Black Underworld Inc. – Conclusion

Since the 1900 U.S. Presidential campaign and election the Red, White, and Blue stars and stripes firmly became the offspring of the colonial Imperialist family of powerful nations that were Belgium, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Sweden. After the victory of the Spanish-American War (Part I) it cemented our ‘divine right to prosperity and exploitation‘ of weaker people and put us at the same carnivorous dinning table as the other nine juggernaut nations. With the Monroe Doctrine enforced and the Spanish colonies of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico acquired from a defeated Spain, hungry insatiable American mercantilism then set out to “civilize and industrialize” Central and South America for the next two centuries (Part II) with very minimal to no investment back into local infrastructure or economies of those Latino countries.

Two hundred years of exploiting Central, Caribbean, and South American resources without significant reinvestment into those cultures saw the U.S. father and nurture the current Pan-American immigration crisis (Part III) which in turn fathered and nurtured our illegal domestic Grey and Black Underworld markets done primarily by American business owners/contractors and corporations. These two underworld markets—the white-collar grey market and the criminal black market—have sprouted a most inhumane insidious 14-tentacle monster of which I examined briefly five specific, toxic, anti-social markets (Part IV). In this final fifth part, with thousands and millions of Latinos fleeing their homeland and the U.S. created immigration crisis in Central America, why would these legal and illegal Latinos want to risk their lives, enter, and work for shitty wages in the United States when here in the American nightmare (not dream) there is an obnoxious, rising, threatening socioeconomic inequality and homeless problem for those very people? Is this simply transference of crises from one spot to another?

History has shown repeatedly that these are the very sociopolitical conditions that set in motion civil unrest and revolution. Was it not ironically the exact same despair the Latinos are fleeing in their homelands and more ironically, unless you are a Native American descendant, what most of our own ancestors in the 18th and 19th century escaped from in Europe to start a better, freer life in the United States? Bizarre? History repeating itself? A classic Euro-Asian socioeconomic stratification simply redressed then brought across the Atlantic Ocean.

Primary Causes of America’s Homeless/Housing Problem

Through mechanisms such as scapegoat contracting by American business owners, suppression of state minimum compensatory wages, skyrocketing tuition for trade-school, under and post-grad degrees, the persistent climb of housing and rent, all stimulate a corporate grey market followed by the criminal black market. The latter two markets exploit the chronic desperation of the struggling bottom percent of society. From Bloomberg Businessweek:

A toxic combination of slow wage growth and skyrocketing rents has put housing out of reach for a greater number of people.

The reason the situation has gotten worse is simple enough to understand, even if it defies easy solution: A toxic combo of slow wage growth and skyrocketing rents has put housing out of reach for a greater number of people. According to Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored housing giant, the portion of rental units affordable to low earners plummeted 62 percent from 2010 to 2016.

Rising housing costs don’t predestine people to homelessness. But without the right interventions, the connection can become malignant.

President Ronald Reagan dubiously argued that homelessness was a lifestyle choice. By the mid-2000’s, though, the federal government was taking a more productive approach. George W. Bush’s administration pushed for a “housing first” model that prioritized getting people permanent shelter before helping them with drug addiction or mental illness. Barack Obama furthered the effort in his first term and, in 2010, vowed to end chronic and veteran homelessness in five years and child and family homelessness by 2020.

Rising housing costs are part of the reason some of those deadlines were missed. The Trump administration’s proposal to hike rents on people receiving federal housing vouchers, and require they work, would only make the goals more elusive. Demand for rental assistance has long outstripped supply, leading to years-long waits for people who want help. But even folks who are lucky enough to have vouchers are increasingly struggling to use them in hot housing markets. A survey by the Urban Institute this year found that more than three-quarters of L.A. landlords rejected tenants receiving rental assistance. […]

Then there’s the moral argument for action. “It’s outrageous to me that in a country with so much wealth—and certainly enough for everybody—that there are people who lack even the basics for survival,” says Maria Foscarinis, founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. […]

But efforts to build are often delayed or blocked by people who don’t want homeless or lower-income people nearby. A strong undercurrent of Nimbyism—motivated by fear of falling property values, ignorance, racism, or concern over crime—can get nasty. Opponents of proposed homeless shelters took to the streets to protest in Koreatown and spewed boos and catcalls at a town hall in the beach community of Venice. (emphasis mine)

The poignant article goes on to say that doing nothing isn’t doing nothing.” Doing nothing ends up costing everyone more money, more resources from law-enforcement, and drains an already strained, under-funded public mental-health and drug rehab system but continually feeds its (very profitable) prison system. Blaming those who are trying to get their feet back under themselves, back above water, is in fact the least productive way to solve the crisis. The fact that the U.S. is and has been the wealthiest, most capable nation on the planet to fix these 20, 50, or 100-year chronic socioeconomic problems is not just mind-boggling, but shamefully embarrassing.

Examining four indicators of U.S. income per capita, Kimberly Amadeo of TheBalance.com reports:

Fewer than 30 percent of American adults have more education than their parents. As a result, economic mobility has worsened.

According to Zillow.com’s home value/price index, as of May 14, 2019, the median home value/price was $226,700 for an average 2,687 sq ft home. This however, is not the listing price. And the majority of American home-building corporations, for some not-so-mysterious reasons, construct single family homes around 2,500 sq ft—it’s more safely profitable for them and their lending corporations. To determine what it is state-by-state go here.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest numbers for median income per capita can be found here, but nationally as of 2017 it is just below $32,000 per year for legal U.S. citizens. Most loan-financing/home mortgage lenders require that applicants for a 30-year house mortgage earn between $58,200 to $64,400 minimum gross household income annually. However, this amount and interest-rate (5%) reflect an applicant(s) near excellent credit score(s). A large percentage of lower middle-class and lower-class Americans that have been living paycheck to paycheck (approx. 70% – 79.3% of the population) do not have excellent or even above-average credit ratings for such decent mortgages. This leads us to renting costs in America.

According again to Zillow.com’s indices, the median list-price rent index as of March 2019 in the U.S. was $1,675 monthly, or for a 12-month lease $20,100 annually. But here’s the catch. Most all private-sector leasing-management corporations require the renter(s) to earn 2- or 3-times that rental amount in net wages. Therefore, $1,675 jumps to either $3,350 to $5,025 monthly, or $40,200 to $60,300 annually. If some renters are on the cusp of their leasing requirements, then housing managers demand a hefty upfront deposit which ends up disqualifying many/most applicants living paycheck to paycheck.

