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Member since: Thu May 8, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 768

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What the Rich Always Say

When faced with income inequality questions. There are a number of responses.

HRC just faced that question in regard to the amount of money she made recently from speeches.

Her answer was to say what all rich people say: paraphrased it was something like The American People like success, they just dont want people to pull up the ladders after they are successful. We want everyone to have that success.

This is pure cop out on the question of inequality. The fact is I think most people do and should begrudge the quality of the reward given for the type of "success" she was talking about. One of the major problems with our country and its economics is that it is all about top level success and unlimited rewards for that type of success versus the lack of a decent life for the people who either have problems or do not stand out.

This disparity between success and failure is a big part of what we mean when we think of income inequality. This aspect is reflected in those great recent studies comparing peoples views of ideal distribution, actual distribution, and how they think wealth and income is currently distributed. In those studies, most Americans have no idea of the actual wealth distribution of the Country. I think this is partially understandable. From our earliest days we are taught an economic model that is based on unlimited potential and growth. It is hard for humans to deal with adverse facts that such models do not work when presented with reality. We have cognitive dissonance on areas where such models do not work such as income inequality and global climate change.

I will give HRC credit in one area. She hit on the right words for what our goals should be. For years, the corporate capitalist meme in addressing inequality has been "equal opportunity". However, as a logical construct, you could have inequality and yet have it be equal. Everyone has a chance to be one of the 1% who own everything, the rest just get to have nothing. However, everyone has an equal opportunity to be one of the elites.

In her speech, HRC used the phrase "shared prosperity" which i think is a much better goal for progressive people. It is not about mobility or opportunity or success, it really is about sharing our economic prosperity as computers, trade, increased productivity remove american workers from the wealth building equation.

However, you are not sharing prosperity if you then give the standard form answer about success and ladders. Such answers to shared prosperity have been used for years but are absolutely devoid of any content or solution. We can not reward all of society the way the 1% is rewarded in this Country. Leaving ladders in place so a few can have a good life is not the answer. Shared prosperity is not about competition for a few success slots. It should not be the goal to have all of our children compete to be one of those 1% successful people. Shared prosperity should mean what the words connote. We all share in the progress of our economic system in producing goods and services that increase quality of life for human beings.

The problem I have with HRC is I think that competition is exactly what she thinks shared prosperity means.

A Good Response to the TPP

The Arbitration Provisions of the TPP are the most controversial. They allow a corporation to sue in an international tribunal in front of corporate lawyers (who also are free to bring such cases) for changes in law that might affect profits.

The only defenses so far have been a claim that the US has not lost such cases although that could certainly change as we engage capital exporting countries.

Regardless, the best answer is that changes in law, like changes in costs, are risks that are part of the investment decision. Why should tax payers bail out investors for risks that the investor should consider in deciding whether to invest. Investors profits can be reduced for all sorts of reasons beyond their control .... increases in energy costs ... competition .... natural disasters.

There is no reason we should not put risks of changes in laws that affect potential profit on the Investor. If a country sees fit to add worker protections or environmental laws after the investment and it loses the investor all or some money, that should be one of the risks the investor is being paid for when he invests.

It occurs right now in third world investments where investors demand higher returns if they believe a country is instable. Let them price risk of legal change themselves rather than put it on the back of taxpayers after the fact.

Real questions difference between "classified" and "non-classified" emails

I am not a HRC supporter but am on the fence on this current issue as to whether there is a there there.

In reading the HRC defenders, I have heard the claim that she did not use this private server for "classified" emails but only for "non-classified" emails. However, we have also heard she did not set up or never used an account set up on the government servers.

This leads to my questions.

1. Where did she make "classified" emails or did she never use emails for any classified information at all? There really are only 2 choices. Either she never had any emails that should have been classified or she used this private server for both classified and non-classified emails.

2. There is a follow up question which is whats the difference between classified and non-classified (but not personal) emails. Does that only come up when a FOI request comes in or is every email written by a SOS immediately reviewed for classification. I am hoping someone with knowledge can explain this.
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