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Thread: Class and Society

  1. #101  
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    Yeah, democracy is not as democratic as advertised, is it ?
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  2. #102  
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    Progressives can "look" like anybody. I'm disappointed, smurf.
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    ...grumpy, you are sometimes why I want to leave America and go there, to Mother England. Now you're gonna' say "Go". Sorry. I've met lot's of Americans. Too many.
    I wasn't going to say that. although, I will say you definitely are shaping up to be the obnoxious, know-it-all, angry, "liberal" stereotype that make all progressives look bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Mr. Smoot, You are an example of why I love the UK.
    Until you say something even remotely close to something he thinks goes against what he believes to be true. Then you're a horrible horrible person and the reason he doesn't like the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    ...grumpy, you are sometimes why I want to leave America and go there, to Mother England. Now you're gonna' say "Go". Sorry. I've met lot's of Americans. Too many.
    I wasn't going to say that. although, I will say you definitely are shaping up to be the obnoxious, know-it-all, angry, "liberal" stereotype that make all progressives look bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Progressives can "look" like anybody. I'm disappointed, smurf.
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    ...grumpy, you are sometimes why I want to leave America and go there, to Mother England. Now you're gonna' say "Go". Sorry. I've met lot's of Americans. Too many.
    I wasn't going to say that. although, I will say you definitely are shaping up to be the obnoxious, know-it-all, angry, "liberal" stereotype that make all progressives look bad.
    Since we can't *see* you it's your actions that don't go with your *look*
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    You others: at least grumpy ain't staring at his shoes. I don't know what to say about the other members. But, I will...I will. In good time. Something cooking needs flipping.
    That side's done.
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    You others: at least grumpy ain't staring at his shoes..
    I seldom do, but I ain't jumping around hollering about how the sky is falling when the topic is "living on a farm."
    Just relax and try to be polite even, if you disagree with something someone has written.
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    C'mon smurf. Don't pick fights with friends. You know much of what I've said since starting this thread is true. At least you're willing to discuss things. There is a deafening silence
    from the "masses." Or is it the Mas'ers ? See Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book, not the movie which has never been made. Oddly, Birth of a Nation, has. And it was bullshit.
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    Living on a farm. That a Nebraska comment, Californian ? Home of the nut-balls ? Or so I've heard. YOU relax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    C'mon smurf. Don't pick fights with friends. You know much of what I've said since starting this thread is true. At least you're willing to discuss things. There is a deafening silence
    from the "masses." Or is it the Mas'ers ? See Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book, not the movie which has never been made. Oddly, Birth of a Nation, has. And it was bullshit.
    Not picking a fight, just saying it like I see it. I do agree, with most of what you write, but I can't support most of what you're going on about in this thread simply because I have no idea what you're writing about. Like I wrote before you seemed to go off on some tangent and was targeting specific people and I don't know why.

    Just because people are "silent on the issue" doesn't man they're afraid or anything of the sort. maybe they agree with you and feel they have nothing more to add. maybe they don't care. not knowing doesn't mean you get to assume and act on it.
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    I don't have to "be" polite. I, simply, am. But, I'm not married to the habit. You don't have to take my side; but you don't have to walk away, do ya' ? I'm a reasonable man. But I'm also Italian and we know a few things about abuses of power; and we have passion, which is woefully absent on this site, except in your case and that of Da Shniebster of recent notoriety. Be willing to stand up. But realize you make a target for some if you do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Living on a farm. That a Nebraska comment, Californian ? Home of the nut-balls ? Or so I've heard. YOU relax.
    I had no idea where you're from I just picked an unrelated topic. Now who needs to relax?
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    I don't have to "be" polite. I, simply, am. But, I'm not married to the habit. You don't have to take my side; but you don't have to walk away, do ya' ? I'm a reasonable man. But I'm also Italian and we know a few things about abuses of power; and we have passion, which is woefully absent on this site, except in your case and that of Da Shniebster of recent notoriety. Be willing to stand up. But realize you make a target for some if you do.
    Nobody says you have to be polite it would be nice if you were. Not walking away just don't know what you're so angry at and why your picking specific people over it.
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    That's fair, Grumpy. I have a point and haven't expressed it well, and went off a little as well as misinterpreted some comments, which we all can do. I'll turn the flame down. As I've said, I'm passionate about many things, but reason and dispassion are required. Hope we're good.No personal offense is ever intended and I can't be insulted, for some reason. I am pretty thick-skinned.
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    C'mon smurf. Don't pick fights with friends. You know much of what I've said since starting this thread is true. At least you're willing to discuss things. There is a deafening silence
    from the "masses." Or is it the Mas'ers ? See Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book, not the movie which has never been made. Oddly, Birth of a Nation, has. And it was bullshit.
    Not picking a fight, just saying it like I see it. I do agree, with most of what you write, but I can't support most of what you're going on about in this thread simply because I have no idea what you're writing about. Like I wrote before you seemed to go off on some tangent and was targeting specific people and I don't know why.

