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8 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

There was a massive world war in the middle there that literally destroyed our global competition and the US became outrageously rich and powerful rebuilding Asia and Europe. The standard of living before the rise of the suburbs in the 1940s and 1950s was very different. Would seem foreign to you now. “Income equality” as you are envisioning it will mean everyone has less spending power due to higher prices and fewer goods, despite more money nominally being in the hands of the lower classes. Again, maybe not a bad thing but be prepared to stretch that used car several more years.

And starting in 1935 during the great depression is like tracking global warming with "New Ice Age" 1970 as the starting point - only one way to go from there.  GW is real and adverse income distribution is real, but as Phin noted above, there were some (fortunately for humanity) unique factors included. 

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13 minutes ago, TauntonBlizzard2013 said:

And the offer from my employer for a raise this year was 1.3%. A 1.3% cost of living raise, and we haven’t had a raise of any kind in 2 years now 

It's possible they are being greedy. It's possible they are operating under very thin margins and just don't have the money. It's possible they consider you easily replaceable and are not worried that much about retaining you.

As a business owner, I can tell you that it's one of these three things. You have to decide if it's worth the risk to jump. There are a lot of jobs out there now. Employees have a lot of power. More than they think.

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14 minutes ago, TauntonBlizzard2013 said:

And the offer from my employer for a raise this year was 1.3%. A 1.3% cost of living raise, and we haven’t had a raise of any kind in 2 years now 

Despite an unexpectedly large budget surplus and lots of federal $$, Maine state employees were initially offered a contract with zero raise and some benefits take-backs.  Latest offer includes a tiny increase.  A very intensive study of comparative wages for equal tasks recently determined that Maine state employees earn about 15% less than other public and private sector employees doing the same work.  It's good that I really like my job!

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31 minutes ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:

yikes, consumer prices jumped 5% in May alone. 
 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/10/cpi-may-2021.html

Negative, they are up 5% year over year as of May

Now the way they are measured is trash but lets read that article not the Misleading clicky headline

Monthly CPI was up .6 %and monthly core inflation was up .7% from April.

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18 hours ago, tamarack said:

Hve you read Clancy's "Rainbow Six"?  Only difference is intent vs. happenstance.

I haven't, no. But, I do like many of his film-adaptations.  If that can be used as maybe a bass-ackward indicator ? - the story must be very good.

I don't know if it is is because the source ( his novels) are so good, or if it is just because they happened to translate into the cinema medium so lucidly, but it has always intrigued me how/why those Jack Ryan movies are so compelling. I have not actually read one Clancy novel. Yet,  "Hunt For Red October" is one of those films in my mind needs to have it's own museum space.

Digression: like the first "Star Wars," or "Close Encounters of The Third Kind," or "Gone With The Wind"  ( although I personally hate that movie), "Wizard Of Oz," maybe "Fantasia."   "Pulp Fiction" is also in that elite list, and I am sure there are others that get their space.  

There are lot of honorable mentions, and it's naturally going to be a subjective list. However, those HM films don't quite seem to ear mark eras nor transfix culture in quite the same way.   There are a thousand good movies. I am sure people want to include, if even insist they are in that transcending group. But really ...those are more personally resonating;  so momentously that they'll insist.  Intimacy with the cinema experience isn't the same as 'culturally influential bombs', though. "Clear And Present Danger" and "Patriot Games" were HM, so he's weighted in the good end of the pool.

Where the hell was I going...oh, yeah, see, I have a short story I am working on called "Weighting On Doom."  Your mentioning "Rainbow Six," with 'intent vs happenstance, strikes me as similar just on the merit of that turn of phrase, alone. In the short story I'm working on,  human darkness is ubiquitous. The forces of rapacity and ambition are not uniquely shared.  Thus, the "art" of conspiracy is both shared by real orchestration, as much as its specter can be an emergent property - i.e., by accident. I actually refer to these emergent complexions as "soft conspiracies" - it's when A and B and C appear they must be connected, but really aren't.  Now, I don't know what you meant precisely by the bold ( lol ) but is sounds similar. 

