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Economics We Can Live With, explained by Kim Iverson in eight minutes

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Which economic system is the BEST in the world (which I support)? This is a clip from my Patreon Live Q&A. Please Subscribe to this channel and hit the bell! Support the show by becoming a premium member: ...
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As long as I've been pondering economic systems, starting 50 years ago when trying to figure out how I (we) are getting screwed, I've never been able to come on a solid answer. I like "Natural Capitalism," Charles Eisenstein's suggestions, Steady State Economics, The Hydrogen Economy, and combinations thereof, sans the Federal Reserve, state owned banks as in North Dakota--and loathe the "Federal nor Reserve," that is neither Federal nor Reserve. But here is the brilliant Kim Iverson (who strongly advocates for Tulsi and did a great interview with her), explaining the best way to go in response to a question from a reader. Turn our "business schools" into conservation biology, meteorology, and other science schools, and put Kim in charge. As you may just agree after watching this captivating eight minute video.

 

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)
 

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Janet Supriano

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FanTAStic!

You said she supports Tulsi. Does Tulsi know about Kim? I want her on the economic advisory team.

Genuine sanity!

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 3:18:55 AM

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Janet Supriano

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Oops. You wrote that Kim did an interview with Tulsi. You answered my question.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 3:21:00 AM

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Daniel Geery

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I think I posted it, but should be easily searched. Most delightful!

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:11:36 AM

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Brian Giffin

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Both AOL, Tulsi Gabbard, Berney Sanders and some on Wall Street, support a new economic theory called MMI. This sounds to be in the same vein. Government spending becomes someones wages, which serves to keep all of us afloat during economic downturns.

I still don't know what MMI stands for, but I like it.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 3:25:26 AM

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Scott Baker

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It's actually MMT - Modern Monetary Theory. And MMT says, among other things, that government surpluses are bad, and deficits are good. This is counter-intuitive, to say the least, but it makes sense.

When government spends money, society gets richer. When it holds onto money and creates a surplus, that means money is being sucked out of the economy so everyone else is poorer.

This is such a dramatic effect that you can actually see it in the charts. EVERY major recession and depression has been preceded by a government surplus or at least a sharp reduction in spending. See FRED chart below:


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The gray bars are recessions and the blue line is gov't spending. See how it goes down before every recession? It's a clear correlation, and almost certainly causative.

Additionally, MMT points out that a sovereign gov't CANNOT run out of its own currency. States and cities can; they are not sovereign. Neither are the members of the EU. But the U.S. Federal government is, and can produce money at will. Whether they HAVE the will, or merely want to increase the gap between rich and poor is another matter.

Inflation? That can be taken care of by watching the use of resources, human and natural. That is the real constraint, not money, which can be produced practically for free with keystrokes on a keyboard.

There are other tenets of MMT, but those are the main ones.

Kim Iverson is smart, but she needs to learn about rent-seeking and the difference between taxing wages, sales, true capital, and taxing things produced by nature. There are totally different effects between these two groups, when taxed. Growth and social justice are not mutually exclusive once one understands this.


Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:29:44 PM

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Daniel Geery

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When Scott speaks on economics, I listen. He has done prodigous homework and written countless articles. I greatly aplreciate this comment, which makes great sense.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6:37:04 PM

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Art Costa

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Growth on a finite planet is ecocide. I would say that's pretty dismal "social justice".

This ideology of markets and growth has gotten us where we are, in large part. I can't speak for Iverson's intellect but just to what she's said in this video and it's pretty weak.

Capitalism is the problem which was a clear conclusion that Naomi Klein made in "This Changes Everything".

Mr. Baker your conclusions are why we're spewing more CO2 in the atmosphere than ever, even after what we know. You've twisted Henry George into a pretzel. The planet is no longer "empty", but full and getting fuller.

MMT doesn't solve anything, IMO. US fiat money simply allows us to extract ever more from nature in a most destructive manner. By the way, what happens when USD loses (as it's in the process of doing) it hegemony in the global economy?

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6:52:54 PM

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Scott Baker

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Growth can take many forms, some far more sustainable than others. For example, solar and wind energy are becoming cheaper than fossil fuel energy, even without accounting for damage to the environment - and to be fair, solar & wind use a lot of resources in the manufacturing process. When damage to the environment is factored in, solar & wind come out ahead. Same energy output, but less damage.

Thorium energy can replace uranium energy, and can't meltdown and can't be used to make plutonium, and burns its own waste (at least theoretically). Again, same energy, or more, but sustainable.


