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Thursday Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of open threads the past few days. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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    Transferred from Simpson (none / 0) (#1)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:46:26 PM EST
    This is off topic, but, we don't have a current open thread. Last one was last Saturday. There's so much going on in the world and no place to discuss them.

    Jeralyn handled it in a flash!
    **************

    First, I'm thinking about the recent death of James McGill Buchanan. Buchanan was an American economist known for his work on "public choice theory." Basically, his thesis was, Capital rules, the hell with everyone else. It's not just an obscure idea dreamed up by a crazy person. It's a program to privatize everything in America that Government now manages, and its (stealthy) implementation has already begun, supported and financed, in part, by Charles Koch. It clarifies, and puts into perspective the actions of The Far Right that have already been set into motion. (Trump?)

    Some background.


    Perlstein on your background source (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    "It pains me very deeply to say this, as Nancy Maclean is a friend whose past work I deeply admire, and whose broad political aims I share, but I totally endorse this article [The Farrel/Teles Vox piece linked in my post] about her book "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for Democracy." Maclean really does, at times, distort quotes from the subject to claim they mean the opposite of what they actually mean. Yet more damningly, in my opinion, the foundation of the entire book is a conspiracy theory that suggests that if you understand THIS ONE SECRET PLAN, you understand the rise of the right in America in its entirety. Which suggests you don't need to understand any of a score of other important tributaries, some of them not top-down conspiratorial at all but deeply, organically bottom up, which gave us the political order of battle we know now. That you don't need to read anything else. Which is actively dangerous to historical understanding."


    Parent
    Thanks for your response, Abdul (none / 0) (#5)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 02:31:42 PM EST
    Of course, this is just the very beginning of a long, long discussion on the topic I believe is fundamental if America is going to function successfully going forward: "What kind of a country do we want to live in?"

    That Slate article was just to give those interested a place to get some information on the topic.

    Parent

    Pension versus 401k/IRA thread (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:50:10 PM EST
    Pension payments cut.

    Both government and private sector pension funds are noted for chronic underfunding and assuming HUGE rates of return that mostly never come to pass.

    Yes if the stock market tanks its bad for your 401k, but its bad for a pension fund as well.  At least with a 401k, you have ownership of actual money from day one rather than owning a promise from an outfit that may look sound today, but that can change decades out.

    I will return this evening and (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 02:05:21 PM EST
    hopefully have something on the upcoming Russia hearings and Trump and Sessions. That New York Times interview just floored me-- Trump is just so tone deaf. I also am sorry to learn about John McCain.