Basically, when all of humanity is out to f*k one another, and since we are in principle coming from the same mindful derivative of ( intents + purposes + capacity ), the mathematics of violating Commandments tends to design the same in every direction.  We all pump from bum to front ;) 

Enter in that we are, by nature, uniquely wired as walking, talking, pattern recognition software, it is not a huge guess as to where this is going - people are predisposed see the designs. That gives the allusion of conspiracy, either way. It's actually how the parasite of conspiracy - real ones - fool like viruses, because the 'design' blends into the weeds of human conception in all of its intents and purposes; no different than points of randomly placed lights in the firmament create constellation of archers and mythic monsters. So while we sort out the truths from fictional, conspiracies use that uncertainty as its greatest ally.

 

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7 minutes ago, NorEastermass128 said:

I find it funny that if one notes the marked, increasing wealth or income distribution gap in this country, they are immediately branded as a commie. Is there no middle ground?  Asking for a friend. 

There is no intelligent discussion or middle ground on any topic that evokes emotion . 
 

We have come so far . 

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3 minutes ago, STILL N OF PIKE said:

There is no intelligent discussion on any topic that evokes emotion . 
 

We have come so far 

Got it. Our biases and world views are hardwired into town us due to evolution and our tribal origins. Humans are innately flawed because of this. It was necessary to align oneself with a group when that group worked together to fend of lions, but that group think isn’t so necessary from a survival standpoint anymore. 

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5 minutes ago, Typhoon Tip said:

I haven't, no. But, I do like many of his film-adaptations.  If that can be used as maybe a bass-ackward indicator ? - the story must be very good.

I don't know if it is is because the source ( his novels) are so good, or if it is just because they happened to translate into the cinema medium so lucidly, but it has always intrigued me how/why those Jack Ryan movies are so compelling. I have not actually read one Clancy novel. Yet,  "Hunt For Red October" is one of those films in my mind that gets its own museum space.

Digression: like the first "Star Wars," or "Close Encounters of The Third Kind," or "Gone With The Wind"  ( although I personally hate that movie), "Wizard Of Oz," maybe "Fantasia."   "Pulp Fiction" is also in that elite list, and I am sure there are others that get their space.  

There are lot of honorable mentions, and it's naturally going to be a subjective list. However, those HM films don't quite seem to ear mark eras nor transfix culture in quite the same way.   There are a thousand good movies. I am sure people want to included, but really ...those are more personally resonating;  so momentously that they'll insist.  Intimacy with the cinema experience isn't the same as 'culturally influential bombs', though. "Clear And Present Danger" and "Patriot Games" were HM, so he's weighted in the good end of the pool.

Where the hell was I going...oh, yeah, see, I have a short story I am working on called "Weighting On Doom."  Your mentioning "Rainbow Six," with 'intent vs happenstance, strikes me as similar just on the merit of that turn of phrase, alone. In the short story I'm working on,  human darkness is ubiquitous. The forces of rapacity and ambition are not uniquely shared.  Thus, the "art" of conspiracy is both shared by real orchestration, as much as its specter can be an emergent property - i.e., by accident.  Now, I don't know what you meant precisely ( lol ) but is sounds similar.  Basically, when all of humanity is out to f*k one another, and since we are in principle coming from the same mindful derivative of ( intents + purposes + capacity ) = get ahead, the mathematics of violating Commandments tends to design the same in every direction.  We all pump from bum to front ;) 

That gives the allusion of conspiracy, either way. Enter in that we are, by nature, uniquely wired as walking, talking, pattern recognition software, it is not a huge guess as to where this is going - people are predisposed see the designs.  It's actually how the parasite of conspiracy - real ones - fool like viruses, because the 'design' blends into the weeds of human conception in all of its intents and purposes; no different than than points of randomly placed lights in the firmament create constellation of archers and mythic monsters.

