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O say can you see, the U. S. Oligarchy?
Posted: 05 April 2012 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]
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O say can you see, the U. S. Oligarchy?

The U S is on sale. Buy it while it’s hot.

O say can you see,
by the dawn’s early light,
what so proudly we hailed
we now proudly renounce.
democracy

http://blog.ted.com/2008/09/17/the_real_differ/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-14SllPPLxY

Plato theorized that democracies, as they matured, evolved into oligarchies or plutocracies. We are witnessing exactly that.

When the new political election funding laws came into effect, the U. S. democratic system became an oligarchy or plutocracy. Billionaires are now buying political candidates and are in fact buying the leadership of the nation. They are now the power behind the throne and control the government and thus the people. Now, instead of working 9 to 5, Americans are working 24/7.

When did the U. S. devolve from the leading democracy of the West, to a tyranny up for sale?

Regards
DL

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Posted: 05 April 2012 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Very pertinent points; I think all governments are oligarchies to some degree however…...maybe we are naive to think democracy is unbeatable.

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Posted: 05 April 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I seem to recall an old joke.  There are four kinds of politicians: stupid or intelligent and honest or dishonest.  The honest, intelligent ones are the best for their constituents but they seldom get elected.  Stupid honest ones may get elected but are useless.  The Intelligent, dishonest ones are smart enough to skim off a great deal for themselves but be sure their constituents get enough that they are satisfied.  The dishonest, stupid ones skim off as much as they can upseting their constituents and being either voted out of office or convicted. 

We have moved into an oligarchy in which the wealthy have bought all the available politicians.  The ones who are available are the dishonest ones, and the intelligent ones are being replaced with stupid ones.  I predict that the wealthy will continue draining value from the 99% until people will be so destitute that they revolt and we have catastrophic change of government, much as been happening in the middle east. 

Occam

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Posted: 06 April 2012 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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mid atlantic - 05 April 2012 05:24 PM

Very pertinent points; I think all governments are oligarchies to some degree however…...maybe we are naive to think democracy is unbeatable.

I do not see how democracy can be bested but it is supposed to be led by philosophy, not dollars.

Regards
DL

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Posted: 06 April 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam. - 05 April 2012 06:05 PM

I seem to recall an old joke.  There are four kinds of politicians: stupid or intelligent and honest or dishonest.  The honest, intelligent ones are the best for their constituents but they seldom get elected.  Stupid honest ones may get elected but are useless.  The Intelligent, dishonest ones are smart enough to skim off a great deal for themselves but be sure their constituents get enough that they are satisfied.  The dishonest, stupid ones skim off as much as they can upseting their constituents and being either voted out of office or convicted. 

We have moved into an oligarchy in which the wealthy have bought all the available politicians.  The ones who are available are the dishonest ones, and the intelligent ones are being replaced with stupid ones.  I predict that the wealthy will continue draining value from the 99% until people will be so destitute that they revolt and we have catastrophic change of government, much as been happening in the middle east. 

Occam

No argument.

Check out this senator’s last remark.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjR7AWSmI6o

Regards
DL

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Posted: 09 April 2012 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I read somewhere recently (wish I had saved the link) that something like 90% of the races for US Senate over the past 20 years have gone to the candidate who had raised the most money. That’s just disgraceful. Not only because it gives all the power to those with the money, but because it forces even honest politicians to divert far too much attention from governing to fundraising.

I have a modest proposal. Let’s just skip the elections. Give the seat to the highest bidder. Instead of wasting the money on media buys and campaign staffs, they could just write a check to the treasury. We would still have crooks in office but at least we’d have balanced budgets.

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Posted: 09 April 2012 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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FreeInKy - 09 April 2012 10:07 AM

I read somewhere recently (wish I had saved the link) that something like 90% of the races for US Senate over the past 20 years have gone to the candidate who had raised the most money. That’s just disgraceful. Not only because it gives all the power to those with the money, but because it forces even honest politicians to divert far too much attention from governing to fundraising.

