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health | imperialism & war | political theory selection 2004

Kerry DOES stand for something...

I've seen a lot of people comment about how they will only be voting for Kerry because he isn't Bush. They say he doesn't have an agenda of his own, etc...well I would like to comment about that.
OK progressives, don't give me too much of a hard time for this. I know we have a one party system in this country and would like to see that change. It's true there isn't much fundamental difference between democrats and republicans, particularly in terms of supporting a class-based society that has instiutionalized greed.

That said, I'd like to make an arguement for Kerry. I checked out his website and listened to his speeches, etc., and it sounds to me like he intends to roll back Bush's tax cuts for the super wealthy. He wants to use that money to finance health care for everybody, which is obviously something we really need in this country. As you know many of our people have no health insurance. Concerning the war in Iraq, he wants to at least internationalize the effort there--make amends with our traditional allies in Europe and let them in on some of the reconstruction contracts etc. He wants to work more closely with the UN.

Let's face it, Kerry's positions on these issues are at least a step in the right direction. Compared to another 4 hears of Bush in the Whitehouse, he sounds pretty good to me. I'd be interested to hear your views on these points. Thanks.

UNTRUSTWORTHY 28.Jun.2004 13:50

votenader 04

He voted for the Patriot Act. That ALONE is enough for me to say he is not a trustworthy leader of this nation.

What does it take? 28.Jun.2004 14:07


The latest surveys show that more than 90% of the Iraqis want the occupation forces out NOW. The vast majority of Iraqis are also opposed to the CIA stooge and terrorist operative Alawi telling them what to do. Are you so thick or so racist that you can't comprehend this?

Bush is trying to bribe other countries into joining the occupation as well. The problem is that some folks are not willing to risk death in exchange for a job. What part of GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY COUNTRY YOU MURDERING, TORTURING, RACIST, PSYCOPATHIC CRIMINALS are you having a hard time understanding?!!

healthcare for children 28.Jun.2004 14:10

not everyone

His policies are vague and act still within corporate rule.
His past speaks for itself. If he didn't read the PATRIOT ACT, don't vote for it.
Now he doesn't even speak of repealling it. Just getting rid of Ashcroft, as if that will stop the machine.
The Dems had their chance this year for really going somewhere. With Kucinich they had it all, and they blew it, opting for a war-time killer, and pleasant puppet for big business.
They didn't want to lose their pockets.
As long as profits over people rule, I am against it.

It's not saying much! 28.Jun.2004 14:19


But, he is better than bush.

DUPLICITOUS 28.Jun.2004 14:29


As a Senator Kerry voted to confirm Scalia. That's right SCALIA the right wingnut on the Supreme Court that Liberals complain about all the time. And don't say that Kerry didn't know Scalia was a fascist. Nader warned him and the rest of his privileged buddies in the Senate. They didn't listen and the senate confirmed his nomination unanimously incluing the not so good Senator Kerry.

Oh yeah, seen Fahrenheit 911? Kerry was was on the senate floor when the representatives of the disenfranchised voters of Florida were practically BEGGING for a senator to step up and challenge the certification of the election/coup d'etat. Did Kerry step up? No. He sat back and let this whole Bush nightmare happen.

He was also on the Senate Committee on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy
that reported during the Iran/Contra commission. Remember that? Here's a link  http://www.webcom.com/pinknoiz/covert/contracoke.html Well, the thing is Kerry knew all about the Contras and all of the dirty little connections including the arms trade and the US State Department involvement. Did he raise hell? Did he do anything to get the truth out about Reagan and Bush 1's involvement/crimes? The answer is NO. And believe you me he had the power and the evidence to do it.

I'll never vote for him. He is a shady duplicitous creep with lots of blood on his hands.

Oh, and I Forgot to Say... 28.Jun.2004 14:36


...puke is better than dogshit.

What it takes 28.Jun.2004 14:40


Let's keep the outright lying to a minimum, if possible, okay?

I'm guessing you're talking about the CPA-requested Iraq Poll which was leaked to the press last week. That poll did not say 90% of Iraqis want American forces out immediately.

In fact, only 41% said American troops should leave immediately. Fourty-five percent said Americans should leave once a permanent Iraqi government is installed, which would be sometime later than six months from now.

