (a Tory practice). We have her short-sighted policies to blame for not only BSE and the collapse of our beef herd, but our current massive shortage of housing, the financial crisis, Murdock and our poor infrastructure.
Under Labour the country grew, our economy was brilliant and Blair put right public services, addressed inner cities and infrastructure and got the country going.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:17am
John G - a government has to have a income. The only income it has is from taxes. Where else do you think the money comes from?
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:51am
 BN I thought in the UK that socialist labor policies were in general held to blame for slow growth in the post war era until the end of the 70's until Margaret Thatcher came in.
Growth was much higher in the pre neoliberal era. 
Contrary to wingnut belief, just about every economic indicator has declined in the western world since the monetarists overturned the post WW2 Keynesian consensus. 
Slow growth, high unemployment, low investment, increasing wealth and income disparity etc etc etc.
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:52am
And Blair was worse than Thatcher.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 4:06am
John G - Blair was certainly not worse than Thatcher. Unfortunately he carried forward a  number of Tory policies which allowed the financial dereg to continue; but he did address public services, infrastructure and inner cities. He was a Thatcherite with a socialist veneer.
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 4:52am
No. He was a neoliberal, warmongering, scumbag who should be in a prison. He was and is a monster and you should be ashamed of yourself for defending such pond life.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 5:04am
John G - yes he was and should - but that doesn't detract from the other aspects of his tenure. He was not as bad as Thatcher and that was the comparison.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 8:50am
Under Labour the country grew, our economy was brilliant and Blair put right public services, addressed inner cities and infrastructure and got the country going.
 
Opher, everything else before this that you wrote was correct.  This last part is not.  Blair was a product of Mrs. Thatcher and she even said that he was her best work.  New Labour was merely a marketing machine to elevate the small coterie of New Labourites....the Kinnocks, the Mandelsson, the Prestcotts......what happened in 1997 was a sham.  The New Labour government did very little of what its manifesto included.  Proportional representation was now bad-mouthed (after all, they were in power), infrastructure was left to rot and freight was not pulled off the roads and put back on the railways (Prestcott was going to do this).  Funding of the NHS was given but it merely created many administrative hierarchies and gave many jobs to the boys and social housing was ignored.  Blair and his companions are even more responsible for the ills in Britain the the resultant poor white or blacks or whomever, because they pretended to be who they patently were not.  Look at all of these people and what they have achieved for themselves, not least peerages....
 
Blair took us into war and ignored the European side of things - having promised in his manifesto to bring Britain closer to Europe. He followed the  American model, just like Mrs. Thatcher. His marketing machine was a good one and the media supported him.
 
The nineties put the finishing touches of Thatchers regime in place, all thanks to Mr. Blair and his ilk.  The guy is a war criminal and much more.
 
What baffles me is why the NEC, or how the NEC of Labour simply let things ride. This is the biggest question there is in the Labour politics of Britain.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 9:21am
Eileen - all you write is true. Blair was indeed Thatcher mark2. He came to power, following the tragic death of John Smith (who might well have done a great job), on a wave of euphoric expectation. So sad to see the opportunity wasted and that expectation unfulfilled.
However, he did get the economy working and put us in the black, he did put money into public services and he did regenerate inner cities. In those regards he was far better than Thatcher. So despite all his failings and the war, it was not all gloom. That is all I am saying.
He and Mandelson thought that, with the media machine against them, the only way to get elected was to play the game and get the media on side. He was wrong. I think the public were ready for a more radical socialist government. He blew it.
What remains to be seen is if Corbyn can get himself elected.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 10:10am
Opher, if what you say is true in that Blair and Mandy did it to get the media machine on side, then it was a cop out from day one anyway.  Given that the peerages have flowed, war has abounded and legitimate and heart-true Labour people like Mow Mowlem were bad-mouthed and violated, I am not even sure if it was that innocent.
 
To sell out to the media, from day one, seems suspect.  The Blairs, in their Napoleonic years, gave nothing of themselves to Britain;  they are takers and they took.  So did the Kinnocks and Prestcott and Mandelsson and the rest.  Those that opposed, like Livingstone, were somehow shut up and some mysteriously died suddenly.
 
Still, the question remains as to why the NEC and the old Labour roots have taken so long - and only because of the Brexit situation now - to emerge.  How on earth can one man change all of this?  It has taken decades to put in situ and that includes the social injustice which is now coming to the fore in a huge way.  But the likes of Shelter and others have been constantly warning that huge poverty on scales unbelievable will be the direct result of government policy.
 
This is the big question:  why did the NEC of the Labour party sell out? Why did they tow the line and support the Blair legacy?
The removal of the most basic income support, both means tested and by right, has been going on for years.  The Independent Living Trust was taken away....all without any kind of tackling by the ordinary, British public who seem content to blame foreigners, strangers, immigrants, the EU for all ills. The nationalistic feelings run throughout society at all levels - without proper foundation and definitely without being properly informed.  It takes a few minutes to check out the statistics - but people do not do it.  They read the awful headlines of the press, they believe the rabidly right wing and corrupt politicians like Boris - even when he is proved wrong and put in a high place again! - and they choose to be narrow and spiteful.
 
All of this is due to extremely bad government, through the last thirty and more years and through a media which is hell bent on creating the low wage economy and the huge divide between rich and poor.
 
How on earth can Labour politicians, like the Kinnocks' son, even be taken seriously in the NEC?  To whom has the NEC sold out?
 
There are few contemporary politicians in the UK who are worthy of their role and this is because the system weeds them out.  My Mum used to call the Blair's babes - "all hairdo's and new suits..........and that is just the men!" (this is post 1997 by the way)  
 
How come it was so blatantly clear and yet the public fell for it and are now going hell for leather in hating everything foreign and blaming anything and everything foreign for their own ills created by a totally anachronistic governmental machine?
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 25, 2017 - 10:40am
<Clap> <Clap> <Clap>.....Bravo, Opher, Brah-Vo! Another in a continuing series of inartful polemics. LOL
 
Most of your premise here is generally agreeable so I won't nitpick at the low hanging fruit. People who join hate groups, if this is what we shall title them, do so because they are hateful people. It's not any more complicated than this. It has oompah-doompah-diddly-shit to do with economics. You may understand the textbooks and statistics but you do not understand poor or working poor southerners, black or white either one.  These are not people who want to rule the world. Their greatest concerns are "Is there beer in the fridge" and "Who plays on Monday night". This average Joe, or Jethro if you prefer, only wants to be something better than Homer Simpson but not as much of a nerd as Ned Flanders. Gimme a decent job, a little house, my Harley and a few guns and I'm fine. You can leave me alone, I'll take care of myself, thank you. There is no politics about it. This is just who they are. And where they are not hurting anyone it is their right to live as they damn well please
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 11:04am
TBH - The rust belt isn't just the South though is it? These aren't just the KKK country hicks. This is a whole load of blue collar workers who have lost their way of life and are angry and desperate, isn't it? Trump would not have got in on the votes of Southern racists. The Nazi groups are not just made up of Southern rednecks.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 11:28am
Eileen - I think it was pragmatics. It was a sell-out from the start. But the media campaign is so Tory and so strong that most people are caught up in the tide of it. Then there are the money markets. When Labour get in they withdraw their money and ruin the economy. In order to get elected and be effective it was deemed that Labour had to change. Blair, Mandelson and the rest all got together and came up with the watered down Tory solution of New Labour.
It is the same dilemma with Corbyn. People are brainwashed by the virulent press.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 25, 2017 - 12:29pm
You miss the point friend. It matters not from whence the hail , but only their numbers and they are few. Very few. Like non-factor few. Like....I'd even be willing to wager that there are more transgenders than there are nazis. You attempt to make it out as though there are legions of disenfranchised, lower class white voters who went for Trump and it is their fault that he is in office. And they are flocking to klan rallies nationwide to march on Washington in a show of white power.  YOU ARE WRONG.....step back from the fumes and get over it. This phenomenon that you are attempting to portray is wholly inaccurate in it's assumption. Does everyone in the UK have bad teeth? Carry an umbrella? Say trite little expressions like "oh bugger" ? I have no quarrel with your expression of the economic and demographic changes, this much is accurate, but to extrapolate this into a surging klan/nazi membership? Go sell it somewhere else brother, that aint playin' here.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Aug 25, 2017 - 2:31pm
Opher
 
What remains to be seen is if Corbyn can get himself elected.
 
