This change was so slow that it is (almost) not noticeable but you could
see one really obvious example last year in Wisconsin and it went something
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker reduces corporate taxes by 4 billion
This causes the Wisconsin budget to come up short by almost the same
The governor goes to the citizens and says something like, rather
than raise your taxes I'm going to go after those good-for-nothing
unionized workers starting with teachers, police officers, and firemen.
Rather than being envious of better-paid unionized jobs, Joe
Taxpayer is hood-winked into agreeing with the governor's thesis.
Something similar happens in California when Arnold Schwarzenegger is
running for Governor of California in 2003.
He promises to crush the automobile registration fees (remember his
demonstrations of a wrecking ball crushing a car?)
This causes a budgetary short-fall by the same amount next year
which is blamed on too many social services. This leads many people to
begin speaking the unthinkable like: "it must be all those illegal
immigrants in our schools" instead of blaming voters for electing an
actor who wants to cut taxes without thinking about the consequences.
When did this war on the middle class begin? Everyone has their own
opinions but many people see it happening when very rich men acquired
publishing businesses with the intent of making tons of money while only
publishing the "conservative/pro business" side of each issue while
simultaneously claiming a liberal bias in the media. This includes lower
taxes for all of us; lower taxes for businesses; lower input tariffs for
businesses so they can take advantage of lower wages in the third world. The
usual suspects include people like
(FOX Broadcasting in the US and British Sky Broadcasting (B-Sky-B) in
Britain; Newspapers in the US, Britain, and Australia) and
Conrad Black (The
National Post in Canada; The Telegraph in Britain; The Chicago Sun Times;
The Jerusalem Post, etc.)
The big problem with tax decreases is that the very rich walk away with
much more money. It feels good now but will cause a budget shortfall in the
future leading to future reductions in social benefits. Your retirement age
of 65 will be pushed to 67, then 69, then 71 if you live that long.
Jeremy Rifkin (Economist, Teacher, Author, Advisor, and Visionary) on
the Distributed Energy Revolution.
this video will only require 12 minutes of your life but the investment
will be well worth it.
If you enjoyed the previous 12-minute video, additional details can be
found in these two
TVO videos titled: The Emphatic
Civilization: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era
26-minute interview between Alan Gregg and Jeremy Rifkin was published
This 55-minute lecture was given by Jeremy Rifkin in
Ottawa on 2010-05-16
Humanity's Coming Dark Age
superstition, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia,
intolerance, rejection of science
Marc Widdowson's original web site at
appears to have fallen into the bit-bucket sometime after 2008.
But you can still access much of the original material (including
charts and diagrams which are not in the current PDF) via the
Way Back Machine:
While there are many complicated and interacting reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire, I am now convinced that
was correct when he stated that the primary reason was due to the the
organized religion. Today's world might collapse for nothing
more that the reasons of religious intolerance or greed (materialism
is another form of religion)
Religious Method (dogma): Fiction, Assertion, Suppression Scientific Method (pragma): Observation, Hypothesis,
Experiment (test), Debate. Then publish and repeat. Galileo's
Defense Against Catholic Persecution: The bible tells you "how
to go to heaven", not "how the heavens go". (Therefore
the bible cannot be relied upon to tell you when: life begins, how the
world was created, how old the world is, etc. On the flip side, science
will never be able to prove, or disprove, the existence of God. Like
music and art, science and religion are just two human cultural expressions.
They must never be allowed to merge or you will exchange democracy for
People who know me also know that I have been infected with an
inspired optimism about humanity. It is for this reason that I am publishing
these links so that modern humanity might avoid this horrible fate (which
has happened to humans many times before). Humanity must not fall into the
same state as that of the Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov's
Postscript: I recently (Spring-2009) came
to the conclusion that we are already in a Dark age (partially caused by
the collapse of the American empire) which started in the mid 1970s and
that no one can avoid it.
General Motors employed over 400,000 North American employees in
1970. (this is the same peak employment number of the people who
worked on Apollo). GM got rid of those pesky technical workers while
the number of white collar workers sky rocketed to over to over
40,000 by the mid 2000s. Before 2004, GM paid more money per car to
advertisers than they did to hourly workers.
Detroit-headquartered manufacturers claimed that Asian products
were garbage while Detroit produced crappy products like the
Chevy Vega, Ford Pinto, and the AMC Gremlin. Detroit then claimed that
American products were superior to Asian products even though
Detroit was already manufacturing in places like Mexico and Brazil.
(this obfuscation could be better described by the phrase "Jedi
hand wave" which only works on the weak minded)
In the 1980's, big newspaper publishers started calling
paid advertising "copy" while the news content was referred to as
Around this time, newspaper started to acquire each other. Publishers
started by getting rid of those pesky reporters
while reaping 30-35% annual ROI (return-on-investment) on their
acquisitions. We know this now because
newspapers have had to open their books during recent bankruptcies. So the
internet didn't kill newspapers, newspaper owners and managers just
sucked out all the money until it wasn't worth paying for.
The stupidity of the Iraq War is comparable to the Vietnam
war. I am tempted to say that Americans don't learn from history
but I would be partly wrong: The American public was mostly against
the War in Vietnam because of the draft even though it partly destroyed
their economy. Bush-Cheney knew about the draft so were careful to never
invoke one for their Iraq War. This means that many Americans are
still under the deluded belief that the Vietnam War could have been
won. So are American politicians stupid or just political ideologues?
Between 1927 and 1999 the human population tripled from 2 billion
to 6 billion and this was only possible due to the industrialization
of farms. Since the majority of farms get water from rivers that begin
in glaciers, and global warming is destroying them, rivers will begin
to run dry in the summer months which means that people will die. Six
large rivers begin in the Tibetan plateau eventually feed India, Pakistan,
and China. When these nuclear powers run out of food there will be
Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.