We are back to reality, our chronic homeless dilemma and crisis as the wealthiest nation in the world.

America’s Chronic Homeless Problem Provides More Exploitation

The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reports that between 2016 and 2018 that instead of the downward trend since 2012, homeless and unsheltered numbers rose across the nation by 10% (p. 13, Exhibit 1.1). They are expected to continue rising under current unchanged socioeconomic and political conditions. However, this can be slowed or stopped in two to four years if changes are made in those same influencing factors, reversed and returned to pre-2016 trends in six years with significant changes.

2018_12_20_Forbes_Homeless_People

My hometown of Dallas, TX is not listed in these 10 worst cities, however, as the state’s largest metroplex and one of the nation’s largest metropolises it has its serious homeless problems too. Our Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance reports to-date Dallas and Collin Counties (the latter is one of the wealthiest counties in Texas) have risen by 9% since 2016 with a 16% increase in Emergency-Sheltered homelessness. As mentioned at the end of Part III, I have three personal stories to share from homeless individuals within 1-mile of my home.

Homeless-faces

Faces of our homeless

Three Dallas Voices of Homelessness

One of my first impressions after briefly speaking with these homeless, sometimes just loitering before moving down the street, is that homelessness is not represented by one gender or one particular race. That’s one false notion those far removed from the struggle have of these unfortunate situations. The other impression I found which wasn’t much of a surprise to me were their backgrounds and stories.

The majority I spoke with came from situations of unstable families while children and/or teenagers. With one man I spoke with he had been abandoned by his biological dad and step-mother at the age of thirteen. For all the others I spoke with their backgrounds were all too familiar. Drug abuse and dealing, alcohol use and abuse, and often the two dysfunctions were accompanied by physical and sexual abuse/assaults.

Every single person I spoke to with drug, alcohol, and sexual/physical abuse histories had indeed been in rehab treatment programs, several times, but without the financial means to even complete a 30-day, much less 60-day program, facilities could not keep them more than 10-12 days. Some could only detox for three days and had to be discharged. And those facilities are the state- and federal-supported programs, not the highly expensive private clinics and hospitals with adequately staffed premier doctors, nurses, and counselors. Regarding those nice private hospitals, one homeless gentleman told me those are the places and beds for the best insurance policies or rich parent’s kids. I knew exactly what he meant. Mom and myself dealt with the same difficulties and oddities with my own sister the last 40-years. Still do. My sister has been homeless and living on the streets many times in her life.

Ricki
Originally from Ardmore, a small town in Oklahoma, Ricki was about 30-35 and when we talked on a partly cloudy, sunny day she had left a downtown shelter that had been overcrowded and her bed was infested with bed-bugs. She showed me her waist and stomach covered in bites and welts. I asked her how long she’s been homeless, since I was 19. Did you finish school, I asked. No, because my momma was alcoholic, unmarried and I got tired of the abusive men that came and went. Ricki had moved out as a teenager with no high school diploma to escape one or two domestic problems to take her chances on different bigger problems. Her older sister had done the same about three years earlier than she and not faring any better. Her sister has been in and out of homeless shelters and alcohol-drug rehab houses in Little Rock, AR.

Ricki was also manic depressive and recently diagnosed (inside a low-cost county hospital) with Type 1 diabetes. Most of the time she can’t afford both meds, sometimes neither of them. Her combination of emotional and medical problems—most likely other secondary psychological issues I’m assuming too—meant one med without the other kept her in constant volatility with one or the other for all these years. This was my guess anyway. The low-wage jobs I was able to find and keep for a month or two, she explained the supervisor didn’t have any patience with my mistakes and knew nothing about mental-illness. This was one primary cause for Ricki’s chronic homelessness for 11-12 years.

When I asked her if there was one wish she could have granted for the next 6-12 months, what would it be? She answered, If they would just give us some place to go where we wouldn’t get run off every other night, or after a week or two, that would work for me to get on my feet. She had a point. If you have to keep worrying about your next meal(s) and where you will sleep for the night or next week, it makes it much more difficult to be reliable for a boss at a low-paying job. I thought it pointless, probably an insult to ask if she had means of transportation to get to and from a job.

Adam or “Addie”
Addie is a 34-year old male originally from Georgia, but recently from Mississippi, which was what struck up our first conversation. A military brat/kid, he moved around many times; four times before he was age twelve. In Mississippi was where the U.S. Marine Corp. recruiter talked him into enlisting, told him he would see the world and become a new man. During boot camp in San Diego, CA, Adam was smoking weed with other recruits, but he was the one busted and made the example to his recruit-class.

He moved back in with his dad in Mississippi, but being former military himself his dad soon kicked him out. I tried for a couple of months living with an aunt in Ohio, he shared but she had too many strict rules. Many friends-with-couches later and only a diploma, Addie eventually ended up in DFW, sometimes in a shelter, other times on the streets.

Everything has a long line at shelters that often takes an hour or two to stand in, and sometimes you don’t get what you wait for. Beds are often infested because they’re not regularly sanitized. Roaches everywhere getting into your stuff. The staff-workers have their favorites and don’t treat everyone equally. And temporary affordable housing for us takes a long, long time to obtain. Why? It’s non-existent or too expensive in DFW. I want to work, hold down a job, but it all seems like a Catch-22.

Bouts of alcoholism have crept into Adam’s hard times. When I saw him last he was considering drifting up toward Kansas City for the summer (cooler temps) if he was put off again or kept on the housing waiting list at two shelters a fifth time.

Walter

Walt inside the library

Walter
Walt is a former truck-rig driver from Ft. Worth, TX. He is about 47 – 50 years old, I’m guessing, and due to his high blood pressure from being severely overweight—he says from always being on the road/highway living in his rear cab for 330-days out of the year—lost his CDL (commercial driver’s license) because of those medical problems. In our conversation Walt exhibited several signs of depressive disorders so I asked if he has ever been seen by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Yes. Once right after I got out of prison and then through my caseworker at the shelter. I asked him what they said. That I needed both counseling [psychotherapy] and regular anti-depressant meds for at least two years. Of course I asked how that was going. I can’t afford it after a week or two. Walter said it had been over a year since he has done any counseling or had meds. When I asked about family his entire affect changed. He started talking about his mother and father, in broken mumbled sentences, but then had to stop. He had no idea how they were or where they were—his mom disappeared when he was little. The last time Walt saw his dad was 1984 and of all places… Richardson, TX, just 10-minutes away.