He will go the same way as Sanders. Either he's bought, or he reveals his real agenda (for himself), or he gets simply banned from the media.
 
Why the fuck do people still put their confidence in OTHER people than themselves ? Read error at 3b1e5a6b.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Aug 25, 2017 - 2:36pm
BTW: Everyone who is in the political spotlight has worked for that because of EGO. No matter which -ism he tries to represent. People don't get that far without either pretending or having connections. Often they're a "balancing unit" (as the so-called "left" of today is) to pretend there's a democracy around.
 
Like Bernie - or Corbyn.....?
Bill Kamps Added Aug 25, 2017 - 3:57pm
opher, I would tend to agree.  Your observations are more or less right.  People with means do fine, people without means struggle through a mess of government programs.
 
The country was founded on small government, and individualism.  Not that it has to stay that way, but there are quite few things in place, that would make changing it difficult.  
 
Recent ideas of a guaranteed min salary, rather than a morass of government programs has some appeal.  Just give people some money, and let them buy what they want. If they dont buy wisely then too bad.  We spend way too much money trying to make sure the handouts aren't mis-spent, and in the some of it is anyway.  The government programs have enormous overhead, and this would go away.  Though there would be a fight to reduce so many government workers.
 
The min salary, also fits with the individualism, because we wont be telling people how to spend the money they get. 
 
 
Now we have a very larger government, but unfortunately not a very efficient one, because it wasnt designed to be efficient.  Its primary goal was to prevent a king or dictator from taking over.  So changing things is very difficult.  Passing laws is difficult, and managing programs from Congress is difficult.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 25, 2017 - 4:45pm
opher, a good article and a lot of good common sense comments to go with it.
 
I know a lot of people are turned off by Bible quotes, but these lines from the Good Book sum up a lot of the secular non-religious comments in your writing and that of the others
 
Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
 
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
James 5
 
 
 
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:12pm
Eileen. Good points well made. Blair was a plant from the get go. 
 
Goodwin. The money market has no power over a sovereign government. Quite the opposite.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:50pm
TBH - I look not only at the USA but across at France, Holland, Germany, Austria, Greece and here in Britain. I see a patterns. And while, as you rightly point out, it is a minority, it is a growing minority and I hear and see a growing right-wing move that needs nipping in the bud.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:52pm
SEF - we put our faith in people because we live in hope that one of them might be genuine. Corbyn looks authentic.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:53pm
SEF - some are better than others. Some have been better than others. We have to have faith that they are genuine. The alternative is to give up.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:56pm
Bill- there seems to be a huge amount of time and effort spend on trying to check that people are using the money in the way intended. They do not trust people. Then on the other hand they waste money hand over fist. A bit more trust and a lot less bureaucracy would go a long way.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:57pm
Ray - true fulfilment comes not from wealth but from relationship.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 6:59pm
John G - when investors withdraw money or refuse to invest then the market doesn't work. That is what undermines socialist governments. The money moves abroad and scuppers programmes. There has to be a way of preventing this. I like the idea of a government bank.
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:06pm
 Pound Sterling is a sovereign, non-convertible, fiat, floating exchange rate currency.
The money can't move out of the sterling zone.
You don't understand the system. You've just fallen for the scare stories told by the rich. Again.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:08pm
We are told a basic fundamental that makes Capitalism work efficiently is competition.
 
For those who have been watching for the last 20 years. Mega Corporations that own many subsidiaries, merged with other Mega Corporations owning many subsidiaries that were swallowed up by even bigger Corporations.
 
The trend is toward monopoly, not more competition.
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:11pm
RJC The trend is toward monopoly, not more competition.
Indeed. It is mathematical certainty. The blind believers in 'free market capitalist' religion seem to believe the laws of mathematics can be suspended.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:14pm
John G - what are you talking about? The wealthy investors hold billions, hundreds of billions. They can invest here, there or nowhere. When we get a socialist government they take their money away and don't invest. I think it is you that maybe doesn't understand this simple fact.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:15pm
Ray - that trend of monopolies also gives companies power to corrupt.
opher goodwin Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:16pm
John G - there is no free market. It is controlled by the greedy.
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:26pm
Goodwin.  I think it is you that maybe doesn't understand this simple fact.
It isn't a fact, simple or otherwise. You don't know what you're talking about. You've swallowed a myth. Pounds cannot leave the Sterling zone. 
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:28pm
Unless you think there are wealthy people loading up ships with sterling bank notes and taking them off shore to countries where they can't spend them anyway?
Lolz.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 25, 2017 - 7:28pm
When we get a socialist government they take their money away and don't invest - opher g
 
They invest in programs that generally support and provide services to the common people instead of the rich spending it on themselves beyond any human need other than vanity.
 
If Billionaires had any real regard and concern for the workers that create the wealth, logic would dictate there would be no Billionaires.
 
MAN DID NOT PLACE ANY MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE EARTH, but men go to war, lie, cheat, steal and kill to get them out of the Earth.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 25, 2017 - 8:00pm
In a vein similar to the gist of the last few comments here, I made this comment in the article, 'PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND'
 
The US has 10x the population of CanaDa and it's your War, not ours.
 
As for getting a cold, CanaDa has Universal Health Coverage for all the People, and if a Canadian is sick with a pre-existing condition, that makes no difference. They're still treated at no extra cost..
 
American Capitalism is so sick, Americans think nothing of paying huge monthly premiums to private Insurance companies for Health Care, with huge deductions on top of that. That system costs more than the taxes Canadians pay for complete coverage and is a useless go between a Patient and a Doctor, making money off the sick for no justifiable reason except to enrich Investors.
 
The Federal and Provincial governments pay the Doctors directly. They don't interfere anymore than that.  The US has one of the most expensive least efficient Health Care systems in the world.
Thomas Sutrina Added Aug 25, 2017 - 8:26pm
Oper goodwin,  you need to put together a fuller list they are also turning to Black Lives Matters, and Antifa and black and Spanish gangs like MS-13 Left Wing groups.   One thing you will note is that the members are young.  The education system has been teaching leftist principles for decades and have not been teach the core of the founders.  Sixth graders in the 1800's studied the Declaration of Independence the Constitution and Washington's farewell address in detail including the Federalist papers.  The present education is teaching the principles of creating a revolution which is the principle of socialism that includes Communism.

What is needed is an overhaul of the way society works.  Well the government makes us the most expensive nation in the world to do business.  That need an overhaul.  The cost of regulations makes it hard to open a new business.  That needs an overhaul.  I am not just talking about federal regulations and taxes but state and local regulations and taxes.  

So who is preventing the seizure of what opportunity?  Huge profits are going into the coffers of the politicians.  They are all getting richer faster them over half the 'wealthy.'  The greatest growth in wealth and the fastest growth of the middle class occurred before the 16th Amendment, a progressive income tax replaced taxes on items purchased or entering the country.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 25, 2017 - 8:36pm
What hope is there for a better Education system whit this Trump Cabinet member in charge of Education?
 
