21 votes

The United States needs a third Reconstruction; Whatever its shape, the era ahead must rekindle the aspiration of a nation molded in the ideal of perfect equality that we have always seeked

20 comments

  1. [19]
    vord
    Link
    I well and truly believe in color-blindness of the law. The law should treat everyone as equals, but the issue is that the vast majority of our laws are not (at least functionally speaking),...

    The Supreme Court may have dismantled Plessy v. Ferguson, but through its insistence on the charade that is constitutional color blindness, it has warped a 19th-century conception of progress and has left 21st-century America leaning on a faulty pillar.

    I well and truly believe in color-blindness of the law. The law should treat everyone as equals, but the issue is that the vast majority of our laws are not (at least functionally speaking), especially since they rest on a foundation of policy that was explicitly racist.

    So, in order to rectify these problems, we must look through the lense of the oppressed, and bring them to equality by eliminating their problems. Many of which can be colorblind.

    Colorblind solutions to systemic racism:

    • End the War on Drugs
    • Stop being 'tough on crime'
    • Build actual systems of accountability for all people in power, from police to presidents.
    • Job gareuntees
    • Medicare for All
    • Proper school funding not tied to community wealth
    • Quality housing gareuntee
    • Abolish private schools/colleges
    • Elimination of land ownership
    • Wipe the economic slate clean. All of it. One time wealth tax of 100%. Inheritance tax of 100%. Hard wealth cap. Debt eliminated. Level off wages, everyone gets median wage.

    Yes, I do realize the last three of these are going to be virtually impossible to implement shy of a full revolution. But they're also some of the most critical, as the greatest disparity is the collective economic repression and wealth built up over generations of racist policy.

    12 votes
    1. [6]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      This smells a lot like actual, real communism. And not the kind where American right-wingers scream communism because someone doesn't want to go into crippling medical debt, but actual communism....

      Job gareuntees
      Wipe the economic slate clean.
      Level off wages, everyone gets median wage.

      This smells a lot like actual, real communism. And not the kind where American right-wingers scream communism because someone doesn't want to go into crippling medical debt, but actual communism. No I mean the kind of communism half of Europe got to know quite intimately as satellite states of the USSR.

      How do you guarantee a job? What if there just isn't enough work? How do you build a framework to take that wealth away? Who redistributes it? Who controls the people redistributing it? And what if the people in control don't care about doing the right thing, or their idea differs from yours? We've done this not so long ago, and it lead to massive failures.

      17 votes
      1. [5]
        determinism
        Link Parent
        I don't think the jobs guarantee belongs squarely within the category of communism. There are plenty of state capitalist nations that implement a jobs guarantee or monetary policy that seeks full...

        I don't think the jobs guarantee belongs squarely within the category of communism. There are plenty of state capitalist nations that implement a jobs guarantee or monetary policy that seeks full employment.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_guarantee

        In the United States from 1935 to 1943, the Works Progress Administration aimed to ensure all families in the country had one paid job,[13] though there was never a job guarantee. Full employment was achieved by 1942 due to World War II, which led to the ending of the organization the following year.

        Leveling off wages is what my highschool econ professor taught that socialists believed. Everyone is familiar with the objections to this, I've never encountered anyone (socialist or otherwise) who actually endorses it. Surprised to see it on this list.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          But your cited job guarantee isn't even one, as it only guarantees a job per family, not for everyone. I don't know which form OP meant but judging by his other points, I'd guess he meant it for...

          But your cited job guarantee isn't even one, as it only guarantees a job per family, not for everyone. I don't know which form OP meant but judging by his other points, I'd guess he meant it for everyone. That being said, the problems remain: Do you force business to employ more people that they need? Do you just found state-owned business and employ people there?

          Leveling off wages is what my highschool econ professor taught that socialists believed. Everyone is familiar with the objections to this, I've never encountered anyone (socialist or otherwise) who actually endorses it. Surprised to see it on this list.