I asked Walt that other than truck-driving, once he reacquired his CDL, has he been able to find work:

For the last two years I’ve been trying to get into a program for housing for the displaced. After you stand in line for your caseworker for hours, you are usually told it is pending or I’ve been told I don’t fit their requirements. At most shelters you must stand in line by 2:00pm to secure a bed. If you get to your caseworker by 4:30pm, you have much less time to walk everywhere seeking a low-wage job. But sometimes you have to choose between a bed for the night or a possible job you’ve already applied for months earlier. Because I don’t have semi-permanent housing I can’t clean-up and dress to look my best at any job interview. [he gave a half chuckle]

Though not all homeless cases are mental-illness related, America’s public mental-health, mental-illness infrastructure and operation is for the most part only one fragile cog in our nation’s dysfunctional three-cog public services. The second cog is our Homeless-to-Housing cog. It fluctuates greatly and is rarely the same from year-to-year or elections-to-elections. The third cog is thriving and over the last 2-3 decades has become profitably fatprisons.

US Social Services

Should you want to view the other 94 – 95 U.S. companies clearing profits from county and state corrections facility services, click here. The grossly disproportionate social needs wheel above begs the question, What is the real priority for American businesses and their government constituents? Then ask yourself why can’t housing projects, and state/county mental-health programs keep up with a noticeably smaller (yet fast growing) percentage of the population? Any bets whether you are back to the first question of priorities?

There is another alarming ripple-effect of the U.S. corporate grey market and black underworld/market destabilizing the nation’s struggling middle-class and sinking lower-class:  a falling life-expectancy. Neurosurgeon and Emmy-winning CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, hosted a special HBO documentary called One Nation Under Stress and examined the reasons for the historic decline in life-expectancy inside the world’s wealthiest country who ironically has spent the most on healthcare by any developed nation around the globe.

If you are unable to watch or stream the HBO documentary, here is a 25-min overview of Dr. Gupta’s findings. He reveals the multiple causes all pointing to one single epidemic:  the chronic, prolonged levels of abnormal stress. I highly recommend watching this documentary and sharing it with family and friends. If you don’t have anyone close suffering from long-term stress and its many side effects, then watch it as an introductory briefing so you might recognize the many symptoms and one day help a stranger or acquaintance.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

Now that this five part series is concluded and covered the entire historical spectrum from 1900 across the North, Central, South Americas and Caribbean, to recent and present-day criminal and corrupt back-office, domestic businesses, to the end product of an ill, decaying middle and lower socioeconomic class in the U.S., share your thoughts or questions below. I hope this series and the discussions will cause you to ask yourself, What more can I do? Then inspire to act.

———

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32 thoughts on “Black Underworld Inc. – Conclusion

  1. Pingback: Black Underworld Inc. – Part IV | The Professor's Convatorium

  2. Fewer than 30 percent of American adults have more education than their parents. As a result, economic mobility has worsened.

    That is an incredibly illuminating statistic.

    Homelessness in my community is ubiquitous especially among young people. They regularly stand near the parking lot exits of grocery stores (the few which will allow them) holding signs asking for donations or jobs. Just yesterday, I saw a young man dumpster diving for food in my apartment complex late at night. That can be dangerous because in addition to human criminals lurking around, the garbage bins attract wild animals such as raccoons and coyotes.
    America should be ashamed of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Robert, desperate times make the disadvantaged do desperate things, despite the high-risks. Dumpter-diving is only ONE reaction to severe desperation. Theft and/or burglary is another which is what Walter was imprisoned for in his late 20’s when he had no family to speak of or assist — the homeless man above I talked with in the public library. Several/Many homeless go into the public libraries until they close, for many reasons.

      When you speak with political Conservatives 1-on-1 Robert, most well-to-do Red-ticketers either forget or intentionally avoid one of the biggest problems for the nation’s decaying middle- and lower-class and homeless problems that follow: Housing Costs/Prices. How many construction and property management corporations/companies can you find in the U.S. who spend/invest just 1/3rd or 1/4th (1/5th?) of their capital into low-cost/low-wage housing projects? Is America overflowing, saturated with these type companies growing a wider consumer/renter base for themselves? In other words, long-term revenues for themselves? HAH!!! 😆🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, and John… that is often the case with MANY homeless, and it’s the earliest stages of emotional, mental, and behavioral dysfunctions that if not soon addressed in a plethora of restorative and supportive regimes… snowballs into a number of other problems, typically medical. And yet John, how long have we been the wealthiest, most developed nation in the world?

      All super excited, hyped-up, motivated immigrants that come here legally today, and have for the last 5-10 years, really REALLY need to understand that this vague “American Dream” they’ve heard about will not be achievable for their children and grandchildren with only a very crude, basic understanding (if you can call it that) via a 6-week or 10-week(?) class of our colonial history, the DoI and Constitution, a few bullet-points about slavery, then the Civil Rights movement, and yet no sophisticated modern lessons of municipal, county, state, and federal government operations! Just succeeding at a family-run restaurant, or dry-cleaner, or nail salon for one generation… will not cut it with the current political powers at be!!! Repubs or Dems, doesn’t matter!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes. A person and top 10% – 20% of a population who live 20-hours a day in virtual Utopian bliss and good luxury (compared to global averages) for 7-days a week, 350 – 360 days a year, wanting THAT sort of carefree life for 30, 50, 60 years of their lives… will completely lose touch with their best humanity. They might even become callous and spiteful to the real world if they lazily or arrogantly neglect that compassionate, humane virtue all of us have at birth and in youth. In some cases, it is permanently purged if surrounded by non-stop elitism and prejudice, or non-stop hate, vengeance, bitterness, and violence.

          After that de-evolution an arrogant American megalomaniac (wealthy business tycoon or politician) would rattle off moronic excuses/Tweets for he or she being superior and they inferior — and yes, treat human children and animals that way. :/

          Liked by 2 people

  3. A superb and sustaining series, Professor. American history classes excel in indoctrination, patriotic parroting, soundbite repetition, unquestioning students. Only one question raises concern: WillThisBeOnTheTest? Not surprisingly, it was based on a Prussian model. Doing nothing serves the interests of the few who control the everything — no matter how egregious the lie, no matter if you cast ballots for the Tweedledum or the Tweedledee Party.
    The prison system serves the propertied and the comfortable. Lady Justice retches dry-heaves..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, Bill! I am so pleased you commented here! 🤩 I was worrying I had lost you when you didn’t or were unable to comment in Part IV. Whew. 😬 So glad you’re back.

