Is civil war possible in America

Von Gruff

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October 13, 2019
Do We Owe the Kurds a War?
By Tom Trinko
At first glance, we should be protecting the Kurds from the Turks. But after fighting in the Middle East for decades, we need to do a deep dive before committing America to another war there.

We don't know what information Donald Trump based his decision on. If he had intel that Turkey was going in with or without our approval, then removing our troops would be the only way that Trump could ensure we didn't get into a war with Turkey. Once Turkey killed Americans, it would be hard to avoid a conflict, even if, after the conflict had started and Americans were dying, Americans changed their minds.

Even without that intel, the Turkish leader is a would-be dictator and strongman, hence any brinkmanship by Trump could result in a war. Dictators are much fonder of wars that unify their countries than are the leaders of truly democratic countries. The reality is that any pushback against the Turks could have a high probability of getting America into a major conflict with Turkey and possibly Russia.

Given that Turkey is close to Russia both geographically and politically, any U.S. attack on Turkey could end up driving Turkey out of NATO and into an alignment with Russia and Iran. That could lead to a war between the U.S. and Russia, which would be a very bad thing according to the people who ponder such things.

Not to mention that since Turkey is currently part of NATO, it's conceivable that Europe would side, at least diplomatically, with Turkey to avoid Turkey unleashing millions of refugees on Europe.

While the Kurds have been fighting the good fight, does anyone outside the Beltway think the American people would support hundreds if not thousands of Americans dying and spending trillions of dollars to protect the Kurds against the Turks?

If the American people don't think the Kurds are worth dying for, then a president who got us into a war to protect the Kurds would be going against America's interests. Iraq has shown us that a war that doesn't result in a stable peace, a war that we withdraw from prematurely, is worse than no war at all in most cases.

We know that the U.S. is sharing intel with the Kurds since we warned them of upcoming Turkish attacks. We could also be providing them with the weapons they need to fight off the Turks. Remember the Afghans managed to fight off the Soviet Union, which was much more powerful than Turkey is now, with just intelligence and weapons from the U.S.

Also, we should keep in mind that the Kurds aren't confined to the parts of Syria Turkey might be moving into. If the net result of Turkey's actions is that the Kurds are restricted to the territory they control in Iraq, that wouldn't be the end of the world.

If Bush's liberation of Iraq taught us anything it's that the people of the Middle East don't think the way we do. We thought we'd be treated as liberators when we overthrew Saddam, yet we ended up being hated by the very people we'd freed. The Kurds would be unlikely to be that ungrateful, but the simple reality is that even if we did fight Turkey and win with little in the way of casualties, the consequences could be long-term and severe.

While the neocons who are condemning Trump for this are consistent — they've been for fighting overseas for ages — most of the people who are criticizing Trump are simply attacking him because they attack anything he does.

The same leftists who are saying Trump is a monster for letting down the Kurds applauded Obama running away from Iraq even though it set the stage for the rise of ISIS. Similarly, when Obama overthrew the government of Libya and then left the country to descend into chaos and terrorism, the voices of the Left found no reason to critique him.

One doesn't have to be an isolationist to argue that America has no obligation to wage a war to defend the Kurds.

While it's true that the Kurds have done a great job fighting ISIS, which has helped America, they fought ISIS not out of charity, but for their own survival. We don't owe the Kurds anything, given that without U.S. support, the Kurds would still be fighting Saddam.

That doesn't mean it's wrong to fight a war for them against the Turks, but it certainly means we're not morally obligated to do so.

After all, the folks who are condemning Trump over this aren't calling for the U.S. to start a war against China in order to protect the people of Hong Kong or to liberate the million-plus people China has in concentration camps, many of whom are used for involuntary organ donations.

With China taking a more and more imperialistic role in the world backed by a rapidly growing military, can the U.S. afford to spend vast sums of money to protect the Kurds rather than to build up our military to deter Chinese imperialism?

While we all feel the desire to protect the Kurds from the Turks, the simple reality is that anything beyond supplying them with intelligence and the weapons they need to defend themselves is simply a bridge too far, given what the American people want.

