September 18, 2014

American dream is getting further out of sight for the poor living in US

Posted in Irish Independent · 74 comments ·
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I am sitting in a hipster Californian café, surrounded on all sides by young men with luxuriant beards, tasteful tattoos and piercings, who are intensely scrolling through single-geared bicycle websites. They are sitting beside bronzed, very skinny, yet muscular women, who haven’t eaten since St Patrick’s Day. It’s an uneasy experience.

If you want to feel like a different species, a hybrid version of humanity which has managed – like the appendix – to sidestep the cleansing, improving process of evolution, then this is the place for you.

We really look different to Californians. Last night I was trying to put my finger on it – and it has to be something to do with perfection. Take their faces – everything is in the right place, in the right proportions, no ear bigger than the other, no “sticky-out” ears and no bent noses. Meanwhile, the teeth are just an expensive work in progress which never ends.

Even ‘Gimme Shelter’ sounds better in this Californian cafe than it does at home. As does anything by The Eagles, which sounds naff in rainy Ireland, but listening to ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ while driving in the sunshine towards San Diego allows you to get the whole California dreaming thing. Similarly, “LA Woman” on the M50 doesn’t quite match the Lizard King on the Pacific Coast Highway.

I find myself working in Hotel California for a few days which, unlike Don Henley, I will be able to leave on Friday.

Being here gives you a snapshot of why America recovers economically and why, despite its problems, there is still a vibrancy here.

Flying into John Wayne Airport last night, to the home of Governors Ronald Regan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, I wondered could any other people be so enchanted by Regan’s sun-kissed, political slogan “It’s morning in America”.

This is what it’s all about. It’s about the dream that tomorrow will be better than today. This is what drives the Americans. Unlike Europeans, they believe. They believe in the future. They believe in the story that the underdog has a chance and the good guy wins in the end. This is a storyline invented beside me here in Hollywood.

When the new nation went looking for someone to tell the story of America, it turned to screenwriters in the film business and they delivered a version of American history that served to reinforce the original notion of a special country with a special destiny, constantly pushing the boundaries.

The pioneer story of settlers and pioneers pushing further west and south is still strong among many Americans, as is Reagan’s notion of the “shining city on the hill” – borrowed from the Bible – that holds America up as a shining beacon for the rest of the world to follow.

Irrespective of how truthful this narrative may or may not be, it feeds into the regenerative narrative that if you just work hard you can get there. But we know this isn’t actually true.

Children born into poor families in northern Europe have a much better chance of upward social mobility than do American children.

The rest of the world is catching up with the US economically and at least here in California, the middle class, chilled-out lifestyle is bolstered by a huge illegal immigrant Hispanic underclass, who beaver away under the radar making the place tick over.

And the place does tick over.

It is easy to forget how big California is. This is the State that gave us Apple, Google, Facebook, McDonalds, theme parks, Barbie dolls, Frisbee, the Beach Boys and the contraceptive pill!

The gross state product (GSP) is about $2.05 trillion – 13.2pc of the United States’ GDP. The state’s GDP grew 2 per cent in 2013 after having grown 2.7pc in 2012 and 1.7pc in 2011.

California’s economy is the 8th largest economy in the world – it is bigger than Russia. LA alone has a projected gross product of $830bn, an economy larger than that of the Netherlands.

Similarly, San Francisco’s projected gross product of $336bn trumps that of the Thai economy. California is the only US state with a “minority majority”. Some 58pc of the population is Asian, Hispanic, Native American or other groups.

At this moment an astonishing 43.5pc speak a language other than English at home, compared to the national average of 20.5pc.

But California and America are getting more unequal.

Today, the Federal Reserve – the most important economic institution in the US – will reaffirm polices that will just make the rich even richer.

Keeping interest rates at zero, after years of printing money has enriched owners of companies and shares at the massive expense of workers.

Central banks all over the world are full of people who believe rises in real wages are inflationary, but rises in share prices that are mainly of benefit to them in the long run are not.

Worse still, central bankers all over the world have chosen higher share and house prices as the desired way to kick-start the economy.

