America is the world's first poor rich country

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These things are hardly deregulated. How are they not expensive precisely because they are regulated in favor of large corporations? I can respect the fact that you don’t think certain things should be in the private sector. But to suggest that the structure that protects, say, drug companies, is anything resembling a free-market, I just don’t see how that argument holds.


America appears to be pioneering a new kind of poverty altogether. One for which we do not yet have a name.

“Precarity”. That’s the word he’s looking for. Hence the term “precariat.”

[I see he gets to this later in the article, although it isn’t a strictly neo-Marxist concept. None of his “three vital points” invalidates the usefulness and accuracy of the term, and if anything support its use.]

In Europe, Canada, and even Australia, society invests in all these things — and the costs of basic necessities societies don’t provide are regulated.

There’s regulation in the U.S., too. The difference is that a large portion of it is designed to serve the interests of large incumbent crony corporations rather than citizens and consumers.

So what happens when, in a decade or two, healthcare costs all of median income?

That’s happening now if someone in a household has a serious illness.

For someone so “woke” as the author of the article is, he still seems to be half asleep.


Regulatory capture is the negative values on the regulation scale, past deregulation.


The trouble is that I have a nagging suspicion that if the trade-offs needed for greater security of necessities were made clearly and honestly, the majority of Americans would clearly reject them. (i.e. I’m pretty certain that the majority of Americans at the 50th percentile median American income would reject having the disposable income of a 50th percentile Frenchman, even with the sane healthcare and education system.)

And if I am being honest, as a Canadian, I find myself reluctant to make the trade-offs (or more accurately, have my children live with the trade-offs) that seriously addressing these issues would require.

So, let’s fight for the a more secure future - but understand the enemy isn’t Sauron cackling in his tower while diving into a swimming pool of Looney’s (ouch!) - it’s the values of our neighbours that need to be slowly moved left-ward through conversation and interaction, one voter at a time.

[Aside: “Guillotine Watch” tag? Again? Is there anyone here who doesn’t figure that if there was any real justice in this world, we wouldn’t all be lined up right next in line? A little self-reflection, please.]


According to this article on Investopedia, all you need to be in the global 1% of income-earners is $ 33400 yearly income. (Granted, top 1% of wealth requires $720k, which is a lot more, but far from super-rich.)


Real justice? I don’t know anyone personally who has reduced the life expectancy of millions of people through deliberate, selfish acts. I doubt there are many here. People with that amount of power and influence likely don’t visit Boing Boing and deign to comment.


At this point it would be irresponsible NOT to note how the growing wealth disparity in the United States is creeping ever closer to the kinds of conditions that led to the French Revolution.


Watch out for the food shortage riots.


And, contrary to what he says, banks, companies and even governments do indeed have credit ratings.


Was it not the free market which allowed corporations to purchase favorable regulation in the first place?


Is the headline bothering anyone else?
Income inequality is nothing new the world over.
How does the US get to be the first chronologically.
I mean I hear they had a little trouble in France a while back.


Aside: “Guillotine Watch” tag? Again?

Just take it as it’s offered by Cory: the invocation of a cautionary trope rather than a desire to see it actually happen. He knows that violent revolutions usually end badly and that he’d be right there in the tumbrils with others here.


And in this age of social (and antisocial) media, probably on the tumblrs too. :wink:


How do you get economic rent without government protection? It there’s no power to prohibit entry or competition, how is there regulation to capture? If patents don’t protect drug companies, how does that happen privately. Before Disney captured copyright law to extend the rights to their films, how would they have done that in an open market?

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I’ll accept that (although Corey’s a writer - he knows how words will be interpreted) - but tags like that also help push us right into that most poisonous of tropes for the left - that we personally don’t have to change or sacrifice, we just topple the evil king, and everything is right with the world.

The “there are bad people who need to be punished” makes us ripe for exploitation - Trump and Chavez are examples of that. “We all need to sacrifice to make life easier for people even worse off than ourselves” is obviously much harder to sell, but way harder to corrupt. It also doesn’t require a revolution to actually start making things better.

And it’s odd - almost everyone I truly think of as a hero in terms of making sacrifices to help other human beings seems way less judgemental than me. I’m beginning to think that’s not a coincidence.


See my new app, tumbrl®. Only $5.00US (0.0006 BTC) to add or vote for any individual of your choice, or to check your own status.


Wait, that wasn’t just a thing in Southland Tales? Oh my god, where do I sign up?!

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Hahaha! Funny! Sloooooowly! Last time I checked, climate change isn’t happening slowly.

I genuinely have to wonder a bit why people are still so keen on having kids. The rest of this century is going to be completely fucked-up.

It seems exceptionally unlikely that we are going to avoid some worst-case scenario shit, really for all of the reasons you just pointed out. Nobody reeeaaaally wants to make changes in their currently-comfortable lives, not the sort that human civilization needs to do at this point.