Betsy DeVos
The Investor Who Got a High Return
Who is she?
There is no better indicator of Trump’s disregard for policy expertise than his appointment of DeVos, an unrelenting advocate of school privatization, as his education secretary. A billionaire heiress and the sister of Blackwater mercenary Erik Prince, DeVos and her family have reportedly given more than $200 million to the Republican Party and conservative causes. At her confirmation hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders target="_blank">asked, “Do you think that…if your family had not made hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to the Republican Party, that you would be sitting here today?” The best reply DeVos could muster was: “I do think there would be that possibility.”
Why is she dangerous?
DeVos is so unqualified and uninformed that only a tie-breaking vote by Mike Pence put her in charge of the Department of Education. She is using her perch to promote the diversion of taxpayer funds to discredited “school choice” schemes and to target="_blank">advance right-wing social engineering under the guise of education policy.
What’s her weakness?
The threat that the DeVos agenda poses to rural schools has already target="_blank">set off alarm bells among Republicans who represent small towns. If Democrats focus on building coalitions in favor of public education, and if the teachers’ unions stay on the case, her plans can be thwarted with smart budgeting and oversight
John G Added Aug 25, 2017 - 8:39pm
he greatest growth in wealth and the fastest growth of the middle class occurred before the 16th Amendment, 
Utter tripe.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:28am
John G - I'm staggered. You mean there aren't all these foreign investors from the US, Saudi, China and Africa, Oman, Germany and Australia buying up property and assets in London? There aren't investors from Britain investing in Hong Kong, the USA, Germany and Australia? Money doesn't move around, get withheld, get invested elsewhere? It all stays in the country? Wow!! I learn every day. All those foreign financed companies in Britain are not foreign at all! The government controls investment. When the socialists get in the investment in the country does not alter. Money is withheld or diverted. Wow!!
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:29am
Ray - Amen.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:33am
Thomas - I taught in the States for a year. I certainly did not notice the slightest leftist slant, indeed quite the opposite. I did notice a strong patriotic indoctrination and a strong religious pressure. I had to teach 50% of my time when teaching evolution in Biology or creation and I had parents with egg timers checking!!
I agree that the politicians are corrupt.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:35am
Ray - I thoroughly agree - DeVos is an extreme, ignorant and dangerous lady who bought her way in.
John G Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:49am
Goodwin. You're not listening or understanding. POUNDS do not/ cannot leave the sterling zone.
It's not difficult to understand but it seems a bit beyond you.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:55am
John G - I am talking about investment or the withholding of investment. I certainly took my pounds around the world and spent them all over the place.
John G Added Aug 26, 2017 - 4:12am
I certainly took my pounds around the world and spent them all over the place.
You see, this is just a stupid thing to say.
You didn't. You know you didn't, I know you didn't.
Why say such a stupid thing?
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 5:10am
John G - what do you think I did? Arrive in Australia and Indonesia penniless?
John G Added Aug 26, 2017 - 5:44am
Oh FFS you spent AU$ in Australia and Rupiah in Indonesia. Your pounds never left the sterling zone. You exchanged currencies. Somebody bought your pounds for the currency units you wanted.
Are you even capable of understanding this?
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 8:10am
John G - I understand it very well thank you. As an investor I can invest abroad or in the UK. I can hold on to my money or take it elsewhere. I can exchange it for whatever currency I like. You don't seem to get the point of this at all. When a socialist government comes in the investors withdraw their money and put it elsewhere. Simple. What's hard to understand? It undermines the economy.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 26, 2017 - 8:27am
opher g, The US is Capitalist, i.e. money is god, and Socialism is a dirty word.  US investors have no problem taking their US dollars and investing them offshore to make more money with their money. It's not Socialism that makes them do that.
 
With Trump rolling back the regulations put in place after the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour, the next Economic collapse is inevitable. It's not a matter of if, but when?
 
Watch this video of Bill Moyers interviewing Neil Barofsky, the Inspector General tasked with monitoring fraudulent use TARP funds.
“The idea that any of these institutions could ever be allowed to fail is pure fantasy, at this point,” Barofsky lamented.
That’s when Moyers cut right to the chase: “Are you suggesting that we could have another crash?”
“I think it’s inevitable,” he replied.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 8:32am
Ray - I completely concur. There is rampant greed, selfishness and madness at work. The same people always end up picking up the bill.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 26, 2017 - 10:58am
Re this comment upstream, "in a vein similar to the gist of the last few comments here, I made this comment in the article, 'PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND'
 
this is the latest in the one on one exchange with Utpal Patel who wrote, "A word of advice for your next article, lose the arrogance and moral superiority or people like me will have to set you straight again."
 
My reply, Set me straight with what? Your projection of arrogance and moral superiority. What a joke!  
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 3:31pm
If they removed all the arrogant people with moral superiority there would hardly be anybody left.
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 26, 2017 - 4:14pm
A  lot of good thinking and minimal name calling  here ,thus a good column. "Universal Welfare", Dave  Woleck, makes a lot of sense but would probably have to be imposed by some form of coercive authority basically at odds with our concept,flawed though it may be,of democracy.There are about five relatively small and homogeneous countries giving it a try.When one thinks about the problems we( homo sap) have acknowledging,respecting,envying,and dealing fairly or otherwise, with " the other"the process of establishing UW in the USA seems beyond reach. Of course some form of externally imposed disaster could change that.Even so,greed and fear ( human nature)would be in the way.
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 26, 2017 - 4:20pm
Apology for misspelling Volek!
John G Added Aug 26, 2017 - 4:36pm
Goodwin. When a socialist government comes in the investors withdraw their money and put it elsewhere. Simple. What's hard to understand? It undermines the economy.
It is clearly pointless continuing with you. I've explained why you are wrong but you are incapable of grasping it.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 6:11pm
PCT - Greed and fear can be overcome when there's a will.
opher goodwin Added Aug 26, 2017 - 6:11pm
John G - works both ways.
John G Added Aug 26, 2017 - 6:19pm
Pounds can't leave the sterling zone. You can't seem to grasp this fact.
Your blatherings have nothing to do with fact.
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 3:53am
John G - what has that got to do with investment? Absolutely nothing.
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 3:59am
PCT - a universal welfare programme is necessary throughout the world if we are going to ever reduce the population and solve our many huge problems.
The stupid thing about it is that we have the productivity and means to do this. It would transform the world, not just the States, and create a far happier place. Yet some people blanche at the idea of anyone getting anything for nothing or contributing to a system even if it is in their own interests.
The present system has a small minority leeching off the majority and even the ones their fleecing seem OK about that because they harbour dreams of joining that elite or else think philosophically that it is just human nature.
George N Romey Added Aug 27, 2017 - 7:52am
Unfortunately the world is to large and people have never and will never think beyond their borders
Tamara Wilhite Added Aug 27, 2017 - 12:48pm
Liberals were labeling all conservatives evil, crazy racists,  since the 1960s.
They shifted because of Democrats calling everyone else names for years, labeling the working class whites as horrible and stupid for years, suitable for replacement by immigrants because those people are so much better, arrogantly labeling poor whites as guilty of white privilege while ignoring their poverty.
After years of hating them and demonizing them, they voted for someone else ... and now it confirms your well-entrenched biases against them.
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 4:33pm
George - yes they will. We are learning, mixing and growing. the day will come.
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 4:34pm
Tamara - not all liberals. We don't fit the stereotype you offer.
Lynn Johnson Added Aug 27, 2017 - 5:04pm
I thought I would comment on your post to give a perspective from an actual white working class person; and bring up a point I've surprisingly haven't seen in the comments. Granted, I'm probably better off (financially) and more educated that most of my fellow hicks. But if there is anything that describes my upbringing, family, friends, town, and co-workers, it's white working class.
 
I apologize in advance, in that I'm only going to really comment on the first two sentences of your post. They set up the premise of the problem that needs to be solved; and being misleading don't bode well for the remaining analysis and solutions.
 
So... You ask...
 
>> Why are white working class people turning to Right Wing groups like the Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists, NeoNazis and the like?
 
Answer: They're not.
 
The very premise is simply a fallacy believed by the left that allows them to adopt an arrogant sense of moral superiority. This foundational fallacy is then echoed within leftist circles (media, friends, family) which helps it continually propagate.
 
Unfortunately, in the comments of your post I saw practically no push-pack on this point demonstrating just how deep this assumption is ingrained in the leftist psyche.
 
Think about it. Percentage wise, what percent of the white working class population do you think belong to such a group. Hint... it's much less than 1%. This being the case... the nuts that make up the groups you list are still (as they have been for decades and decades) a minute group of despicable morons. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the membership in all three groups (KKK, WS, NN) doubled or tripled since Trumps election. Two or three times a very, very, insignificant number is... still an insignificant number.
 
Doing a little math. If you are super generous (say by a factor of ten and using inflated leftist Southern Poverty Law Center estimates) with the membership numbers of all three groups; you have basically decided to paint 99.9% of the white working class with the broad brush applied to one tenth of one percent (0.1%).
 
Yes... the groups actually do exist and are visible (due to the nature of mass media today and vile acts); but when compared to the overall population you say swells their ranks, they are statistically a handful of losers. The left can make this giant leap of logic concerning peaceful Muslims vs Muslim terrorists; but can't even fathom it when applied to evil white "trailer trash".
 
Looking beyond membership, percentage wise; what percent of the white working class population do you think even remotely sympathize with the racist groups you mentioned? Hint... if that number reaches a full 1%, it won’t by much.
 
