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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

watch it: the 2/21/09 weekly address from President Barack Obama


As always, he sounds good. But will his plans work? Should they work? If home prices have been run up by artificial means that are disconnected from their true value, how much should we be trying to shore them up? If rampant consumerism is part of what got us into this mess, should we be encouraging people to shop? (And will an average of $65 a month for a working family have much of an impact by that measure anyway?) How can our economy survive if it’s based on people buying crap? Is all of this just putting a Band-aid over arterial spray?



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  • misterb

    When there’s a war, we ask our soldiers to take immense risk for our defense. If there’s a fire or a flood – we expect our public safety workers to put their own lives in danger to protect our homes and property. Why, when there is a depression, shouldn’t we expect the wealthy to take higher risks so that we can all get back to work.
    I agree that we shouldn’t try to regain our previous excesses of greed and pointless consumption. But technology’s advances have reduced the need for many types of employment. We should use this crisis=opportunity to change what we demand, not to reduce demand below what it takes to sustain our economy.
    Every wealthy individual should do what Mark Cuban is doing – put their own money at risk getting the world economy back on its feet. And if they won’t do it voluntarily …

  • And if they won’t do it voluntarily …

    Because of course, we all like being forced to do the right thing.

    * Rolls eyes.*

    And it’s not like rich people ever vote with their feet…

  • misterb

    @Tonio,

    If they won’t do it voluntarily, they lose out on investment opportunity. They may end up getting taxed in ways that would be less productive than if they invested on their own. The starving poor may revolt and burn them all at the stake. I don’t know what the future holds, but I have to believe that if you are wealthy you would prefer to have control of your own destiny, rather than otherwise.

    As far as voting with their feet, anyone rich enough to matter is already post-national. You can move your bones, but you can’t move your investments quickly enough to avoid punishment.
    I’ll assume from your eye-rolling that you are an apologist for the wealthy – can I ask why they deserve your sympathy?

  • Jurgan

    “Because of course, we all like being forced to do the right thing.

    * Rolls eyes.*”

    That’s sort of how governments work. There’s nothing wrong with having to pay taxes to maintain society, and it’s the government’s job to direct them towards what’s most productive. I can’t follow the notion that any constraints on one’s life by the government is somehow unjust- short of anarchy, what’s the alternative? And why is taxation less legitimate than, say, a war?

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