Mama told me not to come.

She said, that ain’t the way to have fun.

  • 36 Posts
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Joined 1 year ago
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Cake day: June 11th, 2023

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  • Yes, and MLK is a perfect example of someone I can agree with and vehemently support on one issue while disagreeing on others. I reject his socialist agenda, but I’m completely on board with his civil rights activism.

    MLK wasn’t successful because he was socialist, he was successful because his ideas resonated with a large, pissed off minority of various political persuasions. His org, the SCLC, was decidedly not socialist, in contrast to other groups at the time. Yeah, he had socialist views, but that was separate from his civil rights activism. And he was more of a democratic socialist, so more like Bernie Sanders than the USSR.

    Civil Rights weren’t fought by bridging a partisan divide, they were won through organization and direct action.

    But they were. There’s a reason King left socialism out of the civil rights fight, and it was to get greater appeal. He also wanted economic reforms, but that was secondary to the civil rights movement.

    And when I say “partisan divide,” I don’t mean appealing to Republicans and Democrats generally, I mean appealing to something that goes beyond partisanship. Highlight an idea that doesn’t fit on either side, and get people in the middle pissed off that neither side is doing anything about it. Eisenhower was a moderate Republican and he was guilted into helping, that’s how much it resonated.

    A good figurehead will focus the outrage on a single solution that doesn’t fit neatly into partisan lines.

    There are many other systems out there without FPTP and they still fail to reflect the wishes of the people.

    Absolutely, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’d like to go further and switch the House to be proportionally elected. But that scares people, so ending FPTP is the first step. Ending FPTP opens up opportunities for popular third party candidates to be able to win enough seats to effect real change.

    Justice requires that we do more than pin hopes on pulling Democrats left.

    I’m not talking about Democrats here, and I think left/right thinking isn’t the way.

    If Gaza is the hill we want to die on, it can’t be a leftist justification, it needs to go beyond that. Unfortunately, this issue is seen as leftist, so it’s going to be much harder to prove that decency isn’t political. I’m not sure what the right messaging is, but I think Fatah needs to be seen as a stabilizing alternative to Hamas, and Israel needs to let them try stabilizing Gaza. Israel won’t leave without Hamas losing power, and Hamas won’t lose power without a realistic replacement. But if the US backs Fatah, it’s going to be seen as meddling, and therefore it probably won’t work. So the best approach, imo, is the “we can’t afford to pick sides” argument, both from a fiscal and diplomatic angle. That’s hopefully separated enough from partisan politics to work. But it’s an uphill battle.

    FPTP is comparatively easier and would be more impactful long term. It’s not going to help Palestinians today though.

    You don’t build a movement because one person has charisma and the right ideas.

    It worked for Trump.

    The figurehead attracts people with similar concerns, and builds an org around themselves. King started with a small org that organized bus boycotts, then founded SCLC. He didn’t rise through any ranks, he was an influential community member who decided to do something.

    So no, I think it’s more effective to build an org around a figurehead and an idea instead of trying to build an org and hoping the right person rises through the ranks. That’s how Youtubers and streamers who get famous work, and that’s how we’ll get change rolling. That figurehead should build a coalition with existing groups, but I think they need to come at it as an outsider.


  • I think you’re looking at history through rose-colored glasses. Read pretty much any story from those who left the USSR to get a better picture of how life was there. Here are a two that I’ve read:

    • The Persecutor
    • A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

    Feel free to find your own, but I find real stories of people trying to flee more valuable in understanding life in an area than books with economic figures.

    If life was so good there, why did so many try to flee? Leaving was incredibly hard, why was that?

    I personally believe in a dual-economy

    I disagree, but we probably agree more than we disagree.

    For example, I believe in a strong safety net (something like UBI), and believe we should eliminate minimum wages. If you don’t need to work to meet basic needs (food and shelter), you won’t take work unless it improves on that basic set of needs. Maybe that means we’ll increase automation or immigration to fill roles nobody wants, or maybe that means pay will increase. Either way, it shouldn’t be centrally planned.

    I think the lesson from the USSR is that centrally planned economies are repressive, and that we need to come up with better ways of solving the needs of the poor or we’ll have another popular uprising that goes way beyond what anyone actually wanted.

    Socialist policies should be limited, imo, to voluntary associations, like co-ops and private unions. It shouldn’t enter government policy because politicians like power more than actually helping people.


  • I’m not a fan of retaliatory tariffs, I’m a fan of corrective tariffs. The tariffs should be calculated from transparent facts, or at least good estimates. And they need to be consistent regardless of origin country. If we tariff Chinese EVs and drones due to being subsidized, we should also tariff AirBus airplanes for the same reason.

    Tariffs are a problem when they target a country as a punitive measure, I think they can be effective when they correct unfairness in the market. I’m a fan of carbon tariffs, for example, where estimates of carbon emissions are used to calculate a tariff on an imported good so local products with higher regulatory expectations are competing on an even field. Maybe high income areas compete with low labor cost through automation and better QC, but they shouldn’t need to compete with subsidies.



  • I’m not on board with socialism, at least not in the systemic sense most people refer to. I’m in favor of co-ops and private unions, but not government-level policy. I’m also not in favor of anarchism, though I think we generally need less government than more.

    But the great thing about grassroots, single-issue endeavors is that we don’t need to agree on the big picture, we only need to agree on that single issue. For MLK Jr., the message was clear: civil rights regardless of skin color. That united people regardless of political leanings, and being consistently loud about that single issue is what resulted in success. Yeah he wanted to go further (and I probably disagree on those goals), but he focused the civil rights movement on that one goal.

    We need that same type of thing today. We need a figurehead that will focus on single issues that cross the partisan divide, and we need to keep pushing on it until we get it. Eliminating FPTP is a good option. The Palestinian issue would be a bit harder since it’s not our war and both parties seem intent on supporting Israel. I’m in favor of either though.

    We really need another MLK Jr., and unfortunately I don’t see anyone stepping up. So the next best option is to keep making the conditions favorable for that. Force politicians to address the issue, and more people will get fired up, and maybe the next MLK will step up. I’m not that person, but maybe I can run for office and stir the pot a bit.


  • But it does. If you get cancer, they pay everything after you hit your max out of pocket. So instead of paying $1M or whatever, you pay something like $15k.

    Insurance is there to protect you from black swan-type financial ruin, it isn’t intended to reduce costs for routine care.

    The real problem is that costs vary depending on how you pay. The Rx should always cost $X and theb insurance shouldn’t care or know which Rx you pick, they should just pay $Y. The problem imo isn’t insurance, but the completely opaque medical pricing system we have.

    If pricing is consistent, it’s a lot easier to design assistance programs for those who need it.