What do Americans want?
January 25, 2021 at 12:49 PM - Views: 120 #397926
Lately, I have spent a lot of time chatting with a group that includes a number of republicans, democrats, a few socialists, libertarians and so on. Increasingly, it seems to me, the things we want are similar. The gist of it is to ensure that people can have some kind of life in relative peace and comfort. At the least, this means providing for life – for the basic necessities of food, water and shelter. That list is slowly growing (even among many republicans) to include healthcare, higher education and eventually a form of UBI. This may be a lot more popular among those of us on the left, but it is gaining popularity everywhere. The pandemic is shifting political opinion – and I believe, in combination with every other situation we currently face, will change our future.
Not over-night, of course… but a lot of these things would have been unthinkable even during the Bush or Obama years. Trump tore the thin veil covering the ugly reality of our socioeconomic situation. He enabled and encouraged the worst among us. Is Biden a good leader for this time, for this change? Hell no – what he is (as I see it) is a place-holder for someone better. I do not think the years or the events of the Trump administration will be quickly forgotten or forgiven. Whatever we may have seen on video, or read from the various MSM agencies, most of us did not approve of him or of his lies, his narcissism or his bigotry.
In this new era we are entering, I believe that some things will shortly become obvious as necessities, no matter what Biden and his ilk do. The loss of most of the service industry will force a universal basic income of some sort. Even the corporations don’t want everyone to be too broke to buy their junk. Oh, they will quibble, bitch about paying higher taxes – but they will do it, because the alternative will be (and already verges on) unthinkable. The likes of Bezos and even Musk aren’t truly stupid. They seek profit above all – they don’t much care about the little people, but they’ll care when their profits shrink, which they will, if we no longer have money to spend.
All of that, even so, is beside the point. The general public not only wants, but quite seriously needs real change. Without it, this system dies – and it dies ugly, with its oligarchs kicking and screaming all the while. The stimulus they are debating (again – and again, absurdly less for the people than the people need) is only a temporary measure – and everyone who isn’t a fool knows it. They will need to keep on passing them, one after another… or, they will have to implement change via policy. This WILL ultimately mean things like UBI, universal higher education and healthcare. It will mean providing a basic safety net.
One thing that the likes of Biden are not yet willing to face (but will have to, soon) is that overpopulation is near the breaking point for the world. How might we resolve this? Take the child tax credit, for example. Now I have no objection to parents and children getting what they need – but we need to dramatically reduce population. How might we accomplish this? Offer double that credit to every individual who has no children. Why? Incentive. The way they have incentivized and subsidized corporations is what they now must do for the general public. If they do not, the current power structure will break.
The signs of this are obvious everywhere. The weakening economy, the civil tension, the (supposedly) polar opposite politics in Congress. The truth is, they are trying to hold back a tidal wave. They are trying to resist giving in to overwhelming need and desperation, felt by tens of millions of people in this time. They can’t, of course. Long term any policy that ignores the genuine truth will fail. The truth is that the world is changing and we must change with it or fade away.
Genuine change requires different energy policies, it requires policies that promote sharing, that promote working to improve the lives of everyone – from the bottom up. I do believe all of this will happen. It should have already, but if the pandemic has demonstrated anything to us, it is that change is badly needed.
A few simple things to get the ball rolling: Remove the cap on taxable social security income. Tax wall street transactions a few cents each. Actually apply taxes to the wealthy that are similar to what your average working class laborer pays. Stop letting oligarchs make the rules. With some shift in policy that isn’t as difficult as often perceived (other than within bull shit partisan politics) our situation can be improved massively. We CAN provide for everyone… for now. We cannot expand and continue to grow this economy via the use of dirty energy. Not if we wish our children and those that come after to have reasonably good lives. Not even if we ourselves wish to improve our lot.
It is necessity. Things have changed – the likes of Biden and Pelosi, Schumer and so on… may not realize it yet, but they will either have to acknowledge it, or they will be replaced by younger versions of Bernie Sanders and AOC. The republicans, too, will have to acknowledge their failures.
Some times circumstances force change. This is one of those times. There is not another option. Things cannot continue as they are.