Here's a little white working class, trailer trash, hick perspective...
 
I'm an older (50ish) working class white guy living in the south (Texas). I grew up here and have worked here all my life. I currently live and work in a small rural town (population 5K). In this environment, I don't know a single person who belongs to one of the groups you listed. Moreover... in my half century of life, I've NEVER known of a single person belonging to one of those groups. Today, I can scarcely even count on one hand the number of white people I know (even remotely) that I would categorize as racist.
 
If this (hate group gravitation) was as rampant as you (the left) believe it is... I'd know. I'm smack-dab in the middle of where it would be happening; and where you think it's happening. I'm telling you, it's not. Whites, the south, the white working class are not even close to the racists that existed half a century ago. That is a very good thing... but the left doesn't even realize such progress has been made.
 
The question becomes why deos the left not realize that racism isn't the boggy-man you assume)?
 
Then you ask/assert...
 
>> Why are they supporting Trump and Brexit?
 
At least your second question/assertion contains a bit of objective truth (But for what purpose?). It was the white working class that supported (in the majority) Trump and Brexit at the voting booth. (In the interest of full disclosure, I did not vote for Trump or Brexit... though I would vote for Texit and Calexit has my full support.)
Frankly, the purpose of combining the first statement with the second is simply meant to reinforce core leftist beliefs/fallacies... and apply guilt by invented association.
 
Fallacy 1) That working-class whites are a bunch of racist hicks... whom our betters (the left) alternate between loathing and pitying (though the loathing never really subsides and the pitying only surfaces when suggesting that we should fall into
John G Added Aug 27, 2017 - 6:40pm
LJ What makes you think you can speak to "the left" or you know what "the left" thinks?
A bit of self awareness wouldn't go astray.
Goodwin would class himself as being on the left but his views and mine are hugely different.
But I actually am from the real left. Not the liberal pretend left.
The left is monolithic nor homogenous. The range of views on the left is far far more diverse than the right.
When the rightists start talking AT the left as you've done here, you just look silly.
John G Added Aug 27, 2017 - 6:40pm
neither monolithic nor homogenous
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 6:49pm
Lynn - thank you for that. I find that both interesting and reassuring. I live in England so only get a perspective from a limited input. It is not a good one. I also look at the figures in the US and Europe and see that the ultra right is more popular than it was. In Europe this is very marked. The images I see from the USA seem to indicate the same. In Britain hate crime has greatly increased.
Thanks for your perspective.
opher goodwin Added Aug 27, 2017 - 6:50pm
John G - that is true - there is a great diversity of view in both left and right. It is not possible to stereotype. (or pigeon-hole)
Lynn Johnson Added Aug 27, 2017 - 8:14pm
John G >> What makes you think you can speak to "the left"...
 
There's a comment section and submit button... duh...
 
John G >> ... or you know what "the left" thinks?
 
By objective observance of words, actions, and fruits.
 
Opher G >> thank you for that. I find that both interesting and reassuring.
 
Thank you for accepting my rather critical comments with such grace and understanding.
 
I share your apprehension concerning the state of the world and am happy to assure you that white working class is not flocking to the nut-ball racist groups. BUT that is about as far as I can go. I am not hopeful (for the future of Europe, the U.S., or western civilization in general).
 
Ultra right violence in the U.S. is negligible when compared to that of the ultra left or compared to Islamic terrorists (even when considering the recent events in Charlottesville). It is only magnified in appearance by that one incident and the leftist media.
 
I will have to take your word for it that it's is worse in Europe and Britain. But I can't imagine it's anywhere close (in terms of number or attacks or scale) to the incidents perpetrated by practitioners of the "religion of peace".
 
Again, thank you for your post and acceptance of my criticism.
El Rondo Added Aug 27, 2017 - 8:49pm
There are a couple of ways to look at this. Today the "poor" have a car or two in their family and a TV or two and a computer and a phone or two. Maybe compared to their parents and grand parents they are a bunch of materialistic ingrates, whiners and malingers with nothing meaningful in their lives?
Maybe they are the me generation? 
Maybe deep down they realize they don't matter and nobody matters much to them. 
Maybe the are just a waste of protoplasm?
Struggling for the legal tender while chasing the mythical American dream they find out that the American dream tumbles in despair and turns into a nightmare. 
 
Maybe they are just a bunch of whiners who lack the psychological and testicular fortitude to fight the corporate bullies who are exploiting them? 
 
We can post conjecture until we are blue in the face but the fact is men today have less testosterone than their fathers, and the fathers have less testosterone that their fathers and so on and so on.  In their grandfather's time punks, bullies and weasels often got the snot kicked out them but today when some punk, weasel or bully wrongs today's unmanly men they bitch. They don't man up because they can't man up.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 27, 2017 - 9:06pm
LJ makes noise: he very premise is simply a fallacy believed by the left that allows them to adopt an arrogant sense of moral superiority. This foundational fallacy is then echoed within leftist circles (media, friends, family) which helps it continually propagate.-Oh wow, another rightist spouting their typical "free dumb and Liber-tea" noise, demonizing the left.  Don't see that every day, huh?
John G Added Aug 27, 2017 - 9:59pm
Right so LJ is an islamophobe believer in right wing fascist state mythology.
A Fox News believer.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 4:19am
LJ - ultra-left or ultra-right - both as bad as each other,
I abhor violence, intolerance and intimidation. Both are fascist.
The thing I find interesting is to discuss things with people who think differently and understand their perspective. I might not change my view or agree but at least I will understand more.
What I want is a fairer world, a happier world and a world that has less hatred.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 4:29am
El Rondo - Wow - that is harsh!
The whole working class is a waste of protoplasm!
Testosterone is not something to be proud of. It is a male hormone that promotes aggression and violence. Has its place but is often responsible for the most unpleasant outcomes.
Testosterone promotes thoughtlessness. I am glad people think with their brains and not their glands. Electricity is far more efficient than chemicals. We make better decisions with our brains than we do with out glands.
Punks, bullies and weasels need dealing with. In a civilised country they are dealt with in a civilised manner. Dealing with these people with violence causes displacement behaviour. Violence breeds violence. There are far better ways of dealing with these people.
Not only is violence primitive and nasty but it is ineffective too.
I am not sure where you get your evidence that testosterone levels have dropped through generations. I'm not convinced it has. But if it has that is probably a very good thing. It will result in a less violent world.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 4:32am
JM - listen and discuss. I prefer not to label. I see this labelling of people merely a way of pigeon-holing them into a stereotype so that you can ignore what they say.
Some people can be stereotyped but most are quite unique. They have a range of feelings and views that come out of their position and experience.
There are few black and white - there are myriads of grey.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 4:34am
John G- you are always first to put people into a convenient pigeon-hole and denigrate them. Wouldn't it be better to listen to what they say and then provide a reasoned argument? Surely that is the purpose of WB?
Lynn Johnson Added Aug 28, 2017 - 9:19am
Opher G >> ultra-left or ultra-right - both as bad as each other
 
I could not agree more!  My point was on volume of violence perpetrated by each extreme which I believe is also relevant.
 
Opher G >> I abhor violence, intolerance and intimidation.
 
Agreed.  But by some, I would be labeled as intolerant.  And if you take the strict definition of the word, I may plead guilty.  I am loath to tolerate that which is wrong or pretends to be something it is not.
 
I would also be labeled as fascist for the same beliefs.  Though the people who do so are generally very ignorant of the history and definition behind the word.
 
As an example, I do not support the various LBGT agendas.  But I do not want such people muted, harassed, imprisoned, or thrown off buildings.  That's not good enough to avoid the label.  The word has come to mean "anyone I don't like" to most.
 
Opher G >> The thing I find interesting is to discuss things with people who think differently and understand their perspective. I might not change my view or agree but at least I will understand more.
 
The world needs more people with that attitude.  I admire your efforts.  I do have a few liberal friends with whom I discuss and debate social and political issues.  They are saints in their ability to put up with my passion.  On-line however, I find myself generally harangued by a confederacy of dunces. :)
 
Opher G >> What I want is a fairer world, a happier world and a world that has less hatred.
 
Sorry... because of the nature of man that is not something achievable in this world.  Might I suggest religion regarding that want/hope?  The guy (the Son of Man) I'm following promises that and more. :)
 
Opher G >> Wouldn't it be better to listen to what they say and then provide a reasoned argument?
 