But this only suits the “already rich” who own these assets.

As a result we are seeing monetary policies throughout the world – from the US, to Europe and Japan – that are designed explicitly to make the rich richer in the hope that they will spend more and ‘live up to their incomes’, producing the rising tide that lifts all the boats.

Sitting here looking out at Newport Beach harbour and beyond to the Pacific, as poor Mexicans slave away in the heat, bringing cold water to the beautiful ones doing early morning Pilates on the beach, it’s hard to decipher a ripple on the water, let alone the mythical rising tide.


  1. StephenKenny

    Perhaps this is where the generations divide: For many of us this situation is ‘wrong’. Clearly, for others, it’s just fine.
    A little nearer to home, and interesting book by the Economics editors of the UK’s Guardian and Daily Mail newspapers looks into this situation: Going South, by Larry Elliott, Dan Atkinson.
    If you only read one book (other than the latest McWilliam’s) on this area, I would suggest this one. It made me realise that I wasn’t the only person with a feeling that things, generally, just aren’t right.

  2. EugeneN

    “minority majority”

    What a nonsense term.

    • sounds like ‘ the unknown unknowns’ .

    • cianireland

      ‘They’ are referred to as ethnic minorities in the US. Yet are collectively the majority.

      The term plays on that old school white-centric view that is as out-dated as the white-centric American Dream.

      Robert Reich is really excellent on this. Inequality for All is a fantastic documentary on Netflix or … and Robert has a quality facebook page/you tube channel etc. I really recommend checking his work out. He has the pedigree to make a real difference as he is a professor in a large us university and a senior US govt. advisor for many years. He is excellent.

    • JapanZone

      A majority of the population made up of ethnic minorities. Like the Brazilians in Gort (well, not quite, they’re only 40%).

      Tangentially related to the rich-poor divide, the issue of “natives” vs. immigrants is another “us vs. them” dynamic that will increasingly affect Irish society. Having just moved from Dublin to London, one of the interesting things to observe is how differently these dynamics work in the two capitals.

    • StephenKenny

      Not at all – if you add together all the minority groups in any western country you’ll find that they total out at more than 50%.

    • CallerNJ

      No, it makes perfect sense. Think about it slightly longer please

  3. SMOKEY

    Firstly “poor Mexicans” don’t feel the heat the way us white folks do. One of the first times I painted a building hanging off of a rope scaffold, a “poor Mexican” taught me how to tie my safety line and guided me through the motions of how to move up and down the side of the building safely and efficiently. It was 80 degrees on the side of the building and I was boiling, Juan never complained, he made fun of the “white boy” burning up. POINT is he was a good tough young Mexican who worked hard. His brother started a paint company and they bought a house in a bad section of Redwood City just south of San Francisco and by the time I left in 2003, he had 15 guys working for him and both he and the brother owned more than one property. They are now very wealthy men. This is not at all uncommon for the “poor Mexicans” who have a bit of brains. The American dream for anyone with what we used to call “immigrant energy” and sufficient brain power is still alive. I could tell other stories about some Paddies in San Francisco right now too but I think the percentage that make it are only slightly higher than those who don’t have English as a first language so the truth is David, you are wrong. If you work hard and have a plan, you can crack the code in America, even today. That said there are too many illegals and the states resources are being strained trying to absorb all of them, and only the cream will rise to the top. Oh and by the way, both Juan and Javier started out by running across the border illegally. While I know it is a major problem, illegal aliens that is, do you blame them?

    • EugeneN

      Thats an anecdotal response to statistics.

    • cianireland

      The statistics do not support what you are saying. The American Dream is further away than ever and it is a FACT that upward mobility rates are higher in a lot of Europe than in the US. This is due to free education, health etc… What you have experienced is referred to as observational bias.

      I lived in the US for three years and saw guys work very hard for as much as they could get and then leave to regain their dignity at home. Sure it is better than their options at home but the tolerance of an illegal work force is blatantly tolerated as it is a means to erode the rights and priviledges of the working poor legally in the US. It suits big business, including hospitality/farming/window washing etc. to pay people as little as possible, to work as hard as possible, in jobs that are dangerous and unpallatable, without unionisation or rights. This undermines the legal working poor and lessens their lot and opportunity.

