: I am disavowing pure democracy; one in which everybody votes on everything.
: Stoller: That's obvious. And that's why I say you are no friend of democracy!
: : Correct. I am a friend to constitutionally limited democracy, however.
: And WHAT, pray tell, is that supposed to mean? Perhaps you care to tell me some more about 'objective laws' that acknowledege only a uniform standard of freedom?
A constitutionally limited democracy is a system in which the people (or an electorate) are able to choose by simple majority who holds power and how the powers delegated are to be excercised. The constitution (which is based on individual rights)defines and limits the powers that can be engaged in by the elected government. So, for example, a constitutionally limited democracy can say vote to cut back on military expenditures, but it can never vote to take property away from a citizen or groups of citizens.
: Stoller: Percentage of American jobs requiring any skill above a high school level: 25% (Business Week, 1 September 1997, p. 67). Percentage of Americans able to afford a B.A. or above: 23% (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1996, table 243, p. 160).
: : Before you do your statistical happy dance allow me to ask you some questions about those statistics. First, did the statistics relating to those who can afford a B.A. take into account scholarships or financial aid? Student loans? Working through college?
: What relevance would any of that have on the similarity of the numbers?
Because when you take into effect all these other variables, you see that only a small percentage can actually not afford to go to college. My sister would, under normal circumstances, be unable to go the college she goes to now because it is very expensive, they have given her a $10,000 scholarship per year which has allowed he to attend. It works on any level. Some people may not be able to afford some presitigious university, but all of them can at least attend a community college.
: What I am demonstrating is that the 'invisible hand' of 'suppy and demand' is quite predetermined. What I am suggesting is: if everyone in America suddenly got 'smart' and 'ambitious' and 'pulled themselves up by the boot straps' like you libertarians urge poor people to do, there STILL wouldn't be enough decent, intelligent, well-paying jobs to go around---because the capitalist mode of production is PREDICATED upon lousy, mindless, and low-paying work.
I do not deny the fact that there are a lot of lousy, mindless, low-paying work out there. However, one can see that the amount has gone down. This has been a result of progress and technology. If everyone lived on a communal farm then you could easily say that the amount of skill required beyond high school level would be less than 1%. As we move forward we will see jobs requiring greater education and consequently people will become more educated.
: : In the statistics relating to the skill required for 25% of the jobs, you fail to consider the fact that a good portion of those jobs are held by teenagers or university students.
: And by the year 2005, the 'growing supply of college grads could outstrip growth in demand by as much as 330,000 annually.' (Business Week, 6 October 1997, p. 30.)
: From a purely economic point of view, a capitalist is a person who buys in order to sell for profit. However, the productive role that capitalists and businessman serve cannot be overstated...
: Thanks for the inspiring Chamber of Commerce speech.
: One of the primary things that a capitalist buys 'in order to make a profit' is labor-power, the labor-power of men and women who HAVE TO sell themselves cheap---just in order to survive---because the capitalists 'just happen' to own all the land and technology and everything else that the prior labor-power of working men and women have produced for the capitalists.
You speak as though capitalists are born into this world with a factory and no conscience! Alot of those 'oppressive' capitalists had to work their way to the top. Many of them are descendants of the first men who came to the New World in order to start a new life. Land was cheap then, they could buy a lot of it. Those men made their own fortunes.
: : : Who are you trying to fool?
: : The many Cuban refugees I keep in my basement. They peel oranges for me while singing french folk songs.
: Do you whip them---or do they sing for table scraps?
No, the ghost of Mel Torme who also resides with the Cubans sings for table scraps.