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  #151  
Old 12-17-2013, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
Which is still the lowest median income in the US. Anyway, I would have thought measuring median individual net worth would be more revealing.

Great for 50% of Mississippians earning that amount and above. I guess that puts half the state into the 99% world wide.

http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/12s0706.pdf

36% of Mississippi households earn less than $25k/year and an additional 26% are between 25k-50k.

This website says that 80% of the world makes less than $10/day, or less than $3,600/year.

So even the very poor parts of Mississippi is far, far richer than more than 80% of the world.
  #152  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:09 AM
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And I'm a bit surprised you continue to miss the point...which is that, while it's your opinion that those states are banana republics, you've not demonstrated anything more than that it's your opinion. Sure, if we speculate that in a fantasy universe they were independent nation states on their own they MIGHT be banana republics, in THIS universe they aren't.

As to receiving more in federal moneys than they bring in wrt taxes, do you also consider Florida a banana republic? What about Maine? Virginia? Oregon? How about Maryland? New Mexico...? Ok, I'll give you that one...New Mexico actually IS a banana republic (well, a green chili republic at least ).
I have explained what I based my opinion on and you keep ignoring it.
Poorest state, poorly run state, limited commodities, infrastructure paid for by the federal government and historical facts.
My opinion may be flawed, but I base it on observable data.
And just so it is clear, I am in no way advocating or fantasizing that these states are independent.
I was merely speculating that if history had been different and these states had been independent, it could be conceivable that they could have been Banana Republics. In fact quite likely considering the similar conditions in the late 19th century to the countries like Honduras at the time.
In no way am I saying that this is fact. It is purely a speculation of what could possibly be if they had been independent.
If you care to speculate why you think Mississippi would not have been a Banana Republic if they had been independent since the Civil War, then please go ahead, I would be interested in your opinion.
If your only point is, they are not independent and so you are wrong, then you got me there! Amazing observational clarity.
  #153  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:11 AM
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http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/12s0706.pdf

36% of Mississippi households earn less than $25k/year and an additional 26% are between 25k-50k.

This website says that 80% of the world makes less than $10/day, or less than $3,600/year.

So even the very poor parts of Mississippi is far, far richer than more than 80% of the world.
I agree. Not sure what the argument is here.
  #154  
Old 12-18-2013, 08:32 AM
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That even the poor parts of MS are far wealthier than your standard "banana republic".
  #155  
Old 12-18-2013, 09:38 AM
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I have explained what I based my opinion on and you keep ignoring it.
Poorest state, poorly run state, limited commodities, infrastructure paid for by the federal government and historical facts.
My opinion may be flawed, but I base it on observable data.
They are poorly run (well, Mississippi is, for sure) in comparison to THE OTHER STATES IN THE US. As another poster up thread commented this is like looking at the worst player in the NBA compared to the others. Yeah, he's the worst player in the NBA, for sure...but he's IN the NBA, making him one of the best basketball players in the world. Comparing those states, as they are today, to other 3rd world or actual banana republic nations, however, clearly shows they aren't in the same league...they are merely poor in comparison to other states in the union. Mississippi has a viable infrastructure, the standards of living in Mississippi is higher than in many LARGE nations (compare it to, oh, say China, India and Russia some time for instance), they aren't reliant on a single crop (and haven't been for over a century), aren't run by a powerful autocracy or any of the other features that constitute a banana republic....except in YOUR mind. THAT'S the point I'm trying to make here.

Or, instead of simply giving a list of states YOU think have aspects of being banana republics, why don't you show some metrics that you think are relevant to your assertion? Simply saying that they aren't a banana republic because they are part of the US is pretty worthless, since they ARE part of the...they pay their state and federal taxes and receive the benefits of being part of the US. You say you are basing your assertion on 'observable data', but thus far you haven't produced any of it to back up your assertion.

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And just so it is clear, I am in no way advocating or fantasizing that these states are independent.
I was merely speculating that if history had been different and these states had been independent, it could be conceivable that they could have been Banana Republics. In fact quite likely considering the similar conditions in the late 19th century to the countries like Honduras at the time.
In no way am I saying that this is fact. It is purely a speculation of what could possibly be if they had been independent.
If you care to speculate why you think Mississippi would not have been a Banana Republic if they had been independent since the Civil War, then please go ahead, I would be interested in your opinion.
If your only point is, they are not independent and so you are wrong, then you got me there! Amazing observational clarity.
No, that wasn't my only or even primary point.
  #156  
Old 12-18-2013, 09:46 AM
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Certainly, while in several ways the Confederate Constitution granted more power to the states than the U.S. one did, they weren't sovereign or independent. They were each subject to the acts of the Confederate Congress, including taxes between states, and being prohibited from barring any citizen from the right to travel through another Confederate state, and so forth.
Fair enough, and I don't think we need to take this hijack any further.
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In all fairness, Mississippi was still heavily dependent on cotton into the late 20th century.

The phrase was coined in 1904, and Mississippi was still a cotton republic in 1904. See the link provided above.
There is no indication in the link that cotton was dependent on cotton any later than the 1930s.
  #157  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:04 AM
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... Or, instead of simply giving a list of states YOU think have aspects of being banana republics, why don't you show some metrics that you think are relevant to your assertion?
They don't want metrics and they've said so. Even the OP, dataguy, objected when data was brought to rebut the point.

But, yeah, next time I drive on I-20 through Jackson, MS on my way to the billion-dollar Nissan factory, I'll stop at a Starbucks before I get there and take a look around at what a third-world country looks like.

Cafe latte in hand, of course. There's no need to be savages about this.
  #158  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:07 AM
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They don't want metrics and they've said so. Even the OP, dataguy, objected when data was brought to rebut the point.

But, yeah, next time I drive on I-20 through Jackson, MS on my way to the billion-dollar Nissan factory, I'll stop at a Starbucks before I get there and take a look around at what a third-world country looks like.

Cafe latte in hand, of course. There's no need to be savages about this.
I-20 being that old goat trail that passes for a 'road', right? That Nissan factory makes cotton, so you can see how a REAL banana republic operates on the one crop system. Watch out for the warlords bandits while you are out there...and all the guerrilla fighters and insurgents in the area.