    Hahahaha! “WillThisBeOnTheTest?” Ugh, what a profound and accurate point you make. You know, I wonder if the lessons and curriculum were a matter of life or death — or the pre-stages to it? — would that help alleviate that oft Entitlement Attitude of students/adults that “I don’t need this in life or in my future career so why absorb, digest, and breakdown and reprocess if it’s knowledge I don’t need?” while seeking the streamlined Path of Least Resistance to success and happiness. Think so? 😉

    Your last two sentences reminded me of all the wars, battles, violence, revolutions, etc, et al, that when victory or defeat is reached by the fighting parties/nations, WHO was it that paid the most dearly or throughout all human history’s conflicts? Was it the nobility, aristocracy, Lords, Duchesses, Queens, or Kings and their monarchies? The top 1% – 10%?

    How much has changed today? 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • I extend thanks and humble gratitude for words that greet my return, kind Sir!

      “How much has changed today? 🤔”

      The most concise answer I’ve found so far was written by T.H. White in *The Book of Merlyn* — discovered posthumously among his papers bestowed to the University of Texas: Austin and published in 1977, the year I read it. I actually recall typing excerpts on a manual Underwood typewriter, saving it for the eventual commonplace book that now finds a home on my blog.
      The late 70s were pivotal years, were they not? The 1980s loomed. The long-disappeared typewritten paper has found its way into WikiQuotes, that is where.

      “Was it the nobility, aristocracy, Lords, Duchesses, Queens, or Kings and their monarchies? The top 1% – 10%?”

      The very place, indeed. Methinks that question finds context in the words of White:

      “We find that at present the human race is divided into one wise man, nine knaves, and ninety fools out of every hundred. That is, by an optimistic observer. The nine knaves assemble themselves under the banner of the most knavish among them, and become ‘politicians’; the wise man stands out, because he knows himself to be hopelessly outnumbered, and devotes himself to poetry, mathematics, or philosophy; while the ninety fools plod off under the banners of the nine villains, according to fancy, into the labyrinths of chicanery, malice and warfare. It is pleasant to have command, observes Sancho Panza, even over a flock of sheep, and that is why the politicians raise their banners. It is, moreover, the same thing for the sheep whatever the banner. If it is democracy, then the nine knaves will become members of parliament; if fascism, they will become party leaders; if communism, commissars. Nothing will be different, except the name. The fools will be still fools, the knaves still leaders, the results still exploitation. As for the wise man, his lot will be much the same under any ideology. Under democracy he will be encouraged to starve to death in a garret, under fascism he will be put in a concentration camp, under communism he will be liquidated.”
      https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/T._H._White
      In that same volume, Merlyn wants Arthur to learn something of totalitarian societies, so he turns his student into an ant. I rather like the welcoming sign at the colony door:

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Professor. Good read as far as information for folks. It said you live in Dallas … I also live in Dallas, and frequent all sides of Dallas, since I know folks in less fortunate areas/ parts of town too. You also have that same problem in Dallas though, as LA, as far as accepting those vouchers, many in Dallas that are halfway decent apartments don’t want them. I know of several places in various parts of the city to get cheaper rent and all bills paid, but the complexes are not very good or well kept/ maintained, and it may take a few months or more to get shit fixed. Another problem as far as drug rehabilitation or any kind of rehabilitation (I know personally quite a few that are ex- cons/ offenders), the amount you get here is slim to none. You get paroled from TDC too, since your poor to begin with, you’re right back in the old hood you came out of, see some buddies, have a drink one night, etc … you’re back on the shit, seen it too many times, and I used plenty myself. Anywayz, Thanx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mr. Pickering. Thank you for visiting and your comment. 🙂

      You are indeed correct about the voucher-system. The only vouchers that would work well here in Texas are the private school vouchers/choice, of which I am by no means a fan. Fortunately, our House of Reps in Austin have squelched that push by Conservatives… THIS go round. I’m sure they and other Progressives will have to keep fighting it in the future.

      Nonetheless, everything you described about homeless shelters and housing, especially affordable housing for low-wage earners, is correct and echoed by all the homeless persons I spoke with for this post. In fact, most all homeless I’ve ever spoken with while growing up here in Dallas and since moving back in 1997. There just isn’t near enough equitable opportunities for the disadvantaged to climb out of their birthed circumstances or get back out if they had fallen into it.

      If the U.S., and Texas for that matter too, were NOT one of the wealthiest nations in the world, then I might could wrap my head around this long-standing debacle. If we were say the Ivory Coast or Paraguay with very little capital/assets and poor economies like they presently have then it’s understandable. But the U.S. is not even CLOSE to those two impoverished nations. We’re not even close to say the UAE or Ireland and yet our income per capita average is grossly disproportionate to our national housing cost/price average. It’s amazing that America doesn’t have several million homeless persons/families! With 552,830 homeless in 2018 (graphic table in post) we’re getting much closer to 1-million. One can only assume the rising trend won’t change soon as the inequality factors continue to WIDEN since the end of WW2.

      Thanks again Mr. Pickering for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  6. I think this is a very multidimensional subject and you present it very well. That said, I do feel some of it comes off as very anti-American and anti-Western. Now, while I’m not the type to feel my country or culture is to be free of all valid criticism nor am I under the delusion it is perfect and the best ever,

    I think too many take for granted the merits of Western civilization overlooking the positives. It is not America’s fault nor the West’s for the current poverty of many corrupt 3rd world governments who steal from and exploit their own people or whose cultures don’t want Western industrialization. Yes, imperialist policies did harm in the past, but apparently, even after decades of independence, many of these former colonies are in even worse straights governed by their own people! Sounds harsh, but the West is not the sole cause of others’ misfortunes…

    Like

    • Nor can we ignore the impact of personal choices and mistakes on the misfortunes of fellow Americans. It’s a combination of “the system” AND personal choices intertwining to determine our luck. Not just one or the other. America is not perfect, but compared to other countries, our chances at social mobility and opportunity still outrank many and no place will ever be a Utopia. Smart choices counter many structural obstacles. Lest we forget many of our ancestors came with nothing to this country and built the lives we have now due to their resourcefulness and resilience in the face of their own poverty and prejudice against them.