As for CO2, there are projects to pull that out of the air and convert it to bricks, or even strip the carbon and just leave O2 - Oxygen. There's artificial photosynthesis too. Are these efficient enough yet to be economical? That may depend on whether so-called externalities like pollution are factored in.


Neo-Georgists, like me, favor including pollution in, as a use of Land (defined classically as ALL of nature anyway, including location).


Austerity doesn't create a sustainable society. It just creates poverty. Money can be spent on wars...or it can be spent on things that better society. Money is not the root of all evil, policy is.


The USD is losing its hegemony because of the sanctions and stipulations Trump and previous Administrations have put on the use of it. The world will, and is, finding alternatives, not because it wants to, but because there's no choice. Still, the dollar remains the strongest major currency in the world, with the possible exception of the Yen, but Japan is stagnant and is trying to inflate its currency.


Global currencies, or wide regional currencies, like the Euro, become tools of the banking class, to control not just the masses, but countries themselves. Austerity has destroyed a quarter of Greece's economy and looks to do the same to Italy and even France if the bankers aren't stopped. It's not a problem of quantity of money, but of who controls that quantity.


Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:31:10 PM

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Renewable energy becomes problematic in a growth/GDP driven economy. I don't think it makes sense to "redefine" economic growth in any other way.

Austerity as we refer to it exists within a Growth-based Capitalistic society. So under those conditions the poor and lower middle class are made to pay the price of reduced government support.

The only societies who use austerity I know are capitalistic states in one fashion or another.

Macroeconomics which is what you are referring to is not my point. I look, as you may too, at our economics within the context of the larger ecosystem. All else is subservient to the life creating and sustaining system.

Where we seem to differ is your neo-Georgist view (which has many good points), and my ecological economics (Norman Daly and Peter Victor, et al).

My problem, at bottom, with the lady in the video, is the same problem I have with the Dem. version of GND. It wants to retain the status quo. That won't be possible given what we know about climate chaos and ecological degradation.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 8:09:16 PM

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You are correct to point out the fallacies of MMT. There are many, especially in the way in which some people are proposing its use. Endless growth is a treadmill that wastes resources and causes destruction. Social justice can be better achieve by fair distribution, and redistribution. Capitalism has failed everywhere it has been tried.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:32:56 PM

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Jerry Lobdill

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I disagree with your first two sentences and your 4th sentence. I heartily agree with:

"Endless growth is a treadmill that wastes resources and causes destruction."

and

" Capitalism has failed everywhere it has been tried."

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:48:05 PM

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b. sadie bailey

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The main point she makes is that there is no military-industrial complex picking fights with everyone and anyone so they can make insanely expensive weapons and destroy other countries.

They also don't bail out crooked banks in Scandinavian countries, and, as she says, other countries such as Germany and Japan also don't allow CEOs to make 400 times what everyone else makes. And no tax loopholes for the rich! Everyone pays.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 4:57:38 AM

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Art Costa

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Sorry but I don't buy this "natural capitalism".

Yes there are nations with much better social programs than the US, but with a capitalistic core.

Denmark is about the size of Connecticut, the 3rd smallest state in the US. It is driven, like the US by GDP which is destroying the planet's life systems. She describes Scandinavian corporate billionaires, surely that should be a red flag.

The West (Europe and US) consume far more than any where else on the planet and spew the most CO2 (some of which they export to other nations).

None of these nations are positioned to survive the 6th extinction. She seems to have little depth on the topics she addresses.

Nevertheless good for her if she support Tulsi Gabbard.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 2:46:00 PM

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Daniel Geery

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"How Gross Can the Domestic Product Be?" That's the title of an old article I can't find online, but the title contains the main idea. Just look at the harmful things it includes. It is an insane measure of a country's health or wealth. I'm certainly not defending it and I don't recall Kim doing so either.

As for Natural Capitalism, it's a book by Amory Lovins et. al., emphasizing how traditional economics completely fails to account for natural inputs and outputs of the economy, with great emphasis on extreme efficiency. One of the most important books I ever read, even though we are past the point of no return by any objective standards.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 3:42:06 PM

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I disagree. I never bought "soft" capitalism or whatever it's called.

And it's not true that traditional economics did not account for nature. Before the turn of the 19th to 20th C there was something called classical economics. Production was defined by the requirement of three components: Capital, Labor and Land. Post this era a new form of economics emerged with fancy mathematical models referred to as neoclassical economics. Land was eliminated. Land in classical terms meant all of the natural world. This propelled us forward (or backward) to what is referred to as externalities which the Corporate Capitalists pay no mind to. This combined with GDP makes for a potent extinction process.

Kim doesn't mention GDP, but she doesn't have to. There's a lot she didn't mention but is implied in here "if only we were more like them". Look at the oil producing companies in those nations.