Without knowing what tools Trump used to try to dissuade the Turks from attacking the Kurds, we can't know for sure if more could have been done without taking a serious risk that a war would occur, so it's impossible to say at this time if Trump could have done more.

But given the attitude of the American people about wars that don't directly protect them, it's hard to say Trump is being a bad president by not risking another endless war in the Middle East.
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/10/do_we_owe_the_kurds_a_war.html
 

Red Leg

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I don't even want to get into all of this here on this forum.

It is indeed extremely complicated and I have spent much of my professional life dealing with the Arab world. I am an Arab speaker (Defense Language and Foreign Service institutes) and a product of an Army sponsored Fellowship at the Walsh School (Contemporary Arab Studies) Georgetown University. I have been retired a while, so my Arabic is a bit rusty.

I do not pretend to have an answer for the issues plaguing the region, but I do have a little actual experience with them. I was among those who supported our intervention in Afghanistan (what choice did we have?), and could not fathom why we would invade Iraq, and if we were going to do it, why would do it with such inadequate forces. A discussion for another time, but much of that decision process had to do with the hubris of the two old men sitting in the Defense Department and the Old Executive Office building. Both of them, I would argue, paid far too much attention to Paul Wolfowitz and not nearly enough to Colin Powell. I would agree with Foxi that our treaty relationship with Turkey is indeed an ever more archaic legacy of the cold war. If we were going to use that relationship for anything, leveraging it to keep them out of Syria would have seemed most logical to me and apparently also to the President's own National Security Council.

For the moment, the Kurds have successfully created a semi-autonomous Kurdistan. In the long run, Iran, Turkey, Syria, not Iraq will not want to tolerate it, though its existence is likely actually in the interests of all four by "defueling" the whole independence movement. The Turks are taking advantage of sudden feckless American leadership to move into Northern Syria to extend military control into area where they can hamstring Kurdish military power among other objectives. That sort of power play supports both Iranian and Russian interests in the region. Could we have a brokered a long-term political settlement - I truly don't know, though we were pretty far along that path up until recently.

We and our allies are still, and will be for the foreseeable future, directly and indirectly dependent upon stable access to the Arab oil markets. That is not the position of a Neocon - it is the position of an economic realist. Neither ISIS, nor Russian, nor Iranian, nor Turkish regional aspirations are particularly conducive to such stability. And before someone waves the energy independence flag (a worthy aspiration), the president had to authorize release of our strategic oil reserves just a few weeks ago to maintain market stability. We are and will be decisively engaged in the Middle East for deep into the foreseeable future. Abandoning allies hasn't worked well for us. At the end of the Gulf War we encouraged the Shia in Iraq to rebel against Sadam Hussein. We then stood on our side of the ceasefire line and watch the remnants of the Republican Guard slaughter them. When we invaded twenty years later, they owed us a blood debt and were a major component behind much of the guerrilla war that plagued us for the next decade.

And none of this has anything to do with going to war to defend the Kurds. The Turks were never about to seriously threaten US casualties or use force in Syria (or potentially in Iraq) unless they sensed a green light through either a cooperative or inattentive US president. I still can't believe he actually said "they didn't help us at Normandy" to a group of educated people and that it was broadcast to a national audience.

I am going to bow out of this discussion. I'll simply leave it that the President, seemingly acting without any consultation with his own advisers who actually know something about the region, has decided to walk away from our most loyal ally during the Iraq insurgency and battle with ISIS. I believe that we eventually will pay a price because for it.
 
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Jfet

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History starts when you are born. Every event before you are born is ancient history. It is tempting to look at the events taking place today because that is our history and say it is as bad as it has ever been. This video may lead you to believe that the events of today are just normal for the U. S. Hang in there, good days will outnumber bad days. (y)(y)(y)

 

Red Leg

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The bitter conflict between John Adams’s Federalists and the Thomas Jefferson led Democratic Republicans is worth studying as well. The only time the country was more divided was shortly before Southern secession. The Federalist-Democrat struggle was truly a political conflict not characterized so much by regions (though important) as much as ideology. It is also hopeful to note that the great antagonists eventually reconciled, sharing a brilliant, often touching, correspondence Until they both died on July 4, 1826.
 