It did register a ~90% disapproval rating for the CPA, but that's not exactly the same thing. (To wit, you can dislike the CPA quite a bit, but if you're a woman who enjoys attending university you might not look to fondly on the Ayatollahs, either).

So, I wonder, "Are you so thick or racist that you can't comprehend this?"

I don't understand why all extremists have to wage these scorched earth campaigns, where because you disapprove of a policy or action, you have to lie and disapprove of everything related to the policy or action, to support your original disapproval.

On another note, Kerry does not want to finance health care for everybody. Which is not to say his plan is very bad -- I kind of like it, in some ways -- but it will not insure everyone. It's a mixture of tax rebates and credits for businesses which provide health insurance, allowing private citizens to purchase a health plan from the Federal Government Employee's health plan when they can't get health insurance elsewhere (or cheaper), and government rebates for certain catastrophic health costs.

If it was me, I'd ditch the confusing and impossible to quantify tax credits and rebates and just create a national catastrophic health insurance pool. That alone would eliminate the necessity of health insurance for some young and healthy individuals and it would lower the costs for everyone else.

John Kerry's not as bad as he's made out to be here.

People often cite the fact that Kerry voted in favor of the Iraq Use of Force Authorization bill. But they don't mention the fact that Republicans and the Bush Administration initally proposed a bill which would have given Bush authority to attack any country in the Persian Gulf region, and that it was John Kerry and Joe Biden who were instrumental in narrowing the scope to Iraq alone. (Indeed, they tried to limit to scope to attacking "terrorists within Iraq," and not the Hussein regime itself, but were unsuccessful).

Despite camapaign rhetoric about Benedict Arnold CEOs, Kerry is a tried and true free trader who will advance American unilateral free trade agreeements around the globe, which will, in fact, raise the world out of poverty, even out worldwide income disparities, while simultaneously raising American national income, on the long term. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Kerry's the guy. He's not a great guy, but he's the guy.

Can't trust democrats to keep the party honest anymore 28.Jun.2004 14:57


First, if you read Kerry's platforms on his website (like regarding health care) they are very legally worded and the more you read "between the lines" the less good they sound. Second, It's about having self respect. Putting your foot down. Saying enough already, we won't let the democrats use fear of the republicans to hoodwink us into more and more corporate candidates. No, Kerry is not headed anywhere near the right direction, he's just headed in the same completly bad direction as Bush a little less fast (but not slow enough).

The democrats are using Bush as a scare tactic to make people feel forced to vote democrat. It's disgusting. They dont' want people to be truly represented. This is not a party of the people.

Tax cuts for the super-wealthy? Well, there are still so many loopholes that this is really meaningless.

Health insurance? Kerry is no supporter of universal health care. Many americans cannot even afford health care, so the "chance" to have it is still entirely meaningless.

Internationalizing the war effort? The only difference is the sort of multinationals who reap the fucking benefits. It's still a tottlaly illegitimate war and occupation based on lies. We would still have our imperialist puppet-government in place. Internationalization is a lame excuse to make guilty and arrogant liberals think that the war is okay as long as multinational corporations in the rest of the world "agree" it's okay. Global cooperation is not always a "good" or "peaceful" thing, especially when its all about money. REconstruction contracts? What the fuck is that about? Why should "Europe" have them? Why not IRAQ? Do you feel better if the war is "eurpoean-ized" or something, because that sounds more "in line with Europe" or cosmopolitan. I just don't get this defense that you put up for the war. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but the fact is that I can't help but find your defense of Kerry's position outrageous. The fact that he has gotten people feeling "okay" with this war is just disgusting. Where is the outrage? Kerry has come along and because of his support squashed the outrage, dampened the anti-war movement. Remember, the seeds for the IRaq war didn't start with Bush, they started with Clinton in his bombing campaigns and sanctions. Again, an example of liberals failing to question the profiteering and war-mongering of their own "good" party. If this is what would occur under a Kerry administration, I'd rather have bush. Because frankly, I can no longer trust the democratic party members to hold their own party accountable for anything. They'd let Kerry get away with murder, just like they already have and currently are doing.