      Like

      • …but compared to other countries, our chances at social mobility and opportunity still outrank many and no place will ever be a Utopia.

        I think that depends on one’s definition of the most fulfilling, happy, thriving life. I spent many intimate months living in Sierra Leone and Liberia, West Africa in the late 1980’s. Even though by Western standards those two nations were considered very impoverished, unstable politically, and 3rd-world as far as economic/consumer standards of material ownership… IMO their familial and social well-being was in some ways (maybe many more ways?) better than the West and U.S. or at least just as good within their culture. America is seeing an increase of its citizens going Tiny Nation and/or back into an old, simple frontier style life. Many things about the U.S. “standard of living” is NOT appealing to parts or much of the world… for good reason.

        It is also risky to assume OUR standard of living is the benchmark for the world. This can be demarcated by actually spending 3-24 months minimum living in that particular nation.

        Again, thanks LoR for your feedbacks! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • LoR,

      Thank you so much for hastily jumping here and sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate it. You’ve pleasantly surprised me. When it is all said and done with alternative or opposing viewpoints from people/bloggers, I much prefer their own proactive thoughts/POVs rather than those I might solicit or influence — I firmly believe in individual stories of wisdom that I may not be completely familiar, and their honest, heartfelt narrative.

      That said, this blog-series is absolutely multidimensional and must be given intense, thorough, microscopic attention. It cannot be fully understood in a matter of 10-20 mins.

      I do feel some of it comes off as very anti-American and anti-Western.

      Yeah, I sometimes get that reaction from American patriots/nationalists. It’s understandable given that they REALLY don’t yet know me well enough. To be fair, not everyone has the chance/providence/fate of becoming best of friends with proven, verified understanding of a best friend, spouse, or Soul Mate unless several factors and timing fall into place for something that special. So…

      Actually, I am and always will be a human being from planet Earth — a Homo sapien with all my family, extended blood-family, and back to 140,000 – 200,000(?) years of homo sapien cousins from east-central Africa. IOW, I am a human being first and foremost, not a Nationalist — though that label has its merits. Furthermore, I will criticize, scrutinize, or bemoan ANY nationalistic patriotism regardless of its fluid continental and regional origins. Therefore, this is why Part I is so important to set this context and why I included the original nine 16th – 19th century Imperialist nations BEFORE the United States. I am not anti-American, anti-Western. I am in fact pro-Humanity, pro-Homo sapien, first. 🙂

      It is not America’s fault nor the West’s for the current poverty of many corrupt 3rd world governments who steal from and exploit their own people or whose cultures don’t want Western industrialization.

      No, it isn’t solely, strictly the USA’s doing. I wasn’t inferring that. However, the USA — even to this very day — is still a contributing factor to Central American, Caribbean, and South American prosperity, or the stimulation of it and lack thereof since 1889. As the wealthiest nation on the planet, perhaps too the most decently educated nation, as an aggregate arguably, we should have done so much better for the Western Hemisphere the last 119 years. Elitism and exclusivity (discrimination?) has only shot ourselves in the foot too many times. 😉

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  7. “many of these former colonies are in even worse straights governed by their own people!” That is not hard to figure out. Firstly, they still have not been trained, mentored, or evenly supported in their transition to take the helm of a system they detest. This is a common cry of the people we “help”. They never become self-sufficient because of the cherished greed of the helpers. Uganda is a great example of that.

    Capitalism produces a lot of wealth. That is it’s m.o. it also is a stressful dog eat dog kill it be killed competition that is quite distasteful. That is why whenever someone gets enough, they get out and find a simple life. My neighbors in Panama literally don’t know how to keep up, keep up with the trash, nor do they want to. Btw, Panama is poor. But the people there are much happier than we, until they have to move into the city to keep up or die. Shameful. I think your view is too narrow. There are better ways to live. Many around the world despise the American economy. It just won’t fuckin quit. We’re way beyond gentle. Now trump and his idiocy has basically skyrocketed prices in my industry over tariffs. More money! More more more more! It’s a shitty lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …but compared to other countries, our chances at social mobility and opportunity still outrank many and no place will ever be a Utopia.

      That is exactly what I found too living for an invested amount of time on/in 4 of the 6 inhabitable continents of the world, Jim. Great comment, thank you Sir. 🙂

      Like

    • My point here is that there is far more to the lasting effects of colonialism than to presume – as is the current ideological narrative – it is a terrible legacy. In fact, colonialism has also been an engine for vast improvements in human welfare for vast numbers of people. The quality of the lasting effects I think have much more to do with instituting Enlightenment values, meaning these values are what are expressed by the local institutions rather than presuming – as is today’s preferred ideological narrative – that local culture and local practices and local values are, if not better than, then at least equal to these imported values. And this presumption is simply and clearly wrong.

      We can see the difference in legacy between British colonial rule and, say, Spanish/Portuguese. Both were colonial powers but the legacies are vastly different (and I would argue demonstrate the differences in instituted values). So to assume ‘colonialism’ itself is a root cause of later disorder and dysfunction is not true. That is an counter-Enlightenment ideological narrative.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tildeb,

        Even though we both might not identically see eye-to-eye on topics, events, etc, 100% of the time, if there is ONE positive you always bring to the discussion/debate it is detail and broader context! I am a HUGE FAN of that qualification, even when I am wrong or in this case here, falling short in MY conveyed scope of colonialism/imperialism here in comments. Personally and OFFline, off the internet, I am not so abbreviated with an important subject such as historical colonialism/imperialism. I loathe oversimplification for the sake of convenience, popularity ratings, or modern consumer attention spans!!!

        In fact, colonialism has also been an engine for vast improvements in human welfare for vast numbers of people. The quality of the lasting effects I think have much more to do with instituting Enlightenment values…

        You are absolutely correct there! The advances in medicine and science are undeniably life/human benefits due to the diverse sharing (trading?) of information, advanced mathematics, cultural experiences, newer discoveries, and solutions/cures! Those also came with devastating diseases on indigenous populations, e.g. smallpox.

        …local culture and local practices and local values are, if not better than, then at least equal to these imported values. And this presumption is simply and clearly wrong.

