Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Ownership society of laws

I want to be brief and to the point. When Republicans talk about an "ownership society" they are lying out their asses as surely as when they talk about the family farms lost to the estate tax or the weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq (Ooo! Ooo! We found a shell with traces! Surely a shell with a few sarin remains was a true threat to American safety! What if Saddam had sent it to America in a special "Smell-O-Vision" display on Iraqi culture and millions of Americans had sniffed it to learn the true scent of Iraq and gotten sick or died? Where would we be then you god damned peaceniks?). They talk about the fact that 50% of Americans own stock, but do they ever talk about how much or what the concentrations are. Why? Because it would show that in those 50% the vast majority own very little stock or own stock as part of a 401K or retirement fund that they will spend during their lifetime. It's like if Marie Antoinette instead of saying "Let them eat cake." Had said "Give them each four bread crumbs, how can they revolt against those who have bread when they are breadholders themselves?" It's not just a matter of having one molecule of bread, volume matters.

It's also important to note that the definitions of ownership differ for different groups. For example the Enron employees who had their pension funds in Enron stock were technically stock owners. They couldn't sell this stock, couldn't cash it out, couldn't trade it for a different stock, but in name they owned it. Personally, I don't consider having something held in trust for you for 40 years by people who have proven themselves willing to sell out your interests for their own to be ownership. This is what a lot of stock ownership among the middle class in this country amounts to. Imagine if I told you "Good news Steve" pretend your name is Steve "You own a piece of land. You can't touch it, go near it, or have any control whatsoever over it, but in 35 years you'll be able to sell it!"

Would you consider yourself a landowner?
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