Lastly, Democrats cannot use the very few, very small differences between Kerry and Bush to make up for the very huge, very terrible failings of both. So many people feel that Kerry would make their lives just a little bit better. Sorry, but considering the hell that people in Iraq and are soldiers are going through, that is selfish. There are people dying, and Americans worry about shit like a little extra health insurance (for the middle class), or taxes. There are free trade agreements that destroy sovreignty, and people think that Kerry's environmental record has any meaning left in the face of that?

Americans have forgotten how to be courageous and take a stand. Instead, everyone cowers because the democrats are using Bush to scare them into submission to Kerry (who many democrats agree is not so much better than Bush). Solidarity is meaningless if, in the end, it takes you nowhere.

This country is in foreign nations stealing natural resources from people and killing people, and all people can thing about is that with Kerry they might be a "little" bit better off. That's not good enough for me. I think it's entirely wrong to settle for such a little difference, when we deserve so much more.

If the democratic party refuses to represent, they deserve the dissent. And it's coming.

Damn Witch Girl I Like U 28.Jun.2004 15:11


Thanks for the commentary. I was not actually putting up a defense for Kerry's view of the war, just sort of accepting the idea that internationalizing the effort is better than the U.S. doing it alone. I agree, however, that in principle in doesn't make much difference partucularly for the Iraqi people on the receiving end of a boot in the head. I was actually a strong Kucinich supporter at the beginning of this campaign (and still am really), but I also recognize that Dennis does not stand a chance to get the democratic party nomination. So, your view then is that I should not waste a vote on Kerry, but go with a third party write in vote or a Green party vote or what?

God I feel depressed.

Do You Suppose Things Have Improved Since to Torture Reorts? 28.Jun.2004 15:13


Four out of five Iraqis report holding a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of coalition forces, according to a new poll conducted for the occupation authority.

In the poll, 80 percent of the Iraqis questioned reported a lack of confidence in the Coalition Provisional Authority, and 82 percent said they disapprove of the U.S. and allied militaries in Iraq.

The occupation authority has been commissioning such surveys in Iraq since late last year, he said. This one was taken in Baghdad and several other Iraqi cities in late March and early April, shortly before the surge in anti-coalition violence and a few weeks before the detainee-abuse scandal became a major issue for the U.S. authorities in Iraq.

Re-construction contracts 28.Jun.2004 15:20


"REconstruction contracts? What the fuck is that about? Why should "Europe" have them? Why not IRAQ? Do you feel better if the war is "eurpoean-ized" or something, because that sounds more "in line with Europe" or cosmopolitan."

I want to say something about this, because I find lots of lefties who rage on this point.

The contracts should go to whichever organizations are most capable of fulfilling the task at hand. The Bush Administration initally issued some ridiculous rules which would have excluded countries like France from the bidding process, but those were rescinded.

But no matter who we get to perform the actual work, or supply the needed goods, American companies will still see the money in the end, no matter what. If you're suggesting the Iraqis should do it themselves, with Iraqi goods, you don't need any American help or capital. All you need to do is distribute money, which you could just print. America then would be off the hook for re-payment of the construction costs. We wouldn't have to pay for the re-construction. We wouldn't have to pay to fix our mess.

If you give Iraqis American dollars with which to purchase goods or labor to fund the re-construction effort, those dollars are coming back to America, because America is where you spend dollars. You can't spend dollars elsewhere. Dollars can be converted to other currencies, but that just means some third party is buying American goods from American companies. (Similarly, certain things, like oil, are dollar-denominated, but if you buy those things the net effect is the same as if you had converted the currency. Those who sold the oil to you are going to buy American products with those dollars).

But more importantly, there are not enough organized groups of talent in Iraq to distribute the funds to. Who are we supposed to deliver the funds to? Which is not to say the talent does not exist, just that it's not organized, because of war and sanctions.

So if your argument is that specific American companies are profiting from the war unduly, companies like Halliburton, or Bechtel, or whoever else, that may be a valid argument, I don't kno. But to say American companies should get none of the contracts is roughly equivalent to saying Americans should not pay for the cost of re-construction.

Bottom line 28.Jun.2004 15:40


If you have no health insurance or sick of paying for it through the nose and especially if you need health care ya better pray that Kerry wins. Your health is THEE bottom line.