Mekaniks

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LivingTheDream

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Mekaniks

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See this is what scares me the most, more and more people believe shit like this. The best part is read the about the authors, Codepink loonies.
I forgot the :A Stirring: emoji:whistle:
 

sgt_zim

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Red Leg

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I saw this online today and thought it worth sharing on this thread....

https://mronline.org/2019/11/16/why...pyYVMN37sHmMm8imkjjMN4qVkwIeOzCpE3ll1AOCQCe8U
Spare me from these doctrinaire, intolerant socialist "do gooders" and their ilk. The reason the vast majority of Americans haven't joined ranks at the barricades with "resistance" movement is because those good people represent one of the last bastions of belief in individual responsibility and initiative left in the developed world. I don't want government to take better care of me, I don't want government to take away the wealth of others earned through their ability to sate my perceived needs. The best thing the government can do for me is get the out of the way.
 

IdaRam

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There are forces around the globe fostering and fueling the Progressive Movement in an effort to “Fundamentally Transform the United States of America”. Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before...

“In fact, the work of progressive activists in the U.S. is already upsetting the neoliberal status quo.“

“...the tinder for a revolutionary movement is everywhere. We just have to keep kicking up sparks until one catches fire.“


About Medea Benjamin :V Dope Slap:
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK for Peace, is the author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.

About Nicolas J. S. Davies :V Dope Slap:
Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher for CODEPINK, and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.



 

One Day...

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The social contract periodic elasticity rupture...

What is interesting to me is that the entire human experience illustrates one form or another of social contract: the surrender of a measure of personal freedom in order to gain the protection of the group. Whether that group was huddling in a cave in Lascaux 17,000 years ago, or at Walmart this afternoon is essentially irrelevant, the principle is still the same: obey the clan's rules (country's laws) in order to benefit from the clan's strength and protection (social net).

As illustrated by what happened to absolute monarchs, and in the modern world, dictators, whether from the right, the left, the laity, or the clergy, from the night of times, to 1700's Europe to today's (pick a place), this social contract has limited elasticity ... and it regularly ruptures every few centuries or so. In the long run, folks who receive the protection only consent to the constraints this protection requires, then imposes, as long as they believe that they benefit from it.

As benefits become less obvious, the clan's strong man, the King, the Great Liberator, the Party, the 1%, the Deep State, whatever we want to call it, finds it more difficult to retain control, through whatever mechanism the society uses, from brute force to democratic elections, weighted by ethno-culturo-mathematics (see previous post). This trend has historically only two possible outcomes: either the powers that be re-balance the costs/benefits of the social contract, or they loose control. Occasionally peacefully. Generally through force, whether bloody or not.

My concern for the new millennium Western World in general, and America in particular, is that we appear to be reaching once again the end of the elasticity that can exist between wealth concentration and distribution. Apparently a lot of people believe that they are asked to pay too much for what they get in return. Since America is still the richest nation in the world, this is less blatant on our shores, although it apparently seems blatant enough to the lower economic tiers. It begins to be more visible in old Europe where the middle class is on its way to be apparently all but wiped out. Societies that have ignored this tension in the past have not fared well, whether they involved a British King and his colony in 1765, French nobility and clergy in 1789, Russian aristocracy in 1917, Soviet power in 1989, etc.

Apparently Christian emphasis on individual choice and individual worthiness is a catalyst for these tensions. Confucianism that emphasizes the welfare of the whole, and Islamism that emphasizes fatalism, seem to act as mitigating factors for these tensions.

It is getting progressively obvious that our Western Christian society has accelerated at an exponential rate "concentration" over "distribution" over the last few centuries, then decades, and it would be naive or blind to expect that this can go on forever. I see Bernie Sanders' popularity with the younger generation (and the race to the left of the democratic candidates to court these delicious socialist feelings, however delusional) as a sure sign of this.