 

Given the bulk (and abundance) of Tom Clancy technothrillers, it's likely that you would not get to "Rainbow Six", well toward the end of the Jack Ryan odyssey, so I'll offer the "intent vs. happenstance" gist of the story:
SPOILER ALERT!!
Some deep environmentalists decide that the only way to save our planet is to eliminate nearly all the people (not including themselves, of course.)  These are biomedical scientists, and they create a nano-capsuled Ebola virus that can be spread in a mist.  They also develop a 100% effective vaccine against Ebola.  Their plan is to insert canisters full of those nano-capsules into the cool-mist system at the Sydney Olympics, estimating that those infected there would take the virus home, with an estimated 6 million fatalities.  But . . .  they inform the pandemic-panicked world of the wonderful new vaccine and like heroes they promise to provide it worldwide free of charge.  However, there are 2 "vaccines" and the 2nd one actually contains the encapsulated Ebola.  That's what they will send around the world, with an estimated 99% die-off of humanity followed by the "heroes" owning the planet.
(In an earlier novel, Clancy also [SPOILER ALERT] included a jetliner flying into a government building, years before 9/11.)

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13 minutes ago, NorEastermass128 said:

I find it funny that if one notes the marked, increasing wealth or income distribution gap in this country, they are immediately branded as a commie. Is there no middle ground?  Asking for a friend. 

I just brush off the word stabs from some, it means nothing. 
 

image.png.39b84fea7e92db199218e49545e75395.png

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3 minutes ago, tamarack said:

Given the bulk (and abundance) of Tom Clancy technothrillers, it's likely that you would not get to "Rainbow Six", well toward the end of the Jack Ryan odyssey, so I'll offer the "intent vs. happenstance" gist of the story:
SPOILER ALERT!!
Some deep environmentalists decide that the only way to save our planet is to eliminate nearly all the people (not including themselves, of course.)  These are biomedical scientists, and they create a nano-capsuled Ebola virus that can be spread in a mist.  They also develop a 100% effective vaccine against Ebola.  Their plan is to insert canisters full of those nano-capsules into the cool-mist system at the Sydney Olympics, estimating that those infected there would take the virus home, with an estimated 6 million fatalities.  But . . .  they inform the pandemic-panicked world of the wonderful new vaccine and like heroes they promise to provide it worldwide free of charge.  However, there are 2 "vaccines" and the 2nd one actually contains the encapsulated Ebola.  That's what they will send around the world, with an estimated 99% die-off of humanity followed by the "heroes" owning the planet.
(In an earlier novel, Clancy also [SPOILER ALERT] included a jetliner flying into a government building, years before 9/11.)

I love his books (the ones that I have read at least).   The Amazon Jack Ryan series was ok... not great, but good popcorn mind numbing

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13 minutes ago, tamarack said:

Given the bulk (and abundance) of Tom Clancy technothrillers, it's likely that you would not get to "Rainbow Six", well toward the end of the Jack Ryan odyssey, so I'll offer the "intent vs. happenstance" gist of the story:
SPOILER ALERT!!
Some deep environmentalists decide that the only way to save our planet is to eliminate nearly all the people (not including themselves, of course.)  These are biomedical scientists, and they create a nano-capsuled Ebola virus that can be spread in a mist.  They also develop a 100% effective vaccine against Ebola.  Their plan is to insert canisters full of those nano-capsules into the cool-mist system at the Sydney Olympics, estimating that those infected there would take the virus home, with an estimated 6 million fatalities.  But . . .  they inform the pandemic-panicked world of the wonderful new vaccine and like heroes they promise to provide it worldwide free of charge.  However, there are 2 "vaccines" and the 2nd one actually contains the encapsulated Ebola.  That's what they will send around the world, with an estimated 99% die-off of humanity followed by the "heroes" owning the planet.
(In an earlier novel, Clancy also [SPOILER ALERT] included a jetliner flying into a government building, years before 9/11.)

Well yes then ...

My snarky cynical barb about the trial run-through is precisely related to that, actually - his story just puts the building material into the two sentence frame LOL

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11 minutes ago, NorEastermass128 said:

Got it. Our biases and world views are hardwired into town us due to evolution and our tribal origins. Humans are innately flawed because of this. It was necessary to align oneself with a group when that group worked together to fend of lions, but that group think isn’t so necessary from a survival standpoint anymore. 

We /humans  are also very much a product of the news and world views they watch, are raised in and buy into.