      Observation, survivor and availability biases are common. It is not however statistically accurate and is precisely what perpetuates the myth of the American Dream. A few do well and are held up as examples while the overwhelming majority do worse. Per facts and statistics. Not opinion, observation or bias. Its a real problem.

      • SMOKEY

        You got that from the “Obama Voter Handbook”
        You are wrong and dont know what you are talking about. and 3 years is not enough to qualify you to comment. I was there for 40 years and know what I am talking about. Now take your socialist activism B.S.somewhere else, it is not well suited here.

        • Smokey is so right on. I too live in California and have lived here all my life. I work with and am close friends with many Latin people and many who ran across the border. People can work hard and make it. Smokey, I see this every day. Europe is full of takers and that is sadly becoming the norm here in the USA. Get up and get to work, don’t expect the government to feed you or wipe your … Keep that Socialist crap over the “pond” and let us Americans get to work. Yes some get a lot richer than i ever will but socialism is just a running wild form of jealousy that pits classes, races, and sexes against each other. Give me good old

      • E. Kavanagh

        Actually the statistic do support some of what he says; in that in some areas, immigrants are more likely to do well than the local population.

  4. Irish PI

    So why is the sunshine state still bankrupt if it has all these wonderful trillions worth of an economy?And ask where did the global depression originate from?? Answer the welfare state programmes of California the death knell being pushed by then Sen B Obama[Dem] and Sen H Clinton[Dem]. Under their “leadership and plans of opportunity for all,they made it possible for people with no chance ever of paying back a cent of mortages or loans to be able to get t property loans to buy their own houses.you could have got across the border the night before and could under their “equality laws” got a loan for a house the following morning it was so much of a shambles.Are we surprised then that banks were pinned with all this PC nonsense folded and caused the domino effect we still see globally?
    At this stage most of the US would be quite happy to cut off anything South of LA and let the Mexicans have it .

  5. DarraghD

    I was watching Jon Snow last night hosting a town hall style debate on the Scottish referendum. The theme which seemed to be emerging from the Yes side, is that “the current system of deference to Westminister is broken, we need a whole new direction”.

    Then I turned on TV3 to watch Tonight with Vincent Browne, exact same theme there only the broken system and the disconnect between voters and decision makers was in relation to Ireland, a country that already enjoys independence.

    You’d have to wonder is there a gathering consensus starting to emerge, that the whole system of governance and administration, now needs to be confronted. I can’t see the Scots putting it up to Westminister tomorrow but the debate I think is no longer about “Scotland” and is giving is all some serious food for thought I think all the same.

  6. Grey Fox

    Good article David, unfortunatly most people who have never lived for any length of time in a country the size of the US or many other large european countries will never grasp the sheer enormity of the economies, I am more concerned about the 90 plus Irish family homes listed for repossession in just one small local Irish Circuit Court namely Tralee, this just one, these people are now so damaged by the financial crisis on a personal level that they may never recover, never mind that they may never be officially allowed to recover.
    I have just returned from a short visit to Spain and the Oriheula Coast, the cranes are back there too but when one looks closely under the skin of the local economy the truth emerges, it is totally screwed! Spain again is a country of immense size compared to Ireland, this was brought home to me as I needed to travel from Barcelona to Murcia and did so by train which took 8 hours including a short delay but while evaluating the best method of travel I looked at renting a car one way and I came face to face with practices in the Car Rental business which have become so misleading and borderline extortionate that the Spanish government is now investigating, big business is complicating even the most basic services with so much T&C’s and “tricking” the average ounter in blatant misrepresentation that some like me won’t consider services such as car rental in the future.
    I was exposed to the now normal practice of collecting a rental car full of fuel and the requirement to return it completely empty, I worked out that the rental company was in fact charging almost €2 per litre for their fuel which is mandatory and then also had the benefit of the fact that in order to return it empty one would need to run out of fuel close to the return point and then push the vehicle through the front gate of the rental company, (a scenario I seriously considered in my moment of rage at the rental company desk), there was much much more that I won’t go onto here but suffice to say I declined to use the service for which I had paid €113 through the companies web page with the assurance that was the entire cost, I now have to wait up to two weeks to have that money returned.
    I suppose what I am saying is that the old adage recited to me many times by my father to “pay as you go and if you can pay don’t go” is becoming much more relevant to me, I have already made a total resolution to never borrow money again, to do as little business with Banks as possible and now I will never consider a rental car as long as the conditions are so onerous and misleading, this brings me back to the 90 cases in the small community of Tralee’s Circuit Court and the damage the Banks and the financial policies of successive Irish governments have don’t to ordinary people, my heart goes out to those 90 families who I am sure feel like their worlds are ending.
    This reminds me of one observation of Piketty in his book Capital where he see’s a completely possible scenario where we might all, in 50 years be paying rent to the Emir of Qatar on the basis that extremely well heeled in the world might well accumulate such extensive claims over property etc. which is finite, that they end up owning everything.