I do not know when, but it is coming, we, as a nation, shall either re-balance the social contract peacefully, or painfully, but re-balance we will...
 
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sgt_zim

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Apparently Christian emphasis on individual choice and individual worthiness is a catalyst for these tensions. Confucianism that emphasizes the welfare of the whole, and Islamism that emphasizes fatalism, seem to act as mitigating factors for these tensions.
Either we have the power to make our own decisions and live with the consequences (beneficial or not), or somebody else will wield that power and make those decisions for us. The latter is the condition of chattel slavery.

The power to choose is the basis of all consistent morality. If one doesn't have the power to choose, then one can make neither moral nor immoral decisions.

Everyone believes in the freedom to choose. The question is "who gets to choose?". Stalin and Hitler certainly believed in their own freedom to choose. For the rest of society, or at least certain portions of it, not so much.
 

One Day...

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I fully agree with the above sgt_zim, although one could probably slice hairs about "Everyone believes in the freedom to choose." This may not be as universal as we think, outside of what is defined at large as Christian culture. I suspect that Red Leg's Arab Studies may have touched on that. In any case, I do not think that this is what you implied, so we need not digress :)

As relates to this thread Is civil war possible in America, "Everyone believes in the freedom to choose" applies particularly well to the main point I was making: people choosing that the social contract, and particularly the balance between wealth concentration and distribution, continue to work for them; or choosing that it has become unbalanced and needs re-balancing. Luckily for us, the more basic tenet of the social contract, physical security, is generally not at play in America, although some would argue about access to health care in that regard.

I personally believe that "civil war" is extremely unlikely, I am tempted to write "unthinkable," in America currently because the overwhelming majority has way too much to loose and will not choose to risk it, but I speculate about some level of mild civil protest ("unrest" is likely too strong a word at this stage) and I suspect the emergence of different societal choices (the temptation of socialism being one, although few understand the death spiral that it represents; the temptation of exaggerated nationalism being another one) as a way (however misguided) to re-balance the social contract. A couple of (not so spontaneous) ignitions have sputtered and fizzled here or there in recent years. This is not accidental.

Although there are a lot of questionable interpretations (to say it mildly) in the article provided by Mekaniks, there are also some basic facts. For example: "Of the 39 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), only South Africa and Costa Rica exceed the U.S.’s 18 percent poverty rate. The United States is an anomaly: a very wealthy country suffering from exceptional poverty." The OECD may be using metrics that apply well, or not, to America, and their percentage may be exaggerated, but even the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 report indicates that 12.3% live in poverty based on standard poverty measures, and 13.9% according to supplemental poverty measures !?!?!?!

This is too much, and, more importantly for our way of life, this is not sustainable.

We, as the richest nation on earth can and must do better.

As people who believe generally in free market efficiency; economic freedom, opportunity and accountability; minimum intervention of government; etc. we should fix it ourselves (by sending to Congress and the White House people so minded) if only to avoid political frauds (I am referring here to both philosophies and personalities) taking advantage of it and relying on the mathematics of demography to steer our country, legally mind you, in destructive directions.

Off my soap box :)
 
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Rick Cox

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No political system is perpetually stable. Most successful societies seem to run on something like 400 year cycles before succumbing to a major restructuring. Sadly, those are usually characterized by violence. That said, I don't believe we are anywhere near that point yet. I think the twitterverse - indeed all social media (I realize I am including this site) - is largely a curse to public discourse. It magnifies small differences, and more importantly, minority political views, gain apparent traction when they are really the shouting of a marginalized fringe. All of us can cruise the various political and news sites, and generate all the anger and frustration we care to shoulder
No political system is perpetually stable. Most successful societies seem to run on something like 400 year cycles before succumbing to a major restructuring. Sadly, those are usually characterized by violence. That said, I don't believe we are anywhere near that point yet. I think the twitterverse - indeed all social media (I realize I am including this site) - is largely a curse to public discourse. It magnifies small differences, and more importantly, minority political views, gain apparent traction when they are really the shouting of a marginalized fringe. All of us can cruise the various political and news sites, and generate all the anger and frustration we care to shoulder and our blood pressure will stand. The particularly deranged tend to fill the comments sections of those sites (scroll through a Brietbart article comments section to realize all the nut jobs aren't on the left). However, the real world remains largely unchanged. A trip to the grocery store isn't much different than thirty years ago. Most of the people in the mall are a lot younger than they once were - I think that is because I am a lot older - but it is still just shopping. The power and sewage systems work, and life for the majority of our citizens is among the best on the planet. No one is really about to ban cattle or hamburgers anymore than New Orleans is about to order a mass evacuation due to imminent rising waters. Sure, it plays out on the fringes where things like trophy imports are banned or ivory is destroyed - but that is of zero interest to the vast majority of our citizens.