Last edited by XT; 12-18-2013 at 10:09 AM.
  #159  
Old 12-18-2013, 08:36 PM
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Still a digression, but...

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If you are going to tell me hell no you better back it up with a cite then, ehe? Here is the figured from Wiki (in dollars):
SIPRI 2009. I must say, on reviewing it I was surprised to note that Western and Central Europe do not only outspend Russia and China...but the totals of Asia, Oceania and Eastern Europe. Or the total of Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania. Middle East excluded.

My point is: Europes military spending is vastly over the top
for any defense need. It is not remotly correct to state that Europe derives any economic benefit from American militry presence, because that would imply that without it, Europe would need to spend more money on the military.

And defense is the point of military spending in the developed wolrd. It is not the 19th century when gunboats went out to secure markets!

Exactly why the American military presence remains could be a subject for discussion, pork-barrel, electoral considerations, military industries needing customers... but Europe is certainly very far past the point of diminishing returns on spending.

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They rely on us to carry that water for them, and spend their money on other things. Which is exactly what I said. Now, you might disagree that the western powers need the ability to project military force beyond our (or Europe's, or Japan's) borders, but I disagree with that assessment. I believe that without that ability there would be no one to protect all that trade stuff, or the importation of strategic materials (like that oil stuff).
Um... I'm not sure you are following the maths here. The US spends 18 % of GDP on healthcare, and just under 5 on military matters. Europe spends 9 % on healthcare and 1,5 - 2,5 on military budgets. Even if the military spending wasn't well over the top on both, where do you think the money for social programs come from? 2-3 % savings n military budgets or 9 b% on health care? Do you have any idea on how much money goes to social programs? There is simply no way Europe coud save enough money on the difference in miltary spending.

My point here is: That saying that the US military umbrella in an way enables Europes social programs ignores the fundamental maths of the situation.

As for the notion that you need a military to protect trade and resources far away, the notion that such an investment would pay off is so counter-intuitive that I'm going to need a lot of cites to take it seriously. In any case, Europe has clearly crossed off that option anyway, after having had quite a bit of experience with it.

Last edited by Grim Render; 12-18-2013 at 08:37 PM.
  #160  
Old 12-18-2013, 11:52 PM
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That even the poor parts of MS are far wealthier than your standard "banana republic".
Haven’t said otherwise. Not as a part of the US for sure.
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They are poorly run (well, Mississippi is, for sure) in comparison to THE OTHER STATES IN THE US. As another poster up thread commented this is like looking at the worst player in the NBA compared to the others. Yeah, he's the worst player in the NBA, for sure...but he's IN the NBA, making him one of the best basketball players in the world. Comparing those states, as they are today, to other 3rd world or actual banana republic nations, however, clearly shows they aren't in the same league...they are merely poor in comparison to other states in the union. Mississippi has a viable infrastructure, the standards of living in Mississippi is higher than in many LARGE nations (compare it to, oh, say China, India and Russia some time for instance), they aren't reliant on a single crop (and haven't been for over a century), aren't run by a powerful autocracy or any of the other features that constitute a banana republic....except in YOUR mind. THAT'S the point I'm trying to make here.
Or, instead of simply giving a list of states YOU think have aspects of being banana republics, why don't you show some metrics that you think are relevant to your assertion? Simply saying that they aren't a banana republic because they are part of the US is pretty worthless, since they ARE part of the...they pay their state and federal taxes and receive the benefits of being part of the US. You say you are basing your assertion on 'observable data', but thus far you haven't produced any of it to back up your assertion.
"Largely due to the domination of the plantation economy, focused on the production of agricultural cotton, the state was slow to use its wealth to invest in infrastructure such as public schools, roads and railroads. Industrialization did not come in many areas until the late 20th century."

"Many of these towns are trapped in a long, painful death spiral, plagued by poverty, crime and unemployment. More than 100,000 people -- nearly a quarter of the population -- have fled in recent decades in search of a better life."
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They don't want metrics and they've said so. Even the OP, dataguy, objected when data was brought to rebut the point.
But, yeah, next time I drive on I-20 through Jackson, MS on my way to the billion-dollar Nissan factory, I'll stop at a Starbucks before I get there and take a look around at what a third-world country looks like.
Cafe latte in hand, of course. There's no need to be savages about this.
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I-20 being that old goat trail that passes for a 'road', right? That Nissan factory makes cotton, so you can see how a REAL banana republic operates on the one crop system. Watch out for the warlords bandits while you are out there...and all the guerrilla fighters and insurgents in the area.
Hey! What a coincidence. There is a billion dollar Nissan factory in the Philippines too! And I always get a Starbucks coffee in the morning when visiting the office in Makati City, Metro-Manila’s business district. Almost all the other Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers are present in the Philippines in one form or another. Even Ford has a factory there.
Same thing in Bangkok, I can get a Starbucks on the ground floor of the office building there and Thailand have even more auto factories than the Philippines. If having a Starbucks and a foreign owned billion dollar auto-factory represents an advanced economy, well then Mississippi would compare with Philippines and Thailand.

Last edited by NiceGuyJack; 12-18-2013 at 11:56 PM.
  #161  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:20 AM
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Yes, but I wouldn't call the Philippines and Thailand "banana republics" either.

Anyway, I'm dropping this MS digression... the original mention of it made even less sense than the OP, which is really saying something.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-19-2013 at 10:20 AM.
  #162  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack
Hey! What a coincidence. There is a billion dollar Nissan factory in the Philippines too! And I always get a Starbucks coffee in the morning when visiting the office in Makati City, Metro-Manila’s business district. Almost all the other Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers are present in the Philippines in one form or another. Even Ford has a factory there.
Same thing in Bangkok, I can get a Starbucks on the ground floor of the office building there and Thailand have even more auto factories than the Philippines. If having a Starbucks and a foreign owned billion dollar auto-factory represents an advanced economy, well then Mississippi would compare with Philippines and Thailand.
As noted, neither the Philippines nor Thailand are banana republics either, unless we use your out of the ass definition of banana republic that sets Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana as banana republics (which would make a large percentage of all countries on earth banana republics).
  #163  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:37 AM
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My point is: Europes military spending is vastly over the top for any defense need. It is not remotly correct to state that Europe derives any economic benefit from American militry presence, because that would imply that without it, Europe would need to spend more money on the military.
And my opinion is that your point is what's commonly referred to as 'wrong'. Europe's military spending is not 'over the top'...it's way under what they need to be spending, and they can do that because the US is carrying the majority of the water for them, militarily.