There is not much of a Kumbaya focus today , more so focusing on Fixing things buy focusing On differences and not “love” But seeing people and identifying them for their differences

Tends to create more of a focus on differences than unity . 

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23 minutes ago, NorEastermass128 said:

I find it funny that if one notes the marked, increasing wealth or income distribution gap in this country, they are immediately branded as a commie. Is there no middle ground?  Asking for a friend. 

In the 60’s and 70’s the CIA classified cooperative farms, unions and public libraries warning signs of socialism spreading in Central America.   
The specter of the “communist threat” has been used as fear porn for decades in the US and most of the sheep bought into it hook line and sinker.  It paved the way for the US installing brutal dictatorships in much of Central America. I’m sure that shit is all sanitized in the “approved” high school history books.

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Just now, HIPPYVALLEY said:

In the 60’s and 70’s the CIA classified cooperative farms, unions and public libraries warning signs of socialism spreading in Central America.   
The specter of the “communist threat” has been used as fear porn for decades in the US and most of the sheep bought into it hook line and sinker.  It pave the way for the US installing brutal dictatorships in much of Central America. I’m sure that shit is all sanitized in the “approved” high school history books.

Confessions of a economic hitman (book)

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7 minutes ago, HoarfrostHubb said:

I love his books (the ones that I have read at least).   The Amazon Jack Ryan series was ok... not great, but good popcorn mind numbing

Agreed on all.  Reminds me I need to read more of the Jack Ryan series.  I got hooked last spring during the stay at home era… went through a half dozen of them but there are so many.

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7 minutes ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:


The specter of the “communist threat” has been used as fear porn for decades in the US and most of the sheep bought into it hook line and sinker.

As top of mind still after the past year… fear is the most provocative emotion out there.  The Communism fear is definitely a well leveraged one for decades.

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I also see similarities in some of the construction synopsis of his thematic arcs -

It strikes me as 'formulaic' - but I do not mean to lower the lights on the brightness of his works, either.   There may be, I wonder, some reliance on a reproducibility - as literature blue print, and then the building the beef in that recycled frame finds a proficiency, one that allows huge volume over the span of a career. 

There are plenty of writers that wrote brilliantly, spanning just two or three novels and maybe a handful of short stories, an ode and a eulogy.    It just seems that prolific content gets too big to be purely organic, just the same.   It's interesting... but sometimes he strikes me as a Thomas Kinkade of literature, ensemble lining top shelf material.

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Just now, STILL N OF PIKE said:

Confessions of a economic hitman (book)

Yeah, that’s a good one.  

Noam Chomsky’s “Turning the Tide” is a good look at US Central American policies.  Brutal.  
I am old enough to remember Iran-Contra scandal.  they were plenty of people in the United States defending Reagan, Ollie North and Casper “the friendly defender” Weinberger.

It was bad enough that the US was illegally selling arms to Iran and then using the money to illegally sell arms to the Nicaraguan contras.  However,  the planes flying the illegal weapons out of Arkansas into Central America were also returning loaded with cocaine to sell on the streets of the US and creating the crack epidemic.  Bush family was widely implicated as having ties to the illegal cocaine imports and Clinton was Governor of Arkansas at the time.  Fun stuff.

 

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13 minutes ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:

In the 60’s and 70’s the CIA classified cooperative farms, unions and public libraries warning signs of socialism spreading in Central America.   
The specter of the “communist threat” has been used as fear porn for decades in the US and most of the sheep bought into it hook line and sinker.  It paved the way for the US installing brutal dictatorships in much of Central America. I’m sure that shit is all sanitized in the “approved” high school history books.

Yea. Our government was also responsible for the drug trafficking trade from Central Am by arming the rebels in exchange. The crack epidemic was a direct result of this but they turned a blind eye when it was an inner city problem until it started affecting suburbia. 
 

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1 minute ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:

Yeah, that’s a good one.  

Noam Chomsky’s “Turning the Tide” is a good look at US Central American policies.  Brutal.  
I am old enough to remember Iran-Contra scandal.  they were plenty of people in the United States defending Reagan, Ollie North and Casper “the friendly defender” Weinberger.

