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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/2/19

Homelessness is More Proof that Capitalism is a Failure

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"Trump: I may tackle homelessness as world leaders can't be looking at that"

According to the above Guardian article, President Trump is disturbed about America's image around the world. It seems that people living on the streets of our cities give the US an image blackeye. After all, America cannot be seen as great with poor and mentally ill people living on the streets. Something has to be done to clean up America's image, according to Trump.

Trump says he might do something about this public relations disaster. From the Guardian article it sounds like Trump is going to step in with federal action. Nobody thinks that Trump, or anybody else for that matter, is going to propose any antipoverty, homelessness, and mental health programs.

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Trump is quoted as saying of the homeless:

"Some of them have mental problems where they don't even know they're living that way. In fact, perhaps they like living that way " We cannot ruin our cities. And you have people that work in those cities. They work in office buildings and to get into the building, they have to walk through a scene that nobody would have believed possible three years ago."

In 2012 I wrote an article for The Real News Network on the "Criminalization of Homelessness". The majority of Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless. After the Great Recession homelessness swelled. Many cities took aggressive action, not to help the homeless, but to make it illegal. As I said in the article:

"Some of the measures that cities take to get rid of the homeless are just down- right mean, such as welding public bathroom doors shut, turning off public water fountains and removing park benches. Others are silly, such as making it illegal to have an open umbrella in a public place when it is not raining."

"Then there are laws against camping in public places, sleeping in a parked car, sleeping in public places, sitting on a street curb, being horizontal on a park bench, bathing or shaving in a public restroom, washing clothes in a river or lake, storing personal belongings in a public place, loitering, asking for money, asking for money without a proper identification badge, restricted begging zones, begging for money on mass transit, telling a lie while asking for money, begging in groups, begging in the street without wearing a reflective vest and aggressive begging."

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"There are even laws against concerned private citizens helping the homeless. Some cities have laws against giving money to the homeless. Cities have banning people voluntarily helping or feeding people in public places. In many cities people who had been routinely taking blankets, sandwiches, soup and hot coffee to homeless people on cold winter nights have been banned from doing so. Let the bums freeze to death, is the attitude. So, next time you are about to give a panhandler a buck be careful, look up and down the street for a policeman first because you may be breaking the law and find yourself paying a big fine or even winding up in jail yourself."

Food, shelter, clothing, education, care for the elderly and healthcare, including mental healthcare are human rights. An economic system that fails to meet those responsibilities of society is a failed system.

Capitalism is a failed economic and social system. It rewards the rich and punishes the poor. It encourages competition instead of cooperation. It turns the haves against the have-nots. Instead of protecting everybody's freedom, it oppresses the freedoms of non-conformist individuals.

Capitalism and democracy are incompatible. The Founding Fathers devised a system of government dominated by those with wealth, and protection from the will of the people. The US Constitution designed a representative form of government that tilts to the elites. Capitalism prevents participatory democracy by rewarding corruption.

The hypocrisy of capitalism is that it fails over and over again. It is in need of constant bailout by the public. It cannot survive without war. The real poverty is not those living on the streets. The real poverty is those that roam the halls of government. They are morally impoverished.

Capitalism is a system of winners and losers. Not everybody gets the same start. Not everybody can be lucky. Not everybody is ruthless. Capitalism rewards the well-born, the lucky and the ruthless. It criminalizes those that are not winners. Criminalizing homelessness is no different than criminalizing debtors. It is the same principle.

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(My guess is that debtors' prisons fell into disrepute because too many elites fell into debt when their gambles went bust. Take Trump and his bankruptcies for example.)

The greatness of a people is not in their slogans. It is by their actions. Trump is no worse than Obama or any of his predecessors. The difference is that Trump is crude but honest. Obama was articulate and dishonest. They both have the same corrupt values, selfishness and lack of empathy.

 

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David William Pear is a Senior Editor for OpEdNews.com, and a Senior Contributing Editor for The Greanville Post. David is a journalist, columnist, and commentator for TV and radio. His articles, essays and interviews have an emphasis on (more...)
 