        True! What I try to point out (poorly?) about historical or modern colonialism/imperialism (in truncated form?) are the mentalities and/or actions of exploitation rather than exchange. For example, during my 5-month stay in Sierra Leone and Liberia, West Africa in 1988, I learned that on several levels both peoples there were NOT third-world deprived of a good standard of living as was often presented to me by Americans prior to immersing myself in their culture. I won’t go into extensive detail of my 5-mons there, but suffice to say that in one case I met a young adult boy/man with severe Elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis) which as you probably know can be prevented/minimized by population-based programs that properly and consistently administer treatment drugs to a large group of people/nation — the negative of 3rd-world versus the shared, exchanged knowledge of foreign 1st-world contact/relations.

        On the other hand, I discovered some lifetime memories and benefits from my exposure to those two cultures/nations! One MASSIVE lesson I brought home with me was the ancient W. African knowledge of abortifacients that (thru slave trade) came back to W. Africa from the West Indies AND to Europe as early as the 10th – 12th centuries!!! When I further researched this Peacock flower and the old traditional herbal tea Pride of Barbados, I was astounded as to why this helpful medical knowledge was not common knowledge in the Western hemisphere and Anglo-Europe! So there are almost always pros and cons to hindsight… depending on one’s subjective perspective, huh?

        So to assume ‘colonialism’ itself is a root cause of later disorder and dysfunction is not true. That is an counter-Enlightenment ideological narrative.

        Agreed. You just cover it all and convey it all much better, more concisely than I do Tildeb. 🙂

        Like

        • I know it seems like I’m beating a dead horse here when it comes to the West, but consider: in the 50’s over two thirds of people surveyed said they thought democracy was an essential feature and concern for the West, that this value was important enough to protect from political and legal erosion. So how shocking is it to find fewer than 1 in 3 Millennials today think democracy is a value worth protecting?

          There’s a joke about an old fish saying to a young fish, “How’s the water today?” And the young fish asks, “What water?”

          People today are so steeped in fundamental liberal democratic values that they do not recognize just how vital is their individual job as a citizen to support and defend them because they mistakenly presume they are no better and no worse than any other when in fact these values are the lifeblood, the water in which they swim, to be in such a privileged position to assume differently.

          This indifference (and even active subversion) to these fundamental liberal values when assaulted in both politics and law and subverted by rebranded Marxist toxic group-based ideology is the central threat to not just the social environment in which we live but to each and every fish in these waters.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Though I do notice and appreciate your cognizance for etiquette while we properly wrestle, question, dissect, and articulate significant factors (past and present) of humanity’s evolution and struggle with social, political, and diplomatic/foreign relations with each other as this planet becomes increasingly smaller due to technological advancements, I personally wouldn’t really consider this “beating a dead horse.” This is quite important, at least to you and I…on this small stage! 🙂

            …in the 50’s over two thirds of people surveyed said… [democracy] was important enough to protect from political and legal erosion. Fewer than 1 in 3 Millennials today think democracy is a value worth protecting?

            Goodness! That’s a profound mouth full. I wouldn’t argue against it having myself a general idea of our current state/public school systems — at least in the South and Conservative states — have (eroded, whittled down) over the last 2-3 decades a DEemphasis and reduced quality curriculum of History/Social Studies along with the Fine Arts. I’m almost certain this is a contributing factor born out in your “1 in 3 Millennials” stat. 😦

            [Citizens of democracy MUST] recognize just how vital is their individual job as a citizen to support and defend them…

            Absolutely! Hear hear Tildeb.

            I feel one of the ways I have contributed and still do as a citizen of democracy (with its imperfections) understanding MY critical responsibilities as such NOT just at the voting booths, but being peacefully wisely proactive in those civil duties IN PERSON and not just with my checkbook are methods of critical civil duties/responsibilities! My service years in Psych/A&D as well as primary/secondary General Ed and Special Ed on campuses was a significant part of my part, my responsibility to democracy! Sadly, I could not even convey and pass on that massive responsibility/duty to my own two children. 😢 That’s another tragic story on the family level, a vital cog in the social-communal wheel’s function of healthy democracy.

            Like

            • Okay, stick with me here because this all relates directly to your terrific series of posts and the role each of us plays.

              Democracy (demos, meaning people, and kratia, meaning rule) is populism (Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Chavez, etc.). What differentiates liberal democracy from populism has everything to do with the ‘liberal’ part of that definition and not the democracy part. Liberalism is about the individual as the foundation for legitimate governance, meaning the consent has to come from the majority of individuals because it is the individual who holds the supreme rights and respect in law. This respect for individuals in law defines what liberalism is, a value placed on each individual in law. This value is what is under sustained attack by identity politics, by moving individuals into groups, and then having laws and public policies put into place that relegate the individual to a subservient position. This is the heart and soul value that defines socialism, that rights and respect in law place the social above the individual. This is why domestic support for social democracy is the number one threat to liberal democracy and why today’s social justice movement is the antithesis of liberal secular Western values.

              So, when it comes to practices of abusing this supreme position for individuals in law and public policy, those who engage in the practice are undermining the fundamental domestic value each citizen must have to respect and support individual rights and freedoms. The solution to such widespread abuse in the name of economics is not to pass laws that protect groups but to enforce laws that uphold the value of each individual. Those who do not respect the fundamental and equal value for each individual but practice economic slavery in the name of profit are acting contrary to the fundamental value of their liberal democracy. We have very serious names in law for people who act this way, from sedition to treason. What we don’t have are courts and officers of it willing to uphold the law when it comes to this human economic black market and we have a growing acceptance that this is just the way it is. Well, it’s at the very least anti-American and people who engage in it are guilty of anti-American activities and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If federal civil rights can overcome regional discrimination, then federal law can overcome the hiring of illegal immigrants. The target is not the immigrants: the target has to be anyone who employs them illegally. Get all the business that relies on this human capital to advocate for increasing legal immigration, and we have a different situation altogether, one that upholds liberal values and enriches all of us by supporting this common value of individual autonomy and respect in law fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous liberal democracy.

              So when I encounter this rising tide of dissatisfaction and vilification of liberal democracies, I know that people are like that young fish and have literally no clue just how damaging their shortsighted and dangerous group-based ideology is to their fundamental equality rights and freedoms and autonomy in law. If I were religious, I might be tempted to forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. But I’m not, so I try to explain just how wrong they are not to balance the tremendous good that has been brought into being by the rise of liberal democracies with the stumbles, with the misguided abuses of power and privilege and peace that liberal democracies have built for their citizens. And I try to explain how casting votes for populist leaders OR casting votes for social democrats is exactly the same travesty, the same capitulation of protecting and defending the central value that defines a liberal democracy from all other – and lesser – forms of government.

