Comments on: Colonial America: How Swede it was http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/ Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: jaham http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3182 Thu, 10 May 2012 20:23:55 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3182 What has changed is complacency; laziness has crept in.

Americans of that era were happy to practice their own religion, to plow their own land, and to mind their own business. Today’s Americans are content to sit in front of the TV but upset when they can’t pay their xbox subscription, mobile phone bill, or pizza delivery fee. Frankly, most Americans who are poor (not middle class) are there for a reason: lack of work ethic, drug addiction, and/or criminality (this is of course influenced by the culture they are raised in)

It seems an inveitable human trait to eventually take things for granted, no matter what you have. The citizens in the era of the founding fathers did not take for granted what America was as it was novel and precious.

How we return to that mentality? Perhaps it is an impossibility…

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By: Butch_from_PA http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3134 Tue, 08 May 2012 17:22:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3134 Good article. Wonder how much of this current state is old money and ideas having moved into the Americas in the last 3 generations.

They have corrupted our laws and politics – creating the exact environment the early Americas rejected. Perhaps the same cure is needed.

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By: REMant http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3123 Tue, 08 May 2012 01:35:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3123 As I mentioned on the Aljazeera website where this appeared, colonial America also had no banks, and the mobility achieved, both upward and downward, was not the result of transfer payments or bankruptcy restructurings, which they had little of either. In later years, with poverty rising, Adams and Jefferson agreed that the banks had brought nothing but what we euphemistically call “moral hazard.”

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By: krimsonpage http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3113 Mon, 07 May 2012 15:03:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3113 @DataRat I am thinking you did not read the article. Slow down, read it first before you get all bunched up in the middle. And no, Ayn Rand is not one of our Founding Fathers. Neither is Milton Friedman.

@amateurediteur huh?

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By: habistany http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3110 Sun, 06 May 2012 19:52:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3110 I have a bone to pick with Christia about something she said on Bill Maher’s show. Please don’t compare your awesome job with mine. Maybe you can’t wait to leave your kids when you go off to work to your cushy office and respected important job, but most of us don’t have a job like yours! Or a choice like Ann Romney! I can’t believe you all are so out of touch with reality that not one person on the panel said that. Or the fact that Ann Romney had the nerve to say how great “choice” is when her own husband is advocating taking other womens choice away from them. What is wrong with you people???

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By: bryanX http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3107 Sun, 06 May 2012 19:37:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3107 equality?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may  /04/us-stolen-land-indian-tribes-un

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By: Bob9999 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3098 Sun, 06 May 2012 16:34:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3098 But what about slavery?

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By: trevorh http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3071 Sun, 06 May 2012 06:01:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3071 @Chrystia Freeland
How do you sleep at night?

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By: flashrooster http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3068 Sun, 06 May 2012 03:17:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3068 Since the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken discussion of wealth distribution out of Romney’s “quiet rooms” and out into the public domain where it belongs, it’s been rather entertaining to see the circuitous lengths people will go to in making their defense of wealth redistribution from the Middle Class to the rich. And I get the feeling that most people making this argument are doing so against their own best interests and do so in the name of Republican rightwing ideology adherence. When you have a relatively small group of people who own the rights to things which the public can’t live without, and that small group of people are continuously raising their rates while failing to increase workers’ pay, increasing their wealth while everyone else sees theirs diminishing, that is redistribution of wealth, or systemic profiteering for short. The argument is basically that they deserve all that they can get because they figured out how to get it. This includes figuring out that buying off our government is profitable and the defenders of this kind of redistribution of wealth believe in rewarding those who have bought off the US government. Am I wrong? I don’t think so. You may word it differently, but it comes out the same: regardless of how the rich make their money, they deserve to pay as little in taxes as possible and deserve all the benefits their money can buy, including the benefit of controlling legislative outcomes.

Having a more egalitarian society was important to most of our Founding Fathers. For one, they seem to have believed in a real sense of fairness. But neither did they have an uber-wealthy class of individuals using their wealth to control what their government did and didn’t do. I’m sure money had its influence, but not like it does today.

But it wasn’t just a sense of fairness on the part of our Founders. They also understood how having fairness in wealth distribution was important to the longterm stability of our Republic. They saw firsthand what happens when societies evolve in such a way where a few own most of the wealth: Disproportionate wealth and power is always abused and the majority suffer.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson warned the American people about the threat posed, specifically, by powerful corporations, and he shared those warnings at a time when no corporations were as powerful as what exists today:

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Thomas Jefferson

Well, there’s no challenging going on anymore. The corporations won. They control our government. Too many Americans failed, and are continuing to fail, to heed the warnings given us by our Founders, such as Jefferson’s warning above.

It’s time we quit pretending that there’s no wealth redistribution going on from the Middle Class to the rich, and legitimizing it by claiming that the rich have the right to engage in such redistribution just because they figured out how–and they should be celebrated? We need to base our policies and tax laws on what is best for the entire country and not what is best for the wealthy few just because they figured out a method of getting rich at the expense of the American Middle Class.

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By: blended_purple http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/05/03/colonial-america-how-swede-it-was/#comment-3067 Sat, 05 May 2012 22:01:40 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1619#comment-3067 This is because the U.S. had a historical labor scarcity that lasted until about 1970 or so. Our so-called exceptionalism was an accident of history and Americans are going to have a very hard time getting used to the new normal. Basically, labor scarcity is over as are the prospects for the middle class as a whole. It’s over, guys.

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