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David William Pear

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With this article I am making an exception from writing anti-war articles. For the past few years I felt that ending US wars of aggression took priority over everything else in politics.

Homelessness, like all the other domestic problems, cannot and will not be dealt with until the wars end. The US wastes trillions of dollars on war, and causes untold misery for foreign nations. There is no greater crime, nor greater waste.

For the past 20 years China has been building. They have lifted billions of people out of poverty. They are making tremendous advances in alternative energy. Their technology has surpassed that of the US. The great BRI is building infrastructure all over Eurasia.

The US has continued to fall in development in the past 20 years. The US is now 25 in the United Nations Index of Human Development, when adjusted for inequality. Not to many years ago when I started reporting that number, the US was number 19. The trend is down.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 6:29:16 PM

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Yes, war is the worst. However, it will take a long time for nations (and it cannot be unilateral) give up the habit of war. In the shorter term, it would be interesting to learn the total amount of money spent on political campaigns....millions and millions even to people who have not chance of being elected. Think of what all that money might do to end homelessness and even perhaps make a dent in poverty.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 6:56:14 PM

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The greatness of a people is not in their slogans. It is by their actions. Trump is no worse than Obama or any of his predecessors. The difference is that Trump is crude but honest. Obama was articulate and dishonest. They both have the same corrupt values, selfishness and lack of empathy.

Perfect.

I've been arguing that NObama is the con artist that trump dreams to be someday. He screwed the 99% to the wall for eight years and they still think he was a great POTUS. The perfect con.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 7:09:03 PM

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We're #1! We're #1!

Homelessness among students enrolled in schools from kindergarten through 12th grade has increased 70 percent over the last decade.

I believe the income disparity and the ever increasing homeless problem is the plan. It's economic slavery, pure and simple.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 7:25:23 PM

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I avoid blaming things on "Trump" because fake liberals have a strange notion that everything was perfect until 2017 and all that has to be done is get rid of Trump. Nothing can be further from the truth. Trump is the perfect mascot for the USA.

And the US is not far from criminalizing debtors. Student debt and credit card debt are now for life. It is debt slavery. Next comes debtors' prison.

What is insane about debt is that bankers have no legal obligation nor moral hazard when lending money. There are two parties to debt. The lender should be held responsible for to shareholders, banking authorities and the public by not making irresponsible and predatory loans.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 7:43:23 PM

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I know, it's amazing to me how people think all this started with trump. Being the perfect con man, he just exploited NObama's, Bush's, Clintons, etc complete failure perfectly and has put the American Fascist's wet dream of total corporate control on steroids.

Even if the US doesn't throw people in physical debtor's prisons, they are all in virtual debtor's prisons with little or no way to escape their lifelong debt, esp with student loans.

Tuition at the City Univ of NY was always FREE, but that ended the year after I graduated HS when they started charging tuition. Now free tuition is called socialism and a radical idea. I believe the monsters who really run this country (banks, corporations, etc) made the decision back then to profitize literally every aspect of our lives, esp education and health care, and here we are.

In AZ a few years ago we voted for a proposition to end predatory 'payday loans', but now, thanks to the Republican legislators, they are back in a different form, 'car title loans.' So now, not only are people in endless debt, but they are losing their cars in the process and now can't get to work to pay off their loans. It's pure state sanctioned insanity.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 9:35:35 PM

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Damned right!

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 at 8:12:16 PM

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Much of the homeless population was created after Reagan closed the mental institutions and gutted social programs in the 80's. The illegal Desert Storm, the PNAC War of Terror and the off-shoring/out-sourcing of American manufacturing has added Veteran's and disillusioned middle-class workers; who lost their part of the dream recently. Forgetting they were indebted to an illusion.


Things are going to get much worse as tRump's whining economy keeps having to bail out farmers effected by his tariffs and the recent floods. Autoworker's, service and retail workers who also are affected by these absurd sanctions, tariffs and threats of military intervention if tRump does not get his way.


I would not doubt in the near future if homeless populations are rounded up and packed off to FEMA camps, to await their fate along with the illegal's and refugees already occupying them.



Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 12:28:24 AM

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True, although I will add that mental health was never really treated as a disease. Insane asylums were state funded, not federally funded.