    • E. Kavanagh

      I was shafted by a similar shower of car rental shites in Dublin. It’s amazing how loud a car is when you drive it at 70mph in 2nd gear.

    • Colin

      Grey Fox,

      Did you book with PEPECAR by any chance? Pepecar in Madrid Airport are now subcontracting out their car rentals to GOLDCAR rental. I used to use pepecar in the past and found them to be very good and great value with no fuss. I ask because I experienced the exact same shenanigans. I couldn’t believe it. So I argued with them and told them I will be bringing it back full and only paying what I had already paid upfront.

      I won’t be using them ever again. Gonna pay that bit more in future to go with Avis or Hertz, just to have that piece of mind. going on holiday now requires you to be ‘switched on’, when the whole point of a holiday is to ‘switch off’.

      Fuel Policy:
      You have already selected your Fuel Policy by choosing your offer. The fuel policy will apply according to your selection (reflected along with your booking reference number).
      FULL-EMPTY : Flex Fuel SDR :
      Customers pay for a full tank at the supplier facilities (at the market price for fuel of the type recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer; petrol + refueling charge) and are refunded for the amount of fuel remaining in the
      tank (except refueling charge) when they return the vehicle to supplier, according to the eighths of tank recorded on the vehicle’s fuel gauge (max. 7/8).Fuel prices can be found at http://www.goldcar.es/SDR
      FULL-FULL : Full Fuel SDC :
      You pick up the car full of fuel which must be returned full. Goldcar will block on your credit/debit card a deposit equivalent to the value of the fuel tank that will be refunded upon return of the vehicle after check-in for fuel
      level verification (it is mandatory to present the fuel ticket from the nearest petrol station). In case of lack of fuel, you will be charged a refueling service of 40€, plus the amount of missing fuel. If the deposit is less than the
      debited amount, you agree that the difference will be charged on your credit/debit card’

  7. Mexicans bringing cold water to the “beautiful ‘Pilates’ people” is no different to the Irish building the Skyscrapers of the major cities of North America in the early 20th century. We shall have to see the fate of the offspring of these Mexican waiters and where their lives/careers end up. Hence the dream! You could argue that the American “Education Industry” is beyond the reach of poor Americans unlike Europe. However we are at the emergence of an enormous threat to the “Education Industry” in the form of online learning free or otherwise such as http://www.mooc-list.com The ‘dream’ of upward mobility is always alive and the biggest barriers to achieving the dream are usually the walls we build ourselves. The most successful people barge through the walls others build around their dream. This and the next generation have more accessibility and therefore potential at their fingertips than any before. Whether there are enough “middle class” jobs available to accommodate them is another question, but I’m sure governments of the day will creatively manage this by providing jobs for example in hospital wards where there is 1 nurse for every 10 administrative workers. Sounds like a plan!

  8. tomahawk

    I am sitting in an Iranian café, surrounded on all sides by young men with luxuriant beards, tasteful tattoos and piercings, who are intensely scrolling through single-geared bicycle websites. They are sitting beside bronzed, very skinny, yet muscular women, who haven’t eaten since St Patrick’s Day. It’s an uneasy experience.

