28 thoughts on “What will it be for the United States? Democracy or Oligarchy?

  1. True about Social Security. I have it too, it is half of my meager income as a retired person…my widow’s pension from my husband’s state pension makes up the other half. I count myself as a lucky person, and the system has served me and my family (mostly) very well. But since I was a young child I have always been well aware that the same system has NOT always benefitted many US citizens…such as the Native Americans, and the poor population throughout history.

    Some states provide for their populations better than others. I will only say here that my state of Ohio tends to maintain benefit programs for the subsistence of the needy. I have no information about other states that I wish to document off-hand.

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    1. Anyone who thinks that Social Security is enough to live on is clueless. Many of the people I see on the streets are disabled and getting Social Security Disability. I live in California and also consider myself lucky.


  2. Now we have Government-by-Trump or Rule by Complete Chaos. Foul-mouthed former-enemies-turned-supporters have taken over, firing any officials that attempt to tell the truth or report accurate goings-on in the White House. Trump rallies his base…people who sit behind him and nod their heads and applaud on cute with no idea what they are doing! The Russian thing isn’t going to go away…we can only hope!

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      1. At least to the best of our ability. For some of us it might be one call to Congress a day and for others full on organizing. Activist citizens brought down the Repeal of the ACA. The only way democracy can work is when all of the people participate. Thanks for the comment and exchange of ideas.


      2. This idea of citizen activism was taught to me in elementary school. I feel sad for those Americans who were born after 1985. They don’t know a United States that declared war on poverty, provided fully funded public education, affordable public housing, and vocational programs for people displaced from their jobs. I have an education and the ability to use my intellect because the generations before me decided that the pursuit of happiness was the freedom to use and speak one’s mind. I always include this caveat: it wasn’t a perfect system because perfect doesn’t exist. However, the standard of living for the working class in the U.S. was a hellava lot higher in 1970 than it is now.


      3. This began to change when the GOP shifted toward extremism. It demonized the word liberal and perverted what it meant to study ‘liberal arts’ in the minds of people who didn’t know better. They described public schools and universities as liberal indoctrination centers. The result was a gradual defunding public education.


  3. Oligarchs pretending to finance a Democracy. From the lowest level of political rule, a handful of people are in charge. Sure, they can’t stop an “outsider” from filing petitions for candidacy…but they can sure make it very difficult and costly for him or her.

    Here’s the thing. Little Joe Blow decides he wants to run for state representative. Can he do this? Of course, this is a democracy, right? Well, sort of. There is the powerful, well-connected , field of opposition candidates, including the incumbent. BIG money comes pouring in by whichever political party is involved and wants their candidate to win bad enough. There goes Joe’s personal reputation…anything useful will be used against him. Anything goes!

    So jumping ahead, let’s say Joe wins the congressional seat—at great personal and financial cost, financed by and beholden to the Oligarchs that own him: the party bosses in Washington, and big business or other special interests. Suddenly Little Joe Blow becomes part of the Oligarchy. No one can beat him, and he retains the job forever.

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    1. You describe a serious problem that can only be addressed by regulating those aspects of Capitalism that work against democratic systems. We know how to do this because we’ve done it before. Thanks for leaving a comment!


      1. My major is Latin American history.. friendly dictators and banana republics etc. Oligarchy is a relatively common word used there, but seldom used in our ordinary vocabulary. This has always been a fallacy…er, lie…fed to our populations to further ideas of patrimony of the “rich.” “Uncle Sam will provide and help us…” this is BS and always as been

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      2. We pay taxes to create a common fund from which we provide public services that most people can’t afford on their own. Some people call this Big Government and think it’s bad, but we’ve been doing this in the United States since the 1700’s when we used tax money to start a system of public schools. Progress is often followed by periods of regression but there is no patrimony of the rich when the people are using their own money to improve their lives. Social Security is a good example of this. I’ve worked and paid into a system designed to improve my life as I enter old age. When I get a check from Social Security I’m getting a return on the money I’ve invested in the program.

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      3. yes we have tried to regulate our Capitalism to make it seem more kind and gentle, but it seems the result is to learn how to avoid positive changes while claiming to have already made them.

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    1. It’s funny! We’ve already been through this. We have a history of the last time humanity made a mess like this and we also know what we had to do to fix it.
      We know what we have to do. I guess the real question is do the people have the will to do it. Thanks for leaving a comment!

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      1. Ok. This is my personal take on history; I’m not a scholar.

        The Country starts as a ‘Republic’ ruled by the landed gentry.

        Poor whites didn’t get the vote nationally until 1885.

        The late-19th Century (1870s to about 1900) is called the Gilded Age.

        Government was under the control of wealthy industrialists.

        Parts of the South were unrepentantly feudal and millions lived in poverty.

        To put this in perspective, Unions had not yet won the 8-hour working day and
        the abolition of child labor.

        The Gilded Age led to the Progressive Era. (1890s to the 1920s)

        We know that there was an economic boom in the 20’s but our government
        was still under the control of big business. We were more democratic but
        no where near a merit based class system.

        World Wars 1 and 2 obliterated the Class System.

        The Rich and Poor fought and died alike and World War Two introduced
        the horror of seeing the methods of mass production used as a means
        if execution.

        The reaction of the Allies was to shift the political focus to human rights.

        We enter the modern political era with Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.

        Roosevelt believed it was the government’s job to use the economy to further
        the goals of democracy and human rights.

        Roosevelt used ‘socialist’ ideas to mitigate the inequalities produced by Capitalism.

        The result was a rise in the Middle Class and the highest standard of living in the

        We’ve seen it all before: the income inequality, the scapegoating of the poor, the rise of narcissistic tyrants, the use of children as slaves, peasant workers who barely earn enough work, and the poor
        dying in squalor on the streets.

        And we know what we have to do to fix it: regulate Capitalism and shift our focus to making the World safe for democracy.

        I’m sure I’ve gotten some of this wrong and over simplified things a bit.

        But, this is the answer to your question.


    1. If democracy is defined as the freedom to petition your government for change then we’ve had a strong and vibrant democracy from the beginning. The history of the United States is a history of the struggle to achieve a more perfect union. Not perfect. Not always as free as we want. But I’ll take our less than perfect democracy over Russia’s third world oligarchy any day.

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