Do we have a democracy in the US, or a plutocracy? Or somewhere in between? Or something completely different? How much does money really influence American politics?

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I vote, not because my one vote will make any difference, but if all the cynicals who don't vote would turn around and CAST a vote, maybe we COULD make a difference. To paraphrase a song of the 60's, "One man's hands can't move to push the plow, 2 men's hands can't move to push the plow, but if 2 and 2 and 50 make a million, we will see the world go round, we will see the world go round."

Yeah, I'm a hopeless idealist, but "if we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately" to quote a far earlier figure!

Ah, more quotes from Natalie! I liked the first two very much, and I like these two very much as well, but again, I could easily offer up counterarguments which apply to this particular discussion. Firstly, more votes doesn't mean better votes. You might persuade people who would otherwise not have voted to vote for the wrong candidates. Just because millions more people voted, doesn't mean the results would turn out any different. And it seems we are already hanging separately, despite our votes. That is the whole point. The system itself is broken, and more votes within a broken voting system will not fix the system. Something else is needed. Certainly voter apathy isn't the solution, but it can draw attention to the problem and as such is useful.

Hey Wanderer, my thoughts on the banks are the same. It was apparent to me that nationalizing, at least temporarily would be best. Feds would have been able to implement reasonable loan standards and refrain from imposing the worst conditions of repayment on those who are least able to pay. Also would have reduced the deficit. Without nationalization or conditions I knew the pendulum would swing the other way after the easy money. Failing to place conditions on the money was really stupid.

Where I have not formed an opinion is the aftermath of Perry or whichever right winger. Will another theocrat be elected or will the country be courted by empty promises of "change"?

I have been thinking about this business of nationalizing the banks for a while, and it seems to me that, if it were done right, which I wouldn't trust this administration with by the way, it could be one of the best things for this country. Why should the richest country in the world be borrowers, eyeball-deep in debt, while its private banks hoard cash and impose a virtual world order? They OWN the US government. We should be the lenders to the world, not the borrowers, helping raise everyone up with us rather than bringing everyone down with us. This is the biggest problem the world is facing I think. The utter immorality of not taking control of our monetary policy, and making it work for humanity rather than a handful of bankers, is causing the rest of humanity to toil in virtual slavery while a few super-mega-ultra-rich reap all the rewards of humanity's hard work through compounded interest.

I never liked Andrew Jackson anyhow.

Makes sense to me. The only downside is the employees and shareholders of banks.

Yeah, those poor CEO's won't get their outrageous bonuses, and fatcats with huge stock portfolios won't see giant returns on their investment. Sorry, what's the downside?

i take it back, since this is a fantasy bank there is no downside.  $)

 

It depends on whether the banks continue to operate. If they do, their profitability is presumably reduced, and their investment value suffers accordingly. Depreciated stock value impacts little people along with fat cats.

If the banks are bought out by the government there may be no negative stock impact but there is the issue of whether employees of the bank will have a job.

On balance nationalizing banks is likely beneficial for the people. Fair and uniform national standards for lending without gouging the most vulnerable borrowers would be an improvement.

You guys can bitch and moan about "not living in a democracy" because you have no clue what it is like to live in terror and tyranny. America is one of the greatest democracies and free societies in the world. Only people who have never experienced oppression can spit in the face of freedom. In America, someone can be born poor or an immigrant and through hard work, dedication, creativity, and innovation be successful, wealthy, and prosperous. It is quite a shame some of the self-hating masochists.
Mr. Sassan, first of all I don't like your tone. I don't like being told I am "bitching". I also don't like your presumption that I have "no clue what it is like to live in terror and tyranny." For your information, I have been living in Saudi Arabia for two years, so I'm pretty sure I know all about what it is like to live in an authoritarian, monarchical, tyrannical dictatorship. So I have experienced oppression, and I assure you I am not spitting in the face of freedom. Far from it, in fact I am drawing attention to the lack of freedom we have here in the US. To be sure, we have it better than in most other places in the world, but my point is that we are much more alike then you seem to think. Have you been poor here in the US, and then worked your way up to being successful and wealthy? It is not as easy as you might imagine. The so-called American dream is evaporating, and few people seem to have any clue as to how to fix that problem, so for you to come in here and shout that there isn't a problem at all does those of us working to make life here better for the underprivileged does no good, it undermines our work, and spits in the face of the people here who suffer under the yolk of tyranny. Just because other countries have had it so much worse does not mean that we should simply accept our own "tyranny-light".
I will respond later in further detail but my father came to the U.S. as an immigrant and is very successful. Iranians in general are very successful - they have education and wisdom and don't give themselves self-defeating excuses. The only thing holding our country back from prosperity is our culture that doesn't put enough value on education (hence we are lacking in the science and math departments) and illegal immigration which threatens America's future sovereignty and demographic makeup. Otherwise - America is a great country in which people from all over the world (even with our down-economy) could only wish to live in.
So your father came to the US as an educated immigrant - many here in the US receive what could hardly be called an education, especially when they grow up in the impoverished areas of our country. It is one thing to come here already in possession of much of what you will need to succeed, and quite another thing to try to claw your way up from the ghetto. I resent your attitude that calling attention to the actual plight of the poor in this country is giving "self-defeating excuses". How else does one address a problem without first putting a name to it? Do you think that everyone here has exactly the same chance of success as anyone else? Likely your father arrived with the help of some family members as well - many here haven't got the support of a stable family environment, but then you would call drawing attention to this fact "giving excuses"? One could extend the same line of reasoning to the countries you compare the US to - why don't they just quit their "bitching and moaning" and fight for their freedom, if they think they have got it so bad? I look forward to hearing your further comments, so long as they are made with respect. Otherwise, I will have no problem simply deleting offensive responses from this discussion.

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