As a for instance, recently China has gotten frisky with their own military, pushing the limits and claiming large parts of the South China Sea and other areas as their territory. No big deal, since the US simply moves a carrier task force into the area and China backs down. What would Europe do if the US couldn't so easily nip something like that in the bud? Absolutely nothing. Why should Europe care...it's not in Europe or part of their 'defense', right? Well, do they like that trade stuff? Yes? Well, then they probably would have to care, since some of the area China is playing games in just happens to be some of the richest trade routes on earth, and effect some of the major economic powers in the region (like, oh, South Korea and Japan, not to mention Australia and the southern Pacific rim region. Hell, even Vietnam is a bit tense over this). The US almost casually is able to defuse the situation (well, except for the near collision between a Chinese warship and a US one). Europe? They would have to sit there, thumb firmly up ass and whine about it since THEY DON'T HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO DO SHIT ABOUT IT.

Quote:
And defense is the point of military spending in the developed wolrd. It is not the 19th century when gunboats went out to secure markets!

Exactly why the American military presence remains could be a subject for discussion, pork-barrel, electoral considerations, military industries needing customers... but Europe is certainly very far past the point of diminishing returns on spending.
Uhuh. Gods, I wish I lived in the world you do.

At any rate, as you noted, this is a total hijack. If you wish to discuss this further feel free to start a new thread on it. Your views on military and military force and the necessity in this brave new world are, IMHO, naive in the extreme. The reason things are so (relatively) calm and peaceful with trade just humming along is because the US spends all that money on 'pork barrel' military stuff. Take that away and I think the world will resemble your 19th century more than you seem to understand.

Last edited by XT; 12-19-2013 at 10:40 AM.
  #164  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:01 PM
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Sticking to the point that is germane to this thread: you are following dataguy's lead in inventing a new meaning for banana republic that is contrary to the way everybody else in the world thinks of it. It is not a single crop economy; it is not poverty alone; it is not a mere lack of infrastructure.

Let me quote from the same Wikipedia page that dataguy used earlier, a better definition that makes it obvious why it was not quoted.
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In economics, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by a collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, in which the profit derived from the private exploitation of public lands is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are a public responsibility. Such an imbalanced economy remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country, and tends to cause the national currency to become devalued paper-money, rendering the country ineligible for international development-credit. Such government by thieves is a kleptocracy; such a kleptocratic government is manipulated by foreign (corporate) interests, and functions mostly as ceremonial government that is unaccountable to its nation. The national legislature is, in effect, for sale, influential government employees illegitimately exploit their posts for personal gain (by embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), and the resulting government budget deficit is repaid by the country's working people who earn wages rather than making profits.
There is nothing in the U.S. future that can possibly be a path to such devolution. There is no possible way to define any individual state in such terms. Your accounts of present day and historic states do not match this, not even in the days of Huey Long's dictatorship in Louisiana.

You only get to make this claim by taking the most superficial parallels and then unilaterally declaring that to be the equivalent of a banana republic. We are rejecting that because it utterly ignores the deep, critical differences.

It's true that political commentators sometimes use the term for rhetorical effect. Dataguy's other link goes to nutty right-wing site lewrockwell.com; the footnotes in that Wikipedia quote go to a superbly nutty column by left winger Christopher Hutchins. That's what trolling looks like in the real world. Our point in this thread has been consistent: you can't take a strained ideological metaphor, twist it beyond recognition, apply it randomly and haphazardly, and still expect to have others agree with you. You're wrong because you started out wrong.
  #165  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:35 PM
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Philippines under Marcos, could conceivably have been a banana republic, and I also think the definition of what a Banana Republic constitutes has changed, but I'm not going to argue those points.
I concede. You guys win. All I did was to suggest that possibly, taken as separate states, some could possibly have been Banana Republics if independent. Personally, I still think that it would have been likely had the Civil War ended differently. But it didn't as has been clarified. And as also pointed out, as part of the US these states are well supported by the rest so wouldn't have the same political or economic structure required to be a BR. Speculation is apparently not allowed when criticizing the US.
So, I concede. Congratulations!

Last edited by NiceGuyJack; 12-19-2013 at 10:39 PM.
  #166  
Old 12-19-2013, 11:00 PM
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And according to another Wikipedia link, the U.S. produces between 80% and 95% of the world's pecans.

The obvious groaner here is that while the US isn't a banana republic yet, global warming could make us one.
  #167  
Old 12-22-2013, 11:14 AM
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No.
  #168  
Old 12-22-2013, 02:40 PM
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And according to another Wikipedia link, the U.S. produces between 80% and 95% of the world's pecans.

The obvious groaner here is that while the US isn't a banana republic yet, global warming could make us one.
Florida is already turning into one.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-republic.html

I don't remember all the details, but more than once citizens of Florida have thrown Bananas at city hall when abuses of power from the state leaders come to light. Citizens do it to make a point on the kind of government some leaders are attempting to impose.
  #169  
Old 12-22-2013, 02:45 PM
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Florida is already turning into one.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-republic.html

I don't remember all the details, but more than once citizens of Florida have thrown Bananas at city hall when abuses of power from the state leaders come to light. Citizens do it to make a point on the kind of government some leaders are attempting to impose.
Ugh. Florida is not "becoming" a Banana Republic, and I don't know why you would put something so preposterous out there. It takes a tad bit more than a few citizens throwing bananas to turn a state into a BR.

