Ederik Schneider Online

Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell: Howard Jarvis's Impact On California

Source: Retro Report-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Just to comment on this video and I don't blame Retro Report that much for this, but this story took place in 1978 and most of the TV coverage was in black and white. You would think you were watching some newsreel or documentary from 1955 or something instead of something from the late 1970s when color TV and footage was dominant and the only way you could see something in black and white was with a black and white TV or watching a movie from the 1950s or early 1960s.

The video is right about where Howard Jarvis got his political inspiration for his political movement. It was from the movie Network 1976 and the Howard Beale character (played by the great Howard Finch) and to understand that movie you have to not only understand and be aware of the 1970s, but the mid 70s especially. America goes into recession in 1974 and that goes through 1975 and that is on top of the energy crisis and oil embargo of 1973 making energy in short supply and very expensive in America. Which goes on top of high interest rates and inflation of that period.

The Vietnam War is ending which was a great thing in many ways, but you end up with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of American military personal coming home from Vietnam and leaving the service, but having a weak economy and economic outlook to return to and having a hard time finding work. And add that to the rising unemployment of from the recession and you just have a weak economy. And that is not enough you have a shrinking middle class because of the recession and a shrinking blue-collar base in America who are paying a lot in taxes and seeing their taxes go up even as their income goes down and finding themselves working less then they're accustomed to.

So when the movie Network comes around in 1976 and the movie being made in 1975 at the heart of that recession, it was perfect timing. You have a Howard Beale character who gets his national talk show in the movie and uses that platform to talk about how pissed off he's at the state of affairs in America with so many middle class Americans now finding themselves working and making less and that is if they're working at all. And he's saying he's mad as hell about seeing big wealthy corporations continue to make millions if not billions as the little guy is struggling just to survive in America. And that it's time for America to step up and tell their politicians that they're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

And California just happening to be the largest most populated state in America perhaps feeling the brunt of the recession of the mid 1970s and poor recovery of the late 1970s the most and being one of the highest taxed states in America. California becomes the perfect proving ground for anti-tax economic Conservatives in America with Howard Jarvis being their spokesmen. You want to know what caused the start of the Regan Revolution of 1980, there isn't any one thing. But the movement for tax cuts and lower taxes really got going in the late 1970s. And Ronald Reagan who just happened be be Government of California right before Jerry Brown was one of the leaders of this movement. And they were successful in getting their tax cut in 1978.
Retro Report: Prop 13- Mad as Hell

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Source: The Atlantic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what's hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat)  talking or looking like that, or could feel like they're dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what's seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they're into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it's about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don't get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.
The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Week: Opinion- Ryan Cooper- 'Democrats Should Embrace The Freedom Not To Choose'

Source: The Week-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I'm not trying to sound insulting here (but don't mind if I do) but what Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week this week (ha, ha get it) could've been written over at The American Prospect, Salon, The Nation, AlterNet, or even over at In These Times and Common Dreams. Where the writers there are not just Socialists, but proudly so and proud to be Socialists. One of those New-Left (to be kind) publications that have argued that problem with America is economic freedom and capitalism in itself. That we expect Americans to make their own decisions with their own lives, at least once they're grown up and are out-of-school and then hold them personally accountable for their own decision-making.

Their argument being that Americans simply have too many decisions to make and as a result make too many bad decisions that the rest of society has to deal with. And that you need that big centralized welfare state big enough to manage the economic affairs of everyone and in some cases even personal affairs financed through high taxes. That Americans supposedly would get back in those so-called generous welfare benefits. That individuals are somehow too stupid to make their own decisions. But big government has all the right answers for them.

The Democratic Party led by their Congressional Leadership led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, did release an economic agenda that Democrats will be pushing for the 2018 mid-terms in hopes of winning back the House or Senate and perhaps even the entire Congress next year. And it was about economic development that included infrastructure investment, tax credits to incentivize more economic expansion, and anti-trust laws to break up current corporate monopolies so Americans would have more consumer choice, because there would be more competition and Americans would actually have to make more personal decisions on their own. (What a terrifying thought!)

But this is the Democratic Party and not the Green Party. Because if they were the Green Party or Democratic Socialists USA, they wouldn't be the opposition party in America and within reach of becoming the majority party in both the House and Senate. And instead would be in court simply trying to gain ballot access so they could be on the ballot in more elections. Let alone actually holding any seats in Congress.

If you want to be part of a party that is anti-individualism, thinks choice is a bad thing and that somehow economic freedom is not only dangerous, because leave millions of Americans to have to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions and that is also selfish, because a lot of people actually make very good decisions with their own lives and end up becoming very successful in life, the Green Party is for you. Just don't ever expect your party to ever hold any real power in America.

But the Democratic Party at it's best is the party that doesn't bash capitalism, economic freedom, and wealth. But instead says that those things are good, but the problem with it is not enough people benefit from capitalism and not enough people have economic freedom and have achieved economic independence. Because quality education is not available to enough people and our infrastructure system is underdeveloped and because of that there isn't enough economic development in the country. Which is why Congressional Democrats are pushing for infrastructure investment in America.

As a JFK Liberal Democrat (a real Liberal Democrat) I believe once people have the skills and education to make their own decisions that they'll end up doing that. And be able to get good jobs and be very successful at them and in life in general. Which is a much better economic plan and better financial outlook for the country, because not only more people will be working, but with good jobs and paying income taxes. Which would also make government cheaper in America lessen the need for taxation, because you'll have all of these educated Americans with the ability to pay their own way in life.

And as a result government will end up collecting more in taxes that they can use to see that as many Americans as possible can get the skills that they need to do well in life. As well as to see that as much incentive as possible is there to incentivize the most economic development as possible. An educated society is an opportunity society that produces a free society. People with the ability to make their own decisions and then be held personally accountable for them. For better or for worse. Enjoy the fruits of their own labor and pay for their own mistakes.
Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung: Welfare State and Social Democracy