We have a toxic system and we shared it with the rest of the world, a virus killing the host. Corporatism rules, and Scandinavia is smack in the middle. Credit due on their consideration for the less "fortunate".

Dan this is one area we just disagree on.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 4:00:33 PM

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Reply to Art Costa:   New Content

I doubt we disagree as much as it may appear. Unfortunately I had a lengthy comment ready to go on my phone, then went to another search engine for one last piece. Came back and twenty minutes of work vanished! PMO, to say the least. Don't know if I'll get back to it, but have it in mind, for what that's worth.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 4:49:17 PM

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I just posted a comment with an excerpt in which George Monbiot says capitalism makes land - the Earth and everything in it - a "sacrifice zone" from which to extract resources and dump waste. Capitalism generates "profit" by not paying the full costs of the resources, and not paying the costs of using the planet as an industrial garbage dump.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:39:18 AM

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"Capitalism generates "profit" by not paying the full costs of the resources, and not paying the costs of using the planet as an industrial garbage dump."

Precisely. There is no profit without unpaid externalities...and yet the piper must be paid...and we all are and soon will be paying big time. In a commoditized, monetize translation this debt is bigger than all global economies combined. We have been living on borrowed time.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:17:44 AM

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Daniel Geery

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Never meant to debate continued growth on a finite planet, clearly insane although there are different kinds of growth, some like cancer, some like "growing up." I was personally focused on the concept of people helping people and cooperating rather than blowing each other up. And I was not meaning to support IKEA and the utterly unnecessary millions for a handful at the top. I favor the Mondragon approach, to be sure, where workers share in decision making and profits.

I've written more than enough about extreme population reduction, as anyone knows who's followed my scribblings here. E.g. click here Also, fyi, I had a vasectomy long ago and don't consider myself a breeder.

Is there something other than "fiat money"? Right now it's in the hands of a relatively few bankers who make money out of thin air and tax governments for the interest on it. I posted a three hour video on this topic alone.

I was referring to the book, "Natural Capitalism," which stresses the inputs and outputs of an economic system and charging for that--aka the externalities--combined with extreme efficiency. I can only suggest taking "a look inside" at the overview given by Amazon click here My objection is the lack of focus on population reduction. I've read most of the books listed on this site and recommend them as well. I also highly recommend "Sacred Economics," by Charles Eisenstein.

Here is the actual interview with Tulsi, for anyone interested click here

Submitted on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019 at 12:18:05 AM

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I've posted this before, but it can never be done enough click here

Submitted on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019 at 12:35:00 AM

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Jerry Lobdill

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This is a delightful discussion. The subject is one of my favorites. I have been studying it avidly for more than 20 years. About 10 years ago I finally developed a coherent understanding of our US monetary system that explains what causes booms and busts, who wins, and why, and how that affects the rest of us. I owe this to authors like economic hit-man John Perkins, macroeconomist Michael Hudson and MMT economists Stephanie Kelton, L. Randall Wray, Steve Keen and others such as Hyman Minsky and Asad Zaman.

Our US system was designed by rentiers and bankers to benefit themselves while making debt slaves of the 99% who labor in the real economy. Mainstream economics is designed to pacify the 99%, who live in austerity and fear of losing their place on the treadmill.

The booms and busts are caused by rentiers and their Ponzi schemes that grow exponentially and suddenly crash spectacularly. The rentiers, who have control of the fiat money system, bail themselves out, leaving the 99% to fend for themselves in severe austerity, poverty, and unemployment.

This pattern is independent of whether the population is growing or not. It is not affected by alarming existential realities. It is set up to monotonically enrich the few with no concern for anything else.

There's a monetary system design that could put an end to this pattern. I am writing a book about it.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 11:33:28 PM

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Daniel Geery

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I appreciate the discussion. Now I have to find time tomorror or the next day to straighten it all out! ­čśü dg

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:13:04 AM

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George Monbiot weighs in on the side that says capitalism itself is the problem. Here's an excerpt from and a link to a good article he published the other day:

George Monbiot - Dare to declare capitalism dead, before it takes us all down with it

click here

Capitalism's failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.

