The Rubble of Empire: A Fine Time To Begin Thinking About What Might Be Built in Its Place

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    • #396517
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 7,887

      https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/01/19/rubble-empire-fine-time-begin-thinking-about-what-might-be-built-its-place

      If you need proof that the last superpower, our very own empire, is indeed crumbling, consider the year we’ve just lived through, not to mention the first few weeks of 2021. I mentioned above some of the factors that contributed to the collapse of the famed Roman empire in the fifth century. It’s fair to say that some of those same things are now evident in twenty-first-century America. Here are four obvious candidates:

      Grotesque Economic Inequality: Ever since President Ronald Reagan began the Republican Party’s long war on unions and working people, economic inequality has steadily increased in this country, punctuated by terrible shocks like the Great Recession of 2007-2008 and, of course, by the Covid-19 disaster. We’ve seen 40 years of tax reductions for the wealthy, stagnant wages for the rest of us (including a federal minimum wage that hasn’t changed since 2009), and attacks on programs like TANF (welfare) and SNAP (food stamps) that literally keep poor people alive.

      The Romans relied on slave labor for basics like food and clothing. This country relies on super-exploited farm and food-factory workers, many of whom are unlikely to demand more or better because they came here without authorization. Our (extraordinarily cheap) clothes are mostly produced by exploited people in other countries.

      The pandemic has only exposed what so many people already knew: that the lives of the millions of working poor in this country are growing ever more precarious and desperate. The gulf between rich and poor widens by the day to unprecedented levels. Indeed, as millions have descended into poverty since the pandemic began, the Guardian reports that this country’s 651 billionaires have increased their collective wealth by $1.1 trillion. That’s more than the $900 billion Congress appropriated for pandemic aid in the omnibus spending bill it passed at the end of December 2020.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #396528
      Cold Mountain Trail
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      • Total Posts: 11,232

      “The Romans relied on slave labor for basics like food and clothing. This country relies on super-exploited farm and food-factory workers, many of whom are unlikely to demand more or better because they came here without authorization. Our (extraordinarily cheap) clothes are mostly produced by exploited people in other countries”

    • #396570
      tk2kewl
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      • Total Posts: 1,545

      the author conveniently leaves out bill clinton as the precursor to the gwb doctrine and obama as a faithful implementer of the same

    • #396625
      closeupready
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      • Total Posts: 2,038

      And then she seems to think that people don’t need to work and raise families and do, you know, stuff that people have to do in order to maintain a standard of living. Most people don’t live in San Francisco (where the author lives and Kamala comes from) or super-expensive places for bored rich kids who travel all over the world, wining, dining, dancing, and then later going home to write about how life sucks.

      Yet, the time wasn’t yesterday, it’s NOW.

      She’s good at hiding her agenda, but this is just a partisan vote-blue-no-matter-who pro-Biden puff piece.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #396685
      closeupready
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      • Total Posts: 2,038

      Um, no. That’s California.

      I don’t see lines of homeless people down the block in New York. Homelessness is a problem nationwide, admittedly, but California is the 5th largest economy in the entire WORLD, and could solve its OWN HOMELESSNESS PROBLEM overnight. The $$$ is there. Yet, it grows worse every year even as California’s economy grows larger every year. The Republican Party’s biggest proponents – Reagan and Schwarzenegger – both were Californian.

      She can’t figure it out, except to blame “fall of empire”. As if her own state can’t do anything unless forced to do so, even though Democrats have held supermajorities there in the state Congress for how many decades.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

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