It was bad enough that the US was illegally selling arms to Iran and then using the money to illegally sell arms to the Nicaraguan contras.  However,  the planes flying the illegal weapons out of Arkansas into Central America were also returning loaded with cocaine to sell on the streets of the US and creating the crack epidemic.  Bush family was widely implicated as having ties to the illegal cocaine imports and Clinton was Governor of Arkansas at the time.  Fun stuff.

 

Ha…see my post above. 

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25 minutes ago, NorEastermass128 said:

Got it. Our biases and world views are hardwired into town us due to evolution and our tribal origins. Humans are innately flawed because of this. It was necessary to align oneself with a group when that group worked together to fend of lions, but that group think isn’t so necessary from a survival standpoint anymore. 

There is a logical endpoint for where this goes, though. Just "raising taxes massively on the rich" isn't going to solve the entire problem (or most of it). The end state some of you are looking to achieve requires pretty strong socialist measures, probably even beyond where Scandinavia is, for example. The levels of spending and consumption by the "poor" in this country dwarfs what it does in Europe and Asia. Reaching better income equality will require a lowered (or different) standard of living, IMO. It's a fallacy to assume that when the government collects this money in extra taxes it will simply hand that back to the common man.

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Resources are finite. If you massively increase costs for producers and lower taxes for consumers, shortages will occur due to increased demand as prices go up, leading to an inflationary feedback loop. This will wipe out whatever marginal income increases the poor see via a national min-wage increase.

No one here is talking about direct government UBI payments based on seized assets from the wealthy, but that is what would be required to do this. A massive, direct wealth transfer scheme. Stop beating around the bush about it.

I am not saying a reset is not needed; it may be at this point. But I don't think we can tip-toe our way back out of this situation with small feel-good measures.

IMO, the American middle class should be broad and strong, but live in a 2,000 sq ft house with 1 or maybe 2 used cars. One vacation a year, down to some local beach destination or similar. This is how the middle class lived back in those halcyon days of income equality you all seek.

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

There was a massive world war in the middle there that literally destroyed our global competition and the US became outrageously rich and powerful rebuilding Asia and Europe. The standard of living before the rise of the suburbs in the 1940s and 1950s was very different. Would seem foreign to you now. “Income equality” as you are envisioning it will mean everyone has less spending power due to higher prices and fewer goods, despite more money nominally being in the hands of the lower classes. Again, maybe not a bad thing but be prepared to stretch that used car several more years.

1997-2012 is also kind of a bad cherry-picked time frame that is way shorter than 1935-1980 and also different circumstances. The 1935-1980 period has the beginning in the middle of the great depression (start at the nadir)....the 1997-2012 time frame starts during the late 1990s boom and ends in the aftermath of the GFC.

That said, you are right about the unique circumstances of the middle 20th century where the rest of the developed world was bombed back to the stone age and America was the one left standing to rebuild everything for the globe. That kind of advantage cannot be replicated by simply changing the tax code or labor laws.

Actually enforcing some anti-trust laws would probably help with real wages, and if the government ever gets out of the business of subsidizing massive education loans, there might be a correction in the inflation of tuition. Housing is the toughest one though. Not an easy fix with all the NIMBYism and environmental hoops you have to jump through to build more housing these days.

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5 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

1997-2012 is also kind of a bad cherry-picked time frame that is way shorter than 1935-1980 and also different circumstances. The 1935-1980 period has the beginning in the middle of the great depression (start at the nadir)....the 1997-2012 time frame starts during the late 1990s boom and ends in the aftermath of the GFC.

That said, you are right about the unique circumstances of the middle 20th century where the rest of the developed world was bombed back to the stone age and America was the one left standing to rebuild everything for the globe. That kind of advantage cannot be replicated by simply changing the tax code or labor laws.

Actually enforcing some anti-trust laws would probably help with real wages, and if the government ever gets out of the business of subsidizing massive education loans, there might be a correction in the inflation of tuition. Housing is the toughest one though. Not an easy fix with all the NIMBYism and environmental hoops you have to jump through to build more housing these days.

Often the same people squawking about income inequality while blocking low-income housing.

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