What's the evidence for the mega-rich NOT controlling the government?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by JuniorSonGoku, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. S-dot

    S-dot Brown Belt

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    They are more politically and socially active and put money into issues. Anyone can make a difference politically if they a) have a valid issue to address and b)are willing to put in the work to make their voice heard.

    The less resources you have(generally money and people) the harder it is, but it’s doable and we have plenty examples of large and small scale political changes because of non-elites, whether it’s one relentless individual or a grassroots organization.
     
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  2. sub_thug

    sub_thug Red Belt

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    Do companies manipulate people in certain ways? Absolutely. The tobacco companies did it for years by funding studies that said smoking was safe. Companies add sugar to products to make them more addictive. Emotionally manipulative advertising is a very real thing. I think governments manipulate people all the time, particularly via political parties. I think if you are a conservative and think that the Republicans are actually going to change Roe v Wade, you're being played. I think if you are a liberal and think that the Democrats are going to somehow magically fix racism, you're being played as well. I just know that in matters where many actors have a voice, such as areas of international relations, clandestine actors are inherently limited in what they can accomplish. Their hidden nature, the source of their strength, is also their biggest weakness because they can't publicly do or address certain elements.
     
  3. Not A Theist

    Not A Theist Yellow Belt

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    That's a slippery slope because it amounts to refining the art of selectively giving people what they want. The reasoning behind this would have us saying that "We don't willingly give our money over to the ice cream man because they have figured out that if they go out on a hot day, and that music starts playing, we'll rush out to buy their product."

    That cel phone you own? You didn't willingly submit to buying it because they marked it to you. Your favourite movie? You were coerced to like it, you rube - etc etc. When we start saying "Well, yes I chose to do this, but only because the evil corporation spent money researching my interests and refined the art of giving me what I wanted - it's really just coercion, and my will is no longer free when I do anything from buy a phone to order on Amazon." There's a reason I called it a "muddy issue" because, at the point where you start to describe people willingly using services/buying things/pushing certain agendas tied to a corporate interest as being coerced and not acting freely, you open a huge can of worms for determining free activity, and the world is suddenly full of mindless automatons.

    I agree there is a semantic case here, but that only girds over a much deeper philosophical issue that has deep consequences on our notion of freedom, and the end result of your line of reasoning may be that we are, fundamentally, unfree in most of our supposedly free choices. As soon as you commit to the line you're pursuing, nitpickers can come out and show a world of all but limitless coercion robbing you of your freedom even as you make choices that you think are what you want.
     
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  4. ultramanhyata

    ultramanhyata Gold Belt

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    These are the questions that arise as a result of actually taking the proverbial "red pill". Welcome to the Woke Nation.
     
  5. ultramanhyata

    ultramanhyata Gold Belt

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    I can tell you on my mother's grave that I have never once aspired to be "American rich" beyond the age of, roughly, 14.
     
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  6. JonesBones

    JonesBones Gold Belt

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    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress


    lol. that is me. I plan on moving on up though. money is power. I first thought knowledge was power, which it is. But came to the undeniable conclusion that money is the ultimate power. In a very roundabout way.

    I don't work for money. Money works for me. Gnome sayin?

    Doctors and lawyers were slaves in Roman. Maybe high end slaves, but still slaves nonetheless.
     
  7. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Gold Belt

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    Yeh this, no one group or persons has that much control. This is reality, not Science Fiction. But they can exert an extremely disproportionate amount of influence. But that comes with being rich. However that is still bad enough for anyone who isnt rich.
     
  8. HockeyBjj

    HockeyBjj Putting on the foil

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    If the rich were truly in control of the government they’d be getting tax cuts for themselves and epa regulations slashed so they could make more money without red tape in the way

    Oh wait....
     
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  9. Madmick

    Madmick The Real Hexakaideca Cherokee Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    That especially makes sense.
     
  10. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Any reason?
     