  9. rebean

    I lived in california and as far as i can see
    People just live to work
    Unless your mammy or daddy is well off
    I remember working with a girl at night in a restaurant who had moved out from chicago
    Like me she studied science which basically gotyou a lab technicans job on minimum wage
    However she had guts and vision and did a degree in chemical engineering at long beach
    It wasnt the best college in LA but she got a good job with it
    If you go to los angeles be prepared to work hard and dont get sick
    You can make it there but you will need to dig deep

  10. The present ‘luxuriant beard’ fetish, which is also present in Dublin makes these ‘hipster’ geezers look ridiculous. Still, whatever floats your boat.

  11. joe hack

    It was only a dream – a carrot – with no reality

  12. CallerNJ

    Sounds like Singapore. Get the cheap labour in so the brats don’t have to do the dirty work.

  13. Pat Flannery

    America IS a special country; California is a special state; southern California is a special part of California; therefore San Diego, where I lived for 38 wonderful years, is the most special place in the most special sate in the most special country on earth. Enjoy your brief one-day glimpse.

  14. dwalsh

    The western central banks are either privately owned (Federal Reserve) or privately controlled (independent) by bankers; and they serve bankers and the banks and their corporate scions; they do not serve our nations. This state of affairs is of course immoral and criminal.

    The assets upon which the credit creation power of a central bank is based are the productive and creative capacity of the population and the natural resources of the nation. Therefore the central bank should be publicly operated and serve the public.

    The central bank should rightly be a national public bank.

    In today’s world dominated by an insane metastasised financial capitalism, known as neoliberalism, our nations are no longer considered republics in the true sense of that word (res publica, a public thing, public property). Our nations are to be privatised and subject to private transnational finance and industrial capital. The new global trade deals being negotiated in secret will further this globalist agenda.

    The form of global organisation and governance we are presently moving ineluctably towards will not be an international community of sovereign nation states, as I think many presume, but rather a transnational imperium of private financial and industrial capital, operating (ruling) through a burgeoning panoply of transnational institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF, with growing powers to override the sovereignty of national governments.

    • cooldude

      All correct Mr Walsh. This is how our planet is run and is clearly explained by Carroll Quigley in his book Tragedy and Hope. The politicians take their orders from the banker families who control the central banks and also the global corporations. They are constantly pushing their war agenda both in the middle east and the Ukraine. To these scumbags war is a very lucrative business and gives them control of even more natural resources.

    • Cool dude/dwalsh, greetings from France. Excellent, I concur with you both

  15. This Morning We Stand on The Isles UNITED .

    We can follow it , support it or buy it and no matter what we are ‘ UNITED’

    • StephenKenny

      Poor old scotland, after the politicians have finished congratulating each other for pulling off such a good trick, self-relegation to a sort of northern English county. Any subsequent claims of separation can now be categorically disproven and ignored.

      • Cowardly and ignorant fools voting for continued rule by the criminals of faraway, foreign Westminster and Canary Wharf.

        Willam Wallace must be spinning in his grave.

        • Adelaide

          Absolutely disgusted at the Scots. Scotland of the Knave.

          I see that 25% of Glaswegians didn’t bother to vote, how do you explain that, had they bothered, Scotland today may be an Independent country.

          I have lost all respect for the Plastic-Scots, it’s pennies before pride with the craven kilt wearers.

          I fully expect Westminster to wipe its arse with them. They deserve every indignation heaped upon them from their soon-to-be Tory-UKIP masters. A HUGE mistake the Scots made, their future will be a vipers nest of recrimination as the London-UK slowly implodes on its bubbles economy.