The invention of Thorazine in 1954 began the deinstitutionalization of about 1/2 million patients.

In 1961 JFK, whose sister was mentally ill (his father Joe had her secretly lobotomized), introduced federal funding of community mental health centers for outpatients, further deinstitutionalizing mental patients. They ended up on the street with a bottle of pills.

Johnson passed Medicare and Medicaid, but it did not treat mental patients or nursing homes. Private medical insurance doesn't cover mental health treatment or nursing homes.

In 1981 (as you correctly state) Reagan shifted mental health back onto the states. Government funded mental health treatment, what little there was died along with all the other anti-poverty programs.

The American people lost all compassion for the sick and elderly. Prisons became dungeons, and there was no more talk of rehabilitation or "coddling" criminals as mentally and emotionally sick.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:17:14 AM

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Am not sure that Capitalism is the source of the homeless problem. Suggest that those who have made money through gentrification (which tends to evict the poor), should pay a fee to resettle those who have been evicted.

Capitalism is a major motivational tool for any population. It is a question of ethical implementation, and that depends on the hearts and minds of those blessed by circumstance and talent. Socialism will not do any better, since it always produces a nomenclature that runs the system. So you see, the "ism" is neither the problem, nor the solution.

It is well known that, for many,homelessness is the result of mental health breakdowns and drug habits. We must attend to the causes of homelessness rather than propose a one-size-fits-all economic solution.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 4:59:02 PM

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Capitalism as a "motivational tool" is way over rated. When society uses profits as a motivation, then there are many human needs and services of value that are lacking. Treating mental illness and homelessness is one of them.

The profit motive also encourages dumping the cost of externalities onto the public. For instance oil companies take the profit, while the taxpayer pays the military to protect their foreign assets (which the military often stole them for the oil companies to begin with. Treating mental illness and homelessness is one of them.

What society produces is more important than how much. Profit seekers produce many things that have no value, such as guns instead of nursing home beds and healthcare for all, instead of for profit hospitals and drug companies.

How many times does capitalism have to fail before you will admit it doesn't work? What do they say about doing the same thing over and expecting different results?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 7:56:51 PM

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Would love to hear your alternative economic plan, and perhaps where it has been tried. Thanks. B

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:36:45 PM

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In short, socialism. It has worked everywhere it has been tried. That is why the US keeps attacking it. China has been building and lifted hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. The US is stagnant, has been for decades. UN index of human development has the US at 25th in the world. That is down from 19th in less than a decade.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 9:02:23 PM

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Can you describe what a socialist market economy is? Is it widely accepted that China's economy is booming, and that poverty has been overcome in China? Thanks, B

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 9:36:39 PM

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Is this a test?

Socialism has many meaning to different people. Just like capitalism. People describe the US as capitalist, although it does not fit a textbook definition.

Yes China has been booming, where have you been? In the past 20 years it has grown its economy 3 or 4 times faster than the US anemic 2%. The standard of living has also grown by 4 times, while the US standard of living has declined in real purchasing power.

The USSR also grew rapidly under its brand of socialism. In the early 20th century it went from a peasant economy to a superpower in an amazingly short time. Of course it did it on the bodies of slave labor, but then so did the US in its industrialization.

The USSR also recovered amazingly quickly from WW2, although it had been destroyed in its most populous West, the equivalent of the Atlantic to Chicago in the US.

Yes, socialism works. If it didn't the US would not be so anxious to attack it everywhere it succeeds. The US, Britain, France and Japan invaded Russia in 1918 - 1923 (thereabouts). It rearmed Hitler to defeat bolshevism.

Venezuela did an amazing job of lifting people out of poverty and ignorance, even while the US has been attacking it for 20 years. Iran's Islamic socialism also has worked wonders, again suffers not from socialism by US aggression. Libya, Iraq, and Syria had well functioning secular socialist governments. Western Europe adopted socialism up to about the 1980's to recover from WW2. The Scandinavian countries have a much better standard of living than the US.

