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As I write this, President Trump and his team are gearing up to launch a legal battle against several states claiming election fraud in multiple ways. I think we all know how this is going to go. There will be another drawn-out, exhausting news cycle covering yet another partisan political battle for the next month or so. Ultimately, it won’t change anything and Biden will be sworn in as president in January. …


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Historically speaking, work has been something that has been necessary to prop up a civilization, to continue its existence, and to provide resources for its citizens. However, for possibly the first time in human history, we are reaching a point where a lot of ‘work’ that is done, is not beneficial for our society. However, even though oftentimes work is not essential to society, it is more often than not essential to the survival of the individual working. This is a by-product of capitalism, yes, however, it is specifically the byproduct of capitalism in this current time, in this specific country that spends its tax dollars to primarily benefit the rich. It is this dynamic right here that is driving the rot and economic turmoil and inequality that we are coming to know the United States for. For instance, a poll earlier this year found that about 74% of workers in the United States are living paycheck to paycheck and another poll found only 34% of people find meaning in their careers. However, escaping this dynamic is not as easy as one would hope. To do this would take a complete overhaul of our values as a country and how we view work. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t escape this dynamic though. In fact, it is absolutely essential to the survival of the parts of our country we still value to do so and even more so to bring back to life the idea of the American Dream. What would that look like? Well, it would mean that work and a paycheck aren’t inherently tied and that someone could still live a dignified life without working. …


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One of the things that makes me laugh the most in the debate of Capitalism vs. Socialism is that no society is 100% capitalist or 100% socialist. In reality, these two systems exist on a scale. The more capitalist the country, the less socialist, and the more socialist, the less capitalist. Here in America, our country is about 20% socialist, socialism meaning anything spent on everyone from a single source, the government, and 80% capitalist, more on how I reached these numbers later. However, people will argue over why capitalism or socialism is better. What’s sad about this is that this misaligned debate is taking over the political conversation in our country. Those on the right sit in existential fear of a complete socialist takeover, something even Bernie Sanders wasn’t advocating for, and those on the left feel like socialism as a whole needs to be how we run our country. Again, something not even Bernie Sanders was advocating for. …


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The conversation over economic equality is probably the messiest in all of human history. We’ve spent thousands of years, knowingly or not, figuring out which economic system works the best in different levels of civilization. While we’ve gone through many systems we’ve more-or-less landed on the most stable ones. Some people reduce today’s conversation to Socialism vs. Capitalism although that misrepresents the problem. Many people today favor different parts, a combination, of ‘socialism’ and ‘capitalism’. In a way, every major civilization on the globe today is a combination of these systems that simply lean one way or the other. One could argue they are the most complete economic theories of society and that they both at least address the major problems but the debate still rages on over one central issue: wealth creation. Pure capitalism touts meritocracy, success by work and effort, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. …


A deep dive into all the reasons we can’t all be rich and why capitalism is still the way to go in light of this in America.

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Whether it’s resources or money not everyone can be rich. To understand why this is, we first have to look at the lifestyle of the rich. Whether now or thousands of years ago, being rich has always provided one with the same types of luxuries. Tangibly speaking (I’ll address the intangibles later), you have access to the rarest things, the nicest things, and the things that take the most labor to produce. If rich people get the rarest things, obviously everyone can’t have them because they’re rare. If they get the nicest things, it stands to reason that the owners of those nice things would charge as much as they can get for them, which obviously leads to rich people being the only ones who can afford those things. And if they get the things that take the most labor to produce, it’s obvious that those who labored on those things will sell them for as much as they can get for them because time and effort are their own currency. There seems to be a perspective circling around that everyone should have an equal amount of wealth and that we should all be able to experience the nice things. As we just saw though that’s impossible. …


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If you had to sum up the entirety of progressive values as they stand in the current movement it would be the push for everyone to have their basic needs met and for everyone to be treated equally just for being alive. These values are something that is relatively new to humanity. Not so new that whole movements haven’t been created around it before, for instance, any socialist or communist movement, but new enough that while being such a wholesome value it has never been executed with arguable success. …


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The discussion over mail-in voting becoming the standard method of voting this fall has become very heated recently as President Trump has claimed it will increase voter fraud and that we will have to wait for the results over an extended period of time. Despite the typical resistance democrat reaction to discredit anything the president says there are many serious concerns about the efficacy of putting together a nationwide, unpiloted, mail-in voting election in just a few months in the midst of a health and economic crisis. With the Iowa Caucus Debacle of 2020 and concerns over tens of thousands of mail-in ballots being thrown out in New York Primaries fresh in our minds the concerns over voting methods and accuracy shouldn’t be taken lightly. Of course, this isn’t to say that mail-in voting as a method in a normal time, and given time to develop state-by-state is a bad idea but that of course isn’t the situation we are in right now. …


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As I’m writing this, Congress is discussing the next stimulus package in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that has not only taken a toll health-wise but also economically. The majority of the public is watching with disgust as bickering over corporate liability shields and complaints over the deficit are being thrown around taking up precious time as millions of Americans watch the clock tick towards eviction. We watched with disgust as the last major stimulus package bailed out industries and big businesses by the billions and the average person appeared to be an afterthought. Shortly after we watched announcements of the massive amounts of wealth that moved to the top during this pandemic now totaling near or over $600 billion dollars of increased wealth for billionaires. And while I don’t entirely agree with this next criticism, many have condemned the choice to give an extra $600/month in unemployment benefits with some saying this is encouraging people not to work. Aside from the fact that there aren’t enough jobs for people to even get and that this $600/month is saving people from all sorts of fallout, there was indubitably a better way. …


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Automation: Something the rich people in Silicon Valley talk about but doesn’t apply to the rest of us right? Actually, automation is one of the leading causes of job loss and will be the single largest cause in the next 10 years. People are starting to wake up to this fact, Andrew Yang of course brought it to the national spotlight and since then the topic has been discussed by the likes of Bernie Sanders and even Joe Biden. However, those who take the issue seriously enough to start talking about solutions seem to split into several camps. The two biggest camps, namely UBI and a Federal Jobs Guarantee, seem to be what the conversation is boiling down to. In a time where the difference in life between the rich and the impoverished is the largest economic conversation on the national level, these two solutions seem to be multi-purposed and the conversation of job loss and automation adds extra steam to both of them. But which solution is able to truly address the problems at hand as well as preparing us for the future? …


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If you’ve been paying attention to the political scene at all in the past decade or so you’ll know that creating or bringing back jobs has been a huge talking point amongst candidates on either side of the aisle. It seems that everyone agrees that jobs are disappearing and that it obviously creates a problem for millions of Americans. What seems to not be in agreement though is the diagnosis of the problem. In 2016 Donald Trump took advantage of a deep-seated feeling through many white working-class people that immigrants were the problem and likely drew more to this idea with his rhetoric. That certain lax immigration policies were allowing too many undocumented immigrants to come into the country and take away the jobs of citizens and that’s why they were unemployed. A diagnosis floating around on both sides for a while has been relating it to trade. Pointing to the massive amount of job loss that occurred after trade deals with China due to outsourcing and a lack of production in the country, something else Trump alluded to and that Elizabeth Warren championed as the problem. Lastly, we have the automation prognosis. The idea that automation has caused and will continue to cause massive job loss across the country. This idea was largely brought to the discussion by Andrew Yang and is directed at manufacturing jobs, cashiering jobs, and truck driving jobs to name a few but will likely expand across the entire service industry and even into white-collar jobs. …

About

Nathaniel Allen

Political commentator, life coach, and moral philosophy fanatic. Here I talk about the perspectives, actions, and habits we can take to simply make life better.

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