This is another one of those cases where: Florida = bad, so whatever bad I can think of to say about it is OK.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:16 PM
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Uh... wooosh?
  #171  
Old 12-22-2013, 10:44 PM
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Another article using the words incorrectly? But it's not the only one and it seems to be used more and more to describe problematic countries in the modern world.
Like all words and idioms, definitions can and do change.
It wasn't long ago "Gay" only meant happy.
If the term is used more frequently to define something different from its original meaning, then it becomes part of the evolving language.
This article explains the original meaning and what the term is evolving into.
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The concept of banana republics has evolved with the changing political climate. For instance, more than fruit, resources such as oil and coffee spurred banana republics in the 20th century. Corruption at all levels usually arises in these unstable governments, breeding a system rife with bribes and black markets. Increasing privatization of basic social services leaves the population with reduced wages and worsening living conditions. Critics of the United States frequently relate its policies to the phenomenon of banana republics both in South America and the Middle East.
This could obviously be considered an opinion by the author of the article, but as it seems it is being used more and more frquently in articles and discussions elsewhere, it is difficult to deny that the meaning may actually have changed.
  #172  
Old 12-22-2013, 10:48 PM
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Uh... wooosh?
A self Wooosh for John Mace, as I pointed out it is what they attempt to do. And the Banana incidents are hyperbolic protests.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/200...iami-city-hall

As pointed, so far they are failing to do so, but there is that "insignificant" detail of eternal vigilance who we have to thank for that. Related to this: The Daily Beast report I linked to was related to the many underhanded efforts to game the vote in Florida, IIRC close to election time the protests did make the governor to backtrack on many of those "great" ideas to "protect" the vote.

It is for that and past underhanded moves that many alternate press publications like the Miami New Times has a category for "Banana Republicans"

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/ripti...dex.php?page=3

Last edited by GIGObuster; 12-22-2013 at 10:50 PM.
  #173  
Old 12-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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it is difficult to deny that the meaning may actually have changed.
I deny that the meaning of the word has changed.

See? That was easy.
  #174  
Old 12-22-2013, 11:24 PM
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I deny that the meaning of the word has changed.

See? That was easy.
Indeed it was. How very clever you are.
  #175  
Old 12-23-2013, 08:32 AM
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Another article using the words incorrectly? But it's not the only one and it seems to be used more and more to describe problematic countries in the modern world.
Like all words and idioms, definitions can and do change.
It wasn't long ago "Gay" only meant happy.
If the term is used more frequently to define something different from its original meaning, then it becomes part of the evolving language.
This article explains the original meaning and what the term is evolving into.

This could obviously be considered an opinion by the author of the article, but as it seems it is being used more and more frquently in articles and discussions elsewhere, it is difficult to deny that the meaning may actually have changed.
Because "critics of the United States frequently relate its policies..." doesn't make the United States any more a banana republic than my daughter's conviction that the current Hobbit movies are the pinnacle of film evolution make them the pinnacle of film evolution.

Again, the term is preposterous. According to PISA (warning: large PDF!), the US scores are not statistically different from Spain, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and others. In this thread US PISA scores are cited as evidence of the US being a "banana republic", but if I started a thread "Is Norway a banana republic" and cited their PISA scores as evidence, I would be mocked, and rightfully so.

The US is a country where, from 1991 to 2008, the total assets owned by Americans grew one and-a-half (1.5) times the size of the entire 2008 Chinese asset base. Grew. And yet to refute this, all you bring is a cite which does little but show other people don't understand the term either.

Let me make this clear: "Banana Republics", regardless of the definition used, do not add $32 trillion to their asset base over a 17-year period. They do not score on a par with Norway on educational assessment tests. They do not own more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined. Understand now?

Last edited by JohnT; 12-23-2013 at 08:35 AM.
  #176  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:04 AM
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Personally, I still think that it would have been likely had the Civil War ended differently. But it didn't as has been clarified.
That post cries out to be read with a patrician Virginia accent.
  #177  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:18 AM
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I can't do that, so I substituted Foghorn Leghorn instead. Works very well.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-23-2013 at 09:19 AM.
  #178  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
I deny that the meaning of the word has changed.

See? That was easy.
But the meaning HAS changed and I think I see what the OP is on about now. Look here...THIS is the new meaning of Banana Republic, and I agree, the US has become one. Hell, I'll go further and say that we have set the trend for this sort of thing in fact. Just part of the culture we are bringing to the rest of the world.
  #179  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:07 AM
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Hey, at least we're Banana Republic and not The Gap or Old Navy. I'm hoping that someday we're Tommy Bahama.
  #180  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:10 AM
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I am not happy if this has become a nation of skinny jeans and dudes who shave once a week.
  #181  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
Indeed it was. How very clever you are.
The subject doesn't deserve a serious answer so I gave it a mocking one.

If you really, really, really want a serious beat-down, though, I'm happy to oblige.

The entire history of language is that of words changing, dropping, and accruing meanings. You could make the argument that every person uses every word with a slightly different connotation than everyone else, and no doubt there's a book that says exactly that.

That's both the curse and the wonderfulness of language. Words are so flexible that they can capture the infinite complexity of an ever-changing world yet have a reservoir of core truth that makes them understood by most people most of the time.

And yet words can be abused. Politically correct as a term has no meaning at all these days; it's devolved into an all-purpose attack on anything anybody doesn't like, the dirty hippie of our day. Obama is regularly called a Fascist Communist, a ridiculous oxymoron. Creationists and climate deniers misuse the words of science quite deliberately to shore up arguments that have no real basis in fact. It's not just meaning that gets abused. Illiterate's place apostrophe's into plural's at a furious clip.

Maybe at some point in the future, society will break down sufficiently that plural's can rightly be spelled with an apostrophe. That's very unlikely, though. There is too much pushback from good writers to overcome. Good writers, and all those who are concerned about the language and the trend toward appropriating words for propaganda, will continue to push back with all their strength and scorn. Politically correct has been lost but Fascist Communist is still a signal of derangement.

And banana republic as an all-purpose term for the United States being anything other than the number one nation in the world in every conceivable way is still in the latter category. It signals ignorance rather than derangement at this point, but it has potential. The U.S. cannot become a true banana republic under any faintly plausible scenario. It cannot even become a metaphorical banana republic under any faintly plausible scenario. If China were to beat U.S. GDP - likely in the semi-near future - the U.S. would still have four times the per capita GDP of China, making even saying that it is number 2 a stretch. It will not and can not become a banana republic, even if a thousand blog posts call it that. They will merely become an additional thousand on top of the millions of already silly, ignorant, and eminently forgettable blog posts on the net.

And if you quote them approvingly, you will continue to earn the scorn of everybody who truly understands history, economics, politics, and words. Your choice.
  #182  
Old 12-23-2013, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Hey, at least we're Banana Republic and not The Gap or Old Navy. I'm hoping that someday we're Tommy Bahama.
Too late, the Gap, Inc. invaded the Banana Republic in 1983..