A system based on perpetual growth cannot function without peripheries and externalities. There must always be an extraction zone from which materials are taken without full payment and a disposal zone, where costs are dumped in the form of waste and pollution. As the scale of economic activity increases until capitalism affects everything, from the atmosphere to the deep ocean floor, the entire planet becomes a sacrifice zone: we all inhabit the periphery of the profit-making machine.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:33:09 AM

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Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:   New Content

Absolutely true. Will address shortly...I also put 7.7 billion people and never ending consumerism on the list.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 3:44:11 AM

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David Watts

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This is where I have come to in what I think is going on and where we are going. That is, the b*tch of it is that it matters not what we discuss like economics and politics and most things ... excepting global heating. They are putting in 5g as fast as they can and their agenda is Agenda 21 or Agenda 2030 or whatever. Note: The American Policy center, whoever they are, say Agenda 21 or 2030 are the same thing.

I am not up to speed yet on Agenda 21, but here is a very brief synopsis:

The specific plan, United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development, was a product of The Rio Conference held at Rio de Janeiro from June 3 - 14, 1992. It was to be implemented worldwide in order to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. As such Agenda 21 marked a new beginning for the U.N., a decisive point of departure for the world organization.


This is why I think it doesn't matter talking about economics and other things. I mean there is no reason not to discuss things, its just that whatever we solve, ... it won't matter. That is because I feel certain that Agenda 21 coupled with 5g and microchips and other things as well I am sure, will be the coup de grace that sets the stage for the switch to be flipped to bring about tyranny. Included somewhere in all of this are plans to depopulate the world by as much as 95%.

From a comment of mine on another article:

Edward Snowden:
The only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments. We consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than a stipulation of law. And because of that, a new leader will be elected. They'll flip the switch, say that because of the crisis, because of the dangers that we face in the world, you know, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority. We need more power. And there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it, and it will be turnkey tyranny.

And, as former NSA operative William Binney who was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician, quit his job only after he realized that the NSA is now openly trampling the constitution, says as he holds his thumb and forefinger close together, "We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state."

"Turnkey" means EVERYTHING is in place to simply flip the switch or turn the key to impose tyranny here in the US. To have all bases covered making it simply turnkey would have required an untold amount of resources and planning. And why would they have gone to all that trouble to set into place a ready-to-go "Turnkey Tyranny?" I will take a wild guess. I think they plan to turn the key. When, I don't know ... I am not an insider.

......

"The Technocratic Age is slowly designing an every day more controlled society. The society will be dominated by an elite of persons free from traditional values who will have no doubt in fulfilling their objectives by means of purged techniques with which they will influence the behavior of people and will control and watch the society in all details". "... it will become possible to exert a practically permanent watch on each citizen of the world". - Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, "Between Two Ages -- America's Role in the Technetronic Era"

......

Anyway, those are my throwaway thoughts from an imagination that perhaps has gone wild. But maybe ... perhaps not. Perhaps my imagination is perfectly sane. I will leave it to you to decide.

Think I will go outside and watch the clouds roll by. :)


Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 1:09:59 AM

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Daniel Geery

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Search Sevren Cullis Suzuki at Rio Conference.

And do watch the clouds--Daily Bread for the Eyes, according to Emerson, and me. Unless you live in the midwest.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 3:55:32 AM

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David Watts

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I did the search. Thank you Daniel for reminding me of Severn. I had watched and listened to Severn before. I found out about her in comments on an article I read about and watched Greta, speak about climate change. I would guess it was in an article you posted. Those hearing Severn speak at the UN conference and those that heard Greta speak; those that are, and were, in a position to do something about global sizzling, they did nothing. You could tell those at the UN conference were moved by what Severn had to say. Yet, nothing was done. It is now too late.

I will take your advice tomorrow. Now, it is dark and I cannot see the clouds. But even so, while right now not "Bread for the Eyes," the clouds are bread for the imagination.

Daniel, I know you know all of this crap is depressing. To let you know, I and others here that we both know, know too, it is all depressing. And, I did not even go to Catholic school. :)

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 4:51:54 AM

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Leslie Johnson

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Just an aside....as I sit at my computer and get started on OEN, reading articles and comments, I was struck (again) by how much I cherish this community. An online support group, discussing the depressing realities of injustice, war, environmental destruction, Capitalism, ad nauseam...I have had the good fortune of meeting and hugging a good number of you and for that, I'm eternally grateful..even for those who just 'tolerated' the hug. :)

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:08:55 PM

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nelswight

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Leslie, You speak for me, and I think most of us sharing this means of suffering

the world we have. Nobody told me it'd come this sadly.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:21:15 PM

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Leslie Johnson

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Just watched Sevren speak...and got goosebumps again. The wisdom of youth...hopefully that generation can bring about the needed changes to overcome the greed and man's inhumanity to man...not that many of us haven't tried through donations, petitions, protests, voting, calling our Reps and Senators...largely to no avail :(

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:31:48 PM

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tim mcghie

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she sounds and looks a lot like Tulsi

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 4:39:16 PM

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