I have a modest proposal. Let’s just skip the elections. Give the seat to the highest bidder. Instead of wasting the money on media buys and campaign staffs, they could just write a check to the treasury. We would still have crooks in office but at least we’d have balanced budgets.

That’s actually a good idea.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 03:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”  Ben Franklin.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”  Ben Franklin.

Unfortunately, Ben we’ve been doing that since the Republic was born. Campaign contributions began after the Great Man (G. Washington) left office and the political party system was kick started over constitutional interpretation. Each party had it’s own newspapers to promote its ideals and candidates to carry them out. Ex. the Adams v. Jefferson fight. After that it was all down hill from there. How about we dump the electoral college (not needed anymore) and go straight election, and limit the amount of campaign dollars to even the field. We might even have another log cabin president.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 10 April 2012 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It might be worth trying an alternative voting system, as in Australia, where voters list candidates in order of preference and if your initial choice looses your vote is given to your next choice.  Then a vote for an unpopular or more extreme party is not equivalent to voting against your own interests.  (Oh, wait, that might weaken our enormously effective two party system.)

Does anyone on this forum live with this system?  How does it work out?  I fear it’s, (pitifully), a little complicated for many U.S. citizens to understand.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Jeciron - 10 April 2012 04:47 AM

It might be worth trying an alternative voting system, as in Australia, where voters list candidates in order of preference and if your initial choice looses your vote is given to your next choice.  Then a vote for an unpopular or more extreme party is not equivalent to voting against your own interests.  (Oh, wait, that might weaken our enormously effective two party system.)

I like that idea. It is used in some local elections in the U.S. If we did that, eliminate the electoral college, and seriously reform campaign finance, we might have a shot at restoring some semblance of democracy. Which means that in the current climate, such radical reforms have about the same chance as Rick Santorum dropping out of the presidential race and starting a write-in campaign to elect Hemant Mehta as president.  LOL

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Posted: 10 April 2012 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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mid atlantic - 09 April 2012 08:40 PM
FreeInKy - 09 April 2012 10:07 AM

I read somewhere recently (wish I had saved the link) that something like 90% of the races for US Senate over the past 20 years have gone to the candidate who had raised the most money. That’s just disgraceful. Not only because it gives all the power to those with the money, but because it forces even honest politicians to divert far too much attention from governing to fundraising.

I have a modest proposal. Let’s just skip the elections. Give the seat to the highest bidder. Instead of wasting the money on media buys and campaign staffs, they could just write a check to the treasury. We would still have crooks in office but at least we’d have balanced budgets.

That’s actually a good idea.

Occam made a similar suggestion, in jest, on another thread, some time ago.  Things are bad when suggestions made satirically seem to actually be the best solutions.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Jeciron - 10 April 2012 04:47 AM

It might be worth trying an alternative voting system, as in Australia, where voters list candidates in order of preference and if your initial choice looses your vote is given to your next choice.  Then a vote for an unpopular or more extreme party is not equivalent to voting against your own interests.  (Oh, wait, that might weaken our enormously effective two party system.)

Does anyone on this forum live with this system?  How does it work out?  I fear it’s, (pitifully), a little complicated for many U.S. citizens to understand.

I questioned an Australian visitor once about their political system.  At the time, as I recall, it seemed to be a fairer and more democratic system than ours.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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It would take nothing less than a coup d’état to effectively accomplish any of the above…

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Posted: 11 April 2012 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Cloak - 10 April 2012 06:04 PM

It would take nothing less than a coup d’état to effectively accomplish any of the above…

A shame then.
That may be why the French politicians fear the people and why U. S. citizens fear their politicians.
Not enough French in the U. S.

Regards
DL

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Posted: 11 April 2012 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Love the French and am part french myself, but they strike out on Constitutions. They’ve had at least 14 more than we have so don’t have a great track record of constitutional stability.


Cap’t Jack

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