    Just because people are "silent on the issue" doesn't man they're afraid or anything of the sort. maybe they agree with you and feel they have nothing more to add. maybe they don't care. not knowing doesn't mean you get to assume and act on it.
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    Without rehashing everything in this thread to date, the title of the thread is "Class and Society" which I take to mean that society is stratified and that stratification is determined by several factors. One of the factors has long been birth and some are born into positions of power and/or wealth. Education is another rung of power and for long periods in our history, education was reserved unto a small group of persons of privilege.Various religious and political factions have also played a role in creating and maintaining the divide as and when suits their purposes. Even today, I was listening to an interview on the radio about changes to the elections criteria in Canada which were going to make it very difficult for some persons to participate in their democratic right to exercise their franchise to vote.

    I bemoan the current state of affairs as much as anyone and was almost lured into the trap of politics, courted by several parties in my youth to run for them. Once I actually read their policies and realized that merely by accepting any one offer that I would automatically incur the enmity of all opposing parties, I walked away for I could be more effective as a free radical, and so I remain today. My battles take place at the local level yet over time, the effect ripples outward and I observe plenty of change happening and know that I have had a part in the process.

    There shall always remain stratification, because 'equality' is an ideology, a principle to rally around. In actuality, persons are not all equal, do not all aspire to the same things, nor should we expect them to. We do need to provide equal opportunity, in my opinion, and this is a far more achievable goal. I can only speak from the perspective of a woman living in Canada, yet my experience is that despite humble beginnings and a lack of formal education, there are considerably greater opportunities for women and minorities in this nation than there was when my mother was growing up.

    The newest level of stratification is being caused by the rapid evolution of technology which is creating an ever widening gap between those who understand and can afford it and those who are skills challenged and lack financial resources to purchase and maintain connectivity.
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    Any race will have winners and losers. The factors in life are many and varied. Even the qualities one holds pridefully; work ethic, spunk and drive, etc. come our way rather randomly. No one has anything to say into which social class one is born. Unless, as some feel, they had the 'good sense' to be born of parents in good social standing. Major advances in women's rights has been great.
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Without rehashing everything in this thread to date, the title of the thread is "Class and Society" which I take to mean that society is stratified and that stratification is determined by several factors. One of the factors has long been birth and some are born into positions of power and/or wealth. Education is another rung of power and for long periods in our history, education was reserved unto a small group of persons of privilege.Various religious and political factions have also played a role in creating and maintaining the divide as and when suits their purposes. Even today, I was listening to an interview on the radio about changes to the elections criteria in Canada which were going to make it very difficult for some persons to participate in their democratic right to exercise their franchise to vote.

    I bemoan the current state of affairs as much as anyone and was almost lured into the trap of politics, courted by several parties in my youth to run for them. Once I actually read their policies and realized that merely by accepting any one offer that I would automatically incur the enmity of all opposing parties, I walked away for I could be more effective as a free radical, and so I remain today. My battles take place at the local level yet over time, the effect ripples outward and I observe plenty of change happening and know that I have had a part in the process.

    There shall always remain stratification, because 'equality' is an ideology, a principle to rally around. In actuality, persons are not all equal, do not all aspire to the same things, nor should we expect them to. We do need to provide equal opportunity, in my opinion, and this is a far more achievable goal. I can only speak from the perspective of a woman living in Canada, yet my experience is that despite humble beginnings and a lack of formal education, there are considerably greater opportunities for women and minorities in this nation than there was when my mother was growing up.