Chatting with so many people from both sides of the political fence has opened my eyes. Most of us are not MAGA. Most of us are not anarchists. We are, overall, people who want better lives for ourselves and everyone else. We may disagree about how to get there, but most of us now favor taxing the wealthy, providing a safety net for people – healthcare, that sort of thing. The necessity of improving, upgrading and generally fixing our infrastructure will create jobs, other issues will ignite a new tech revolution. There is also, I believe, a rumbling of genuine change starting in energy.
It is easy to think everything is ugly, that there is no hope for our future, that we are damned. Think about it though. The Industrial revolution passed – and we remain. Two world wars, the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, hypersonic missiles, laser weapons… and so much more – and we remain. One after another, so many of the greatest evils of history have been overcome. Today’s will be, too.
That is what I believe. I realize that there are massive issues we face – and that of course it is not entirely certain. Yet I do believe that growing consensus and awareness will force change. Necessity will force it.
So I’d encourage everyone here – don’t give up. This is far from the end of the struggle for the people, for the poor and working class – for MOST of us. It is only just beginning.
January 25, 2021 at 1:11 PM #397929djean111Participant
- Total Posts: 6,536
Biden and Pelosi are being replaced with younger version of themselves – Harris and Buttigieg, for example. AOC is now toeing the Vichy Dem line. So if getting all of this done by continuing to vote for the blue, with a big spoonful of hopium, is what is being advised – nope. IMO we are now looking at crackdowns on progressives as well as anyone who voted for Trump. And that is how Biden sees around 74 million Americans -they voted for Trump, so they must be punished. Not that Biden is not going to punish us all anyway.
America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)
Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.
January 25, 2021 at 11:13 PM #398118srobertParticipant
- Total Posts: 58
“Lately, I have spent a lot of time chatting with a group that includes a number of republicans, democrats, a few socialists, libertarians and so on.”
Just curious, was this a local Mensa meeting? Cause that sounds exactly like meetings they use to have here.
January 25, 2021 at 1:47 PM #397933GZeusHParticipant
- Total Posts: 4,351
The 90+% that just want to have their basic needs met, who want a decent job with decent pay, and health care, and some vacation time? Yes, we CAN provide for them.
Unfortunately, the richest 1% want it all, and they are calling all the shots.
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.
If you just got finessed into calling the medicine that won the 2015 Nobel Prize for its role in treating human disease ‘horse de-wormer’ then you need to sit the next couple of plays out.
January 25, 2021 at 4:10 PM #397963YanathParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,086
What working-class people want and need, are the necessary resources, goods and services for a comfortable secure existence, and a sense of security about the future, so they can turn most of their attention to family and pursuing their personal interests, just like humans are supposed to do.
January 25, 2021 at 4:01 PM #397959closeupreadyParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,658
Why can’t things go on like this, and even accelerate? Things ARE going on like this. And there are plenty of examples in history of rich countries turning poor, middle classes disappearing entirely. If they can take it all, they WILL take it all. Nothing is currently stopping them from doing that. Certainly not empathy or ethics.
On a side note, like Bezos, Musk’s wealth is tied to his company’s stock value.
The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.
January 25, 2021 at 4:17 PM #397964FasttenseParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,603
It’s the poorer countries who are having population increases.
When women are 2nd class citizens, When they are treated like property and chattel, When they are abused by state and religion, Then women have ever increasing numbers of children only to watch their babies die from poverty, disease, starvation, malnurishment, war and civil strife.
When allowed to control their own bodies, when educated and treated humanly, when they no longer have to watch their babies die, it seems women don’t have ever increasing numbers of children.
Improve women’s lives and they will control your populations for you.
January 25, 2021 at 4:30 PM #397969Utopian LeftistParticipant
- Total Posts: 689
I admire your positive attitude and I think you’re onto something with regards to a possible, coming changing of the tide amongst the masses.
Sadly, I perceive an even darker situation. Overpopulation? They’re not trying to prevent it, they’re actively trying to murder as many of us as possible. It is estimated that global warming will soon wipe out a fourth of all life on Earth, and I believe that is coming sooner than even the scientists have predicted, maybe ten to twenty years. When the Tibetan glaciers melt, we will see the biggest human migration in the history of the world, because they supply water to India and China both. Corporations are already gobbling up water rights, worldwide. When we reach the point that we no longer have a human right to fresh water, then all of the other “rights” you listed become moot. Water, food, shelter, healthcare and education should all be public rights, I agree. But the corporate media and half of the country still treat these rights as if they were ponies.