          • Daniel Waxonov

            The Yes campaign’s ineptitude of providing a clear economic growth plan that the people “deserved”, could support, would support – a vision of tomorrow – was the Yes campaign’s greatest downfall imho [ did that too happen by design?!! Hmmm ]

            And lest we forget the gross incompetence of countering the predictable manipulation and FEAR [ of change] mongering by empire, of old people especially

            Money talks and Braveheart bullshit walks

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0kcet4aPpQ

            Money, get away
            Get a good job with more pay and your O.K.
            Money it’s a gas
            Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
            New car, caviar, four star daydream,
            Think I’ll buy me a football team
            Money get back
            I’m all right Jack keep your hands off my stack.
            Money it’s a hit
            Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
            I’m in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set
            And I think I need a Lear jet
            Money it’s a crime
            Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
            Money so they say
            Is the root of all evil today
            But if you ask for a rise it’s no surprise that they’re
            giving none away

  16. Pat Flannery

    “Today With Sean O’Rourke:
    Scotland says No – but it’s not business as usual, and nowhere to go – why many women stay in abusive relationships.”

    I thought the juxtapositioning of these two topics this morning on an RTE talk show was rather interesting in a Freudian sort of way. Has Scotland voted to stay in an abusive relationship? 300 years of abuse and neglect has left the Scottish people unable to think for themselves. Thank goodness for the men of 1916 or we Irish would be the same today.

    • Yes, Ireland has made a dogs dinner of the first 100 years of ruling itself but at least it is free to do so, relatively speaking.

      The Scots ought to be highly ashamed and embarrased of themselves.

      • DB4545

        Adam these guys are not romantic idealists. The Scots were the engineers, colonial administrators and wheeler dealers of the Empire. They’re hard nosed people who live in an abrasive but direct culture. I thought they’d see the advantages of Europe and have confidence in their proven abilities but the vote was clear. No point singing Flower of Scotland now they sent themselves homewards to think again.

        • Well it’s not about romantic idealism DB4545 – I don’t care about that either.

          It’s about Scotland ruling itself (however bad modern governance is everywhere) rather than having Westminster and the City of London (who don’t give a jot about Scotland) do it.

          How can a people vote not to rule themselves, but rather have someone else rule them? Bizarre and pathetic.

          • E. Kavanagh

            The whole thing plays directly into the Sottish stereotype–a proud people who got themselves the chance of a nation of their own, and then someone said, “But you’ll loose money on the deal.” Game over.

          • DB4545

            I don’t understand it either Adam. We’ve made some serious screw ups in this little State of ours but getting independence wasn’t one of them. They were handed the opportunity and rejected it? I just don’t get it. They have the talent and resources to do well. What do you say to your children and grandchildren when they ask?

        • I heard somewhere that this was the first instance in history of a group of people voting against giving themselves independence. I’m not sure if it’s true – I guess they did the same in the 70s to themselves. As fucked up as the Irish are, the Scots must be worse, that’s all I can say.

  17. DB4545

    I thought their interests were better served with Independence but they had a democratic vote and the people said no, and nobody died in the process. It doesn’t get much fairer than that. The Scottish are insiders in the Union and the concessions that they may be able to extract might help to mitigate loss of Independence. I don’t think England views or viewed Ireland North or South in the same way. I think they’d abandon the North in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself and the South is not in a position to finance the welfare State or public sector economy in the North.

  18. DarraghD

    I said it on here around 3-4 months ago, that it wouldn’t be long before we would be seeing trailer park type solutions being introduced in Ireland to deal with the immediate housing crisis:

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/sinn-fein-will-back-proposal-to-rehome-families-in-prefabs-30599007.html

    • Adelaide

      I accompanied somebody recently to Threshold to find out their tenancy rights in the face of a ludicrous looming rent increase. Five years renting the property as an exemplary tenant. Counts for nothing. No recourse. Irish tenants live from one year lease to another year lease at the whim of the landlord/lady irrespective of tenancy duration. The landlord had to be the most obnoxious person I have ever met, openly admits he’s not a registered landlord as the penalties are non-existent, checked with Threshold, his non-registration makes no difference to the tenant’s ‘obligations’ or ‘rights’.

  19. dwalsh

    Congratulations to Scotland.
    Class, not nationality is the real issue.
    Working class v Ruling class.
    Our rulers are transnational; so must we be.

