Archive for Political
This is my 100th post! 1,000,000 Thank-yous to the thousands of you that have been paying attention!
I’m only asking the question: How do we better integrate? Viva technoprogressivism
Today, the Supreme Court decided it would “decline” to uphold Proposition 8, an opinion expected in the tea leaves that doesn’t allow as many same-sex couples as it could have to get married — or, based on the Court’s ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, to be recognized by the federal government.
The difference between the modern American political debates is almost null, when put into a broader philosophical context. Politics remains interesting, especially in a version of democracy because of its incremental changes over time. Transitions remain active.
Specific to Integrationalism the argument over, “how we build” and “who builds” is so necessary at this time in human history. The debate, under different rhetoric, is actually about ownership and who should have a stake in a society, nation, culture, world that has been (even through a coined “recession”) growing.
Preceding the US major political conventions, The President remarked that business owners don’t build businesses on their own and Mitt Romney arguing that the President is against the individual success of business owners based on the rhetorical interpretation of these few words “you didn’t build that”.
This makes me of a signed copy of a book that I had the privilege to get while in Toronto at the World Future Society annual conference titled Networked. It’s centered on this ideal that authors Rainie & Wellman call networked-individualism, a very similar ideal to Integrationalism itself. They are pointing out a phenomenon more modernly recognizable than the more fundamental physiological network that I elaborate on here. Through our technological extensions of social networks and device usage, human-kind is evolving into a species that can rapidly recognize the impact of the individual on the group.
From a policy standpoint, it has been difficult for governments of the past to regulate the distribution of tangible values to its individuals, furthermore, incentivizing them to participate well in the society. In 19th century Europe and 20th century America we witnessed a boom of distribution through the jobs and a short lived protection of those through organized labor (unions). As elaborated on here and so many other places, the change in technological use which provoked an expanded (cheaper) global workforce has rendered the job-engine inadequate.
The debate on jobs and workers’ rights is misleading and per the arguments presented by the two presidential candidates last week, the debate would be more valuable with a focus on how we distribute ownership. Realizing this is difficult, we have to use our tangible networked-individualism for identifying the opportunities to compensate individuals for their value-add to the group. These are policy issues that private institutions cannot coordinate on their own.
Attention Boston progressives! Join us for this incredible opportunity to chat with the inimitable Theda Skocpol & join a NATIONAL conversation on the future of the progressive movement!
Tuesday, Feb 21 @ 6pm. Cambridge. Be there and make
This week Reuters reported:
As many as 2,000 people forcibly sterilized under a past North Carolina program should be compensated $50,000 each, a panel voted on Tuesday, the first time a state has moved to pay victims of a discredited human selection program.
There approximately 2000 living victims of the eugenics experiment conducted between 1929 and 1974 in the State of North Carolina. The short report released at a late hour of the business day (3:26PM) in a non-graphic format only commanded ‘24’ tweets by the time that I wrote this article some 24 hour later. These are extremely small viewership numbers for the magnitude of this article.
Governor Beverly Perdue provided political backing for the aforementioned compensation derived by a five member task-force. While this information may just seem as common as Interpol discovering some Waffen SS General in his late 90’s, it is not. The political and legal implications of this executive decision are wide spread. It is not the normal protocol of any government to give legal and financial incentive to its constituencies to demand (and receive) any type of indemnification. A greater question for the NC-Governor and the task force is: Why? While I’d expect to see some District and possibly even the Supreme Court push back on this legislation, there is a real opportunity posed to the pseudo-democratic body that is the United States from a legal, socio-cultural, and technological standpoint. Of course there is a real threat posed from an economic standpoint. Every affected entity (individual or institution) seeking reparations for their abuse, from slavery to agriculture subsidies, has some new grounds for argument; and further, in the fashion of capitalistic we should assume that every ambitious attorney is paying attention.
Pandora’s passions for chaos provides all the incentives that federal, state, and local governments need to keep denying the need to even consider reparations for the many socio-cultural, ethnic, gender, and preference groups that are deemed “undesirable” by the most conservative and elitist of us all. Transhumanists have long had ties to eugenics,but ideas on how to improve the genetic composition of a population have to ensure that individual choice to (or not to) participate at their own risks/reward.
The lack of ethics that human-kind has witnessed by technological elites will over the others has been consistently dangerous to the optimal operation efficiency and effectiveness of our species.