Well said WitchGirl 28.Jun.2004 15:41


Thanks for the well reasoned arguments. You're right - They do deserve the dissent and it is coming cowards and cowerers beware.

We Owe Iraq, We waged an Illegal War 28.Jun.2004 15:41


You misunderstood me. I think America should have to PAY for reconstruction COSTS, but that the CONTRACTS should go to Iraqis - the contracts (money) should NOT go to American corporations or European corporations. They should go back into Iraq to help and get their economy going.

YOU forget that this war was illegal.

You say:
"But more importantly, there are not enough organized groups of talent in Iraq to distribute the funds to."
How do you know this? Have you done research to find that their are not enough such groups? Unless you have, I'm not buying that. There is a misperception about what Iraq is like. Iraq was, before invasion, quite a middle class society so I am sure there are enough motivated managerial sorts who can begin to envision how to rebuild and receive contracts.
I am going to assume that their are quite enough groups of talent in Iraq to distribute the funds to, and furthermore I think that it is far more efficient for Iraqis (who are already living there) to go about rebuliding their own nation with financial assistance which is entirely owed to them due to the fact that we waged an illegal war in order to steal their natural resources.

James wrote: 28.Jun.2004 15:45


"But to say American companies should get none of the contracts is roughly equivalent to saying Americans should not pay for the cost of re-construction."

That has got to be one of the dumbest most monsensical arguments that you have ever made here.

If I go to the bank and exchange a stack of dollars for Euros, can you explain to me how that translates into "some third party buying American goods from American companies"? You don't seem to have a very good understanding of economics to be coming off as such a know-it-all.

Yes, I can 28.Jun.2004 16:11


"If I go to the bank and exchange a stack of dollars for Euros, can you explain to me how that translates into 'some third party buying American goods from American companies?'"

Because the Euros don't appear out of thin air. They have to be gotten from some third party. Take the following example:

Party A has 80 euros. Wants to buy an American widget.
Party B has 100 dollars. Wants to buy a French widget.

The French company which produces the French widget does not accept dollars, nor does the American company accept Euros. So our parties exchange their currencies for each others.

Party A receives 100 dollars from Party B, and Party B receives 80 euros in exchange. They can each buy their widgets now, but the original currencies remain the same -- they've just swapped parties.

It's just one level removed, but the dollar amounts are the same. The only time that's not true is if someone converts the currency and then stashes the dollars away somewhere. This happens when certain foreign governments keep dollars in their foreign reserves, for example. But it's not the usual case.

So the point is, if a school is needed in Iraq, you can either:

A) Pay an American company to build the school. American company profits (or, perhaps, loses money. But that's another matter).

B) Pay an Iraqi company in dollars to build the school. Iraqis use the dollars to buy American goods, either directly, or through a currency exchange. American companies profit either way.

C) Pay an Iraqi company in dinars to build the school. You could collect the dinars through tax receipts, or print the money. If you print the money, you have simply created inflation, which has the same effects (worse, actually) as a sales tax on Iraqi citizens.

In both options A and B, American companies ultimately receive the capital which was used for Iraqi re-construction, and they either profit, or they don't. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that (indeed, the Iraqis got the resulting product or service). It's just a fact.

In option C, Americans don't have to pay their fair share. Re-construction is financed by Iraqis themselves.

So what I'm saying, if I can articulate myself well enough, is that it is not a valid argument to say American corporations should not receive contracts at all, no matter what. Because if American companies do not receive the capital used for re-construction, it is because Americans are not actually financing the re-construction, which we should.

It may be valid to say Specific Corporation A is a war profiteer, inflating contract prices and using influence with the American government to get away with it. But it's not valid to say that no American companies should get contracts whatsoever, because that would mean that Iraqis are financing the re-construction themselves.

I will not vote for Kerry 28.Jun.2004 16:19


Kerry joined Kennedy's (Democrat) war against the people of Vietnam. I will not vote for a man who has shot and killed people fighting for their freedom.

response to RD 28.Jun.2004 16:25



Hello and thank you. Don't worry so much, don't get depressed. What to do? Well, you can write to Kerry and try demanding that he changes his positions. You can write to the DNC and demand they make Kerry change his positions. Write to newspapers, congresspeople, etc. You might not get response, but you are engaging in action. You can vote third party or independent. Get involved in all this activism that is non-electoral and all over this board. Action often is a good cure for depression.

