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US Government is an Oligarchy

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    Dutch Wrote: Please ask Schmidt what an banana republic is; he worked in one!!!

    A banana republic is when a country is predominately dependent on the exportation of a single (or very few) product(s) or resource(s) that a private corporation then exploits. The term was coined by William Sydney Porter to lament the way the United Fruit Company had a stranglehold on small Central-American countries and how they exploited those nations workforce's.

    Based off that definition, I'd hardly call the United States a banana republic.

    Dutch Wrote: Just an question; why are you defending everything here? While the whole world is laughing at us;

    I'm the first one that will say our country has a plethora of issues we have to deal with. Where you lose me is when you make it seem like America is the only country that has a plethora of issues we have to deal with.

    I've never defended "everything here" and am quite critical of many of the things my government has done in my name. I was against the Iraq War before it was cool to be against the Iraq War. I was for gay marriage before it was cool to be for gay marriage. And I was raging against the prison-industrial complex before it was cool to rage against the prison-industrial complex.

    I also love my country and see the good our citizens can do. I see my fellow citizens marching in the streets to protest this President and I see my fellow citizens standing up against hate and bigotry wherever they see it. I also see my fellow citizens volunteering at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, Boy's and Girl's Clubs, and teaching immigrant children how to speak English.

    We're all just one of over 300 million people just trying to get by in this world and it offends me when you belittle people who don't think exactly like you, or who happen to vote for someone you don't like, or have the audacity to worship a higher power. And I'm an atheist who doesn't believe in a higher power!

    That's my point, Dutch. This country is not a monolith and not everyone who lives here is a narcissist who thinks their shit doesn't stink. Not every person who votes for someone you don't like is a terrible person who wants to tear down our country. And not every person who believes in a higher power is a stupid idiot who should be publicly shamed.

    I encourage you to learn how to respect people who don't agree with everything you think.

    Dutch Wrote: I read most of the European news papers which indeed think this country is an other Rome.

    Empires rise and empires fall. If America is in its waning days as the worlds only empire then so be it, but I'd caution you to be careful what you wish for. The period between an empires demise and rise of a new one has always been filled with unthinkable bloodshed. And that was before the nuclear age where nine nations possess 16,300 weapons that can wipe out all of humanity in an instant.

    Dutch Wrote: Are you that indoctrinated?

    The real question should be why are you so indoctrinated against the country that welcomed you with open arms and provided a great life for you and your family?

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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: The U.S. Is Number One -- But in What?

    The country is tops when it comes to violence and weapons exports but ranks low in healthcare and education.

    I was more so talking about us being a melting pot that welcomes in individuals and families from throughout the world. Or how entrepreneurs in this country invented the very things that allow you to criticize this country on any given day. Or how, no matter our current trials and tribulations, we are still the number one! country that people from nearly every nation in this world want to live in.

    We have our problems, but what country of over 300 million people doesn't? One thing that drives me nuts when certain people compare us to Europe is that Europe is a damn continent; not a country. It is a continent filled with prosperous and poor countries, but it is still a damn continent and each country is able to chart their own path.

    It's different here because we are a country (not a continent!) of well over 300 million people who have different philosophies, beliefs, and goals.

    Do you understand how it might be a wee bit more difficult to govern a country of over 300 million people than it is to govern a country of 3 million people and why learning to compromise with those you disagree with might be a better path than just telling everyone else that you know what is best for them?

    I won't compromise when it comes to civil rights, but I will compromise when it comes to tax policy. I won't compromise when it comes to keeping Church and State separate, but I still respect those who believe in a higher power.

    The list goes on and on, but this whole "my way or the highway" bullshit has to stop.

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    jaredsxtn, You said you will compromise on tax policy. What would be a compromise you would make. What would you be willing to give up or change regarding tax policy? Do you think Obama's Social Security concession was a compromise or attack on civil rights?
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: jaredsxtn, You said you will compromise on tax policy. What would be a compromise you would make. What would you be willing to give up or change regarding tax policy?

    There are all sorts of compromises that could be made on tax policy.

    I'm someone who is happy to pay more taxes, but I also want that money to be spent wisely.