Any questions?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 10:07:07 PM

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Your initial statement is relevant, I think, and that is where issues can become politicized. Have you heard of David Korten? Here's an interesting article about a new economy that you might find interesting. click here

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OK Betsy, I have answered enough questions for now. Now it is your turn!

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 10:58:18 PM

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Profit which is the essence of Capitalism is a root cause of homelessness, along with pretty much all of our ills.


Grayzone journalists (Max Blumenthal and others) remarked on the stark contrast between the streets of NYC and homeless souls sleeping everywhere, and their arrival in Caracas where this was not the case, where milluons of homes had been built for the poor, sans developer profit.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 1:20:08 PM

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I take issue with your assertion that much of homelessness is due to mental health breakdowns and drug ihabits. The naivete of not knowing how many WORKING families are on the brink of homelessness if just ONE thing goes wrong in their lives,...is astonishing.

The idea of "ethical implementation" of capitalism is oxymoronic. Haven't seen it yet. It is not a collaborative system by any stretch of the imagination.

The real issue is greed. Without checks and balances and a cap on how much wealth any one individual or corporation can have, there will always be crooks and charlatans writing the laws to enrich themselves. Incentives are one way to help people do the right thing, but it's not enough to curb sociopathic and psychopathic narcissists from amassing more, more, and more. The Yes article link you posted below on new economy - the principles listed could not work under a capitalistic system.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 6:38:36 PM

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I would have thought that working families are often one paycheck away from living on the street would be obvious, and that with some help and support, they may get back on their feet.


As for you other assertions, I fully agree. However, as I have said, there is no system, no "ism" that will solve this and the many other pathologies resulting from greed, as you say. You cannot solve a problem with the consciousness that created it. What is needed is evolution of consciousness, understanding of our human interdependence, and the awareness that what we think of and do creates causes, the effects of which we will eventually experience ourselves. We are at the end of a 2000 year old civilization. An new one is being born, hence the chaos of our time.


As I say, neither Capitalism nor Socialism will solve our problems, and as long as human consciousness remains stuck in the notion of revolution instead of evolution, there will be crooks and greedy manipulators of any system. It is naive to imagine.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 1:24:28 AM

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Here is another interesting discussion of a future for America. Tucker Carlson worked on CNN for about 20 years. I think he is thoughtful. I also think that this discussion is relevant to ours. .youtube.com/watch?v=mvfcLIVf7DM


Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 1:53:16 AM

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I think that homelessness proves that Capitalism works as intended. If it is allowed to run its course, everything will belong to one person. Meanwhile, homeless people frighten the wage slaves into worse deals.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 5:32:30 PM

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Reply to Bob Stuart:   New Content

Yes, so very true, your "everything will belong to one person" is what has already happened at our national level as well - "our system has been designed to funnel as much wealth as possible to the very top of the financial pyramid and that means that most of the rest of us are deeply struggling. And when you are just barely getting by from month to month all it takes is one bad break to knock you completely out of the middle class and into poverty. The percentage of wealth controlled by the top 10 percent of U.S. households has shot up from 60 percent in 1989 to 70 percent today". No matter which political party has been in power in Washington the middle class has continued to shrink and more wealth and power has become concentrated in the hands of the elite. #EndTheFed #AbolishBillionaires?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 11:09:00 PM

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Sandra Limpert

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Had me until the last THREE SENTENCES. No, #45 is not "honest". He is crude. President Obama wasn't necessarily dishonest, either, at least, not about most things. But that last sentence above all, lumping President Obama in with #45, and saying he is just as corrupt, selfish and lacking in empathy? That just shows the ignorance of the author. Otherwise, a very good article. But I won't share it because of those last three sentences.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 6:34:20 PM

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Reply to Sandra Limpert:   New Content

Actually, there are several definitions of honest, so you could pick the one you prefer, and share...or not.

hon·est:

truthful, sincere, candid, frank, direct, open, forthright, straight, straightforward, genuine, blunt, plain-spoken, plain-speaking, matter-of-fact, outspoken, as straight as a die, straight from the shoulder.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 7:10:25 PM

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David William Pear

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Reply to Allan Wayne:   New Content

I can't find Obama in the list anywhere. lol

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 9:05:19 PM

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Reply to Sandra Limpert:   New Content

Gitmo is not closed. No public option for healthcare. Obama deported more undocumented immigrants than Trump. Came into office bombing 3 countries, he went out bombing 7 countries. Bailed out Wall Street, but let people lose their homes. Where is all the alternative energy and green jobs he promised? Killed US citizens without due process. Expanded spying on citizens.

