The most important part of the “economic security” for me is the change of perception (both meanings) in the statement: “The language of sociology and common culture has been replaced by the language of economics and individualism.” Our (?) economy has been financialized to the extend that few care about working and a concern for others. As was stated: “Programs of social insurance have become ‘entitlements’ a word apparently meant to signify not a collectively provided and cherished bases for family income security bit a sinister threat to our national well-being.” Another “Over the last 50 years we seem to have lost the words - and with them the ideas - to frame our situation appropriately.” This is not an accident but part of a plan. Attached is some evidence of that plan.
Reflections of a GOP Operative.pdf (236 KB)
Bill Powers (2011.09.25.0756 MDT)–
Yes, a very inspiring article, especially since I woke up thinking about
the same subject – where have the people gone in all these national
discussions of economics?
Consequently, I couldn’t agree more when you say “economic
security” is “being in control.” …
The solution to this systemic problem is twofold (at least).
First, we have to stop admiring hackers, however clever and talented they
Second, we have to understand how the system as a whole works…
Third, we have to shift our admiration to people who actually produce
things and ideas of use to everyone. …
Fourth and last for now, we have to accomplish all the required changes
while maintaining what Hugh Gibbons calls “respect for the will of
I think these things don’t just happen; I think we need leaders who articulate these values so that they become part of the zeitgeist (yes, I believe in zeitgeists;-) I may be wrong but my impression is that before 1980 we had leaders (like FDR, Eisenhower, JFK) who promulgated a zeitgeist where “hackers” (the people rich from manipulating finances) were not admired, we admired people who produced things and ideas and there was far more mutual respect for people with different opinions. I think we also understood the economic system better as well; people knew you had to pay people a decent wage so they could buy the stuff they were producing. There was a greater focus on people than on profits. Greed was still one of the 7 deadly sins. And the economy was remarkably stable until 1980. That’s when the zeitgeist changed precipitously. Suddenly it was the economic hackers who were admired, the people with ideas (that didn’t “pay off”) who were scorned (the saps) and mutual respect disappeared (had to find anyone who loved a liberal anymore;-). And our understanding of the economy turned into a trickle down fantasy where making the rich richer would somehow help everyone else.
I think the central problem now is that the “government is bad” meme, started by Reagan, has infected the US population like a plague. There will always be greedy “hackers” and we used to know that the only thing between them and the rest of us is government regulation. But people now buy into the idea that government regulation (indeed, anything the government does) is bad because it prevents the rich from getting richer so that they can trickle their wealth down to the rest of us. I think the problem we have in this country is that leaders since Reagan have successfully promulgated a system concept that includes the idea that government is bad. Probably a majority of the population has bought into this concept. I think the only hope is for us to get a super charismatic leader who can change the prevailing system concept (zeitgeist) to one that is more like the one you describe with you four points above (the one I believe was far more prevalent prior to 1980). I thought Obama would be that person but he’s not. But he’s working in the context of very racist, reactionary resistance so maybe he’s doing the best possible while avoiding brown shirt violence.
Discovering what a person really wants, and doing what you can to see it
is obtained, is the only means I can think of that might work. To do that
you have to change yourself, since you can’t change the other person. I
think one word for that attitude is love. Is that what that guy in
Galilee was talking about, or the guy under the Bo tree? Is respect for
the will of another what we really mean by that four-letter
Yes, you are supposed to love your enemies. But that’s tough to do when they are destroying the lives of other people with their greed and lack of respect. I like Jesus’ message of love but I also think it’s important to remember that, even when he comes back, “the government shall be upon his shoulders”; love, but verify;-)
From: Richard Marken
Sent: Sep 26, 2011 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: NYTimes.com: How Do You Say ‘Economic Security’?
[From Rick Marken (2011.09.26.1230)]