Actually, it was thanks to a coup.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...n-the-gap.html
Quote:
Coup Lands Banana Republic in The Gap

Last edited by GIGObuster; 12-23-2013 at 12:13 PM.
  #183  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Because "critics of the United States frequently relate its policies..." doesn't make the United States any more a banana republic than my daughter's conviction that the current Hobbit movies are the pinnacle of film evolution make them the pinnacle of film evolution.
I agree, under the original definition. All I’m saying is that the definition may have changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Again, the term is preposterous. According to PISA (warning: large PDF!), the US scores are not statistically different from Spain, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and others. In this thread US PISA scores are cited as evidence of the US being a "banana republic", but if I started a thread "Is Norway a banana republic" and cited their PISA scores as evidence, I would be mocked, and rightfully so.
I fail to see the connection. PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), evaluates education programmes in various countries. What does this have to do with this discussion?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
The US is a country where, from 1991 to 2008, the total assets owned by Americans grew one and-a-half (1.5) times the size of the entire 2008 Chinese asset base. Grew. And yet to refute this, all you bring is a cite which does little but show other people don't understand the term either.
Let me make this clear: "Banana Republics", regardless of the definition used, do not add $32 trillion to their asset base over a 17-year period. They do not score on a par with Norway on educational assessment tests. They do not own more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined. Understand now?
Now we’re getting to the core of the problem. I fully agree and have no argument over your assessment that the US economy is the biggest economy in the world. GDP and Total assets has increased. But this is the conundrum. How can the richest country in the world have people living in extreme poverty? No other economically advanced country has this problem.
“The number of households living on $2 or less in income per person, per day in a given month increased from about 636,000 in 1996 to about 1.46 million households in early 2011, a percentage growth of 130 percent. We estimate that about 2.8 million children lived in extreme poverty at the beginning of 2011. This was roughly 16 percent of all children in poverty.”
Who enjoyed the benefits of the $32 trillion in assets you described? How would you describe a society that systematically removes more and more support for the neediest? Where US veterans receive no support after returning home and a vast number of them end up homeless. Where corporations seem to rule and are awarded bail outs when they fail. Where environment is being polluted and the one organization meant to regulate and protect the environment is powerless to do so and the companies who are responsible are let off with minor penalties if any.
It seems to me writers and journalists have started using the term Banana Republic for a lack of a better term. If the US is actuality ruled by corporations, then there is at least some similarities to the definition of a BR.
Perhaps we need to find a new term to describe this. How about Economic Cannibalism? The Republic of Koch Brothers? National Capitalism?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The subject doesn't deserve a serious answer so I gave it a mocking one.
If you really, really, really want a serious beat-down, though, I'm happy to oblige.
The entire history of language is that of words changing, dropping, and accruing meanings. You could make the argument that every person uses every word with a slightly different connotation than everyone else, and no doubt there's a book that says exactly that.
That's both the curse and the wonderfulness of language. Words are so flexible that they can capture the infinite complexity of an ever-changing world yet have a reservoir of core truth that makes them understood by most people most of the time.
And yet words can be abused. Politically correct as a term has no meaning at all these days; it's devolved into an all-purpose attack on anything anybody doesn't like, the dirty hippie of our day. Obama is regularly called a Fascist Communist, a ridiculous oxymoron. Creationists and climate deniers misuse the words of science quite deliberately to shore up arguments that have no real basis in fact. It's not just meaning that gets abused. Illiterate's place apostrophe's into plural's at a furious clip.
Maybe at some point in the future, society will break down sufficiently that plural's can rightly be spelled with an apostrophe. That's very unlikely, though. There is too much pushback from good writers to overcome. Good writers, and all those who are concerned about the language and the trend toward appropriating words for propaganda, will continue to push back with all their strength and scorn. Politically correct has been lost but Fascist Communist is still a signal of derangement.
And banana republic as an all-purpose term for the United States being anything other than the number one nation in the world in every conceivable way is still in the latter category. It signals ignorance rather than derangement at this point, but it has potential. The U.S. cannot become a true banana republic under any faintly plausible scenario. It cannot even become a metaphorical banana republic under any faintly plausible scenario. If China were to beat U.S. GDP - likely in the semi-near future - the U.S. would still have four times the per capita GDP of China, making even saying that it is number 2 a stretch. It will not and can not become a banana republic, even if a thousand blog posts call it that. They will merely become an additional thousand on top of the millions of already silly, ignorant, and eminently forgettable blog posts on the net.
And if you quote them approvingly, you will continue to earn the scorn of everybody who truly understands history, economics, politics, and words. Your choice.
I do agree with all that you say here. Especially the examples you have provided, which I’d call “Foxism” as that tends to be the source of the ridiculous use of words and terms they use to describe what they do not advocate.
And you have convinced me that the use of the term banana republic should not be used in this context. However, there are underlying problems in the US which journalists are trying to address and since there is no better term for it, they have been using “banana republic” to shed light on the issue, rightly or wrongly. As I pointed out above, someone needs to come up with a new term to describe the true underlying problem without hi-jacking an old term that describes a different circumstance. Otherwise, you’ll have people so focused on dismissing the description and ignoring what the real issues were. When you read the article in the OP, did any of the actual points made sink in? Or was the misuse of the term “banana republic” more important? If so, you have missed the point entirely.
  #184  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:10 PM
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It's late, but...

Quote:
I fail to see the connection. PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), evaluates education programmes in various countries. What does this have to do with this discussion?
"Declining education standards" was one of the items mentioned in the OP's linked article as evidence of America's becoming this "banana republic", and these scores have been referenced intermittently in this discussion. I made the point that America, even in its "golden age of global dominance", was never a leader in international education assessments and frequently came in last.

And, I agree: for varying definitions of "banana republic", America is a banana republic just as much as 2+2=5 for varying definitions of 2.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-23-2013 at 10:12 PM.
  #185  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
And you have convinced me that the use of the term banana republic should not be used in this context. However, there are underlying problems in the US which journalists are trying to address and since there is no better term for it, they have been using “banana republic” to shed light on the issue, rightly or wrongly. As I pointed out above, someone needs to come up with a new term to describe the true underlying problem without hi-jacking an old term that describes a different circumstance. Otherwise, you’ll have people so focused on dismissing the description and ignoring what the real issues were. When you read the article in the OP, did any of the actual points made sink in? Or was the misuse of the term “banana republic” more important? If so, you have missed the point entirely.
A discussion that changed a mind! I'm very impressed.