          Hence my referring this to actual communist policies, because a median wage is communist, not socialist and together with the fact that everyone had work it was one of the central pillars of the communist era on the other side of the iron curtain, and it usually ended with five people making you a coffee in a state-owned chain, because everything was owned by the state.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            Because it was a time when one job per family was the norm and possible to sustain the family. Full employment is a job for everyone that wants one.

            But your cited job guarantee isn't even one, as it only guarantees a job per family, not for everyone.

            Because it was a time when one job per family was the norm and possible to sustain the family. Full employment is a job for everyone that wants one.

            3 votes
            1. vord
              Link Parent
              And frankly, we should return to the days where only one full-time is needed to sustain a family. The benefits of having a parent at home are tremendous. We should be encouraging this, not...

              And frankly, we should return to the days where only one full-time is needed to sustain a family.

              The benefits of having a parent at home are tremendous. We should be encouraging this, not punishing it.

              2 votes
          2. Loire
            Link Parent
            I believe the depression era standard was public works projects. Infrastructural projects deemed necessary to the economy and society, like roads, dams, etc. Honestly not a bad way to be spending...

            Do you just found state-owned business and employ people there?

            I believe the depression era standard was public works projects. Infrastructural projects deemed necessary to the economy and society, like roads, dams, etc.

            Honestly not a bad way to be spending tax revenue in my opinion. America is facing an infrastructural crisis already. The work has to get done and the money as to get spent doing it. Might as well put the massive number of unemployed to work. It can even act as a trades training program getting people up to speed for the construction.

            2 votes
    2. [12]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      Seriously? This would heavily damage a lot of middle class Americans that worked hard to get to where they are. I work 91 hours a week, at time for months on end, so that I can get ahead and make...

      Wipe the economic slate clean. All of it. One time wealth tax of 100%. Inheritance tax of 100%. Hard wealth cap. Debt eliminated.

      Seriously?

      This would heavily damage a lot of middle class Americans that worked hard to get to where they are.

      I work 91 hours a week, at time for months on end, so that I can get ahead and make a life for myself. I've been doing this for four years now and I have prospered as a result.

      Why would anyone support you when your solution is to wipe them out? All that so I can then go on to make median wage? I have zero debt. Your final solution does absolutely nothing for the for the upper 65% of Americans. It's not exactly an support earning ideology.

      9 votes
      1. [8]
        Qis
        Link Parent
        91 hours?? Is that thirteen hours a day?? What field are you in?? Obviously a great big reset button is a hard sell but I can't imagine what you're doing that that schedule would be necessary. Is...

        91 hours?? Is that thirteen hours a day?? What field are you in?? Obviously a great big reset button is a hard sell but I can't imagine what you're doing that that schedule would be necessary. Is the idea just that you work more than any of your peers, so you're more valuable? That seems like a terrible race to run..

        9 votes
        1. [7]
          Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Some work occurs 24/7. We function on two 12 hour shifts with a 30 minutes crossover on either side. The fortunate part is we live on site for the duration so I can cook and eat within sight of my...

          Some work occurs 24/7. We function on two 12 hour shifts with a 30 minutes crossover on either side. The fortunate part is we live on site for the duration so I can cook and eat within sight of my station and there's no commute involved.

          The idea is that I put the time in to get ahead as many do. It's not about individual value. It's about the fact that for those of us who made the sacrifices to get ahead a solution that entails literally everything being taken away from you and your wage reset to the same as everyone else's, is not only untenable but disastrous.

          Such a "revolution" will create more enemies than supporters.

          And going back to the original comment, I wonder what my black co-workers, who made the same sacrifices to create exceptional lives for their families, would think of a policy that would take it all away in the name of "racial equality". Depending on how you classify south Americans, most of my coworkers are PoC, somehow I doubt any of them are going to be on board.