I am as guilty as any when it comes to labeling people within the political spectrum; so, I'm not too thin-skinned when the same is done to me.  BUT what I also try to do is exactly what you suggest. 
 
I disagreed with your initial statement concerning the gravitation of the white working class to racist organizations.  I offered my arguments (the math and personal experience) as to why I thought your assessment was wrong (at least in the U.S.)  At the same time, I offered the reasons why I think many of a certain political persuasion believe the incorrect assertion.  Granted, my caricature of that political persuasion was not a flattering one (and seldom is). :)
 
But notice, that no attempt is made to refute my arguments; just labels, vitriol, and trolling. "Don't see that every day, huh?" :)
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 9:55am
Lynn - it is often the case that there are personal abusers who refuse to enter into debate but pigeon-hole, make assumptions and acerbic statements but provide no argument to back up their position.
That is annoying.
Even if you do not like the stance or attitudes you can still listen and then put forward your own views.
As I do not believe in God my view is to overcome the negative aspects of human nature and build that idyllic society right here and now. I put my faith in a system that is much fairer and education.
Thomas Sutrina Added Aug 28, 2017 - 10:08am
So let me see if I have this correct Opher.  You taught in American schools.  Are you talking about public funded schools or private schools?  Religion is taught in private religious based schools as you said strongly  and you will not get the slightest leftist slant, indeed quite the opposite, I agree.  Public schools are a different matter.  And there is quite a diversity.  First no public school allows prayer.  Second they call it the study of religion but dozens of TV and articles have informed us that Christianity and Judaism are de-emphasized and Islam in emphasized.  Please google it and you will find examples.  Consider holidays which can not be religious.  The schools have added Muslim dates to the list.  One of the things Christianity has done is to incorporate other religion holidays by putting a Christian celebration near theirs.    Islam is the only exception and that is because Islam reject all other religions and makes their followers second class citizens if that high, if they are allowed to live.  
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 10:24am
Thomas I taught for a year in a public school in Los Angeles. No prayers allowed but creationism was OK.  There was no Islam in my school back in 1979/80.
I don't like any religion - least of all Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 10:46am
opher g, my interpretation is in the brackets.
 
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(false beliefs about God in Judaism, Christianity & Islam. written some 500 years before Islam, the 3rd arm from the Jewish religious record appeared)

For they are the spirits of DEVILS, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth (the 1%, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, and other Idols of the People) and of the whole world, (the rest of Humanity) to gather them to the battle of that Great Day of God Almighty. (the war is already underway between Judaism, Christianity and Islam leading to the climax of that Great Day)
Behold, I come as a thief. (when you least expect it)
Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Revelation 16:13-16

Armageddon was derived from Har Megiddo, located in Judea and Samaria of occupied Palestine 2000 years ago. Israel as a kingdom disappeared some 800 years before Jesus walked in that area during the occupation.

Har Megiddo/Armageddon still exists as a physical place in this material world, but is now under the control of temporal Israel re-created from the Bible after an absence of some 2800 years. After all those years, the occupation of Judea and Samaria in Palestine is still an unresolved, violent, open wound in the Middle East and this material world.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 11:12am
Ray - well if you enjoy interpreting ambiguous medieval texts then go ahead. I reckon you can make them mean anything you want - just as people have done throughout time.
For me they are just interesting ambiguous texts from the dawn of civilisation. I don't give them any great value. People back then did not know a great deal. They sure liked flowering it up though.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 11:23am
The text predates the medieval period of human history. My comment is current.
 
Disappointed you have no specific alternative to challenge
(false beliefs about God in Judaism, Christianity & Islam. written some 500 years before Islam, the 3rd arm from the Jewish religious record appeared)
unto the kings of the earth (the 1%, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, and other Idols of the People)
(the war is already underway between Judaism, Christianity and Islam leading to the climax of that Great Day)
or the specifics on the origins of the concept of 'Armageddon'
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 1:50pm
Ray - I just hope that instead of a war between the three branches of the same religion they all start getting along great and then simply die away into history as we outgrow them.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 2:20pm
And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 3:52pm
Ray - in amongst the various primitive scribblings of a people emerging from the stone-age were a few gems.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 5:22pm
There are a lot of really good lines in the Bible. Too bad you haven't seen them.
There are single lines with more significance and priority than 10 pages.
We all know people don't always practice what they preach.
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 5:30pm
Hey Ray - I've read them and appreciated them. I just don't buy the fable around the book, that's all. I also know that, as with the Koran, you can pick and choose to back up diametrically opposed stances.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 6:03pm
That is True and commonplace in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
 
That's why Christ says. 'search the scriptures, You think that in them you have Eternal Life, but it is they that speak of me.
 
The story of the woman caught in adultery, and Jesus' reply to his antagonists saying the Law demands she be stoned to death, is saying just because it's written in the Bible, you don't have to follow it.
 
This is affirmed by the story of the tempter bringing him to the pinnacle of the Temple in the Holy City and saying, 'jump off' for it is written, "He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone."
Psalm 91
 
Jesus didn't fall for that interpretation either.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 28, 2017 - 6:39pm
Ray - I judge everything and everyone on its/their value.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 28, 2017 - 8:40pm
One of the things Christianity has done is to incorporate other religion holidays by putting a Christian celebration near theirs.-That was absolutely necessary back in the day when "religions" had to be sold, one religion being pretty much like the next. "We have Poobah Festival where we eat and drink after we pray to Poobah.  An Xtain wouldn't have a feast holiday, so it was believing in Poobah, not some odd clown named Geezus.  So Xtains needed holidays, not for any other reason save marketing.  Not much has changed except now it's a case of Xtain screams at a Muslim:  "Oh yeah?  Our extremists are more extreme than YOUR extremists." Hey, look at ISIS.  They promote footage of American flags being burned, thinking "This will really piss the American infidels off," "...afterall, if they burned ISIS flags and danced around, I'D WANT ALL THEIR HEADS." So it should work on us, and it does.
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 28, 2017 - 9:34pm
There is probably a reason why the dialogue has deteriorated.Here's one from the old testament 'Mene Mene TekelUpharshim..."You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting...Your kingdom will be divided between the Medes and Persians" and this was before " the Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold and his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold" Gold,balances,weighing...The stuff of the dismal sciences.Human nature moving forward,searching for solutions,no back to the future...problems exchange and do not vanish.Adam Smith's free market required regulation....no guarantee that Homo Sap will survive.Nearer my God to thee in whatever language and to whatever Gods may be due in time but the refuge of religion cannot be permitted to be a primary cause of our extinction.
 
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 10:22pm
Professor, did you take 'Mene Mene TekelUpharshim..."You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting...Your kingdom will be divided between the Medes and Persians" from my 2nd Writer Beat article, SIGNS OF THE TIMES?
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 28, 2017 - 11:20pm
No,Ray from the old testament as I indicated but I take it I could have,so thanks for the reference.I look forward to looking it up.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 28, 2017 - 11:32pm
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 4:29am
Jeff - Christians took over all the major pagan celebrations - Christmas - midwinter solstice - Easter - the rebirth of nature. We even celebrate Santa (a Scandinavian mystical shaman on his flying sleigh) and tree worship gets a look in. Just weird. At Easter we keep the eggs (fertility symbols) and lambs.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 4:30am
Jeff/Prof/Ray - how did this deteriorate into a religious thing?
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 4:59am
That's probably due to me.
Jesus answered and said to them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see:
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 5:19am
Ray - I'm not that poor! I certainly don't need preaching about Arab religions. I know all about them and the politics of their ascendancy.
The topic under question was the plight of the poor whites. They surely don't want their life made even harder by having Middle Eastern medieval religion thrust upon them?
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 5:52am
Arab religions? I agree with the Pope. Inside every Christian lives a Jew.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 6:46am
Ray - the Jews are Arabs. Judaism, Christianity and Islam came out of the same Arab tribes. All Christians and Muslims are really modified Jews. Jesus was a Jew.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:37am
I don't think the Jews will agree with that, but you agree with the Pope?. On that subject, I came across this video yesterday.
THIS LAND IS MINE
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:44am
Ray - I agree with the Pope on a number of things - and disagree on many more.
Great cartoon. Sums it up. Nobody owns land. We are just passing through.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:56am
You must be retired as I am, otherwise you wouldn't have the Time to reply instantly as I do?
Lynn Johnson Added Aug 29, 2017 - 9:28am
Opher G >> Even if you do not like the stance or attitudes you can still listen and then put forward your own views.
 
