* You are right about one thing, Casper. I am an old fashioned, made America great, took a Republican led, Great Depression causing, working class, racist country and turned it into a middle class country for all due to ideas like the New Deal, GI Bill, education loans and grants, unions, medicare, social security, civil rights, conservation, liberal Democrat and proud of it. We made the 20th century America everyone worships and we did it fighting the obstructionist Repubs all the way. Look at the distribution of wealth of America today. Before 1929, it is weighted to favor the top few % of the people and after Reagan and his 8 years of destructive mess it was once again weighted to favor the top few percent of the population. The rich got richer and the not rich got poorer -- working just as hard or harder and usually with 2 income earners per household as compared to 1930's-1970's. The income curve from the 1930's-1970's -- the "golden age" of Americana -- saw a leveling of incomes and distribution and a shrinkage of numbers at either end of the curve -- a big fat balanced, equality seeking middle class. We did it through taxes as much as the economy. But then that was a generation that lived by helping one another. They had seen a great Depression and KNEW in their GUTS that no one -- however egotistical -- does it alone. They had fouhgt a real war and had seen what want and need and selfish ideology do to a person and a whiole society. Their head was not filled with TV, ads and grown up, expensive, wasteful toys. They truly were about providing for their families. And they understood that in a society -- for it to work -- all must experience limitations on dreams, income and consumption. There's a great big world outside the suburban door. Sadly, they failed to pass the depth and clarity of their experience on to their children. So many of their children today think like fascists and indulge in a unsustainable form of gaudy destructive consumption.
* *Of course, today, America has no so-called "liberal" power base anymore. That's a right wing myth rolled out to feed deep resentments and fury in the white population. (You know the original capitalists and the followers of the Enlightenment i.e. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, etc. were called the Liberals of their day! Stew on that little bombshell for a while.) We only have a center right power base. The liberal ideals are marginalized even though they proved their value in that the children of the working class that were able to move to the middle class because of liberal victories now imagine they did it all on their own! Today's debate is really just less or more right. Money is the only speaker today -- much like the content of your post -- and one would think that economics was the only social reality important to being alive.
* *Casper, you assume I am poor and that that is why I think as I do. Sorry, that's not the case. I paid for my education. I am spending the summer writing a book on Lee Strasberg for a british publisher. I've lived in New York, Chicago and LA. I have traveled to Russia and France as guests of their gov'ts. I have worked on a major motion picture in England as the consultant for an Oscar winning actor. My belief as to what is right and wrong in the world; what is Christian and unChristian has nothing to do with money or my immediate family. It has to do with 2 simple beliefs: 1) We are all in this together and 2) in the first place there is always at least 2 things and NEVER -- as Americans fantasize -- just 1.
* * I don't see a world of lazy olfs sucking away my tax dollars. I see people who may have made as much money as you and then get hit by an illness that sucks away all they had. I see bosses skimming heeping amounts of cream from profits and workers living on a nothing wage and no benefits. I see medicine/drugs run amuck by profiteering and a nation that lets people become millionaires off death and sickness. I see cycles of poverty and hopelessness. I see a lack of good low income housing. I see wealthy whites abandoning public schools. I see college becoming so expensive that only the rich -- like before the 1940's GI BILL -- will be able to go. I see an over-populated world that wonders why such a tiny part of it (The USA) gets to pig out on most of its resources. If a hummer is "advertising" then I'm a Repub! I see the world first before I see ME in it. Yes, I am a liberal -- open minded, embracing and balancing. I do not turn my back on society's needs as a whole by using the justification that I made it all alone so everyone else should too. I do not see ME as the explanation for the world.
I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I'm just stating my POV.