There may indeed be future restrictions on the second amendment. And before I am shouted down by the absolutists, I would simply point out they already exist. It is a function of majorities, local and national. It is perfectly possible we will see a ban of another class of firearms in our lifetime. I think those potential majorities are clearly gaining traction again.

I am concerned that our particular cultural ethos of individual self reliance is indeed vanishing. It is a function of the ever accelerating urbanization of the country. The research is pretty overwhelming that young urban people (who are not part of a gang sub-culture) seem far more concerned about safety than self-defense. A stable economic environment is more important than one characterized by opportunity. Those are indeed the sort of foundation blocks which give the pseudo socialists like OAC her traction. But these are evolutionary attributes of our society and culture, not revolutionary ones. Remember, the first economic awakening of most of these young people was the great recession and the effect on their parents. Not one of capitalism's better moments.

But just what are the goals of this civil war, and who will lead it? Sure you have a few thousand middle class young people dressing up in black and running around the streets in the ANTIFA "movement." But to me, It seems more like an extended spring break for vandals than a real threat to our democracy. And remember, it is the voters of say Seattle who are making the decisions of how those children are controlled. I suppose we could have a movement of angry old guys who want to throw away I- phones and restore corporal punishment to elementary schools, but the laws of cellular regeneration says that will be a shrinking base from which to draw foot soldiers. And they would be soldiers against whom - exactly? I mean seriously, who is going to fight whom to achieve what?

The US military leadership is proudly apolitical. They all have sworn an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies - foreign and domestic. They will do exactly what they are ordered to do by the constitutionally elected government of this nation - whichever party that represents. They are also cautioned by the uniform code of military justice not to obey an illegal order.

Donald Trump will either win the next election are he won't. The Republican party will either retain one or both houses or it won't. That will decide what will happen over the next few years with regard to a lot of the things many of us on this site hold dear. Lose, and we will see restrictions on our sport, on our vehicles, and in all likelihood the second amendment. That will happen because majorities of our fellow citizens think it is a good idea. These people disgust me as well. But rather than throwing away our cell phones and hiding our heads in the digital sand, I would suggest making sure your guy or gal wins. I assure you that is what the leadership of our opponents are focused upon.
and our blood pressure will stand. The particularly deranged tend to fill the comments sections of those sites (scroll through a Brietbart article comments section to realize all the nut jobs aren't on the left). However, the real world remains largely unchanged. A trip to the grocery store isn't much different than thirty years ago. Most of the people in the mall are a lot younger than they once were - I think that is because I am a lot older - but it is still just shopping. The power and sewage systems work, and life for the majority of our citizens is among the best on the planet. No one is really about to ban cattle or hamburgers anymore than New Orleans is about to order a mass evacuation due to imminent rising waters. Sure, it plays out on the fringes where things like trophy imports are banned or ivory is destroyed - but that is of zero interest to the vast majority of our citizens.

There may indeed be future restrictions on the second amendment. And before I am shouted down by the absolutists, I would simply point out they already exist. It is a function of majorities, local and national. It is perfectly possible we will see a ban of another class of firearms in our lifetime. I think those potential majorities are clearly gaining traction again.