              In addition, where are all the talking heads and academic mouthpieces who were strong Chavez supporters (standing up to Western Imperialism, yada, yada, yada) who did their domestic part to bring about turning Venezuela into a failed state… apparently for all the right socialist reasons? Why is no one holding people like Chomsky or Sanders to account for their obvious support for this socialist dream that does now, always has, and probably will continue to continue to produce inequality and loss of legal respect (as well as economic failures) for real people in real life? The media can’t wait to get these people’s opinions about just how awful the US and other liberal democracies are when some action is viewed a particular way, but like the day after Groundhog Day, disappear from public view and are not held to account when their support encounters reality and shown to be the same history of failure to produce what liberal democracies achieve. I just wish more citizens understood that this is the inevitable result of anti-liberal advocacy, policies and laws that create real victims in real life and solve nothing.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tildeb,

              I’m going to need some time to read, consider, reread, reconsider, digest, and consider more everything you’ve stated here. If you’ve never been told this, you PACK a LOT into your intelligent, well thought out, wonderfully challenging (from many angles) comments. They always deserve an equitable, sober evaluation before responding… at least for me they do. Hahaha 😉 So please bear with me while I do that.

              Meanwhile, I did want to mention that in general terms and in spirit you and I have lots of common ground with our world-views, with our sense of social/political duties, responsibilities, accountability, principles, and more importantly an acute sense of social philanthropy, yes? IOW, a sensible active conviction of healthy selflessness always near the center of our scrutiny and praise of humanity. If I’m incorrect in this assessment/perception, please feel free to correct me or refine it. 🙂

              Where we might sometimes/rarely differ/fluctuate is perhaps HOW we assess the successes or problems, and offer possible solutions to these events and human behavior from historical contexts as well as current contexts on micro and macro scales. I view this tandem valuable. I wanted to mention this.

              With that said, here is one byproduct, a microcosm of a bigger tripolarized paradigm of long-standing American capitalism, democratic duties (or the erosion of), and true or pure egalitarianism that I attempted to convey in the last 2-parts of this series:

              https://professortaboo.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/tx-wage-to-housing-cost-disparity.pdf

              Why has this happened not only in Texas, but several/many other states!? 😡 And of all places the wealthiest nation on the planet!???? How!? And why does it continue!? Those are somewhat rhetorical questions. 😉

              I KNOW we citizens of democracy with healthy senses/principles of community, philanthropy, and dignified collaboration in good times and bad… CAN fix, modify, and progress in increased equality, or more precisely TRUE Constitutional democracy!

              Alright, now I will carefully consider your excellent comment above and soon return with my official reply.

              Like

            • Just to be clear, we have institutions that operate according to socialist principles… with the caveat that all members are interchangeable. The military, for example, fire departments, judges, and so on. That’s why these folk wear a uniform. They are not acting as the individuals they are in law qua citizens but don the uniform and then represent the institution acting in this role. Their roles are clearly defined by having different rights and powers and responsibilities than they do as individuals. So it’s not my opinion that socialism is necessarily bad if I gave that impression in my previous comment; it’s that it’s bad when it replaces liberal democracy rather than function appropriately within it.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tildeb, as my/our time and attentions are sometimes constrained, rather than extending our discussion over several weeks or months, 😉 I will try to just bounce my interpretations of your written content off of you while infrequently throwing in my personal two-cents. Let’s see where that takes us. Would that be suitable? I hope so, but if not please feel free to let me know. 🙂

              You stated in your earlier reply/comment:

              This value is what is under sustained attack by identity politics, by moving individuals into groups, and then having laws and public policies put into place that relegate the individual to a subservient position. This is the heart and soul value that defines socialism, that rights and respect in law place the social above the individual.

              That’s a good breakdown and differentiation of liberal democracy versus populism. As I read your breakdown, a word that kept popping up in my mind was Nationalism. Or another definition of what pops in my head would be (overly?) hyped Patriotism (a symbol, a flag, a single person, etc) where composed rationalism is absent or in little supply, if that makes sense. Would you agree with this/my description of the differences?

              Moving on you state:

              So, when it comes to practices of abusing this supreme position for individuals in law and public policy, those who engage in the practice are undermining the fundamental domestic value each citizen must have to respect and support individual rights and freedoms. The solution to such widespread abuse in the name of economics is not to pass laws that protect groups but to enforce laws that uphold the value of each individual.

              I agree. This reminds me of something my father often stated when big news or events of criminal activity occurred and how those individual criminals were to be treated and disciplined/punished by law-enforcement and society under the current laws of the state. He would always preempt his stance with ‘The minute the law-breaker commits the crime (against the state), s/he must lose some appropriate significant degree of individual rights in order for our justice system to function properly while keeping peace and order for law-ABIDING citizens.‘ Why did he proclaim this 98% of the time? Because if the clear distinctions between law-breaker and law-abider become blurred, distorted, or thrown out of hierarchy, the judicial system begins to malfunction and/or weaken. But to clarify, he would further elaborate that those lines of distinction/definition between law-abider, indictment, and law-breaker must be as black-n-white as possible. Otherwise, certain law-abiders (populism?) can covertly ABUSE their power/position! Your thoughts?

              Of course when crimes are not of a capital nature, but civil (i.e. abusive in non-physical ways) the parameters bend and fluctuate more. A perfect example of these two distinctions blurred/distorted was O.J. Simpson’s criminal acquittal and civil conviction.

              The solution to such widespread abuse in the name of economics is not to pass laws that protect groups but to enforce laws that uphold the value of each individual. Those who do not respect the fundamental and equal value for each individual but practice economic slavery in the name of profit are acting contrary to the fundamental value of their liberal democracy.

              Could not agree more or said it as well. Bravo Tildeb! Personally, I have witnessed/perceived over the last 20-30 years in many aspects of social, occupational, judicial, and political arenas a noticeable decline in principles or Constitutional principles for the sake of “group” economics and/or ideologies. To be more succinct, for the sake of “party” or “class” economics. Essentially you state this here and then in the following paragraph:

              What we don’t have are courts and officers of it willing to uphold the law when it comes to this human economic black market and we have a growing acceptance that this is just the way it is. Well, it’s at the very least anti-American and people who engage in it are guilty of anti-American activities and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If federal civil rights can overcome regional discrimination, then federal law can overcome the hiring of illegal immigrants. The target is not the immigrants: the target has to be anyone who employs them illegally.