I hope I have met as least some level of that expectation.
 
Opher G >> As I do not believe in God my view is to overcome the negative aspects of human nature and build that idyllic society right here and now.
 
Exactly... and that is an admirable goal for those who put their faith in humanity over a higher power.  We simply disagree and I have no ill will toward you for that; though I'm sure this difference would have us at odds on some social matters.
 
But for now, in the spirit of sharing and understanding each other...
 
Christ gave similar advice to humanity concerning our nature.  If one wishes to be His disciple and be a force for good, then that person must "deny himself".  He must overcome the negatives found in human nature.  But I also happen to believe that a basic tenet of Christianity is that while we are commanded to do this (deny ourselves) we can never truly succeed.  Thus, the idyllic society here and now is not possible.  Luckily, we are not commanded by God to succeed... just try.
 
Opher G >> I put my faith in a system that is much fairer and education.
 
We each put out faith somewhere which obviously affects our opinions of what is and is not humanly possible in this world.  I think this difference is one of the reasons many of us on the right don't trust government (a human institution) and see it as a necessary evil; while our neighbors on the left trust government as the vehicle by which we will create utopia (idyllic society).
 
As for my reasoning, mankind has bouts of great success (the Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution for example) but many more bouts of abject failure (oppressive regimes of fascism and communism/socialism) resulting in the misery and death of millions.  We gravitate towards abject failure.
 
Looking at history, and the current state of the world I see no evidence of a human created idyllic society being possible.  The teachings of my faith confirm that but also teach that coming to that conclusion is one of the purposes of life.  Thousands of years ago, Solomon said "there is nothing new under the sun"; meaning that mankind will forever repeat the same mistakes no matter how enlightened we think we become.
 
Thomas S >> Islam is the only exception and that is because Islam rejects all other religions and makes their followers second class citizens if that high, if they are allowed to live.
 
I think I agree with Thomas in that Islam is unique in how it deals with disbelievers.  As a Christian, I reject all other religions (when it comes to truth) but not their right to practice peacefully.  Both are basic teaching of Christ. 
 
Other religions are not truth because He (Christ) is not one of the many ways to the Father.  Christ taught that He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life.  Christianity and Islam cannot both be true; they are in fact mutually exclusive. 
 
And, forgive me if I take great exception to classifying Islam as a branch associated with Judaism or Christianity.  Muhammad stole, perverted and maligned aspects of true faiths; but that's about the extent of the correlation.
 
The key point here is that when asked what to do concerning non-believers Christ said "And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town."  So... leave them in peace and move on.
 
Muhammad's instructions are quite different when it comes to non-believers.  He instructed his followers to extort money from them (jizya), enslave them, and/or give them the choice of conversion or death.  All three of which are not very conducive to freedom or western civilization.  These are the fruits of Muhammad.  Are we blessed that today (for now) Muhammad's followers either lack the power or inclination to implement their prophet's instructions... absolutely.  But quite a few of them are dam sure trying to turn that around.
 
>> I don't like any religion - least of all Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.
 
I'm really sorry to hear that... at least from my perspective... go (about your life) in peace.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 11:11am
Lynn - good to hear from you. We might not agree on some things but at least we can talk with mutual respect and that is what is important.
I too have seen few signs of utopia on Earth. As you say - the repulsive regimes far outweigh the good. But to me that is still something to aim for. We have far more powerful tools of psychology and sociology to help us now.
I don't have a great faith in government. They usually let us down. But firstly it is not too bad. And secondly we need great public services, particularly education, if we are going to have any hope in improving. That means taxes and good government.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 12:34pm
Lynn, I enjoyed reading your comment. opher said this upstream, "Jeff/Prof/Ray - how did this deteriorate into a religious thing?"
 
Obviously, your comment is a regeneration to opher. 
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2017 - 12:44pm
RJC sez: Well, "Ray" how did this happen?  Gawd, you religious ravers.  Mind your own morals and ethics. Lynn J rants: I'm sure this difference would have us at odds on some social matters-Like "F*** poor people.  They just won't wait for apple pie in the sky after they die." eh?  The Xtains always rant about Gawd, but if there's a gawd (there isn't so fear not for you pants leg), he'd not walk across the street to urinate on them.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 2:32pm
Ray - so why does every debate go back to religion?
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 4:35pm
Jeff, in the 42 years I've been alive to the Faith, I've had evidence after evidence and Blessing after Blessing to increase my Faith. you are not me, and you don't know ALL my Experience as I don't know yours.
 
If you don't look for God, you'll never find any evidence of God. That's not a complicated matter!
 
I can't shoot you, or anyone else down for not having my experience in Life, as you and others do to those of the Faith. That would not be Christian. I was like you. I didn't believe either until I was touched by God.
 
Let me echo Lynn. go (about your life) in peace.  
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2017 - 5:58pm
RJC sez:in the 42 years I've been alive to the Faith, I've had evidence after evidence and Blessing after Blessing...-So?  That's your thing, pard, not mine,  I've got a few years on you and can say I've had no evidence after no evidence that the Great white guy with a beard exists.  AND I guess opher will have to do with: I didn't believe either until I was touched by God.-You, once again, did not answer his question, but I bet this would be similar to what you might use as an excuse you to opher.   
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 6:29pm
Guys - this is not a debate about god - who I consider to be a psychological construct.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:03pm
Jeff, my comment acknowledged Faith is my thing, not yours, and I'm enjoying my 74th year.
My perception of God is not like yours. Jesus was fully human like you and me, with the same natural human needs and functions.
 
God is not some Great white guy with a beard. God is a Spirit.
 
Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Isaiah 66
 
God has revealed that place of rest to me, that Eternal Sabbath, even if not to you.
 
The Hubble telescope just discovered this in the Cosmos and nothing like it has been seen before. NASA calls it Heaven's Gate.
 
 
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:16pm
NASA would wouldn't they? They all grown up in the indoctrination process of the USA. What else could you expect?
It was a wondrous image, very beautiful. I don't know what it's got to do with heaven though?
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:28pm
RJC sez: My perception of God is not like yours.- True, you believe in a mythical, invisible "farce," I choose not to believe.  It doesn't matter to me, but you're using the gawd crap to deflect from the topic at hand to what little tinplate image you prey to or on.  You apparently do believe in the gawdly "There will be apple pie in the sky when you die" view of poor people (the topic) but you insist on talking gawd. So poor people, white or otherwise should just die and get fed apple pie. eh?
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:35pm
Jeff, it doesn't bother me in the least my Faith in God drives you up the wall, no matter what disparaging terms you come up with.
 
Yes, with my Faith, when I die, my flesh will corrupt and turn to dust just like yours, but my Spirit will return to God who gave it.
 
Your flesh will corrupt and that's it, that's all for you. You will cease to exist for all Eternity by your choice.
opher goodwin Added Aug 29, 2017 - 7:37pm
Me too Ray - I cease - that's why every second is so precious and life is so sweet.
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 29, 2017 - 8:54pm
Pax Vobiscum et Cum Spiritu Tuo.Meanwhile e Pluribus unum $!
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 8:56pm
I cease - that's why every second is so precious and life is so sweet.
 
If every individual believed and acted with that appreciation not just for themselves, but for others as themselves, humanity would beat the swords into plow shares and the spears into pruning hooks and the Biblical of the Nations not learning War anymore would become the reality. Not overnight or by the snap of the fingers.
 
Neither do I pray for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.
And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
 
I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and has loved them, as you have loved me.
John 17
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 29, 2017 - 9:18pm
Ever heard the expression MONEY TALKS? It comes from the Bible along with the expression 'the Writing's on the Wall.'
 
And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell,
save he that had the mark, or the nam
e of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13
 
In plain language that's MONEY but people don't want to see the obvious, especially the Christian TV Evangelists always asking for MONEY. It would be a conflict of interest for them to acknowledge those words and visions in the Revelation of Jesus Christ

 
Contrary to the propaganda and false belief it's 'MONEY that makes this world go round' at 55,000 miles/hour around the Sun suspended in Space, rotating on our axis at 25,000 miles/hour at the same Time. Who can feel it or sense it?
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:48am
Ray - is all your life equated to bible quotes?
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 30, 2017 - 7:35am
The Bible was the 1st book I read cover to cover when I learned how to read in grade 1.
 