I am concerned that our particular cultural ethos of individual self reliance is indeed vanishing. It is a function of the ever accelerating urbanization of the country. The research is pretty overwhelming that young urban people (who are not part of a gang sub-culture) seem far more concerned about safety than self-defense. A stable economic environment is more important than one characterized by opportunity. Those are indeed the sort of foundation blocks which give the pseudo socialists like OAC her traction. But these are evolutionary attributes of our society and culture, not revolutionary ones. Remember, the first economic awakening of most of these young people was the great recession and the effect on their parents. Not one of capitalism's better moments.

But just what are the goals of this civil war, and who will lead it? Sure you have a few thousand middle class young people dressing up in black and running around the streets in the ANTIFA "movement." But to me, It seems more like an extended spring break for vandals than a real threat to our democracy. And remember, it is the voters of say Seattle who are making the decisions of how those children are controlled. I suppose we could have a movement of angry old guys who want to throw away I- phones and restore corporal punishment to elementary schools, but the laws of cellular regeneration says that will be a shrinking base from which to draw foot soldiers. And they would be soldiers against whom - exactly? I mean seriously, who is going to fight whom to achieve what?

The US military leadership is proudly apolitical. They all have sworn an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies - foreign and domestic. They will do exactly what they are ordered to do by the constitutionally elected government of this nation - whichever party that represents. They are also cautioned by the uniform code of military justice not to obey an illegal order.

Donald Trump will either win the next election are he won't. The Republican party will either retain one or both houses or it won't. That will decide what will happen over the next few years with regard to a lot of the things many of us on this site hold dear. Lose, and we will see restrictions on our sport, on our vehicles, and in all likelihood the second amendment. That will happen because majorities of our fellow citizens think it is a good idea. These people disgust me as well. But rather than throwing away our cell phones and hiding our heads in the digital sand, I would suggest making sure your guy or gal wins. I assure you that is what the leadership of our opponents are focused upon.
Always enjoy your perspective @Red Leg .
 

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Of this % living in poverty how many have chosen to not get off their dead ass and change their environment?
I have no remorse for the portion of the poor that are waiting for that delicious teat of welfare to be passed their way.
I am 100% for helping people in need and contribute in several different ways each year, but I am not a proponent of people using generosity as their means to make it through life. Nor do I believe that anyone in the United States is a product of their environment, product of their decisions, absolutely! In the PC climate of today, one is instantly labeled as a racist bigot for not having a bleeding heart stance on the poor, underprivileged inner city kid that “has to” gang bang or steal to survive. These animals are taken into this poverty account, these people drug their lives, neighborhoods and cities into these cesspools now somehow it is our (tax paying, employed, non-criminal) civic duty to pull them out of it so they can use it to create the same environment we pulled them out of elsewhere. If the government wrote a 1 million dollar check to each person in that poverty group, I would be willing to bet that at the end of the year, the homes and vehicles that they purchased with the free money would be foreclosed on and there would not be one cent in an investment or savings account.
The American dream is not a fantasy, it is quite achievable through hard work and perseverance, but unfortunately there is not much desire to put out either. It is much easier to sit in your parents basement and bitch about how the world doesn’t serve your needs.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
 

wesheltonj

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. . . Nor do I believe that anyone in the United States is a product of their environment, product of their decisions, absolutely! . . .
I would disagree. I've read those that are from a lower ecomonic and social class are just worried about day to day decisions (ie where their next meal is coming from) and not anything long term planning because of their environment. And I would agree with that.

I would also suggest that the "racist" book The Bell Curve becomes truer every day.
 

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I see on the news that Bloomberg has formally entered the Presidential race. Given that by virtue of his campaign funding to Democrats across the country, he probably already owns enough of the party machinery/delegates to win the primaries. If he wins the election, and the Democrats win both houses, then kiss good by to your rights. Maybe then we'll get an answer to the original question "Is civil war possible in America".
 

One Day...

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In many, many cases, this is entirely true Bullthrower338, and I am firmly in the camp of "earning" rather than "giving."

