:: Your anecdotes of 'success' NEVER EXCEED 25% of the American population. My figures (skill over a high school education, owners of stock, financial ability to retire) bring to our attention the THREE-FOURTHS of the population stuck in boring, low-wage jobs with little real security.
Security you say! What right have you to security, Mr. Stoller? This is a serious question. Are you not an animal and subject to the daily inconsistencies, random catastrophe, and futility of a natural life?
As an aside; you seem to advocate everyone owning stock. You're starting to get it, I think. I doesn't take a high school education to pick good companies to invest in, Barry. A ten year old can do it if he or she is instructed how. Perhaps if the state (and therefore, politicians) didn't educate/indoctrinate, subsidize, and generally coddle its citizenry, the necessary lessons of how to achieve a certain level of independence could once again be taught to our youth and their futures can once again be secured (or certainly improved) by their own efforts.
Once again, using the money our government currently absconds in the name of providing this elusive security, one could easily manage a savings of over $350,000 in 30 years in the most conservative investment available in the U.S. markets - the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund. 60 years of rock solid performance averaging 10.5% growth in a freedom based system is as sure a thing as this natural world has ever produced, Barry.
This amazing and measurable success juxtaposed over your theories shows us who the humanitarians really are here, Barry. The measured success of the American stock markets is a far more stable thing than a Marxist revolution could ever hope to be.
:: How can you defend that?
Easily! It's called freedom. The only possibility of creating real economic equality is to disregard the natural variance in human aspiration and expression of ability. The logical extension of doing so will be to limit the freedoms of those that would aspire to achieve. That isn't a world my 25% and the vast majority of your 75% (who are happily placated by the very high quality and quantity of crumbs falling from the capitalists table) would be motivated to create by armed revolution. Perhaps you should see my 25% as the natural statistical percentage that will actually seek interesting work if given the freedom to do so. Did you ever think of that?
:: And when did I say that I thought a revolution in America was probable?
Well, how could any sane mind assume it was probable in America? Of course, I wonder how any sane mind thinks the possibility of it is worth discussing at length. Especially when that possibility is something hoped for. Or perhaps I've misunderstood something and you only pine away for bloody revolution in the third world. But regardless of where the upheaval is desired, the existence of that desire is neither altruistic nor egalitarian. If it was, you'd be more inclined to actually argue the merits of prudent investment and financial discipline as a means of achieving financial independence. As it is, your Marxist gyrations are only the self-interested musings of an academic. Personally, I don't think you'll ever be involved in any real conflict, Barry. Marxism is your hobby and you're not going to sacrifice your body for it.
What ennobles the proletariat?
Why is my labor not my own if I invest it and hire employees?
What entitles you to interesting work?
Who will create that interesting work handed to you?
How can socialism create wealth?
Where is the biblical mandate for the implementation of secular socialism?
My list of unanswered questions grows.
P.S. The references to historical S&P performance are omitted intentionally. It is common knowledge in the securities industry and can be verified through any number of sources available to anyone who doubts me.