    Today we are ruled by a transnational globalist imperium of finance & industrial capital. The apex of the imperium are the bankers who own and control the central banking system and the monetary system.

    They create our money and sell (loan) it to us for profit (interest) as credit (debt).

    To call the globalist imperium a free-market or free-trade is a farce.

    We cannot oppose and reform the transnational globalist imperium by fragmenting into smaller and smaller local groups. We need strong sovereign democratic republics which can unite at the international level to create an integrated world system which is both rational and humane.

    • Adelaide

      dwalsh
      You’re consistently on the game but this time you’ve dropped the ball. I mean, “strong sovereign democratic republics”. Eh? Name one.

      Your logic is back to front. BigGovernment&BigBusiness=Facism.
      Diversity is the backbone of democracy.

      By your logic the Isle of Man should secede back into the UK so the UK can be ‘stronger’ when it is the small outliers like the Isle of Man championing Bitcoin and bypassing the status quo that will topple the globalist imperium. The recent history of Iceland demonstrates that small is dangerous. We need more Icelands.

      Scotland voting for independence would have been two fingers to the global imperium. A real fright. And a clarion call to other ‘independence’ movements round the globe.

      To challenge a power greater than oneself, one needs what the Scots lack, self-pride and grit, without that you have nothing to build on, you are already defeated.

      We need less Scotlands and more Icelands.

      • dwalsh

        Hi Adelaide

        The Isle of Man is a financial colony of the oligarchs; not sovereign in the way you suppose.

        Of course you are right that today we do not have “strong sovereign democratic republics”. But that is what we must aspire to have if we are to combat the transnational imperium. I am afraid that rugged “self-pride and grit” wont cut it.

        Anarchisms and separatisms and the like simply produce weak easily dominated enclaves and territories.

        Political equality and true democracy (strong sovereign democratic republics ) are at the moment only ideals toward which we need to continuously strive.

        We must recapture our governments and democracy. The founders of the USA understood this well. Some of them advised a revolution would be necessary every generation.

        The war with the oligarchs is perennial. It will never cease. The tides of battle will flow this way and that over historical time. I for one can see we have made some progress; but we have a long ways to go yet.

        • Sitting on the sofa here in the beautiful Isle of Man, having a nice red wine. Great day today at The Curraghs wildlife park with the kids. Bitcoin conference was earlier in the week, food and drink festival tomorrow. Lovely spot here, back to Dublin the parochial shitehole on Monday but at least it’s not a life sentence eh?

          • E. Kavanagh

            Off topic, but you’re not forced to read it.
            I tell the guy beside me if he taps his knee 1,000,000 times I’ll give him a Kneecoin. The next guy gets a Kneecoin for tapping 1.1M times and so on with the understanding that I’m only “giving away” 20MM Kneecoins. Now I tell them to get to trading in the real world with these Kneecoins. To gain some cloak of acceptance, I make all this happen in the electronic world; and make it untraceable.
            What am I missing? Am I wrong in thinking that Bitcoins are the most stupid thing in the world? Conferences on the exact design and fabric of the Emperor’s new clothes?

          • Everyone is entitled to their opinion Mr Kavanagh. Me to know, you to find out.

          • E. Kavanagh

            Well I guess your reply speaks for itself.

  20. dwalsh

    Hi Adelaide

    The Isle of Man is a financial colony of the oligarchs; not sovereign in the way you suppose.

    Of course you are right that today we do not have “strong sovereign democratic republics”. But that is what we must aspire to have if we are to combat the transnational imperium. I am afraid that rugged “self-pride and grit” wont cut it.

    Anarchisms and separatisms and the like simply produce weak easily dominated enclaves and territories.

    Political equality and true democracy (strong sovereign democratic republics ) are at the moment only ideals toward which we need to continuously strive.

    We must recapture our governments and democracy. The founders of the USA understood this well. Some of them advised a revolution would be necessary every generation.

    The war with the oligarchs is perennial. It will never cease. The tides of battle will flow this way and that over historical time. I for one can see we have made some progress; but we have a long ways to go yet.

  21. dwalsh

    Apologies for double post David.

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