I appreciate the spirit of the letter, and I'll cite verses I feel appropriate in a discussion.
 
As this world is increasingly divided between WE and THEM, I see the way to overcome reflected in the verses in the second last comment.
As to the plight of poor whites, it all comes down to MONEY. I'm sure you heard the expression 'MONEY makes the world go round' The last comment exposes the fallacy of that expression and belief.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 30, 2017 - 10:56am
The author's premise is yet more statist nonsense. Pure elitist blather. Something someone who has spent their lives in school would say. Yawn.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 30, 2017 - 12:18pm
RJC laments like Job with a stick shoved up his ass: Jeff, it doesn't bother me in the least my Faith in God drives you up the wall, no matter what disparaging terms you come up with.-As long as you don't demand I have to model your "beliefs", you are entitled to be as silly as you sound.  It is, afterall, just your beliefs. And I look at it this way, I won't spend eternity with people like you, if I'm right, it won't matter.  Hell, and there isn't one, must be more interesting in regards to who might be there. 
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 30, 2017 - 1:57pm
Jeff, nowhere in the 139 comments I've made in WB so far, did I demand you or anyone else 'have to model my "beliefs,' nor have I made disparaging comments about your lack of belief. As I said upstream, go (about your life) in peace.
 
I'll continue to exercise my Freedom of Speech, even if it does drive you up the wall. You can always put me on ignore!
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 2:51pm
Ray - money is a factor but I think it comes down more to respect, feeling valued and equality. Life shouldn't be such a struggle.
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 2:52pm
Jeffry - are you assuming my life experience is limited? I think not. I've packed in a few lifetimes into mine so far.
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 2:54pm
Jeff/Ray - belief is a strange beast - there is no proof for it yet some people grab it and some people don't. I personally think it is like Freud said - a mass delusion. But that's just me.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 3:59pm
John G.  In order to really understand that about which you are elaborating, it is beholden upon you to make it clear and simple.  
 
No, indeed, the pounds sterling remain in the domain of the countries which use it.  But you have not explained why, have you?  Further more, when people buy foreign currency or shall we say use the pounds sterling to get the currency valid in a particular country, what happens then?
 
Now, let's be clear about this because your attitude is really very funny in its exasperated seriously clever, but looks dead ordinary type of guy (a bit like Michael Moore eh?), but you are not being kind or generous or allowing for lack of understanding, now are you?
 
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:02pm
Opher, I am just reading a book, written before 1977 (I found it in some old bookshop somewhere years' ago and have just go around to reading it!) about very early Christianity's movements;  that is, it doesn't preach the gospel at all, but it is a factual account of the political and economic and sociological/cultural and religious-political situation at the time prior to, during and post Jesus Christ.  It is absolutely fascinatingly enlightening and is outlining all of the things that you are bringing to the fore, here. 
 
I am beginning to wonder if it is taking us all a whole lifetime to get to the point zero in the matrix. Waddayafink?
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:07pm
Eileen - that book sounds fascinating. I have read a lot about early Christian and Jewish cults. What was it called?
I think you are right - we are approaching point zero.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:15pm
Opher, it is fascinating and it is not a very thick book either.  The thing is that I am having to absorb things slowly because, whilst it really is not technical at all, the concepts are hitting me like lightning and I am having to rethink everything.  Point Zero...yes, I like that!
 
Ok, here goes, Gerd Theissen (University of Bonn Prof of the New Testament - back in the seventies remember).  "The first followers of Jesus"  'A Sociological Analysis of the  Earliest Christianity'.  And blimey, it is not at all what you might think it is....which is probably why it has lain in boxes and book cases and travelled around for so long. It is also dropping to bits so it has clearly been used somewhat.
 
Point Zero..yes, it could catch on eh?  Can we claim patency for Point Zero Matrix or what?
Jeff Michka Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:24pm
RJC sez: I'll continue to exercise my Freedom of Speech, even if it does drive you up the wall. You can always put me on ignore-This is WB, So I expect you to keep talking the gawd crapola, as anyone should keep talking about what they so choose, so don't credit yourself too much.  I see your Xtainity does preclude your massive ego.  Again, it's your "problem." You're the one sounding delusional, not me.
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 4:33pm
Eileen - I'll look that book up.
I'm sure you can claim a patent on that. Point Zero Matrix will surely catch on.
John G Added Aug 30, 2017 - 6:20pm
EdB Further more, when people buy foreign currency or shall we say use the pounds sterling to get the currency valid in a particular country, what happens then?
Those pounds just belong to someone else. None have left the UK.
I am making it clear and simple. It is your conditioning that is the difficulty.
Economic disinformation is endemic in western societies. It is part of how the elites have gotten away with neoliberalism.
opher goodwin Added Aug 30, 2017 - 7:39pm
John G - so when I took my sterling abroad and exchanged it for dollars in Australia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and the rest - I never took it out of the country? They just belong to someone else but they are really still in the UK. They are like electrons being present in two places at once.
That makes sense.
When we buy something abroad and pay in sterling we get to keep the goods and the money. This sounds great John.
I think I know what you are really saying but the way you are explaining it is inept.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 30, 2017 - 7:50pm
Jeff Michka Added Aug 30, 2017 - 8:38pm
Hey, I'm just trying to get that  image of Mick Taylor really being Steve Bannon out of my mind.  I don't know if that image is any worse than how Hamid Karsai, former pres of Afghanistan was actually Sir Ben Kingsley.  Nobody every saw them on stage together, much like Taylor/Bannon, soooo....
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 30, 2017 - 9:21pm
Jeffry - are you assuming my life experience is limited? I think not. I've packed in a few lifetimes into mine so far.
 
I'm assuming nothing. I have observed your pompous elitist attitude, your declarations, and your inordinate pride in being the "head teacher" somewhere inconsequential.
 
All these are the hallmarks of a never was not of someone who actually accomplished something of value. 
 
Off you go now, mind the gap between train and platform. Bye.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 2:50am
Opher and John G, regarding exchange rates etc.:
 
It is certainly possible to have a euro and pound sterling account in the UK. Post brexit or even right now, I am not sure if this will continue.
 
If there is a demand for sterling by investors outside, they exchange their Xxx for Sterling which is then used to buy the bricks and mortar.  Where does their Xxx go John?
 
Do you recall the time when the Arab oil producung countries demanded gold bullion to be shipped out to them? No poind sterling for them, just the real thing!
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 3:49am
John G - so when I took my sterling abroad and exchanged it for dollars in Australia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and the rest - I never took it out of the country?
That's exactly what I'm saying. 
They are like electrons being present in two places at once.
No. They are present only in the UK banking system.
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 3:52am
If there is a demand for sterling by investors outside, they exchange their Xxx for Sterling which is then used to buy the bricks and mortar.  Where does their Xxx go John?
It stays in the Xxxland banking system.
Do you recall the time when the Arab oil producung countries demanded gold bullion to be shipped out to them? 
No. I'm 58 and it hasn't happened in my lifetime.
Eileen de Bruin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 5:04am
One of the things we find most exciting about reporting on the numismatic marketplace is coming across those things we either didn’t know beforehand, or finding obscure and unusual numismatic items. Just recently we came across one such item, the Gold Disks produced by the US mint for ARAMCO oil payments to Saudi Arabia after World War II.
http://www.coinweek.com/coins/news/unusual-items-us-mint-gold-disks-made-for-oil-payments-to-saudi-arabia/
 
Since March of this year (2012) Turkey has exported $11.7 billion in gold bullion, over 90% of which was carried over the border on its way to Iran or the United Arab Emirates.
What’s happening? Turkey is buying oil. Not with wire transfers or cash, but with gold bullion. They can’t buy Iranian oil through the usual bank channels, because Iran was barred from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication back in March, (Swift) making it nearly impossible for Iran to complete large international fund transfers.
Turkey isn’t breaking any embargoes, it is simply completing transaction with an alternative form of money.
http://owninggold.com/2012/11/turkey-is-paying-for-iranian-oil-with-gold-bars-carried-over-the-border/
 
 
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 5:05am
Oh Jeffry - very petulant and condescending. Unworthy too. Delusions of grandeur?
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 5:06am
John G - I really can't see the significance of all this towards this debate.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 31, 2017 - 6:00am
Oh Jeffry - very petulant and condescending. Unworthy too. Delusions of grandeur
 
Classic projection.
 