I am voting for Nader/Camejo (independent/green). I'll do a write in if I'm forced to. I refuse to vote for a war candidate. If that means democrats are going to whine that I'm spoiling it for Kerry, so be it. I say, they are spoiling it for us by supporting this disastrous and illegal war based on lies and so many other of Bush's policies.

Cobb is running Green, but he isn't campaigning in swing state, such as Oregon. I disagree with this strategy, because it's not "putting down your foot" or drawing a line -- its caving in and submitting to a corrupt power/authority. Furthermore, it legitimizes the marginalization of third parties, and legitmizes the democratic party's attack on Nader.

So, I like Nader's campaign because it says "enough is enough". Nader's exit strategy calls for a responsible military and "corporate withdrawal" as soon as possible, includes reparations and letting the Iraqi people have their sovreignty. If you haven't already, look into his platform at www.votenader.org or watch a Nader speech (if your computer is capable, go to www.cspan.org and search for Nader, his announcement speech is there). Even if you don't want to support him, it is interesting to watch. He has some extremely informative on many matters, makes great points, including how to become more politically active and civically engaged.

People are really angry and upset right now. There is alot of fear. Much of it is misguided, though. But, it's changing. People have really had it and they are angry about this war. There is alot of tension, but also alot of good and positive energy growing from it. So, again, don't get depressed because I really believe that a huge shift is just around the corner. Peace.

There are still some serious problems with what you are claiming James 28.Jun.2004 16:44


Lets say for example, the US gives an Iraqi $100 to pay for invasion related damage to their home, and they exchange that $100 dollars at a German bank for the equivalent in Euros to buy some German made nails from Germany. The German company receives the equivalent of $100 net gain minus the cost of goods sold. If the German bank where the Iraqi exchanged the dollars then exchanges those dollars at an American bank for Euros, the net effect is this: $100 leaving the US economy, $100 minus the cost of goods sold enters the German economy, the equivalent of $100 of goods minus the percentage of German profit enters the Iraqi economy, Iraqis get more per dollar/euro/whatever invested because they they can do far more reconstruction on their own, euro for euro, or dollar for dollar, than the Americans, or the Europeans. Net gain for US corporations with this sequence of transactions- a grand total of $0, aside from some possible currency exchange fees.

48 Nobel Laureates back Kerry against anti-Science Bush 28.Jun.2004 16:45

Simon W. Vozick-Levinson vozick@fas.harvard.edu

Forty-eight Nobel laureates, including at least nine Harvard scientists and doctors, endorsed the presidential candidacy of Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., this week.

Echoing recent statements by the Kerry campaign, the distinguished researchers alleged in an open letter that the Bush administration has actively impeded the progress of science in the last four years. The letter cited an August 2001 executive order restricting stem cell research, White House skepticism of GLOBAL WARMING theory and tightened immigration rules as examples of Bush's perceived roadblocks to science--and said the Democratic candidate would UNDO THE DAMAGE.

RD 28.Jun.2004 16:52


I think there's a big difference between Kerry and Bush. I agree with about two thirds of what Kerry says and nothing of what Bush says. I like Kucinich better, but if it's between Bush and Kerry I will most certainly vote for Kerry.

Nader is good, but even he recommends Kerry in the swing states.

Missing party 28.Jun.2004 17:06


"Lets say for example, the US gives an Iraqi $100 to pay for invasion related damage to their home, and they exchange that $100 dollars at a German bank for the equivalent in Euros to buy some German made nails from Germany. The German company receives the equivalent of $100 net gain minus the cost of goods sold."

That's only two sides of a three-way transction. In your example, there are two parties with two separate currencies. One of the currencies cannot be spent in either of the two party's countries. So there has to be a third party:

1) An Iraqi with PPP $100 who wants to buy German nails
2) A German corporation which sells nails, but only accepts euros
3) A European with PPP $100 in euros, who wants to buy an American pair of shoes, needs dollars, but only has euros.

The currency exchange facilitates the swap of currencies between the Iraqi (dollars) and the European (euros). (And takes a tiny percentage of the transaction as a fee, but let's ignore that).