          8 votes
          1. [6]
            Qis
            Link Parent
            Really though, what field are you in? I'm genuinely curious how you came into that particular self-sacrifice:get-ahead ratio. Did you design this schedule yourself or were you hired into it?

            Really though, what field are you in? I'm genuinely curious how you came into that particular self-sacrifice:get-ahead ratio. Did you design this schedule yourself or were you hired into it?

            5 votes
            1. [5]
              Kuromantis
              Link Parent
              Oil. More specifically (if I've read the text correctly), checking the drills' apparel so that when they send them drilling for said petroleum, they can get all the data back.

              Oil. More specifically (if I've read the text correctly), checking the drills' apparel so that when they send them drilling for said petroleum, they can get all the data back.

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                Qis
                Link Parent
                I have so many questions about this deal. Why are those processes organized into thirteen hour shifts? Are there only two capable people available? Is it especially grueling work? This sounds like...

                I have so many questions about this deal. Why are those processes organized into thirteen hour shifts? Are there only two capable people available? Is it especially grueling work? This sounds like an extremely exotic strategy for accruing wealth..

                3 votes
                1. [3]
                  Loire
                  Link Parent
                  A rig drills for petroleum 24/7 until the well is complete. For geologically related safety reasons we couldn't shut down every evening even if we wanted to create some office like working...

                  Why are those processes organized into thirteen hour shifts?

                  A rig drills for petroleum 24/7 until the well is complete. For geologically related safety reasons we couldn't shut down every evening even if we wanted to create some office like working environment. Thus there needs to be a full 24 hour coverage of all necessary operations. That means we can either do two twelve hour shifts or three eight hour shifts.

                  First and foremost two shifts is more efficient than three. It's not exactly a rare occurrence. Two twelve hour shifts, usually on some sort of week on/weej off schedule is common in many industrial operations.

                  Secondly nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to do this job for eight hours a day. We are anywhere from 3-20 hours drive from home at any given time and frequently an hour plus from the nearest town. What would we do with the extra time off?

                  Third everyone lives on site in 30 foot long trailers. My trailer specifically needs to contain bedrooms for four people and full sized bathrooms, a full kitchen, a living room-esque area, laundry, and office space for us to set up our equipment, monitors and work stations. If we went with a three person schedule we would need an extra trailer for beds to accommodate the extra people, that's extra cost with very little upside. There's extra liability in having three people perform a dangerous job jnstead of two. Driving to and from site is the most dangerous activity in the oilfield and accounts for something like 60% of all of our workplace injuries and deaths. Having two people making that drive instead of three lowers that particular danger.

                  Is it especially grueling work?

                  It depends on the day. Some days my work is no different from an office worker, I do a lot of paperwork and monitor operations on a computer all day. Somedays I am grueling for 8 hours in 35°C heat and 100% humidity doing manual labor.

                  Are there only two capable people available?

                  Well first and foremost, and I hate to say this, but yes, the job is hard and a good portion of the population avoids laborious work.

                  More understandably the distance from home is not a good situation for a lot of people. It's perfectly reasonable that a lot of people don't want to trade their social life/family/home life for the financial security this job provides.

                  Third my job requires a strong geological and engineering background along side moderate knowledge of particle physics, electromagnetic propagation and acoustic mechanics. On any given day I can go straight from having to applying nuclear physics theory to grabbing a wrench to take apart malfunctioning equipment. It requires flexibility and a decent capacity for education.

                  This sounds like an extremely exotic strategy for accruing wealth..

                  My father grew up in poverty. With only a highschool education working in the oilfield allowed him to put three children through university, provide a middle class lifestyle, and he is set for retirement savings.

                  I on the other hand was able to pay off my debt in a year and in the other three years I have since gotten half way to being able to buy an average house in cash. If I continue to live like this I am theoretically on track to retire at 41.

                  My aforementioned black co-workers are both Cajun's that grew up in true poverty in southern Louisiana. Doing this work has allowed them to give their children middle class lifestyle's private schooling, and every advantage most African Americans don't get in this country. They were able to lift themselves out of poverty to very comfortable lives with only their hard work, and obviously some sacrifice.

