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"The institutions of this country favor the rich"

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"The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby jjoyce » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:43 am

That's a pretty simple and straightforward line, borrowed from a post on The Awl about the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. You either agree or disagree with it, it seems to me (Can anyone really be neutral on such a simple, declarative statement?). You can agree and believe that it's a means to a desirable end. You can disagree and believe that the institutions of the country don't favor the rich enough. You can agree and conclude it's unjust. You can take issue with the term "rich" and attempt to turn the discussion into something about "limousine liberals" or something like that.

But I think we all know what "rich" means and defining it narrowly doesn't really matter in the end.

Where do you fall?
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Meade » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:47 am

jjoyce wrote:Where do you fall?

Smack dab in the middle. You?
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:49 am

The tax code certainly favors the rich.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby rrnate » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:22 am

Meade wrote:
jjoyce wrote:Where do you fall?

Smack dab in the middle. You?


Never before has "smack dab in the middle" sounded less appealing.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby jjoyce » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:47 am

Maybe it's the subsequent statement that's more argumentative, but that removes some of the "how can you possibly differ with this" element of the discussion.

"...many institutions unfairly conspire to keep poor people poor and uneducated—and to make working people ever more disposable and insecure."

I guess you could take issue with the "unfairly" or even the "poor."
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:52 am

Meade wrote:
jjoyce wrote:Where do you fall?

Smack dab in the middle. You?


That's new media moderate Meade the medic for you.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:10 am

Choire Sicha wrote:But I do believe, along with many Occupy folks, that in many ways the institutions of our country unfairly favor the rich, and that many institutions unfairly conspire to keep poor people poor and uneducated—and to make working people ever more disposable and insecure.


I'm trying to determine exactly what Sicha is referring too with the term "Institutions". Without a better focus the statement seems false due to being overly broad.

If the meaning is "Financial Institutions" then I can see where the author is coming from, though I'm not sure "conspire" is valid. Conspire implies some sort of secret group getting together to plan something out. In reality banks do what they do to make money, fair or not. There's no reason to conspire to do that.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby jjoyce » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:23 am

"Conspire" can mean secretive groups, but doesn't have to.

A flat tire and no bus service conspired to make me late for work. A turnover-prone quarterback and ineffective line conspired to limit the Badgers to 16 points Saturday.

One definition is "seem to be working together to bring about a particular result." I imagine that if you're on the short end of the stick, you'd think schools, banks and the medical system conspire to hold you back from your potential.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:35 am

jjoyce wrote:"Conspire" can mean secretive groups, but doesn't have to.

A flat tire and no bus service conspired to make me late for work. A turnover-prone quarterback and ineffective line conspired to limit the Badgers to 16 points Saturday.

One definition is "seem to be working together to bring about a particular result." I imagine that if you're on the short end of the stick, you'd think schools, banks and the medical system conspire to hold you back from your potential.


I guess my issue really is more with labeling it as "unfairly conspiring". Is it really unfair for a business to operate in what perceives is it's best interests? While altruism is always admirable, expecting a for profit business to be altruistic seems unfair to me.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby jman111 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:40 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Is it really unfair for a business to operate in what perceives is it's best interests? While altruism is always admirable, expecting a for profit business to be altruistic seems unfair to me.

Which is exactly why we shouldn't rely on "market solutions" to solve our country's problems.

Put me in the "agree" column.
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:59 am

jjoyce wrote:"...many institutions unfairly conspire to keep poor people poor and uneducated—and to make working people ever more disposable and insecure."


Economic organization, the control of all branches of public affairs, the elevation of property rights to the highest place, trusts, millionaires, huge profits, corruption, betrayal of public office.....
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby DCB » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:04 pm

jjoyce wrote:Where do you fall?
I agree; the statement seems not only obvious but unsurprising.

I think that most of us who are not 'rich' will grudgingly tolerate this injustice, up to a point. I also think we are pretty close to that point, if not past it.
Charles Koch wrote:I want my fair share, and that’s all of it.

http://my.firedoglake.com/robertgreenwa ... ndustries/
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby peripat » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:45 pm

I think that is probably true everywhere. The justice system is easily navigated by those who can afford to hire lawyers and to pay fines, the educational system is best for those who can afford to pay for what they want, those who can afford top of the line medical care don't have to worry about what is covered and what is not and anything else you can think of....
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby Meade » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:02 pm

American Institution - Favor

Organized religion Poor

The Military Poor

The U.S. Supreme Court Rich

Banks Rich

Public schools Poor

Newspapers Poor

Congress Rich

Television news Poor

Organized labor Poor

The Presidency Rich

The Medical system Rich

Big business Rich
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Re: "The institutions of this country favor the rich"

Postby TAsunder » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:08 pm

People don't get rich in a void. It's not surprising that someone who got rich in our country using our country's policies to their advantage could also increase their wealth in the same manner.
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