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All this talk about the election and civil unrest and such.

What is the truth about where our economy is right now?   People around here don't seem to be acting like we need to be concerned.   Housing prices are up, people are buying, in fact, there is a housing shortage in our area.  

What are your predictions provided we do not have serious civil unrest vs. if we do?

I realize there are so very many variables, but how concerned do we need to be?  I am not a "live in fear" type but I am a realist and am trying to understand people's through processes about prepping, unrest, etc...

Edited by DawnM
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  • DawnM changed the title to Economy

I think in the very short term things are going to be get even more unequal.  You're right that houses are selling and people are buying, those that still have jobs are mostly fine. If you have investments, those are fine. My husband worked from home for months and still could if we really needed him to.

The people at the bottom are hurting.  Evictions are going to start.  Lines at food pantries are long. Some of those houses that are selling are  being sold by people that can no longer afford their homes because their company permanently downsized. It looks like 7 million people are still unemployed from those lay offs in April, and this report makes it sound like a lot of them will be that way for a long time.  With no help coming, most of them will be at the end of even regular state unemployment soon. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/13/covid-related-unemployment-is-now-permanent-for-almost-4-million.html

All of those families and household without an income, or with a much lower income will be a drag on the economy as a whole.  We are a consumer driven economy, sidelining that many consumers is going to hurt.  The economy was propped up this summer with extra unemployment payments and stimulus checks that went out, but that money is long gone. We're going into the biggest shopping time of the year with so many people unemployed, thats going to hurt a lot of businesses that count on Christmas shopping money to keep them afloat through the year.  I'm worried a recession that feeds on itself and deepens over time.  Those are very hard to dig out of. 

 

Civil unrest is going to be terrible for the economy.  The looming bad economy that I see coming is going to be so much worse if civil unrest is wide spread or prolonged.  If I have to drive through armed checkpoints I'm not going shopping, ya know?  

I was just talking to my husband and he thinks that we live in a small enough and purple enough town that we're probably safe from unrest.  We have some militia types, but not to the point where they attract outsiders, so hopefully we'll be safe from all of that.  We'll see though. 

Edited by Cnew02
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39 minutes ago, Cnew02 said:

I think in the very short term things are going to be get even more unequal.  You're right that houses are selling and people are buying, those that still have jobs are mostly fine. If you have investments, those are fine. My husband worked from home for months and still could if we really needed him to.

The people at the bottom are hurting.  Evictions are going to start.  Lines at food pantries are long. Some of those houses that are selling are  being sold by people that can no longer afford their homes because their company permanently downsized. It looks like 7 million people are still unemployed from those lay offs in April, and this report makes it sound like a lot of them will be that way for a long time.  With no help coming, most of them will be at the end of even regular state unemployment soon. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/13/covid-related-unemployment-is-now-permanent-for-almost-4-million.html

All of those families and household without an income, or with a much lower income will be a drag on the economy as a whole.  We are a consumer driven economy, sidelining that many consumers is going to hurt.  The economy was propped up this summer with extra unemployment payments and stimulus checks that went out, but that money is long gone. We're going into the biggest shopping time of the year with so many people unemployed, thats going to hurt a lot of businesses that count on Christmas shopping money to keep them afloat through the year.  I'm worried a recession that feeds on itself and deepens over time.  Those are very hard to dig out of. 

 

Civil unrest is going to be terrible for the economy.  The looming bad economy that I see coming is going to be so much worse if civil unrest is wide spread or prolonged.  If I have to drive through armed checkpoints I'm not going shopping, ya know?  

I was just talking to my husband and he thinks that we live in a small enough and purple enough town that we're probably safe from unrest.  We have some militia types, but not to the point where they attract outsiders, so hopefully we'll be safe from all of that.  We'll see though. 

 

I think we live far enough out of the city that will be ok that way as well.    Thankfully DH can work from home and I am actually now thankful he didn't find a different job, his longevity and the fact that they like him and find him necessary is a huge bonus.    He may get a pay cut, but I don't think he will be laid off.

I have been in my school district long enough that I think even if they laid off some people, I wouldn't be laid off.   I might have to move schools, or go back to the classroom or something, but I don't think I would lose my job.

I mean, anything is possible, so I am not trying to be naive, but I feel we would be ok

But I completely understand what you are saying about long term economic hits.   And the divide between the haves and have nots.   And it is worrisome.   

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So complicated and so many issues involved and trying not to be "political".   The GDP increase in the 3rd Quarter was the highest in history?   The combined Online Sales of 2 recent Online event days were bigger than those of "Black Friday"?  The unemployment rates of African Americans and of Latinos, before COVID-19 were the lowest in history?

Astonishing to me, a few days ago, was an article I read about the NYPD advising very high end apartment buildings to be prepared to defend themselves.   That's OK, but I was surprised that some of them have sub-machine guns.   Those are mostly "Blue" families in  multi million dollar apartments.

The Civil unrest is simply unimaginable to me when it goes on for more than several days. I am old enough to have lived through the original "Watts Riots" in L.A., and in my memory that lasted for about a week and was very very scary.  I was thankful that I had a gun and  prayed that I would not need to use it. That was before the days of CC (Concealed Carry) so I did not have it in the car with me and that was very scary.  People were shooting at people driving on Freeways around L.A.

The 90 or 100 days of rioting in Portland I cannot wrap my head around.

The censorship that is imposed now is very sad as is what happened to the Journalists and 95% of the media who do that.

Many many problems, but remember that there are many very decent people, Blue or Red, in the U.S. Military, for one example, and they will get the USA through this. 

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23 hours ago, Lanny said:

So complicated and so many issues involved and trying not to be "political".   The GDP increase in the 3rd Quarter was the highest in history?  

 

Yes.  Or at least if not absolutely highest in history, certainly very good!