So where was the change, what exactly did Obama accomplish? What did he do for minorities and the poor?

Yes saying Trump is "honest" was poetic license. Of course he is a liar. But when he says he doesn't give a #$%& about homelessness, the poor, immigrants and #$%& hole countries he is being honest. When Obama says he cares, he is lying. Same as his mentor Bill Clinton who said he could feel your pain!

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:08:38 PM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

will add onto your list, David:

Obama gave himself and all future presidents complete executive power. (Hence, speeding up our end and the planet's)

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 6:18:04 PM

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Reply to b. sadie bailey:   New Content

The imperial presidency has been in the making for a long time. Obama finished paving the path for Trump.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 7:10:26 PM

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Reply to Sandra Limpert:   New Content

Please reconsider your objection to lumping Orange Mussolini's crimes with the many crimes of which you are apparently not aware committed by President Obama. Don't feel too bad. President Obama fooled me too until he packed his cabinet with Wall Street goons, appointed the master torturer John Brennan to chief of the CIA, turned the two wars he "inherited " from Bush into EIGHT illegal invasions of sovereign states, exponentially increased the drone program that rains down fiery hell on non combatant families unlucky to inhabit countries "interesting" to the military industrial complex of our rogue terrorist nation.. President Obama is the one responsible for bailing out the banks and allowing regular people to lose their homes in the thousands. President Obama is charming, nice looking and well-spoken. And because of these personal qualities, people (including myself) were lulled into complacent sleep while he persecuted the people who tried to warn us like Snowdon, Manning and Assange. On the other hand, our current president is stupid , embarrassing and loathsome in his personal habits. So suddenly people are squawking for impeachment (as if Pence would be an improvement ). Please look past the personal (identity politics) and please wake up to reality. Our country has become a rogue terrorist nation and it did not start with Orange Mussolini.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:15:01 PM

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"Food, shelter, clothing, education, care for the elderly and healthcare, including mental healthcare are human rights."

Sorry, I agree that the condition of the homeless in this country is both tragic and despicable. It needs to be addressed but I can not go along with this assertion. And that what it is -- an assertion.

Nothing can be a right if someone else is required to supply it against their will. Doing so makes the supplier the slave of the receiver. The only true right that we all have is to be free from the aggression of others.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 7:03:50 PM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

" It needs to be addressed"..and how would you address it?

Unless you live in a cave, you use common infrastructure. You may pay for roads you don't drive on, public schools that your children do not attend, a fire department even though you house is not on fire, etc.

Infrastructure in the broadest sense benefits everybody. It is called rational self-interest. Would you rather live in a great society (as LBJ called it) or be a "king rat" on a pile of garbage?".

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:35:02 PM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

"Nothing can be a right if someone else is required to supply it against their will. Doing so makes the supplier the slave of the receiver. The only true right that we all have is to be free from the aggression of others."

I think it's amusing how people can apply those words when we want to use resources to make people's lives better but are silent when bombs and war are being paid for by our taxes against our will.


Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 5:47:11 AM

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David William Pear

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

You tell 'em Brenda. xo

The US was built on the backs of slaves. Every American was born into a society that was not of their making. Libertarians have a strange sense that we are all born cavemen and cavewomen. That they have not inherited what they did not earn what they got, and instead got much of it without earning it.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 4:06:25 PM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

You know I try hard not to engage Libertarians directly because Rob gets upset with me when I resort to lalochesia. Having read two of the Ayn Rand "classics" in my younger days, I figure I really do know all I need to know about them.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 10:46:32 PM

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

Brenda, you should not equate libertarianism with Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. There are five branches to philosophy and the only place there is almost total agreement between the two is in Political Philosophy. Both libertarians and Rand agree that the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) must be the common unifying agreement to form a free society. Put in lay terms that amounts to "Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff".