The transaction has $200 in total. Germans get PPP $100 in euros capital, minus the cost to produce the nails. Americans get PPP $100, minus the cost to produce a pair of shoes. Iraqis get a big box of nails.

On the average, if America had not given that capital to the Iraqis, American dollars would be that much more scarce abroad, which would cause the exchange rate to make American shoes that much more expensive (wherever currencies float on an open market, anyway).

So ultimately, if you give someone abroad American dollars, they're going to spend them either directly or indirectly in America. And since we live in a capitalist state, American corporations will try to make the highest profit possible.

That being the case, we might as well give reconstruction contracts to whichever groups are best equipped to the task, while not ripping off American taxpayers and Iraqi citizens deserving of re-construction.

Kerry has a plan (sort of ) 28.Jun.2004 17:29

J. F. Kerry

I have a plan!

I have a plan, George bush doesn't have a plan, well, let me tell you that I have a plan, and I looked at the plan, and it's a good plan. The plan puts workers back to work. My plan isn't George Bush's plan, my plan is my plan..

Senator ?


Can you tell us what is in the plan?

I just did!

Libertarian, you won't vote for kerry? 28.Jun.2004 17:38


You wrote

"Kerry joined Kennedy's (Democrat) war against the people of Vietnam. I will not vote for a man who has shot and killed people fighting for their freedom."

Bush stayed state side during the war and killed beers.. So does that mean you will vote for him because he didn't go to Vietnam and and kill people? (Just kidding)..

the ridiculous lengths capitalist true-believers will go to 28.Jun.2004 17:42

trying to keep themselves convinced, I guess

James, James, James... you've set out some lovely hypotheticals . Let's simplify, shall we?

Step 1: US the fuck out of Iraq
Step 2: We go to Fort Knox and fill up several planes with gold
Step 3: We drop the gold off in Iraq so they can rebuild
Step 4: ???
Step 5: No American companies profit.


Let me try something simpler, James 28.Jun.2004 17:56


If you give me $100 and I walk into an American bank and exchange that for euros, I now have $100 worth of euros that I can use to purchase $100 worth of goods and services in Europe. In that transaction, the bank makes nothing aside from possible transaction fees. Aside from the possible fees, it would be similar in effect to exchanging a $100 bill for 100-$1 bills. The bank sees no net change in value as a result of this transaction.

Assuming that I spend the euros with a local European merchant, I now have $100 worth of European goods and the European merchant has retained a profit. The merchant COULD then purchase some American goods and services, but they could also reinvest that profit back into their own company, go out to dinner at their neighborhood restaurant, or buy some Japanese product. In that case the American corporations make NOTHING. If the populations of other countries refuse to buy American goods and services, American corporations never make a cent off of this set of transactions, ever.

American taxpayers have already been ripped off. We are now obligated to pay for the reconstruction of a country that we have destroyed with an illegal invasion.

Gold as currency makes no difference 28.Jun.2004 18:00


When you re-fill Fort Knox with gold, you do it using dollars, which flow back to American corporations.

You can't escape it. You're just obfuscating the transaction with more levels.

Touché’ 28.Jun.2004 18:01


That 5 step simplification blows my tedious explanation away! Thanks!

Nobel Chemisty, Medicine & Physics winners 1957-2003 28.Jun.2004 18:15

durutti is Irving

"Unlike previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, the Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific advice in the policy-making that is so important to our collective welfare."

--from an open letter signed by the 48 Nobel Prize winners below:

William N. Lipscomb - 1976
Paul Berg - 1980
Walter Gilbert - 1980
Roald Hoffmann - 1981
Dudley Herschbach - 1986
Johann Deisenhofer - 1988
Sidney Altman - 1989
Mario J. Molina - 1995
Walter Kohn - 1998
John B. Fenn - 2002
Peter Agre - 2003
Roderick MacKinnon - 2003

Arthur Kornberg - 1959
George Palade - 1974
David Baltimore - 1975
Roger Guillemin - 1977
Baruj Benacerraf - 1980
David H. Hubel - 1981
Joseph Goldstein - 1985
Michael Bishop - 1989
Harold Varmus - 1989
Joseph E. Murray - 1990
E. Donnall Thomas - 1990
Alfred G. Gilman - 1994
Eric Wieschaus - 1995
Louis Ignarro - 1998
Günter Blobel - 1999
Eric R. Kandel - 2000
H. Robert Horvitz - 2002