I came back at you in the same way you came at me Sport. 
 
Amazing some old retired guy livin'on a remote beach in paradise can trigger a "head teacher" so easily. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:18am
Jeffry - you flatter yourself.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:33am
Jeff wrote, "I see your Xtainity does preclude your massive ego."
 
That's what the spirit of Christ does once it takes up residence in the people. That explains why your massive ego is not precluded or kept in check, as you so readily project over and over again in your comments.
Mike Haluska Added Aug 31, 2017 - 11:37am
Opher - maybe you have a point!  "Education" may be the answer to racial prejudice!  God knows the public school's substitution of "Progressive Indoctrination" for "Education" hasn't had much of a positive effect on anything!
 
Instead of George Soros funded violent confrontation, maybe some human compassion and attempts to solve differences rationally is in order?  Probably not - 99% of politicians believe that approach doesn't get votes.
Prof Claudewell Thomas Added Aug 31, 2017 - 12:28pm
Some of these comments would be well placed in 'Trump is not the problem.'
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 1:01pm
Mike - I think that we had very little racial prejudice in Britain. It was remarkable how things had progressed.
Recently that has gone backwards a bit. The ISIS terrorism has created a lot of Islamophobia that unfortunately is aimed at the entire Muslim community and Brexit has emboldened the racists and fascists resulting in a rise in hate crime.
In my school racism was almost unheard of. The black and brown kids were fully integrated.
Staying in Louisiana and travelling through Mississippi I was quite shocked by the level of overt and covert racism I encountered.
Education is indeed the answer.
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 4:42pm
John G - I really can't see the significance of all this towards this debate.
The significance is that you made an assertion which was factually wrong. These false beliefs cloud your judgement and allow you to be led by your controllers.
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 4:50pm
When people believe all these scare stories that are propagated by the rich they become powerless in the face of the seeming hopelessness.
The rich have little to no real power over the state. The power that they do have is illusionary. When people stop believing it, it is no longer.
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 4:51pm
When I first went to the UK from Australia (a pretty racist place) I was shocked by the overt racism espoused by Londoners.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 31, 2017 - 5:05pm
RJC relates: Jeff wrote, "I see your Xtainity does preclude your massive ego." That's what the spirit of Christ does once it takes up residence in the people-Makes you egomaniacal, eh?  Yeah, I've noticed.  Bet you feel you coulda been crucified, and wouldn't have batted an eye at holding your legs together because they only had one nail left.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 31, 2017 - 5:44pm
You obviously don't know the meaning of preclude
Jeff Michka Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:35pm
Well, a typo there RJC..."...does  preculude..." should have been "...doesn't preclude..."*shrugs* Musta been "gawd's will," that typo, eh?
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:39pm
John G - yes London used to be pretty racist. I don't know when you were there but it certainly has changed.
opher goodwin Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:40pm
John G - I don't believe that at all. Investment is global. Money comes and goes. The rich buy and corrupt at will. We see it all the time.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Aug 31, 2017 - 7:56pm
Good to see your eyes are opening, Jeff! lol
John G Added Aug 31, 2017 - 8:18pm
John G - I don't believe that at all. Investment is global. 
You can believe in unicorns too if you want.
You rubbish people for believing in god.
And here you are believing in a childish fantasy.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 1, 2017 - 3:35am
Mike - I think that we had very little racial prejudice in Britain
 
Except perhaps that for the black and tans. 
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 1, 2017 - 7:37am
John G - I can believe in what I want. I still think we can make things better. I've not grown old, impotent and grouchy. My unicorn feels the same way as me.
opher goodwin Added Sep 1, 2017 - 7:38am
Jeffry - I'm talking about now - not the past. There was plenty of racism in the past. It has become much improved.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 1, 2017 - 4:36pm
opher -
 
The major reason conservatives get pissed at "Progressives" is because they always try and "lump" every fringe group as endorsed, financed and ideologically part of conservatism.  Their prejudice is only exceeded by their hypocrisy.  The "Party of Tolerance, Inclusion and Compassion" condemned candidate Trump for inciting violence and not accepting the results of the election BEFORE A VOTE WAS COUNTED. 
 
Now GUESS WHO has been on a violent, irrational, unaccepting, intolerant, childish, petulant rampage, refusing to accept the results of the election???
opher goodwin Added Sep 1, 2017 - 6:30pm
Mike - I don't know - who?
Even though he got three million less votes I accept he won. I'm appalled by what he says and does and the way he does it but I don't contest his win. I'll speak up against the policies he is promoting though. But that's about it.
opher goodwin Added Sep 1, 2017 - 6:32pm
Mike - I can see how that would be annoying. To be lumped in with the Nazis is not right. I accept that a good majority of conservatives are not nutters like that. There's too much pigeon-holing, abuse and name-calling on both sides.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 3, 2017 - 12:37pm
Now GUESS WHO has been on a violent, irrational, unaccepting, intolerant, childish, petulant rampage, refusing to accept the results of the election???-okay...Mikey HaHaHaluska?  He's irrational, he's intolerant, He's childish and petulant.  Don't know if he "accepts" the election since he's probably still worried Hillary will be appointed president.  LOL
Bustednuckles Added Sep 19, 2017 - 2:27pm
I just put up a post here with several very simple graphs demonstrating why the working man and woman in this country will never get ahead.
Since the 1970's wages have been stagnant,  you are making the same amount of money adjusted for inflation that you were back then, inflation has risen dramatically, the purchasing power of the dollar had fallen inversely proportional to inflation and the cost of everything else has skyrocketed.
El Rondo Added Sep 20, 2017 - 4:01pm
Most poor whites are in the Red states. In a capitalist system it is survival of the fittest. The red state have the lowest collective IQ and the most poverty along with the lowest quality of life.   
Why The Red States Suck by Fat Bastardo
 
This has always been the case. It's called social Darwinism. Stupid people are less willing to try to adapt. Then we have what Ron Paul called mild fascism or corporatism. Corporations have too much power but the stupid people in the South have bought into the false narrative that unions are bad. They cannot articulate why but they heard some lying rightie lying on behalf of his corporate master and since stupid people are intellectually lazy, intellectually dishonest and easily led they become victims of not only their inferior brains but of their own ignorance. Stupid people are easily manipulated.
 
 
El Rondo Added Sep 20, 2017 - 4:07pm
I suspect that Mike Haluska and Jeff Michka are Russian trolls.
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 20, 2017 - 8:16pm
El Rondo, you would thing that even the simple minded would understand blood running in there streets.  Going to funerals of friend and relatives and having there children not go out side to play.  Those simple minded people should place the lack of security on their city government.  Those that are the employers of the police.   They do not like the police shooting members of their neighborhood.  Even the simple minded know that those police work for the city and the police are saying they are following the rules of the city government.  When they see the boarded up burned out businesses that they once shopped in after a riot they blame the city government for not preventing this destruction.    
 
El Rondo, those city government are mostly by far members of the Democratic Party and have been elected for decades.  The black ghetto that many live in were the result of the policies started by Democratic White House and Congress, both houses during multiple administrations.   Those simple minded poor people see the destruction of the family structure and many children growing up without a male father figure providing example of taking responsibility.  They know that those gang members have illegal guns and lots of them.  City government lets them walk and drive around with those guns shooting indiscriminately.
 
The problem is that The GOP does not put of candidates that will run on these issues because they do not have any answers to correct the situation.  Very few will create the consensus that Walker did in Wisconsin.   But that is what it will take in all the states that Hillary Clinton won.
El Rondo Added Sep 20, 2017 - 9:11pm
Wealth is power and the corporate criminal elite knows this. 
 
Fatherless homes are a problem but low wages contribute to that.
Eileen de Bruin Added Sep 21, 2017 - 7:36am
It really does seem to me, that this thread has now gone on to become the exact same subject as the thread currently running on Writerbeat called : Why You Will Never Get Ahead.
 
Wealth power is now in the hands of the very, very few - like 85 people and this is due to political maneuvering for the past four decades and stealth control through the media, lobbying and such like.  
 
I suppose that we are all lamenting the same things eh?