    The newest level of stratification is being caused by the rapid evolution of technology which is creating an ever widening gap between those who understand and can afford it and those who are skills challenged and lack financial resources to purchase and maintain connectivity.
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    Clearly trying to rescue this thread from oblivion. I've proposed questions as to why our government doesn't invest in repairing our crumbling infrastructure. Why our bloated military spending and Giant Military Complex is straining our budget, why needed laborers aren't doing needed work. I don't really think nations need to "budget" in the way a household is; the US has an unlimited access to credit. Think about it. The US is in a pretty good spot. But we need to turn away from war and toward domestic issues, immigration, healthcare for all, a fare wage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Clearly trying to rescue this thread from oblivion. I've proposed questions as to why our government doesn't invest in repairing our crumbling infrastructure. Why our bloated military spending and Giant Military Complex is straining our budget, why needed laborers aren't doing needed work. I don't really think nations need to "budget" in the way a household is; the US has an unlimited access to credit. Think about it. The US is in a pretty good spot. But we need to turn away from war and toward domestic issues, immigration, healthcare for all, a fare wage.
    too many of the upper class lose money if we lower our military spending. there's no money in infrastructure for the ruling class.
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    Originally posted by umbradiago:

    No one has anything to say into which social class one is born.
    The above is entirely true and if one has been fortunate enough to be born into the upper stratas of any society, very few of them shall have any reason to promote change. What is interesting is that this dialogue is starting to be more common in the developed nations rather than in countries where poverty has been a birthright for many generations. The amount of personal wealth held by many individuals in North America is beyond obscene and we hold lotteries where the carrot of instant wealth is dangled before the masses, luring many to spend more money that they can afford in pursuit of the lifestyle that is characterized.

    [I recall being approached by acquaintances who were part of a ponzi scheme with a brochure that featured a lavish home with a pool and grounds, fancy autos and yacht as the enticement to join their ranks selling some health-benefit products for humans and horses. ( Probably I seemed a good poster child because I was athletic and a vigorous campaigner for my causes.) I was not overly polite in my rejection of their offer of inclusion because their 'vision' of my expectations in life was so entirely at odds with who I am.]
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    ...we need to turn away from war and toward domestic issues, immigration, healthcare for all, a fare wage.
    Healthcare for all applies in the UK, and on the face of it it's a good thing. But like the criminal justice structure it's part of the 'two-tier benefit system' which ensures that those with power and control are most advantaged. A minimum wage is in operation and, on the face of it, also sounds positive, but due to incredibly high rents and extortionate cost of utilities most barely scrape by. Immigration is a red herring issue which keeps the lower classes occupied.

    This country will see you starve on the streets if you dare to challenge the system then arrest you for begging.
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    The Yukon does enjoy one of the better health care systems in Canada and there is currently no fee for residents of the territory for access to medical services and there is also assistance for chronic care medications.

    The minimum wage is set to increase to $10.72 on April 1st but this is still a joke when you consider that the average rent is over $900.00/month before utilities. Additionally, a great many jobs are not full-time so as to save the employer needing to offer any benefits and allows them to cap vacation time entitlement. This means that a great many people either need to work two jobs or enter into shared living arrangements, both of which can be a significant strain on physical and emotional health.

    Yet in spite of these numbers, these opportunities are significantly greater than those enjoyed by many residents of other nations and so an increasing percentage of our population consists of immigrants from the Philippines and South America, especially in the retail and service sectors. One hears some people complain about 'immigrants taking our jobs' yet these same complainers are often collecting social assistance which oddly pays out more money than minimum wage for a two adult, two child family. The social safety nets in this territory are actually compounding the employment and housing problems.
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    Now this thread is where I wanted it, thanks to the above posters, mostly, and a few others. As a working-class American, I hesitate to complain too much, knowing how conditions are for working-class peoples everywhere. And I don't speak from some personal resentment, though I could, quite easily. I'm looking at numbers;
    the living standard in the US has not improved appreciably during nearly my entire life of 60 years. Which other class can, or would want to, say that ?
    In the 1960s, the typical CEO made about 12 times the income of those at the bottom of his industry. Now, about 400 to 500 times as much. I'm a capitalist and believe it to be the best system of wealth generation ever devised (save Monarchy). But the unequal distribution of wealth harms not only people, but the very idea of Democratic governance. Thanks for the comments offered. Again, those in the back row please rattle your jewelry. So we know you're there. Lennon and the rest of the Beatles were, and remain, working-class. Not the reason I loved them, but one of those. We only want to share in the wealth we have endured so much to help in creating. I realize the value of investment, of money. But, try building something without workers. Try producing anything for market without them. As stated, the real value of any enterprise, political or economic, is in the common people. Too much power (wealth) in the hands of too few is bad. Just look around; it's all one need do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Unfortunately our press hasn't been free for a long time. while it's not overtly owned by the government it is owned by business and it's pretty well known that business owns the government.
    And who owns the businesses? Ow ya, 60% of Americans that invest in them (a patriotic duty).
    In other words, the top 10% have 50% of the control?