    Here's a possible compromise I would be able to stomach - raising the maximum taxable income for Social Security from $127,200 to $5,000,000 and then lowering the federal income tax rate for higher earners. The trust fund would get a massive inflow of cash it desperately needs to continue delivering monthly checks to the 76 million baby boomers and the wealthy wouldn't see a massive increase in their overall tax rate.

    That's called a compromise. A compromise is when both sides get some of what they want and some of what they don't want.

    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Do you think Obama's Social Security concession was a compromise or attack on civil rights?

    Ummm, no. A chained consumer price index is not an attack on civil rights. Or did I miss the freedom rides protesting the chained CPI proposal? Seriously man...get a grip.

    Regardless, President Obama removed the proposal from his 2014 budget proposal and it never became law under his watch.

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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    The U.S. Is Number One -- But in What?

    The country is tops when it comes to violence and weapons exports but ranks low in healthcare and education.

    Plus most people incarcerated.
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:
    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    The U.S. Is Number One -- But in What?

    The country is tops when it comes to violence and weapons exports but ranks low in healthcare and education.

    Plus most people incarcerated.
    Yes Chet, Jared lives in "la la land" and has his head in an huge sand hill in Oregon, far from reality. He works "in" healthcare" so he is "covered", but never studied the world around him. He's close to Canada so he can check if they have healthcare there what works. But of course he will never admit ours is of the stone age.
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    No need to make it personal just because I don't agree with everything you say.

    Oh - and I used to work in healthcare...over ten years ago. Then I worked as a social worker, college admissions counselor, and eventually as a website administrator.

    I actually put my money where my mouth is and interact with people who don't think exactly like me both by the friends I keep and by volunteering many hours for various not for profits in Oregon.

    You don't know me outside of the confines of this website.

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    Jared, don't worry you will learn over time; when I was your age I was running all over the world and had to learn how not to get into trouble. The areas you work in is very limited in expanding your knowledge. Go work in the Congo or Sudan then you will learn things about this world. Oregon is something different, no hunger there. Anyway try to see the world as it is ,not from the "US island" view. The "normal" here is not the "normal" of the world. Look at healthcare etc.; here it is an total joke. Ever seen another country who invades all over the place and has been at war since WWII and thinks they are number one? Yes number one in "corruption and "greed" because of our capitalistic system. Guess what, how did Trump end up as President? Because of our great "laws"? No Jared all of this is an self inflicted wound, which we do over and over again forever, until we finally learn from our mistakes in may be 2100.

    My advise is to look at the US from the outside not from the inside as you do; then you get the real picture of this country.

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    You don't need to talk to me like I'm a two year old learning how to not shit in my pants, Dutch.

    There is no amount of travel I can do to various parts of the world that will prove my understanding of international politics and how the United States hasn't always made the world a better place with its policies.

    There is no amount of "my wife's entire family (other than her mother, who emigrated here in the late 70's) live in Ireland and we often visit them while also making pit stops to other countries along the way" that I can say to prove to you that I am not stuck in some Pacific Northwest bubble. (Side note - the Irish have been through absolute hell throughout the years, so it's not like they are some happy go lucky country who never had any strife.)

    And there are no amount of facts I can disperse that will convince you I'm not some naive flag waiving juvenile who is too young or too indoctrinated to participate in a discussion about whether my own government is controlled by an oligarchy or not.


    I really don't appreciate being talked down to simply because I am younger than you. I respect my elders, but I feel that I deserve respect in return. I encourage you to learn to disagree with people respectfully and not resort to trashing anyone who has the audacity to have a different point of view than you as a go-to response. Maybe you'll find out that not everyone who disagrees with you is a flag waiving idiot who is so stupid that they don't know how to wipe their own ass.

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    Dutch Wrote: Oregon is something different, no hunger there.

    Well, you've obviously never been to Oregon.

    The Pacific Northwest has one of the worst homeless crises in the country. We have a lot of laws that are meant to help the destitute and downtrodden, which I fully support, but other states take advantage of those laws and load their homeless onto Greyhound buses with a one way ticket to Portland or Seattle. Those people, who are here out of no fault of their own, then overwhelm our system and fill our streets with more and more homeless people, many of whom have severe mental health issues. That puts a massive strain on our mental health services, drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and police.

    So you may think the PNW is some bubble filled with a bunch of willfully ignorant flag waiving "muricans", but what we really are is a collective of states that has to cope with the decisions of assholes in other states who take advantage of our laws protecting the downtrodden and dump more and more of them onto us because they are too cruel to take care of their own people.