Tsung-Dao Lee - 1957
Donald A. Glaser - 1960
Charles H. Townes - 1964
Hans A. Bethe - 1967
Burton Richter - 1976
Philip W. Anderson - 1977
Arno Penzias - 1978
Sheldon L. Glashow - 1979
Robert W. Wilson - 1978
James W. Cronin - 1980
Val Fitch - 1980
N. Bloembergen - 1981
Leon M. Lederman - 1988
Norman F. Ramsey - 1989
Jerome I. Friedman - 1990
Joseph H. Taylor Jr. - 1993
Martin L. Perl - 1995
David M. Lee - 1996
Douglas D. Osheroff - 1996

I could make billions in Iraq... 28.Jun.2004 18:18


... if I could replicate James' head and use the material to make bullet proof vests. Nothing seems to penetrate it.

No one said anything about refilling Ft. Knox. There is no requirement that such a thing has to happen, and it would once again not necessarily have to involve American corporations at any level.

It is no wonder Nader's economic proposals look suspicious to you. You appear to have economic tunnel vision.

Twilight Zone 28.Jun.2004 18:38


"... if I could replicate James' head and use the material to make bullet proof vests. Nothing seems to penetrate it."

That feeling seems to be going around.

I'm not sure how much you would make, I hear ceramic bullet proof vests are plenty in Iraq now.

Kerry STANDS FOR 28.Jun.2004 20:22


plu*toc*ra*cy Pronunciation Key (pl-tkr-s)
n. pl. plu*toc*ra*cies
Government by the wealthy.
A wealthy class that controls a government.
A government or state in which the wealthy rule.
[Greek ploutokrati : ploutos, wealth; see pleu- in Indo-European Roots + -krati, -cracy.]
pluto*crat (plt-krt) n.
pluto*cratic or pluto*crati*cal adj.
pluto*crati*cal*ly adv.

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


\Plu*toc"ra*cy\, n. [Gr. ?; ? wealth + ? to be strong, to rule, fr.? strength: cf. F. plutocratie.] A form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the wealthy classes; government by the rich; also, a controlling or influential class of rich men.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996


n : a political system governed by the wealthy people
Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Plutocracy is a government system where wealth is the principal basis of power (from the Greek ploutos meaning wealth).

The influence of wealth on governance can be expressed either via the wealthy classes directly governing, or (more typically) by the wealthy classes using money to control the government. This control can be exerted positively (by financial "contributions" or in some cases, bribes) or negatively by refusing to financially support the government (refusing to pay taxes, threatening to move profitable industries elsewhere, etc).

There have not been many examples of a "true" plutocracy in history as such, although they typically emerge as one of the first governing systems within a territory after a period of anarchy. Plutocracy is closely related to Aristocracy  http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy as a form of government, as generally wealth and nobility have been closely associated throughout history.

In the present era, there are numerous cases of wealthy individuals exerting financial pressure on governments to pass favourable legislation. Most western partisan democracies permit the raising of funds by the partisan organisations, and it is well-known that political parties frequently accept significant donations from various individuals (either directly or through corporate institutions). Ostensibly this should have no effect on the legislative decisions of elected representatives, however it would be a bit idealistic to believe that no politicians are influenced by these "contributions". The more cynical might describe these donations as "bribes", although legally they are not.

See also:

Pareto principle (on unequal distribution of wealth)
corporate police state


"Plutocracy" Defined

The term "plutocracy" is formally defined as government by the wealthy, and is also sometimes used to refer to a wealthy class that controls a government, often from behind the scenes. More generally, a plutocracy is any form of government in which the wealthy exercise the preponderance of political power, whether directly or indirectly.

Plutocracy may also have social and cultural aspects. Thus, in Democracy for the Few  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm political scientist Michael Parenti is led to comment "American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy, a system of rule that is mostly by and for the rich. Most universities and colleges, publishing houses, mass circulation magazines, newspapers, television and radio stations, professional sports teams, foundations, churches, private museums, charity organizations, and hospitals are organized as corporations, ruled by boards of trustees (or directors or regents) composed overwhelmingly of affluent businesspeople. These boards exercise final judgment over all institutional matters."