              Now I did find THIS part of your comment-reply intriguing and would like to hear/read further elaboration, as I am generally (not fanatically or even 85% imbued by) a distant enthusiast of an informing Noam Chomsky. It doesn’t mean for me that I follow and abide in every single syllable of his commentaries and view-points. I’d like to read your further thoughts on him. 🙂

              Alright, now I’ll need some time for your next portions of comments please. Thank you.

              Like

            • Populism is the mid state between liberal democracy and social democracy. It is the canary in the coal mine, the signal that liberal democracy is breaking down and the political emphasis switching from liberal values to social values, which is the breaking point of civil society away from the shared equality legal protections for the individual citizen to some other protection for group identities. It is the approach of mob rule, where democracy is used as the tool (that is to say, the legitimizing of mob rule – see gerrymandering) for attaining despotism… in the name of The People or The Nation… but always in the form of a savior figure. Sound familiar?

              I was impressed years ago by the Enlightenment clarity of Beccaria regarding crime and punishment and how it so seamlessly fit with my own version of child rearing. Perhaps a weird connection, I know, but that’s just the way my brain works: I recognized that the principle remains the same: to teach responsible and disciplined behaviour.

              I think all too often we expect the law to teach people how to behave well, how to be responsible citizens, how to act in accordance with civil rules. But it is not set up this way in practice. We pay lip service to restitution and reform but assume punishment produces these results. That’s why we continue to expect different results using the same tactic… one that puts 10% of Americans in prisons! Finding the cause to a problem and pro-acting to affect on this is entirely different in result than encountering a symptom and reacting punitively to affect on this. As a teacher and/or parent, you know perfectly well that punishing a child for a poor result does not improve the results; it yields a new host of problems dedicated to avoiding the punishment without improving whatever is being punished and often driving it underground! Again, going back to child-rearing, this difference becomes obvious… as it does medicine treating only symptoms but letting the cause continue to produce symptoms. Reacting to symptoms (like arresting illegal aliens, like hitting a child to teach them not to hit, like going to the chiropractor) will never, ever address the cause for root problem that produces unwanted symptoms. So the cause has to be addressed by the law and this means going after those who promote and protect this illegal practice. And when punishment is to be used, it needs to be immediate and severe and all encompassing… but with a way out.

              As an aside from your comment, when war is waged, the principle should be the same and we find great success historically. War becomes very productive when the losing side has all its institutions dismantled, its social norms destroyed, and its culture redefined with Enlightenment values. New institutions have to then be built and maintained by the victor until such a time that the conquered nation can take its rightful place as a responsible and disciplined adult at the table of nations. (This is why WWII is often considered the last ‘just’ war.) This is what should happen every time when the US goes to war and this known action should scare the living shit out of any country’s tin pot dictator and wannabe strongmen who think using the US and other western countries as ‘enemies of the people’ produces political gain and consolidation at home. No. War is very serious business and the risks of using it should be profound to any nation state that thinks liberal democracies are an easy target to use and abuse.

              Noam Chomsky had an important role to play in better understanding language development. But notice how this talking head has a hey day promoting the Left’s ‘progressive’ ideology and can be found espousing group identity politics and socialism everywhere all the time. He’s a go-to kind of mouthpiece. Very handy, especially vilifying all things Western. I can’t tell you how often people use videos of the man as if proving a point against reasonable counter arguments. But when he has some latest pet project blow up in face… like Cambodia under Pol Pot and most recently the socialist utopia of Venezuela… the man becomes like the ground hog who sees his shadow and disappears entirely from view, disappears entirely from accepting the necessary criticism for his positions and manages to suspend ever being held to account by the so-called ‘neutral’ mass media. I think the man’s ideology is poisonous to us all and should be exposed as such with real life evidence when his narrative encounters reality.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Was reading up some on Cesare Beccaria, did not know he was considered the father of modern criminal law and justice. Also says John Bessler, of Baltimore University’s School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center, believes “Beccaria’s works had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States.” That is interesting. as I’m curious if Thomas Jefferson or John Adams are of deeper particular recipients of his criminology than other Founding Fathers. 🤔 Hmmm.

              As I’m still drafting my next reply, my phone alarm/reminder tells me of a very critically important engagement I have this evening at 8:00pm CST that cannot be missed or rescheduled it is of such monumental importance to our nation — and to me!!!! Well, also the future of our younger generations!!! 😳 See below…

              Hence, it is my unfortunate confession that I must temporarily suspend my reading, digesting, considering, drafting, and replying with my comments until late, late tonight or tomorrow. I hope you can forgive me Tildeb. 😉

              USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! (begins chant/cheer…)
              “I…
              I believe…
              I believe that we will win!!! I believe that we will win!!!…”

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            • Tildeb,

              A quick heads up. I finally have some free-time over these next 2 ½ days/nights to give my undivided attention to your replies here. Many thanks for your patience. I’ll delete this message as I complete my replies to you. 🙂

              Like

  8. We must never confuse legal equality with individual equity. The job of a liberal democracy is to ensure every individual is legally equal under the law and their rights and freedoms equally protected. The really difficult task for public policy is to try to ensure equal opportunity rather than impose and then demand equal results, which is then ‘measured’ as if this determines egalitarianism.

    I happen to think that it is beholden to any modern liberal democracy to offer a basic social safety net for all that includes the basic needs of survival as well as path out to greater prosperity. The former has to include food, shelter, and health care. The later is training… usually through graduated schooling. Again, it’s the equal opportunity for all that is important for public policy and not a transfer of money taking from one group and giving it to another.

    This confusion between equality of rights and freedoms and equity of results is exercised all the time by those with a socialist ideological imperative to present statistical differences between created groups to imply group-based discrimination and group-based bias and group-based privilege as the cause for these statistical differences. Bernie Sanders is a master at doing exactly this. But it’s a logical fallacy because it presumes the conclusion. And we see this playing out all the time when it is used as a rationalization for some group-based action plan, causing real discrimination to those labeled as the victimizers and rationalized as preventing it for the victims… which is always the lower group in the artificially created hierarchy. For example, this is the rationalization used by Harvard to hold Asian students to a much higher academic standard to be considered ‘equal’ to lower academic standard Blacks for admission. It is racial discrimination in action rationalized to fight racial discrimination. And few people seem to grasp this is a problem that empowers racism in the name of reducing it because they confuse equity of results with equality of opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

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