Libertarians are free to choose the rest of their life values from any other branch of Philosophy That why you can find Mormons, Wiccans and atheists along with the more conventional religions among its adherents.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 11:37:58 PM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

Now you sound like Obama; we should look forward, not backward. Awh, tis the wish of every scoundrel, crook and criminal.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 6, 2019 at 12:29:41 AM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

Libertarians do believe that people have an absolute right to control their justly acquired property, including passing it on to their heirs. Whether someone's current property is totally justly acquired is not necessarily an easy thing to figure out. But it is also equally difficult to undo past injustice without creating new injustice.

Sometimes you just have acknowledge the past and do what you can to make voluntary amends while making sure that the injustice never happens in the future. Otherwise you just end up with a new generation that feels they have been treated unfairly and the cycle continues.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 11:50:47 PM

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

If you think that libertarians are silent on using taxes for war and interventionism you do not know anything about libertarians. Libertarians oppose using anyone's money for things they do not support including bombs and wars.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 4:47:28 PM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

And each individual is entitled to veto proposed government expenses that they disapprove of?

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 5:21:21 PM

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Reply to Jerry Lobdill:   New Content

Would be nice but likely impractical since we would have to be given the information on just what our individual levy was. Instead I would initially favor direct tax credits (not deductions) for contributions to organizations that would otherwise qualify for government funding in other areas. Long term we need to stop the government from spending on the war machine and transfer humanitarian support to private organizations.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 6:19:59 PM

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Reply to Jerry Lobdill:   New Content

Happy Fourth, Jerry!

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 6:20:41 PM

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Thanks, Nels! I hope your 4th was delightful too! I have been preoccupied with life's demands and distractions recently and haven't been able to find time to participate much at OEN.


My best to all my friends here.


Jerry

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 6, 2019 at 11:37:47 AM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

I do admire Ron and Rand Paul's stands on illegal wars and invasion of the Bill of Rights. My biggest opposition is their very narrow view of public infrastructure and opposition to anti-trust laws, government regulations and public ownership of natural monopolies...for example.

I also admire that libertarians would not make homelessness a crime. Vagrancy laws and restrictions on the commons are contrary to individual freedom.

Actually, I would support more commons where people could live in tent cities, with government provided sanitation and private citizens feeding and caring for the homeless.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 7:16:31 PM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

Your only point that I would take issue with is that are such things as natural monopolies. Most so-called natural monopolies that I'm aware of occur when government mandates that only one party, chosen by it, can supply a given service. The easy way to test that theory is just to withdraw that exclusive franchise and see if anyone wants to try doing it better or cheaper with the market making the final judgement.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 11:58:13 PM

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I think you are confusing natural monopoly with artificial monopoly.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 6, 2019 at 12:23:36 AM

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content

Well, when his kingdom comes in the flesh as leaders were not ready for that 2000 years ago, those who have stood for peace will get whatever they want as they seat on the group w bench shutting down this bs system.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 7:47:40 PM

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JFK tried his best to stop war and make life better for us in the USA and even around the world. Because of that Pappy Bush and LBJ had him assassinated and later along with RFK and MLK. Later the three Bushes made 911 happen. Without war the repubs and the filthy rich are not happy, they have to have constant WAR to get richer! "War is a Racket"! This USA has murdered tens of millions for them!

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 3:02:53 AM

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Plenty of filthy rich Democrats fueling the war machine too.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 5:49:54 AM

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Everything Is A Rich Man's Trick.

documentaryfilms.com/everything-rich-man-trick/

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 1:25:34 PM

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Thanks, David William Pear, for this excellent article generating intelligent discussion. You still are covering anti-war; class war is a war by the super rich on everyone else. The merely filthy rich (the other 99% of the top 1%) get theirs off the backs of the rest of us too. Capitalism is a warmongering system at home and abroad, so you are very much staying on the topic of war. Thanks. Most of the comments are heartening.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 6:23:38 PM

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Art and Brenda: Yes there are super rich Dems and Repugs. There are good ones and bad ones of each. It all depends on how they become rich and how they use their money.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 4, 2019 at 8:03:39 PM

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