But did you miss the entire discussion that took place in this thread? I accused the OP - and by implication the writer of the original article - of cherrypicking facts and ignoring history in making this case. America was never a paradise. It towered above the world for a short period when the rest of the world was in total shambles. Anybody who uses this period - the most anomalous in all American history - as their baseline is committing a deliberate fraud. I'd compare it to climate deniers using 1998 as their baseline in the hopes of fooling the credulous and ignorant when in actuality 1998 was a then off-the-charts anomaly in its incredible heat. I'd accuse the article writer of that, but it's even worse - he never gives any time at all that was before the fall.

Once you look at the totality of history, America's imagined superiority vanishes. It has been rich and powerful and a world leader in many economic factors since the end of the 19th century but it has always had huge internal inequalities that people have rioted, struck, protested, and railed against absolutely continuously every single day of that time. And rightly so. If you don't understand how far apart America's loud self-acclaim and its reality have always been you understand so little history that you forfeit the right to comment on it.

Must changes be made? Of course. Should these inequalities be lessened? Of course. Are we doing the right things to straighten them out? Of course not.

Even so, that article is simply ludicrous propaganda. It's bad thinking and an embarrassment to the liberal cause. It's filled with half truths and technical truths - meaning facts that have been so wrenched out of context that they can be made to fit any point the writer wants to make.

You don't get a pass from me because your heart is in the right place. Get your head into that place as well or suffer the consequences.

Last edited by Exapno Mapcase; 12-23-2013 at 10:31 PM.
  #186  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
I agree, under the original definition. All I’m saying is that the definition may have changed.
Under your definition of the term, can you name a handful of countries that are not banana republics?
  #187  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
Now we’re getting to the core of the problem. I fully agree and have no argument over your assessment that the US economy is the biggest economy in the world. GDP and Total assets has increased. But this is the conundrum. How can the richest country in the world have people living in extreme poverty? No other economically advanced country has this problem.
“The number of households living on $2 or less in income per person, per day in a given month increased from about 636,000 in 1996 to about 1.46 million households in early 2011, a percentage growth of 130 percent. We estimate that about 2.8 million children lived in extreme poverty at the beginning of 2011. This was roughly 16 percent of all children in poverty.”
http://www.indexmundi.com/map/?t=0&v=69&r=xx&l=en

If the above link doesn't work, go to the map, select "population under poverty line", and look at the chart underneath the map. Or you can go to the Wiki site, it has largely the same information.

% of people under relative poverty line:

Japan: 16
US: 15
UK: 14

Of course you speak of absolute poverty, the poorest of the poor, the 1.5 million mentioned above, or the .46% of the 320 million in this country. To clarify: that's not 4.6%, that's .46%, or just under 1/2 of 1%.

% of people in absolute poverty in the EU (PDF, page 30, table 4.1):

Germany, <$1/day: .5%
Germany, <$2.15/day: .6% (The US: .46%)
Germany, <$4.30/day: .8%

France, <$1/day: .2%
France, <$2.15/day: .2% (The US: .46%)
France, <$4.30/day: .3%

Denmark, <$1/day: .6%
Denmark, <$2.15/day: .7% (The US: .46%)
Denmark, <$4.30/day: 1.1%

UK, <$1/day: .5%
UK, <$2.15/day: .6% (The US: .46%)
UK, <$4.30/day: 1.0%

(For those of you who don't want to download a PDF, it's a European Commission study on absolute poverty in Europe. You can find a link to it here.)

My GOD, why the Brits, Danes, and Germans aren't fleeing their banana republic-esque despots for the sweet, sweet environs of rural France (again!), I'll never figure out. All of them with absolute poverty rates that EXCEED the hellhole that is even the Banana Republic States of America and its (relatively) paltry rate of .46%.

And, Christ, since we're bringing up individual states into this discussion, let's assume that the member states of the EU are analogous to the US States. There's a country in the EU with 8% of its population earning less than $2.15/day, a rate 20 times that of the US and, I'm sure, greater than that of Mississippi. (Very last page of the EC report.)

Lastly, here is a paper that compares absolute and relative poverty rates in the US and the EU. This paper shows that in regards to relative poverty (being poor compared to your neighbors), the EU tends to look better than the US, but in terms of absolute poverty (the poorest of the poor: homeless, etc) the EU looks far worse and the gap closes to a statistically insignificant draw at best (page 39.)

Last edited by JohnT; 12-23-2013 at 11:04 PM.
  #188  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:06 PM
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And in regards to the question of who got the $32 trillion, my father had nothing in 1982 and died with an estate of about $15 million 25 years later. My grandparents and uncle had similar gains in the same period, though you wouldn't know it to look at my grandfather's Chevy Vega.

So, despite what people say about the 80's, it didn't just go to people who already had money.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-23-2013 at 11:07 PM.
  #189  
Old 12-24-2013, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Once you look at the totality of history, America's imagined superiority vanishes. It has been rich and powerful and a world leader in many economic factors since the end of the 19th century but it has always had huge internal inequalities that people have rioted, struck, protested, and railed against absolutely continuously every single day of that time. And rightly so. If you don't understand how far apart America's loud self-acclaim and its reality have always been you understand so little history that you forfeit the right to comment on it.
Must changes be made? Of course. Should these inequalities be lessened? Of course. Are we doing the right things to straighten them out? Of course not.
Even so, that article is simply ludicrous propaganda. It's bad thinking and an embarrassment to the liberal cause. It's filled with half truths and technical truths - meaning facts that have been so wrenched out of context that they can be made to fit any point the writer wants to make.
You don't get a pass from me because your heart is in the right place. Get your head into that place as well or suffer the consequences.
I for one have always contended that American superiority was imagined and haven’t said otherwise.
To claim that the history of social struggles was uniquely American is ignorant and magnificently arrogant. The social struggles from the 19th through the 20th century were a global phenomenon. It’s due to this that communism was adapted in several countries and why social reform was adapted in others. Do you think millions of Europeans migrated to the US because they were fed up with an easy lifestyle at home? The fact is that US and other industrialized nations had the same struggles at this time and most if not all of these countries followed similar trajectories in bringing around social reform. If anything the US influenced many of these countries to adapt a more democratic political system. And with that came further reforms such as women’s right to vote, free education, social security and of course universal healthcare. That last one was missed by the US, although had Roosevelt survived the war, he had plans to implement it.
The point is, as other economically advanced nations are progressing, somewhere in the last 50 years, the US changed and reversed course and they appear to be dismantling the progress made through their struggles in past generations. The article may have articulated it poorly, (I agree with you there), but the point of the article was to describe the reverse. The examples used may have been inaccurate and vague and the author could have made a better job of this, but there is some kernel of truth in his argument.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
http://www.indexmundi.com/map/?t=0&v=69&r=xx&l=en