You are correct that, in order for progress to happen, this patronizing, “pony” attitude must die. But remember that NONE of the powers that be (and that includes the media) actually WANT PROGRESS! None of them. Which makes our oligarchs probably the most formidable foes (assholes each and every one) ever to grace the planet. The only thing that remains a mystery to me, is precisely how wealth has corrupted SO MANY people to trade their souls for the illusion of temporary security. None of our leaders appear to have a shred of vision. The system is that efficient at corruption.
"All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
January 25, 2021 at 6:24 PM #398007HassleCatParticipant
- Total Posts: 7,452
The two major parties spend a lot of time convincing voters that Republicans can never make common cause with Democrats, and vice versa. To do this, they magnify the significance of guns and sex. Which are sometimes the same thing. The big parties want to suppress discussion of economics, taxes, income and wealth gap, militarism, the expanding police and security apparatus, criminal justice, health care, and other issues that might really matter to us, that might affect how well we live and how long we live. So we spend all our time debating gay rights, gun rights, abortion and other “gonad issues” as Ralph Nader called them. This keeps Americans confused and alienated from each other.
January 25, 2021 at 6:34 PM #398008SatanParticipant
- Total Posts: 5,285
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy
January 25, 2021 at 11:07 PM #398102
January 26, 2021 at 12:15 AM #398148EvilLurkerParticipant
- Total Posts: 38
I think some of the global elite do believe the current path cannot go on forever. This sounds like the Great Reset which has turned into a big conspiracy theory among the far-right MAGAs. It’s about a reset of capitalism. It’s about stakeholder vs shareholder capitalism. Information on the Great Reset is right on the World Economic Forum website.
The gist is that shareholder capitalism is unsustainable, not good for the future of the planet and doesn’t benefit all members of society. Some sort of UBI may be necessary because of what they call the 4th Industrial Revolution (Computer Technology, Robotics / AI). A future of not enough jobs for the population size. It was happening before the pandemic. Of course the right see it as a reset of capitalism to socialism or something worse . The WEF reset is the crux of many right leaning conspiracies such as the Covid-19 hoax, a global cabal of communist taking over, and Bill Gates wanting to depopulate the world using vaccines.
January 26, 2021 at 12:48 PM #398242
Oh, I don’t think the likes of Biden and Pelosi will do very much willingly. I do think that the next couple of elections are going to surprise them though – and possibly a lot of other people, too. The political insiders have been losing elections. Not as many as we might like, but enough that we are seeing a shift. There are even those among the Republicans (in Congress) who would favor a UBI. Nixon was one of the Presidents who discussed it as a real idea – and there are still those among the republicans who favor a lot of ideas like that. Nothing will happen all at once, but I believe it is in the process of happening. Change. Not so much from within congress… more within the American people. I think the next Administration and the next Congress will see more seats won by progressives – and possibly libertarians as well, though hopefully not of the Rand Paul variety.
I’m only vaguely familiar with mensa as (I believe) a group that generally requires or tests at a particularly high IQ. So I don’t know what their meetings are like. No, this is more among the average lay people – and some of them are probably mensa level IQ.
Good question! There is a simple answer though. They can’t keep doing things as they are… or the result will be the collapse of the system, in which case the choice, the option for reform, will be taken out of the hands of the oligarchs. At least these current oligarchs. A revolution of the poor and working class – and even a good portion of the middle class… is, I believe, inevitable without the kind of change being regularly discussed now. Basically, when you cut/reduce taxes to such an extent for the wealthy and corporations as for the federal government to be GIVING them millions or billions of dollars every year… and increase spending primarily for things which do not show a return on investment… the debt grows deeper, the big money lenders may be rubbing their hands together, but their power is limited. It is limited to what people will tolerate.
What people will tolerate is, I believe, seeing a massive (albeit somewhat gradual) shift. The overwhelming majority of us believe in treating people decently. We believe in sharing, if we can share. Simple concepts, simple lessons that most of us learned (or at least should have learned) in early childhood. When you build the stack of wooden blocks too high – or the stack of cards too high, it is ultimately going to fall (especially without a proper supporting foundation). This is what we are seeing now. The top (of the economy, the 1%, etc.) is too heavy, so the bottom is crumbling under the pressure.