    http://www.pal-item.com/article/2014...ity-increasing

    Or more likely it's steeper than that. The top 10% control half the pre-tax income, but because their subsistence needs make up a smaller portion of their income, they're free to spend a higher percentage of their money buying stocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Unfortunately our press hasn't been free for a long time. while it's not overtly owned by the government it is owned by business and it's pretty well known that business owns the government.
    And who owns the businesses? Ow ya, 60% of Americans that invest in them (a patriotic duty).
    In other words, the top 10% have 50% of the control?
    Is that new math or something. It has nothing do with my statement that 60% of Americans are investors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Unfortunately our press hasn't been free for a long time. while it's not overtly owned by the government it is owned by business and it's pretty well known that business owns the government.
    And who owns the businesses? Ow ya, 60% of Americans that invest in them (a patriotic duty).
    In other words, the top 10% have 50% of the control?
    Is that new math or something. It has nothing do with my statement that 60% of Americans are investors.
    Last time I checked, share holders' control over a corporation is distributed according to the number of shares they own.

    IE. When there is a vote, if one investor owns 2000 shares, and another investor owns 50 shares, the first investor gets 2000 votes, and the second investor gets 50 votes.
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    Lynx, may I ask what type of investors these 60% of Americans are? Not meaning to question your figures but from a lot of the news, that would not be the impression I have here in Canada. I think our overall economic circumstances are better than the US yet I don't I could claim that 60% of Canadiams are investors, certainly not of the population I know.

    Maybe I'm hanging with the wrong crowd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Indeed it is quite possible for another corporation to own some of those shares.
    Yes in most cases...the proportionality is closer and better than our representative government. Perhaps it should be a model for government based on tax payments (half serious).

    I do get your point though...yes the wealthy hold most of the cards.
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    Correct, and this is how our society works, or fails to. The un-equal distribution of power/wealth (same exact thing). That system is fair (enough) as regards corporate influence but is counter-democratic when applied to society.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Unfortunately our press hasn't been free for a long time. while it's not overtly owned by the government it is owned by business and it's pretty well known that business owns the government.
    And who owns the businesses? Ow ya, 60% of Americans that invest in them (a patriotic duty).
    In other words, the top 10% have 50% of the control?
    Is that new math or something. It has nothing do with my statement that 60% of Americans are investors.
    Last time I checked, share holders' control over a corporation is distributed according to the number of shares they own.

    IE. When there is a vote, if one investor owns 2000 shares, and another investor owns 50 shares, the first investor gets 2000 votes, and the second investor gets 50 votes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Lynx, may I ask what type of investors these 60% of Americans are? Not meaning to question your figures but from a lot of the news, that would not be the impression I have here in Canada. I think our overall economic circumstances are better than the US yet I don't I could claim that 60% of Canadiams are investors, certainly not of the population I know.

    Maybe I'm hanging with the wrong crowd.
    Mostly through direct ownership or various mutual funds. Sadly my figure was a bit high because Americans have been pulling out a bit and missing an amazing market over the past couple years. It's still above half though.
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    It's very rare to hear an American say that America is a 'classless' society, it seems to me that they're implying class is not necessarily a boundary for success in a capitalist society, I think the amount of successful immigrants should at least serve as proof of that.
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    I am of the opinion that Canada and the United States are definitely countries of opportunity for many immigrants if they can satisfy the standards which have been increasing over time. There are many individuals who arrive with skills and degrees that must then retake much of their education at their own expense before they can put their skills to use. I have no problem with their skills and standards being tested but from some of the experiences shared with me, it does appear that in some cases the expectations may be excessive while in others, perhaps too lax.

