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Re: Property is theft

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  • Mary
    Louise, Here is a response to a portion of your comments. I don t claim knowledge of all indigenous peoples, but many of those of which I am aware believe the
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
      Louise,

      Here is a response to a portion of your comments. I don't claim knowledge of all indigenous peoples, but many of those of which I am aware believe the land owns them, so to speak. Their way of life, their need for and reverence of the land, are inseparable. Many tribes have been complaining about the treatment of our environment for at least a century to no avail.

      The dream of shared ownership and stewardship of the land is one that feels both natural and desirable to me. I don't know if socialism is particularly Western, or that respect and connection to our environment is particularly a first nations' sensibility, but either is a dream well worth examination for those in whom it doesn't seem authentic.

      While visiting the Heard Museum in Phoenix recently, I was quite moved by the exhibit which demonstrated in detail the experience of Native American children taken from their families and forced to assimilate into the Western ways. It was not only an appalling experiment, it now appears there was nothing especially admirable in Western culture. Owning the land has not proven to automatically embue its owners with either respect or a sense of connection.

      Total restitution is not feasible. I can only guess that if other nations had practiced better economics and less oppression immigration and genocide wouldn't have seemed necessary. One small form of restitution has been to reinstate tribal hunting and fishing rights. A greater compensation which would benefit the non-indigenous as well would be to restore and protect all land, air, and water. Everything is connected.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary and Polly,

      Though I am not entirely clear whether the proposed dreaming is about mainstream Western cultures, or purely aboriginal societies. In the case of the latter, it is my ignorance of those societies that inhibits the capacity to dream, as well as a sense of impropriety, somehow. I mean, a feeling that it is not my dream to dream. Or is it a dream about restitutive justice to be put in place by Western governments?
    • Brent Irvine
      I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
        I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)


        While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear. Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two. The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US. I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).

        I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.



        ________________________________
        From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, June 30, 2010 6:44:12 PM
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


        Hi Brent and all,

        On 1 July 2010 00:25, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
        > Yes - a few of the Russians I worked with liked elements under Communism - safe streets, not worrying a lot of financing. Though many felt that the Gangster-Capitalism of the mid 1990's (when most got out) was because people saw the US TV show "Dallas" and thought that was how the free market operated. A few ran crossways of the authorities (hence their location in the US now) so didn't have an overall positive experience.
        >
        >
        > I am not certain that the current Russian state of the free market is the future of the US - similar models (fictional, or reality) have been the predicted of the future of the US for over 100 years (and the UK before that). I expect the US to come out of its funk, to muddle through, fix some issues and not fix others - and move on. I am not sure the "winner take all" turn followed by the "oh and we define winner on who has good political connections" model to be relegated to the dust heap. It may be true of Russia and China right now, but I cannot see such an attempted-abrogation of responsibility to last.
        >

        I too have plenty of anecdotal evidence that life in the old USSR
        wasn't so bad. It is a shame we do not have a representative sample of
        US residents on this list. Anyone would be tempted to believe that
        life is not a day to day struggle for the average American punter.

        As to todays Russian "free" market, it was born out of Yeltsin selling
        off some of the state corporations in a closed market, all in order to
        finance his next election campaign. Hardly an auspicious beginning.
        But then again, (mis)appropriation generally is the foundation for
        "free" markets.

        Polly



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Herman
        Hi Brent, ... I didn t make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in the US
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
          Hi Brent,

          On 2 July 2010 01:12, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
          > I currently live in the US, having been born here.  I also have lived (briefly) in the UK.  All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)
          >
          >
          > While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear.  Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two.  The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US.  I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).
          >
          > I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.
          >
          >

          I didn't make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are
          working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in
          the US was more like 16%. My point was that all the active US
          residents in this group are not in the struggle-street demographic.
          But there is a large chunk of US population entrenched there.

          Polly
        • Brent Irvine
          I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word representative to mean typical and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
            I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time). The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well. During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.

            I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US. The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.







            ________________________________
            From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 5:37:26 PM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


            Hi Brent,

            On 2 July 2010 01:12, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
            > I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)
            >
            >
            > While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear. Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two. The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US. I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).
            >
            > I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.
            >
            >

            I didn't make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are
            working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in
            the US was more like 16%. My point was that all the active US
            residents in this group are not in the struggle-street demographic.
            But there is a large chunk of US population entrenched there.

            Polly



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Herman
            Thanks Brent, ... The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
              Thanks Brent,

              On 2 July 2010 08:18, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
              > I see your point.  Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time).  The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well.  During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.
              >
              > I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US.  The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.
              >

              The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing
              a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
              can not sustain a family unless multiple jobs are being worked. I
              wonder how this fits in with the unemployment statistics? If you have
              a job, and still can't make basic ends meet, what use are the
              employment statistics?

              Polly
            • Brent Irvine
              I d agree that the Federal minimum wage (US$7/hr) isn t enough to support a family - and most likely people would work 2 jobs to make enough - or have one with
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
                I'd agree that the Federal minimum wage (US$7/hr) isn't enough to support a family - and most likely people would work 2 jobs to make enough - or have one with a lot of overtime. There are a lot of minimum wage jobs, but I don't know what the statistics are - I am under the impression that even most fast-food jobs pay better than that so in effect the US doesn't have one. Mostly. The Median wage is about $15-20/hr and depending upon where you are, it may or may not be enough to live modestly if you had a family with one income. Most every family in the US has 2 incomes because it is economically required. I believe the UK is in a similar situation, too.

                I think the employment statistics are useful for measuring the economy and a touchstone on how healthy it may be. It is of little use to anyone beyond that - as you said individuals situation may not be reflected an abstract numbers like that. The same way someone who broke his or her arm on VE Day might not view it in the same light as the majority of people.

                Though, I would say we *are* talking quite abstractly at the moment.







                ________________________________
                From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 6:49:48 PM
                Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


                Thanks Brent,

                On 2 July 2010 08:18, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
                > I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time). The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well. During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.
                >
                > I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US. The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.
                >

                The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing
                a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
                can not sustain a family unless multiple jobs are being worked. I
                wonder how this fits in with the unemployment statistics? If you have
                a job, and still can't make basic ends meet, what use are the
                employment statistics?

                Polly



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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