A word about Roemer. I think that every market form – save [a] very utopian form- …produces inequality. This is because market interaction involves competition, and that means winners and losers. Now losing doesn’t have to be disastrous, because you can have a measure of subsidisation; and winning doesn’t have to be colossal because you can have a measure of taxation, but this process has its limits. Without some degree of inequality, there ain’t no market.
Roemer’s market socialism ingeniously and radically reduces market inequality, because he proposes two different currencies, one for buying enterprises and one for buying consumer goods, and their mutual inconvertibility has very dampening effects on the degree of inequality that his markets produce. We don’t know how to proceed without markets, so we don’t know how to proceed without forms which produce some inequality. So we don’t know how to bring about equality. The best we now know how to do is the kind of thing that Roemer designs.
This interview is loaded with good stuff.
These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election. Based on the Brennan Center’s analysis of the 19 laws and two executive actions that passed in 14 states, it is clear that:
- These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.
- The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012 – 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
- Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.
States have changed their laws so rapidly that no single analysis has assessed the overall impact of such moves. Although it is too early to quantify how the changes will impact voter turnout, they will be a hindrance to many voters at a time when the United States continues to turn out less than two thirds of its eligible citizens in presidential elections and less than half in midterm elections.
I feel like this kind of discrimination has really ramped up in the last few election cycles.
“We could also use a movement against police brutality. I’d love to see a national movement ally, for instance, with organizers in Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Brownsville to help the hundreds of young black men who get harassed daily as a matter of NYPD policy. They could stand in solidarity to occupy precincts until that racist policy changes. But none of this is happening, at least so far.
Nor is it what the movement declared itself to be about. It’s supposed to be about the deeply entrenched economic inequity that has come to define our lives in the 21st century. I argue this inequity grew out of decades of predation on black families, specifically. But the organizers were wise to make room for as wide a range of perspectives on the problem as possible. The point, as organizers have so movingly put it, is that everyone gets screwed by an economic system that amasses so much wealth in so few hands. “We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent,” they have written.
That seems to me a terribly urgent message. It’s one that has consistently been lost in our national politics. Lost in manufactured culture wars. Lost in lawmakers’ outsized concern for the well-being of a bloated financial sector. Lost in both political parties’ fake obsession with so-called responsible spending. Lost in presidential politics and Democratic Party positioning. And now lost in fights between these protestors and the working-class cops carrying out the shady crowd-control orders of NYPD brass.
So the question I’m stuck asking is this: Why is it still so hard to get folks to focus on the crisis at hand? Which is that we’ve built an economy on a foundation of predation and inequity; that it is by definition unsustainable for everyone other than the few who profit greatly from it; that it has fallen apart over the past three years and our response, stunningly, has been to frantically put it back together in the same manner. Why, still, is it impossible to bring our politics—left, right and center—in line with the challenges these realities present?
I fear I know the answer: Because the people most affected by it aren’t meaningfully involved in the nation’s politics—left, right or center. There are literally millions of people who have been kicked out of their homes, laid off or forced to work multiple part-time jobs, caught in predatory debt traps and, yes, so harassed by cops that they have petty criminal records that make them unemployable. These millions are neither lobbying Congress nor marching across the Brooklyn Bridge; they’re trying to make it through the week without another crisis. They are also overwhelmingly and not in the least bit coincidentally black people. And I suspect that until we build our politics around their participation, we will continue to miss the point. Everyone will continue to suffer as a result. Well, everyone except the Wall Street fat cats who have gone right on with their theft throughout their occupation.”
(emphasis added. full text here. i’m hoping a conversation emerges across the various positions being articulated re the ows mobilization and those that have followed. the rebel diaz post below seems, to me, to pose questions similar to the ones presented by kai wright. i have seen a few posts here on tumblr and elsewhere regarding the language and racial makeup of ows, and the language of colonization, and the apparent disregard or dismissal of the history of colonization— all very important questions, in my estimation. as usual, i’m trying to understand stuff… my own sense of things is that it doesn’t do any of us any good to dismiss ows as any one thing, though i can certainly understand at least some of the impulse/experience that may lead us to such a position. anyway, here’s to building a better world and to engaging in critical, respectful, and compassionate conversations.)