    Within our own society there are many jobs that people feel are 'beneath them' to do, thinking custodial work as one example. I personally know a couple of the owners of contract custodial operations and they have a devil of a time attracting and retaining good staff. Plenty of immigrants from the Philippines and South America are finding their way to the Yukon and starting at $14-15.00/hr instead of the minimum $10.54 which is due to increase to $10.72 in April. I have opportunity to observe them on my graveyard shifts and the work is not terribly arduous given that they have considerable mechanical devices to aid them. I dare say that even I work harder on the nights that I am flogging stock. I don't see them breaking a sweat, lol.
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    There is indeed opportunity in the 'New World', I don't disagree. But along with that comes the 'opportunity' to fail. This is my area of life. I know my thread suggests
    resentment in me. There IS that; but my resentment, or I should say Disappointment in my particular condition, is as a result of my own decisions, my own acts and my failure to make better ones. I do not attempt to place that at the feet of anyone besides myself. My concern in social equality is not Personal; But I've seen and lived among the poor, the working classes. I know their plight. I have seen my family and friends struggle against an invisible barrier to raise themselves up. And it is not easy. I was the sixth of seven children and the first to attend college. I was the first to graduate High School ! And I am the SIXTH child ! (Thank you, rhythm method.) There was no legacy, for me, no cleared path, no well-connected relatives. My parents were wonderful. But they were first-generation Italian-Americans. Their parents were of the old world and of humble existence there, as well. America and Canada offers opportunity and promise, this is beyond dispute. But there are no guarantees, nor should anyone expect such. What we DO expect is that this nation live-up to it's promise to respect the rights of EVERY CITIZEN ! Of every person in this country. Those who have climbed the ladder of success, and many started-out half-way up, should not seek to kick that ladder OUT, when some new group arrives. This is precisely what has happened to every wave of immigrant-class. And it's WRONG ! BTW, I'd rather be poor in America than rich in Italy. Well, I'll have to think that one over. The American Dream does not come true for all. No one should expect it to. But, some allowance for these factors might be shown by those who HAVE found economic reward in the New World. Some sense of injustice SHOULD arise from those closer to the levers of power. Since Ted Kennedy died, I see little evidence of that. Excuse me if I seem confused about American Ideals. But I'm from another planet. I'm Superman and I'm here to help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    It's very rare to hear an American say that America is a 'classless' society, it seems to me that they're implying class is not necessarily a boundary for success in a capitalist society, I think the amount of successful immigrants should at least serve as proof of that.
    Not really. I'm not complaining here, but there are far more programs/opportunities for immigrants to start businesses than for the locals. Just try to get a small business loan here without being brand new to this country.
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  33. #133  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Class has a couple of different meaning.
    There are a lot of people who think they are high class who display no class at all in their dealings with others.
    grmpysmrf and samsmoot like this.
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  34. #134  
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    Of course "class" has many meanings. Personal character, polish and refinement. Clearly I've been talking about classism and whether it belongs in an egalitarian
    social system. Even many intellectuals fail to grasp the pit-falls, the struggles, and the dynamics of existing in the working-class world. America has at least 2.5 million incarcerated. Of these, fully half are for drug-related crimes. Of those, half are for marijuana, now legal in two states and considered a medicinal herb with virtually no social negative consequences, by many professionals. The cost of housing and feeding prisoners is astronomical; $28,000 to $36,000, per inmate. Add to this the cost of interdiction, police, and the courts. Pot is the largest cash crop in the land, estimates in the billions. Where does that profit go ? To persons and criminal organizations unlikely to perform humanitarian acts for their client base. And the US Treasury gets no cut, except for the seizures of properties and monies from criminals.
    Remember when gambling was a vice vigorously prosecuted, except for Nevada ? Once the government decided to cut themselves in, suddenly gambling was no longer a vice; it was a tax source. Same principles apply re:weed. We just haven't yet admitted it as a society, not fully, anyway. You cannot legislate morality.This is as true a truism as exists. Prohibition of alcohol was an abject failure and created far more problems as it attempted to address. When do we learn ?
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