    This is what I'm trying to get across, Dutch. Life isn't black and white. There's no "I'm right and you're wrong" when it comes to stubbornly complex issues. But when it comes to your claim that there is no hunger in Oregon then I feel the need to point out that I'm right and you're wrong.

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    You gave a rathet glowing observation about your state awhile back. I complimented it and commented I had never seen such positive policies. It is obvious that the goodwill and generosity have been taken advantage of. That is why I believe all laws should be the same in all the states instead of acting like adjacent independent countries "United We Stand" is a good winning concept for a country.
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: You gave a rathet glowing observation about your state awhile back. I complimented it and commented I had never seen such positive policies. It is obvious that the goodwill and generosity have been taken advantage of.

    I love my new home city of Portland and there is nowhere in this country that I would rather be. That doesn't mean we are without our issues.

    Chet Ruminski Wrote: That is why I believe all laws should be the same in all the states instead of acting like adjacent independent countries "United We Stand" is a good winning concept for a country.

    You lose me here though. I'm all for certain laws being universal, but all laws is a bit of stretch.

    Example: I'm all for a universal healthcare system run by the Federal government and a strong Social Security program to ensure elderly people have income coming in each month, but I'm also all for states and localities being able chart their own path when it comes to the vast majority of issues concerning that specific state and locality. Civil rights = Federal government; Speed limits = state governments.

    If "all laws [were] the same in all the states" then those states wouldn't be able to make any decisions on their own. I want a strong central government, but not one that strong.

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    Off topic I know but I have never heard of the concept of sending homeless somewhere else. Perhaps a worthy new topic. There certainly aren't too many new threads. Back to the Oligarchy.
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Oregon is something different, no hunger there.

    Well, you've obviously never been to Oregon.

    The Pacific Northwest has one of the worst homeless crises in the country. We have a lot of laws that are meant to help the destitute and downtrodden, which I fully support, but other states take advantage of those laws and load their homeless onto Greyhound buses with a one way ticket to Portland or Seattle. Those people, who are here out of no fault of their own, then overwhelm our system and fill our streets with more and more homeless people, many of whom have severe mental health issues. That puts a massive strain on our mental health services, drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and police.

    So you may think the PNW is some bubble filled with a bunch of willfully ignorant flag waiving "muricans", but what we really are is a collective of states that has to cope with the decisions of assholes in other states who take advantage of our laws protecting the downtrodden and dump more and more of them onto us because they are too cruel to take care of their own people.

    This is what I'm trying to get across, Dutch. Life isn't black and white. There's no "I'm right and you're wrong" when it comes to stubbornly complex issues. But when it comes to your claim that there is no hunger in Oregon then I feel the need to point out that I'm right and you're wrong.

    Thanks Jared, but you don't get the picture; read my thread again and let it sink in. Indeed you are unable to see the "big" picture; that is your problem. The "big" picture is an bit larger than Oregon , Ireland, or the US. Try to picture the US from the "outside" and not from the "inside" as details only as I said many times. Don't just lift out one thing, but observe how the "world" looks at the US and its behavior. By the way I mentioned the Congo or Sudan; I guess you don't know or don't want to know; Oregon is paradise compared to there. Get the picture!! Sorry Jared you've got a lot to learn. Lifting pieces of an thread out of context are Trump tricks, not suited for an Democrat out of Oregon.. ( I said: "go work in the Congo or Sudan........, Oregon is something different............)
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    I like to add the following; your remark about the "homeless" yes there are plenty of them here. Guess what, looking at the whole picture of the US; then I hope you realize you live in an capitalistic country with capitalistic norms; the rich count, not the homeless. In the Netherlands there are barely any homeless people, even the refugee's get homes or apartments On top of it EU 2600.- when they arrive. Lets be honest, the US wants to dictate the world on how to live and promotes that by selling weapons and stationing military all over the globe. My answer is start fixing things in this country first, before telling others what to do. If you add up all the ridiculous things in this country (a list a mile long) may be then you understand where I'm coming from. The latest: Trump now accuses Obama of "obstruction" and "collusion" with the Russians in his latest tweet.

    But yeah Jared still things everything is rosy in this country; I hope he has superior "healthcare"