Ultimately, the lack of resources alone will do it. As population increases throughout the world, the demand for resources becomes heavier and heavier. We simply can’t keep growing the way we are, not realistically. We do not have sufficient technology, agriculture, or anything else to maintain the current population, let alone 10 billion or more. I believe most of the people educated about such things say that we will be far past the tipping point at… 8 billion? 8.5? It is somewhere around there. Throw in climate change, the socioeconomic issues and mass civil unrest?
The oligarchs aren’t stupid. I think even they are beginning to realize on some level what is happening. So some few of them are proposing changes, altering their investments and so on and so forth. Being “aware” as they call it (whatever) is becoming politically and culturally… “cool”. Bezos and Musk? They will be among the first to fall if things do not change. Amazon, Trump towers, super Walmart – all of these places, things – and the people that own them, are well known in this age of social media.
I do not approve of violence – and see it only as a solution of last resort. Yet, there are people nearing that point – and quite a lot of them. I would not call for or promote civil war, I think it is stupid. I think there are enough of us who aren’t complete idiots that we can get shit done if we really want to – without shooting each other.
Congress is ultimately going to pass the 1400 dollar checks. They will later pass either more stimulus packages, or finally come to understand that it needs to be maintained as a monthly thing. Or their constituents will… respond.
The one thing I know for certain is that things change. Things are changing. Desperate times are forcing some desperate measures – and will continue to do so until the oligarchs pull their heads out of their perfumed assholes. If they don’t – they will fade away. You can only resist change of this nature so far, for so long, until you are washed away by the tide.
January 26, 2021 at 2:06 PM #398251Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 21,869
Already, “unnamed administration sources” and aides to Democrat congresscritters are telling The Hill and Politico that we won’t get those checks until March at the earliest, and there a few saying April. I think that means the Biden Administration, and Pelosi and Schumer, have every intention of denying us any direct cash relief at all, which is exactly what they did under Obama.
They can easily prove me wrong. I’d love to come on here and say KUDOS TO BIDEN! I WAS WRONG! I’ll admit it when I get my check, though I’ll never let them live down the lie about the $2000 checks, and neither will voters.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton
January 26, 2021 at 3:28 PM #398267
January 26, 2021 at 4:02 PM #398273chknltlParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,423
Every voter I have spoken with agrees that our government is broken.
Mostly folks tend to blame the “other team” for our government being broken.
When prompted (by me), they all seem to agree that there is little that our government can do to address the needs of the citizenry until both “sides” can come together.
When further prompted, (by me again), supporters of either “team” understand that we no longer have a functioning democracy due to this great national schism.
So pick your issue with how things are going throughout our land, poverty, homelessness, the right to free speech, a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, equality, fair and accountable elections, and etc and etc.
Not a single one of these issues/non-issues can be addressed by the citizenry if we first do not have a functioning voice in our government-if we first do not have a functioning democracy.
Tens of thousands of our citizenry went to war across the seas believing that they did so to protect our “democracy”.
Many of them may not have understood what a functioning democracy was or how it opperated here in the U.S. …
…but they knew that it was worth fighting for…
…and dieing for if needsbe.
So what do we want?
We mostly want our government back.
January 26, 2021 at 4:29 PM #398285EvilLurkerParticipant
- Total Posts: 38
There are generally two types of republicans I talk to. There are a few white collar Republicans I work with who seem understand the problems are not all one team or the other. Then there are the blue collar jock Republicans I met over decades of playing Softball. The Cops, Fireman, Landscapers, Construction workers… They are hopeless. It doesn’t matter if they are from the blue areas close to NYC or the more red areas further upstate or central NJ. Everything is the fault of Democrats and liberals. They are already blaming Biden for the higher gas prices.
January 26, 2021 at 5:36 PM #398301
If you are right, then I believe we will see more incidents like what happened in the Capitol. Only this time, it will be a much more diverse group.
Too many people are at the end of their financial and even psychological ropes. We will see – but I think those 1400 dollar payments will go out in February. Fact of the matter is, when they WANT to get something done relatively quickly, they can.
I hope you are wrong, too. But if you are right and further, if they continue to ignore the need of the many… Then I believe this will be the last Congress and the last president, at least in this current form of government.
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