If the above link doesn't work, go to the map, select "population under poverty line", and look at the chart underneath the map. Or you can go to the Wiki site, it has largely the same information.

% of people under relative poverty line:

Japan: 16
US: 15
UK: 14

Of course you speak of absolute poverty, the poorest of the poor, the 1.5 million mentioned above, or the .46% of the 320 million in this country. To clarify: that's not 4.6%, that's .46%, or just under 1/2 of 1%.

% of people in absolute poverty in the EU (PDF, page 30, table 4.1):

Germany, <$1/day: .5%
Germany, <$2.15/day: .6% (The US: .46%)
Germany, <$4.30/day: .8%

France, <$1/day: .2%
France, <$2.15/day: .2% (The US: .46%)
France, <$4.30/day: .3%

Denmark, <$1/day: .6%
Denmark, <$2.15/day: .7% (The US: .46%)
Denmark, <$4.30/day: 1.1%

UK, <$1/day: .5%
UK, <$2.15/day: .6% (The US: .46%)
UK, <$4.30/day: 1.0%

(For those of you who don't want to download a PDF, it's a European Commission study on absolute poverty in Europe. You can find a link to it here.)

My GOD, why the Brits, Danes, and Germans aren't fleeing their banana republic-esque despots for the sweet, sweet environs of rural France (again!), I'll never figure out. All of them with absolute poverty rates that EXCEED the hellhole that is even the Banana Republic States of America and its (relatively) paltry rate of .46%.

And, Christ, since we're bringing up individual states into this discussion, let's assume that the member states of the EU are analogous to the US States. There's a country in the EU with 8% of its population earning less than $2.15/day, a rate 20 times that of the US and, I'm sure, greater than that of Mississippi. (Very last page of the EC report.)

Lastly, here is a paper that compares absolute and relative poverty rates in the US and the EU. This paper shows that in regards to relative poverty (being poor compared to your neighbors), the EU tends to look better than the US, but in terms of absolute poverty (the poorest of the poor: homeless, etc) the EU looks far worse and the gap closes to a statistically insignificant draw at best (page 39.)
In almost every example you pointed to, there was a disclaimer.
Quote:
“Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.”
In other words, the poverty you have stated for Denmark, for example, is doubtfully the same as that of rural Mississippi.
I should point out that I have not denied there is poverty in Europe. On the other hand you have provided a link that shows Europe has a plan, the objective being to reduce the poverty within the EU.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
And in regards to the question of who got the $32 trillion, my father had nothing in 1982 and died with an estate of about $15 million 25 years later. My grandparents and uncle had similar gains in the same period, though you wouldn't know it to look at my grandfather's Chevy Vega.
So, despite what people say about the 80's, it didn't just go to people who already had money.
Hard work and smart investments pay off. I’ve built a nice little nest egg myself, not quite the amount your father accumulated yet, but getting close. A few more years perhaps. I am a capitalist and I enjoy my wealth very much. I didn’t need to make it in the US either. Contrary to belief, you can make a fortune outside the US you know. Not sure what the point is here though. Your father may have made a modest $15 million in his lifetime, but the vast amount of the $32 trillion likely went to corporations who benefit from tax breaks and subsidies.
  #190  
Old 12-24-2013, 05:58 AM
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Well, if we're just going to ignore quality cites and data in order to tortuously redefine words, then we can just say they mean whatever the hell we want them to mean, eh?

So now the definition of "banana republic" apparently means to have poverty rates similar to Europe, education scores similar to Europe, a helluva lot of statistics similar, or greater than (both aggregate and per capita) those you find in Europe... it's just if this country is the US, it's a banana republic?

Got it.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-24-2013 at 06:03 AM.
  #191  
Old 12-24-2013, 06:11 AM
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Shit, hit submit... sorry.

Quote:
“Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.”
In other words, the poverty you have stated for Denmark, for example, is doubtfully the same as that of rural Mississippi.
I should point out that I have not denied there is poverty in Europe. On the other hand you have provided a link that shows Europe has a plan, the objective being to reduce the poverty within the EU.
How is

"<$1/day
"<$2.15/day
and "<$4.30/day"

Measured differently in Denmark and the US? Dollar amounts are absolute, not relative. That was the entire point of the EC report, which apparently you missed - it's about absolute poverty and not relative poverty.

You said that the US has a poverty problem that doesn't exist in the EU or Japan but ONLY in the US. You literally said they didn't have these levels of poverty. Since you can't remember, here, let me quote:

Quote:
But this is the conundrum. How can the richest country in the world have people living in extreme poverty? No other economically advanced country has this problem.
All countries in the world have people living in extreme poverty. All other economically advanced countries have this problem, many of them to a worse degree than the US. But this data is ignored.

Again.

Damn near every point you and Dataguy have brought to this issue has been summarily refuted and shown to be either (a) false, or (b) wrong. And yet y'all persist in this notion...

Last edited by JohnT; 12-24-2013 at 06:16 AM.
  #192  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Shit, hit submit... sorry.



How is

"<$1/day
"<$2.15/day
and "<$4.30/day"

Measured differently in Denmark and the US? Dollar amounts are absolute, not relative. That was the entire point of the EC report, which apparently you missed - it's about absolute poverty and not relative poverty.

You said that the US has a poverty problem that doesn't exist in the EU or Japan but ONLY in the US. You literally said they didn't have these levels of poverty. Since you can't remember, here, let me quote:



All countries in the world have people living in extreme poverty. All other economically advanced countries have this problem, many of them to a worse degree than the US. But this data is ignored.