The question of whether or not the United States could be said to be a plutocracy is discussed at length in Who Rules America  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm by sociologist G. William Domhoff. There Domhoff remarks: "The idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people might shape the economy and government for their own benefit goes against the American grain. Nevertheless, this book argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant power figures in the United States. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington. Their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments."

The argument to the effect that the US is a functional plutocracy (that is, that the wealthy exercise a preponderance of American political power) is different from, enormously better documented, and altogether more credible, than claims to the effect that there exists a small circle of conspirators bent on ruling the world, claims for which no credible evidence exists. (Domhoff explicitly disavows the existence of any such conspiracy.)


See the resource on the Bush cabinet, with links that illustrate its plutocratic nature
Go to the Essay on Politics
Go to the PL Political Field Guide
Return to the PL Site Map

Some other enlightening and useful links:

Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy

The Plutocratic Presidency, 1789—Present Day
 link to free.freespeech.org

The Corporate Domination of American Culture and Politics

vote for me:  I'm worth $850 MILLION
vote for me: I'm worth $850 MILLION

Altman: knowledgable about chemistry, head up the ass about politics 28.Jun.2004 20:29


RD writes:
<<Concerning the war in Iraq, he wants to at least internationalize the effort there--make amends with our traditional allies in Europe and let them in on some of the reconstruction contracts etc. He wants to work more closely with the UN.
Let's face it, Kerry's positions on these issues are at least a step in the right direction.>>

RD, the simple fact is that Kerry has openly complained that Bush did not send ENOUGH troops to Iraq. Kerry wants more American troops, and more non-American troops occupying Iraq. Care to explain how that is in any way "a step in the right direction"?

It's a step in the wrong direction. Prominent rapist USA wants other famous well-respected rapists such as France and Germany to help in the gang rape of Iraq, and somehow this makes it a more moral affair? Do you honestly believe that?

Kerry is a WORSE idea than Bush regarding Iraq, it would seem. Kerry, supposedly an intelligent lawyer, fell like a chump for every false claim that led the US into war in Iraq, hook, line and sinker. And he publicly championed every one of them. He has told the anti-war movement to "get over it" (his exact words) and considers Vietnam a strange anomoly that somehow has nothing to do with US foreign policy whatsoever.

Kerry is a profoundly dangerous man who couches his genocidal aims in terms of morality, as if the US is fighting for anything worthy in Iraq.

Would I vote for Kerry? Not if I want to get any sleep at night. I couldn't live with myself if I did.

deleted comments 29.Jun.2004 08:22


What happens to the comments that are not posted? I keep making comments about how we need to not only complain about Kerry and the war, but OVERTHROW him at the DNC. No one likes this guy. If you don't believe me go and watch his recent speech in San Jose. Kerry was forced upon us by the same corporate media that lied about the war...they lied about electability too. They tell us W is electable. After Fahrenheit 911 the coruption of the media has now been completly exposed...and so has Kerry. He's going down too!

let's go to the convention 11.Jul.2004 21:59


ok i'm with you--let's all show up at the democratic convention and get either Nader or Kucinich in.

Department of Historical Amnesia 18.Jul.2004 17:00

Barry Crimmins on the Dems

A lot of people say the Democrats didn't have a message this [2002] fall, but they did, and here it is: we support the same things as the Republicans, it just takes us longer. We are bought by the same concerns as Republicans, just for less money. We are as silent about issues that matter to working families as Republicans, it's just that our silence represents betrayal of our purported core values whereas Republicans are merely being consistent.

--Barry Crimmins, "Mock the vote"

Kerry Stands For Something 19.Oct.2004 14:47


Many will be voting for Kerry becasue he is not Bush. I am one of these individuals. Bush is ruining America, far more than any toher President to date. If Bush is re-elected I will not feel safe raising my kids in America. Bush is DANGEROUS! VOTE FOR KERRY 2004 AND STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM!

Iraq 19.Oct.2004 14:53


John Kerry is disgusting. He is nothing but a liar, and anyone who votes for him will live to regret it. Even though Bush is not all that, at least he is more that Kerry. Kerry ain't nothing but dung.