Regrettably, every system will be abused. I feel no obligation toward the abusers. Truth be told, as a law abiding citizen and legal immigrant, I believe in very uncomfortable incarceration and expedited deportation.

But these are not the folks we are discussing here, although I do agree that they make a substantial portion of those poverty numbers. The people I am discussing are kids leaving universities with worthless degrees and $50,000 in life-long debt; senior citizens who led productive lives and who now greet us at Walmart in order to survive; laid off factory workers who lost everything when their job shipped out; good folks who were driven into bankruptcy by hospital bills; this entire generation that came back to live in their parents' basement because one cannot afford an apartment, a necessary car, food, clothing, etc. on $10/hour, etc. etc.

I wish I knew the numbers. As you say, I am sure there are millions of profiteers, but what concerns me is that there are also millions of hard working people for whom the American dream of the 1950's, 60's, 70's is simply out of reach. Those are the ones with whom I am concerned. I wish hard work and perseverance were all it took in 2020 America, but I am concerned that this is not the case anymore...

The challenge is that these realities are taken hostage by the rhetorics on both sides of the aisle. One side minimizes them and accelerates the unsustainable concentration of wealth. One side maximizes them and uses them to promise the unsustainable redistribution of wealth once in power through the mathematics of clientelism demography. Neither path ends well if history has anything to teach us...
 
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In many, many cases, this is entirely true Bullthrower338, and I am firmly in the camp of "earning" rather than "giving."

Regrettably, every system will be abused. I feel no obligation toward the abusers. Truth be told, as a law abiding citizen and legal immigrant, I believe in very uncomfortable incarceration and expedited deportation.

But these are not the folks we are discussing here, although I do agree that they make a substantial portion of those poverty numbers. The people I am discussing are kids leaving universities with worthless degrees and $50,000 in life-long debt; senior citizens who led productive lives and who now greet us at Walmart in order to survive; laid off factory workers who lost everything when their job shipped out; good folks who were driven into bankruptcy by hospital bills; this entire generation that came back to live in their parents' basement because one cannot afford an apartment, a necessary car, food, clothing, etc. on $10/hour, etc. etc.

I wish I knew the numbers. As you say, I am sure there are millions of profiteers, but what concerns me is that there are also millions of hard working people for whom the American dream is simply out of reach. Those are the ones with whom I am concerned. I wish hard work and perseverance were all it took, but I am concerned that this is not the case anymore...
I concur that hard luck is not something to look down on and these are the people whom deserve a helping hand. Where I am from in NW Montana is not a hotbed of high paying jobs. I could have very well stayed right where I was and done like a large portion of my peers and took one of those jobs that were available(they were there, sometimes you had to look a little harder but there was always a job). I made a choice to leave my comfort area and chase a paycheck. I was not born awesome at my profession, nor did Daddy own the company, I jumped Scaffold boards, ran a grinder and welded my way to where I am today in senior management. My ex-wife and I took a single restaurant and through hard work turned it into several exceptional and successful ventures (that she still enjoys).
I left Montana after returning from the Army(another way out of the status quo) with enough money for fuel, and a flea bag hotel room when I got to my new job. At that time it was a few hundred bucks. All I knew was I needed to impress my boss because there were people to replace me if I didn’t cut it.
Participation awards and blowing smoke up our kids ass about how exceptional and special they are doesn’t build character, it builds the kid that thinks he is going to get an art degree and instantly deserve the CEO position at ExxonMobile! The hard truth is the world is full of people that are not particularly exceptional at much. The ones that can accept the fact that they will probably never be the leader of a Fortune 500 company need not waste the 50k on a degree that will not generate enough income to pay the debt incurred. These people need to go into a trade. Society today looks down on this. I have one kid that works for me that came straight out of the barrio, he broke out of that life by making a choice and being persistent showing up in work cloths and a lunchbox asking to be put to work repeatedly. I finally got tired of telling him no every day and put him to work as labor. He makes over 100k per year now as a welder, drives a new pickup. So yeah, you can bring yourself out of your hole, most won’t because they are not forced to.
 
 

 

 

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