Again.

Damn near every point you and Dataguy have brought to this issue has been summarily refuted and shown to be either (a) false, or (b) wrong. And yet y'all persist in this notion...
I hoped we didn't have to go there, but oh well, here it is.
I was once a child in Sweden with a single parent mother supporting two kids.
We lived in a city in southern Sweden, in a neighborhood considered "poor". We lived in government subsidized housing.
Considering my mother's low paying job and supporting two kids, we were statistically poor. But, we had a roof over our heads because of government subsidized low rent, food on the table as my mother was granted benefits from the government as a single mother with two children. School lunch was free for all kids, so didn't need money for that. We had clothes enough for the cold winters. In other words, Swedish statistics would have put us under the poverty line when I was a kid. But did we suffer from it? No. In fact, I had the same opportunities for a decent education as any other child in Sweden.
So, no. Being poor in Sweden or Denmark is not the same as being poor in the US.
I don't deny it doesn't exist, I'm saying those governments ensure everyone has basic access to basic needs.
  #193  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
Considering my mother's low paying job and supporting two kids, we were statistically poor. But, we had a roof over our heads because of government subsidized low rent...
Section 8

Quote:
food on the table as my mother was granted benefits from the government as a single mother with two children.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Quote:
School lunch was free for all kids, so didn't need money for that.
School meal programs in the United States

Quote:
We had clothes enough for the cold winters.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Goodwill Industries

Quote:
In other words, Swedish statistics would have put us under the poverty line when I was a kid. But did we suffer from it? No. In fact, I had the same opportunities for a decent education as any other child in Sweden.
Public education in the United States

Quote:
So, no. Being poor in Sweden or Denmark is not the same as being poor in the US.
I don't deny it doesn't exist, I'm saying those governments ensure everyone has basic access to basic needs.
The U.S. isn't quite the Dickensian free-for-all you seem to imagine. Literally every program you just named exists here.
  #194  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:41 AM
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Thanks, HA. You saved me a lot of work.

So, anecdote does equal data. I did not know that.
  #195  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:50 AM
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I would like to note that HA mentioned only the large programs. The state, city, and county programs are still in existence (50 states, 3,144 counties, 30,000 cities and towns), as well as many private charities such as the Salvation Army, various Food Banks, and more.

My wife and daughter, yesterday afternoon, spent 3 hours at the Food Bank putting together meals for children in day care programs for single parents. 2,000 meals a day get made and distributed, and, again, that's just one of the programs available upon request. This past weekend, we spent an additional 3 hours pulling weeds from the garden and sorting cans. (The SAFB provides over 60,000 meals a week to the needy in San Antonio, btw.)

That is how things work in America. We just don't leave it up to the government, we pull together ourselves and help the poor and hungry with our bare hands (and, yes, checkbooks. Americans give more in charity, in both absolute and per capita terms, than any other industrialized country.)

Last edited by JohnT; 12-24-2013 at 08:54 AM.
  #196  
Old 12-24-2013, 12:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiceGuyJack View Post
The point is, as other economically advanced nations are progressing, somewhere in the last 50 years, the US changed and reversed course and they appear to be dismantling the progress made through their struggles in past generations.
Very simply, no.

This is not true. The U.S. has not reversed course. It is vastly - vastly - more active in fighting poverty than it was 50 years ago.

I was thirteen 50 years ago so I can attest to the lack of programs in the country. I was what we defined as working class poor. We got nothing at all from government programs.

The War on Poverty did not start until 1965. Most of the programs Human Action listed come from after that time. There may be some noisy voices on the right trying to roll these back but it has not happened yet and there is no public political appetite for them to do so. I don't know where you live or what news you look at, but when I look at the world I see the same pressures for austerity everywhere in every country. (And with some successes, especially when it comes to workers, hours, and pay.) Nothing about the U.S. is unique, and in fact it is rising from the worldwide recession better and faster than most other western countries.

There is virtually nothing about today's society that is not vastly superior to that of 50 years ago. Politically, economically, or technologically, in matters of health, consumer goods, food, education, or basic freedoms, in the condition of cities or farms or housing. And while there continue to be economic ups and downs, and individual people are being hurt, and nothing is perfect, and all that will continue to be true in the future - THE U.S. IS NOT IN DECLINE.

And I say this as a cynical curmudgeon. It is a plain matter of fact. I can - and do - look at the past, at every decade in the past, and compare it to today. They pale before the reality. If the U.S. ever goes into absolute decline in my lifetime I will be out there shouting about it. In the meantime, I say its Creationism and I say the hell with it.
  #197  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:09 PM
Siam Sam is offline
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I think people who go around saying the US is becoming a banana republic have never visited an actual banana republic.
  #198  
Old 12-25-2013, 12:48 AM
Riga Marole is offline
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Originally Posted by dataguy View Post
Is the US becoming a banana republic?
If the definition of a Banana Republic is a sequential, greedy, remorseless, sociopathic, semi-homicidal leadership with a staggeringly ignorant, uneducated population, including a rapid percentage rise of destitution, then yes, the U.S. is becoming a Banana Republic.
  #199  
Old 12-25-2013, 12:51 AM
Riga Marole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I think people who go around saying the US is becoming a banana republic have never visited an actual banana republic.
I do say so and I have been to many such places.
  #200  
Old 12-25-2013, 01:06 AM
Riga Marole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Very simply, no.

This is not true. The U.S. has not reversed course. It is vastly - vastly - more active in fighting poverty than it was 50 years ago. .......

There is virtually nothing about today's society that is not vastly superior to that of 50 years ago. ..... THE U.S. IS NOT IN DECLINE.
I'll take your word for that, but it does not disprove the insinuation that the U.S. is becoming a "Banana Republic" - or perhaps one should say that it is lagging behind a growing number of nations that are soaring upwards, making the U.S. a default Banana Republic by the fact that progressive nations are leaving the U.S. far behind and former Banana Republics are passing it by.

The population of the U.S. has less rights, less freedom, less democratic principles than it had before. It is well down the International Democracy Index in every category that make up quality of life and the more it falters the closer it resembles a Third World nation - a Banana Republic.
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