                  It's not really exotic. This is one of the few industries left that actually allows you to "bootstraps" yourself. It allows us working class people, with no familial wealth to inherit or "workplace connections", to move up into comfortable, secure lives.

                  Also the science is incredibly interesting and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world regardless of comfort levels.

                  12 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Qis
                    Link Parent
                    Thanks for the thorough response. I thought you were claiming to have worked 91 hours every week, but alternated on/off weeks sounds vastly more endurable. This still seems exotic to me, given the...

                    Thanks for the thorough response. I thought you were claiming to have worked 91 hours every week, but alternated on/off weeks sounds vastly more endurable. This still seems exotic to me, given the rarefied technical education you describe having had to absorb to be eligible for such a post. I don't really recognize the "bootstraps" or "getting ahead" language, but obviously you're in for all you're worth so who am I to contradict the point that of course you wouldn't like to lose out on the wealth you would need to have been guaranteed to bother.

                    4 votes
                    1. Loire
                      Link Parent
                      Heh... Uh... Oops. I don't have an alternating schedule, I was just saying that most other industries that do this sort of thing do. Sorry I should have been more clear about that. I do get weeks...

                      but alternated on/off weeks sounds vastly more endurable.

                      Heh... Uh... Oops. I don't have an alternating schedule, I was just saying that most other industries that do this sort of thing do. Sorry I should have been more clear about that.

                      I do get weeks off sometimes, especially now that the oil industry is in the tank. And my boss is very, very reasonable about giving me days off when I ask for them (without even using my allotted vacation days!) but I don't have a rotation schedule. The worst I've ever done was 26 straight weeks. On average 3-5 straight weeks is typical for me with about a week off before starting over.

                      It's... A lifestyle.

                      6 votes
      2. vord
        Link Parent
        Essentially...yes. We are living in a nation that was built on the back of genocide, imperialism, and slavery (still practicing in many ways). The systemic economic inequality plays a major role...

        This would heavily damage a lot of middle class Americans that worked hard to get to where they are.

        Essentially...yes. We are living in a nation that was built on the back of genocide, imperialism, and slavery (still practicing in many ways). The systemic economic inequality plays a major role in that because white people have been disproportionately been given better opportunities to succeed and build wealth for themselves and their heirs.

        70% of the workforce make less than annual median wage. Let that sink in for a moment.

        I'm proposing that 30% of workers sacrifice so that 70% can be brought up to median. A full 25% of workers are making less than $25k annually, which is abhorrently low.

        Nobody's work is more or less valuable than anybody else's. Time is our most precious resource, and we should be striving as a society to do as little work as possible, and instead focus on enjoying life.

        2 votes
      3. [2]
        tempestoftruth
        Link Parent
        I don't mean to be pedantic, but perhaps there's a better way to refer to what you're referring to than "final solution."

        I don't mean to be pedantic, but perhaps there's a better way to refer to what you're referring to than "final solution."

        2 votes
        1. Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          .... It's the final idea in a list for solving America's issues. It has nothing to do with what your referring to in any capacity and belongs to the opposite political wing. I'm not sure how you...

          ....

          It's the final idea in a list for solving America's issues. It has nothing to do with what your referring to in any capacity and belongs to the opposite political wing.

          I'm not sure how you "The Final Solution to the Jewish Question" from a generic usage of the words "final" and "solution" in reference to a purely economic policy.

          2 votes
  2. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Obviously the author refers to the civil rights movement as a reconstruction too, since most, if not practically all of the progress done by Lincoln and his lot was undone after the 1876 elections...

    Obviously the author refers to the civil rights movement as a reconstruction too, since most, if not practically all of the progress done by Lincoln and his lot was undone after the 1876 elections when Jim Crow and literacy tests were reinstated as a form of slavery. This is talked about in the article.

    6 votes