  11. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Nor have I but I, in general, most Americans use the acquisition of wealth as their metric for communal success.
     
  12. sub_thug

    sub_thug Red Belt

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    Why do you think that?
     
  13. ultramanhyata

    ultramanhyata Gold Belt

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    Ultraman Hayata's got you. You're welcome.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. OeuvrePressure

    OeuvrePressure Titanium Belt

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    There may be what can subjectively called evidence, but nothing proves a negative.
     
  15. ultramanhyata

    ultramanhyata Gold Belt

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    There is an insane story and video making the rounds right now that features some dude-bro jogger in Oakland tearing up and dragging away some homeless guy's possessions and encampment. It completely illustrates your point.

    It is virtually impossible for me to imagine some (I assume) relatively well off guy, with time to run recreationally through the park, becoming so obsessed with his anger towards, literally, the most powerless members of society, that he would eventually erupt and act out in such a manner.

    (Guy actually returned to the scene of the "crime" and ended up assaulting some innocent non-homeless Oakland resident who was very non-confrontationally asking him questions in an attempt to understand his motives. Homeless hating dude-bro got arrested. lol)
     
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  16. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    It's natural. If we're doing the same thing and I have more visual benefits from it, I must be better at it than you. And thus, I am better than you.

    It probably made more sense in long gone eras where hunting, fishing, farming etc. were the norm and we were individually responsible for more of our standard of living.

    But in the modern, interconnected world, the reality is that we're rarely doing the same thing, the benefits for doing something well are not always immediately visible and not always even well compensated (by contrast - a good hunter brings home food, a bad one doesn't, there isn't a lot of gray area there when measured over time but a good janitor and a good stock broker - well it's a lot harder to cross compare those 2).

    And there are so many other benefits to accrue that are not visual.
     
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  17. Quequeg

    Quequeg Purple Belt

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    None, thank the conservative supreme court for Citizens United(legalized bribery)
     
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  18. Quequeg

    Quequeg Purple Belt

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    Let me guess, you have a pet unicorn?
     
  19. sub_thug

    sub_thug Red Belt

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    Your original statement was that "most Americans use the acquisition of wealth as their metric for communal success." I understand the argument you're making about this view on evolutionary psychology not really applying in the modern world. I'm just not sure that it's answering the question either.

    Your statement seems to be something along the lines of "Americans are motivated by money as a means of defining success." Would you agree?

    If so, I might argue that point. Our society definitely rewards and admires wealth, but it also admires all sorts of other things as well. The best example is celebrity. We devote attention to people who are famous for all sorts of reasons, regardless of how much wealth they have attained. Similarly, we judge athletes by talent, championships, and personalities, not the size of their contracts. We celebrate many politicians who vie for power over material wealth (honestly, these folks scare me significantly more than those who vie for wealth). I'm just not sure that success in America is viewed in such a reductionist way.
     
  20. nixkid

    nixkid Black Belt

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    So taking the current corrupt administration aside...

    Where does the money go? It doesn't go into politicians' pockets. Its goes into either campaign funds (which have individual contributor limits) or super PACs. The vast majority is in super pacs. What are the super pacs spending money on? Mostly campaign ads trying to get people to vote a certain way. If the pac is tied to a candidate and not just an issue then it'll also spend money on opposition research so that you won't vote for the other guy and policy development so that you'll want to vote for their guy. Basically, they spend money trying to convince YOU to vote how they want you to vote. That means that power ultimately lies in the hands of the voters.

    On the big issues, I think that money goes to the politicians that already supports what the donors want. Take the NRA. They are going to be donating to Republicans mostly because Republicans are mostly against gun control. And Republicans aren't against gun control because the NRA gives them money. Republicans are against gun control because their constituents are. There may be some issues that a politician may bend on to get money..something that the public might be indifferent about (i.e. the politician's position on the matter will not likely affect his ability to be elected) but you're not going to see a California senator flip flop on gun control because the NRA cut a big check.
     

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