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By: rikfre Fri, 01 Mar 2013 21:07:24 +0000 me too, I ate one sour too…

By: xcanada2 Fri, 01 Mar 2013 02:18:24 +0000 @tmc

What an incredible breadth of thinking!

By: tmc Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:46:36 +0000 Thank’s again @paintcan, you amaze me sometimes.

By: lovedOne Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:10:48 +0000 The body of
B. Franklin, Printer
(Like the Cover of an Old Book
Its Contents torn Out
And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies Here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be Lost;
For it will (as he Believ’d) Appear once More
In a New and More Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected
By the Author.

By: paintcan Thu, 28 Feb 2013 17:01:29 +0000 People are forgetting the “leisure class” as Veblen named the well healed who did nothing with their enormous fortunes but spend them? Anyone with any significant wealth – even before the industrial revolution (and even Veblen said it was the rule of historic life) made sure that all they had to do was hire people to do everything for them. They were free to pursue social connections, the arts, humanities and science. The generous or more comfortable sponsored charities and founded schools and colleges. Having leisure was the aim of life, not just here but in every country on earth for most of history.

It not only has Biblical creds but every other religious tradition seemed to want the same thing. That worked best when the world was still primarily at an agricultural level of production. It started to look idiotic with the industrial revolution and democracy.

But the country must have higher employment or the entire economy is going to seize up and fail. If the only people with spare money – more than enough to live on for generations – are the few working at more than subsistence (and we have raised the bar on what is considered a necessary standard of living) while the rest are making ends meet or failing, it’s not going to survive. The economy lives on demand and if demand weakens the whole edifice gets rickety. That’s what Obama knows. I was never sure of Bush II. I think he saw OBL as a chance to control the entire country for the benefit of his wealthy supporters with a little esprit de corp lite for the rest. I think he wanted imperial conquest without the pain and al the so costs on layaway..

Even Louis XIV and Vauban knew that the old regime in France had to devise a better way of apportioning taxation than the Capitation and the various consumption taxes they used. But Louis XIV was afraid to antagonize the nobility by adopting Vauban’s more rational and fairer land taxation system. He even knew taxes had to be raised based on the ability to pay. They had a system that allowed a built in dispensation from taxation the higher one rose in the ranks. Those with the means, connections and leisure to pursue politics knew that was the way to shunt the burden to the least capable of paying without feeling the pain. That’s why that revolution was so savage. That system bred the class hatred that exploded during the revolution. I think both Carlisle and de Tocqueville said the same thing.

We aren’t in quite the same position but getting closer. The “nobility” is now the major corporations and practically anyone with major incomes. The knowledge industries don’t have employment protection for the most part. We now seem to live in a system that is more meritocratic, but tending to shunt the burdens to the least capable of self-defense; except for their idiotic guns under their beds. If they ever have to use them en masse – the jig would be up anyway. They could kiss it all good bye if they ever have to fire a shot. The madness wouldn’t stop with them or when they ran out of ammunition.

LysanderTucker wants a return to the economies of the Middle Ages. The Taliban is catchy in all sorts of surprising ways. He forgets that the Middle Ages saw the hundred years war and all those with any wealth or power tended to have to live in fortified castles. They weren’t building fortified town walls for their recreation. No unified currency and central control of that currency means no unified country: or not for long anyway. Louis XIV knew that too. I’m sure there are people in this country that would love to be warlords and they are building their arsenals now. Those who want a more competitive workforce to meet the gains of China and the developing world want sweatshop conditions to return and hate the social welfare legislation of the past 100 years.

We’d sooner or later long for the stability of Louis XIV type absolutist government and that’s probably what we’d get. Without stability, any form of government is disgraced.

BTW – that mining magnate turned cruise ship operator to rebuild the Titanic, is a fool. The ship will not impress people who take cruises. He would be better to build something with a real future for humanity than waste it on that anachronism. We should be thinking about developing the potential of living on the ocean and not just living a romantic dream.

It should be obvious that “lebensraum” is still eagerly fought for. And the ocean is more accessible than outer space. I don’t think the modern wealthy elite is particularly brave or risk taking either.

Another BTW – I don’t think the new Titanic is going to have the decor of the original unless they are building it all of fiberglass, or he was able to buy the sets from the movie? Preview photos I saw don’t show any Louis XV boiserie or Georgian paneling or stained glass anywhere. The Titanic wouldn’t rank high as a luxury ship today even with all the period details. But the dumbest thing of all about that idea: he wants the passengers segregated according to the class distinctions of the original. That is one hell of a confession of what really animates the wealthy in this society. They are desperate for status and a feeling of exclusivity.

By: meiler84 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:48:26 +0000 The psychologist Maslow came up with a similar schema called the Hierarchy of Needs. After the basic survival needs are satisfied, humans look for social relations and esteem; personal satisfaction. As Churchill supposedly said: “Work is the curse of the leisure class.”

By: act1 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:31:50 +0000 To an older person the choice might be to hang out at some Senior Center, comparing recent operations and other physical problems, or working among people of different ages and remaining current. Many elderly prefer the latter, those that can find employment. Some start businesses, such as the handymen who installed my wife’s new kitchen sink. It’s important to them mentally, physically and economically to be employed.

By: tmc Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:21:29 +0000 “Just don’t get sucked into behaviors that keep you from living a full life.” Good tip. I have got to stop trolling Reuters.