While it is impossible philosophically for human’s to actually have a nature about themselves, the one thing that we’ve always tried to do is control our situation to better manage the risks of uncertainty. It’s not an ill mission, but the pathology of our altruism often shows that it is our most stifling virtue. Projecting our idea of greatness onto the entire population is not progressive, even as technology progresses. we must compel growth via our technologies.
As we merge away from the socio-cultural conservatism of the past century(s) and our diverse preferences become cliché, let’s be conscious to honor and protect choice, and continue to scale the distribution of information to individuals and institutions alike.
I just had to repost this….it got to me.
Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!
So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.
The budget office laid out some of that stark reality in a recent report, which documented a sharp decline in the share of total income going to lower- and middle-income Americans. We still like to think of ourselves as a middle-class country. But with the bottom 80 percent of households now receiving less than half of total income, that’s a vision increasingly at odds with reality.
In response, the usual suspects have rolled out some familiar arguments: the data are flawed (they aren’t); the rich are an ever-changing group (not so); and so on. The most popular argument right now seems, however, to be the claim that we may not be a middle-class society, but we’re still an upper-middle-class society, in which a broad class of highly educated workers, who have the skills to compete in the modern world, is doing very well.
It’s a nice story, and a lot less disturbing than the picture of a nation in which a much smaller group of rich people is becoming increasingly dominant. But it’s not true.
Workers with college degrees have indeed, on average, done better than workers without, and the gap has generally widened over time. But highly educated Americans have by no means been immune to income stagnation and growing economic insecurity. Wage gains for most college-educated workers have been unimpressive (and nonexistent since 2000), while even the well-educated can no longer count on getting jobs with good benefits. In particular, these days workers with a college degree but no further degrees are less likely to get workplace health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.
So who is getting the big gains? A very small, wealthy minority.
The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it’s really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.
If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent — the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.
Who’s in that top 0.1 percent? Are they heroic entrepreneurs creating jobs? No, for the most part, they’re corporate executives. Recent research shows that around 60 percent of the top 0.1 percent either are executives in nonfinancial companies or make their money in finance, i.e., Wall Street broadly defined. Add in lawyers and people in real estate, and we’re talking about more than 70 percent of the lucky one-thousandth.
But why does this growing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands matter? Part of the answer is that rising inequality has meant a nation in which most families don’t share fully in economic growth. Another part of the answer is that once you realize just how much richer the rich have become, the argument that higher taxes on high incomes should be part of any long-run budget deal becomes a lot more compelling.
The larger answer, however, is that extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy. Can anyone seriously deny that our political system is being warped by the influence of big money, and that the warping is getting worse as the wealth of a few grows ever larger?
Some pundits are still trying to dismiss concerns about rising inequality as somehow foolish. But the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake.
Everyone can go see their SLAVE FOOTPRINT HERE.
You’ve probably never thought of yourself as a supporter of slavery, but the online tool Slavery Footprintreveals evidence of forced labor in your closet, your garage, your refrigerator, and every other corner of your life.
“Last month marked the anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, which we all know ended slavery for good 149 years ago, right? Wrong,” writes Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat. She continues: “While that’s what we in America are taught in our textbooks, slavery is still alive and well around the world (including in the U.S.). In fact, most of us have several slaves working for us at this very moment.”
Complete Slavery Footprint’s artfully designed survey to calculate the number of slaves who work for you, based on your lifestyle and the products you buy. Included are questions about family, housing, clothing, electronics, make-up, sex, and food, along with disturbing facts of modern-day enslavement. For example, Slavery Footprint writes:
Bonded labor is used for much of Southeast Asia’s shrimping industry, which supplies more shrimp to the U.S. than any other country. Laborers work up to 20-hour days to peel 40 pounds of shrimp. Those who attempt to escape are under constant threat of violence or sexual assault.
Numerous products, down to the sporting goods in your hall closet, are the result of forced labor, asserts the website. “In China, soccer ball manufacturers will work up to 21 hours in a day, for a month straight.”
The site offers hope for consumer redemption (even if your score is as shamefully high as mine: 38!), with a free download of their antislavery app. “With the Made in a Free World app, you can check in at stores, asking brands about slavery in their supply chain as you shop,” they write, “and use it to counteract your slavery footprint.”
Image by Slavery Footprint.