 

Quote

The combined Online Sales of 2 recent Online event days were bigger than those of "Black Friday"? 

 

Had not been aware of that.

 

In my area which has agriculture, one problem is that farming itself is exempt from lockdown rules because it is “essential” but as time goes on it may have increasing problems because needed things get into short supply and are not online sales type items. 

We can’t eat electronics. 

 

In spring I looked around and saw animals breeding and fields being plowed as usual, but I am getting much more concerned now. 

 

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The unemployment rates of African Americans and of Latinos, before COVID-19 were the lowest in history?

Yes.

Huge!!!   Not just statistically, but something meaningful for a lot of people I know irl.

 

Also local irl observation: older adults were able to get “better” work so teens/young adults  were getting more jobs like ice scream scooping or grocery bagger which had been held by older adults during worse times . So it wasn’t just improved employment by statistics but also more adults getting jobs more suitable to education and experience rather anything they could find, and more younger people being able to get entry level type jobs . And that’s significant for mental health too. 

 

 

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Astonishing to me, a few days ago, was an article I read about the NYPD advising very high end apartment buildings to be prepared to defend themselves.   That's OK, but I was surprised that some of them have sub-machine guns.   Those are mostly "Blue" families in  multi million dollar apartments.

 

Wow. I didn’t know that either. 

Sounds like that couple who was on news because of holding guns to try to defend themselves from  a group in Minnesota? I can’t recall.   But they only had a small gun and a non working gun iirc.  

Submachine guns in high end NYC is a whole other level

 

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The Civil unrest is simply unimaginable to me when it goes on for more than several days. I am old enough to have lived through the original "Watts Riots" in L.A., and in my memory that lasted for about a week and was very very scary.  I was thankful that I had a gun and  prayed that I would not need to use it. That was before the days of CC (Concealed Carry) so I did not have it in the car with me and that was very scary.  People were shooting at people driving on Freeways around L.A.

 

I was a kid there at the time.  It was very scary.   

 

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The 90 or 100 days of rioting in Portland I cannot wrap my head around.

I am in Oregon now. I think Ptlnd situation is Very different than Watts was. (It is not like Watts Riots that you remember extended for 100 days.)   Some people I know, however, who were very sympathetic are becoming more troubled, concerned about whether it is about Floyd etc, or something else going on.  

I haven’t seen what if anything has changed since there was a shooting in Vancouver (next to Ptlnd in Washington). 

 

 

 

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The censorship that is imposed now is very sad as is what happened to the Journalists and 95% of the media who do that.

 

Major problem. 

A lot is probably self censorship and an echo chamber situation even for those in the media. 

I am not sure we have journalism much anymore.    Not deep investigative journalism.

 

What did Glenn Greenwald write?  

After he quit his position due to censorship he had some good descriptions. 

 

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Many many problems, but remember that there are many very decent people, Blue or Red, in the U.S. Military, for one example, and they will get the USA through this. 

 

I hope we can get through without military, but I expect you are correct. 

I think decent people still make up a majority. I am counting on that!

Edited by Pen
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The "historic" Q3 gain being touted by Trump is a statistical illusion — it only looks good because Q2 was so disastrously bad, and in fact most of that growth was at the very beginning of the quarter, while the overall economy is currently slowing down. And we are still down 4% from 2019.

 

From the Brookings Institute:

Yet despite this phenomenal-sounding growth, the economy will still be in a considerable hole, is actually slowing down, and presents a strong case for concern. Some basic math and data can help pierce through the mirage.

One reason 30 percent growth doesn’t mean the economy is healed stems from how percentage changes work when going down and then up. If you own a stock priced at $100 and it drops 30 percent, it is now worth $70. If it gains back 30 percent, it is then worth $91 (the gain is just $21 because 30 percent of 70 is 21). In the same manner, the large drop in output in the second quarter followed by similar sized increases in the third quarter will still leave a large hole. Even if GDP growth is 30 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter, output will still be more than 4 percent below its level at the end of 2019, which is more than the farthest the economy ever was from its prior peak in the Great Recession.

In addition, in the United States, we typically report growth numbers at an annualized rate. This way of reporting tells you how much the economy would grow or shrink if it kept up that pace for a full year. When there are huge swings up or down (like now) that can be a bit misleading. It made the drop in the second quarter seem larger than it was, and now makes the rebound seem larger as well.

It is also important to recognize that rapid third quarter growth does not mean the economy has strong momentum now. Third quarter growth measures the average level of output in July through September compared to the average in April through June. The very low level of output in April and May set a low baseline, meaning almost any bounce back at all would generate a huge growth rate for the third quarter.

One way to see how much of third quarter GDP growth comes from earlier in the year is to look at the growth in hours worked. Hours worked are often a good proxy for GDP growth, and grew by 25% at an annual rate between the second and third quarters. When looking at the monthly hours worked compared to the quarterly average (used to generate the quarterly growth rate), it is clear that the second quarter average is held down by the low April level, and in fact much of the growth that lifts the third quarter above the second actually came due to the rapid rebound in May and June. In fact, when calculating the growth rate, well over half of the growth comes from May and June. Had hours worked simply stayed at the June level throughout the third quarter, the third quarter growth rate would still be 15% at an annual rate.

 

Hours Worked

Other evidence also demonstrates that the rebound in the economy has been slowing down over the late summer and into the fall. For each month from June to August, personal consumption growth was slower than in the month before. The same was true of retail sales through the summer, though it rebounded slightly in September. The Chicago Federal Reserve National Economic Activity Index, which pulls together over 80 data series from consumption to employment to production indicated that growth in August was the slowest it has been since the economy began to recover in May.

This slower growth is problematic given the huge hole in employment. Employment in the United States is still more than 10 million jobs below its level in February. Job growth, which broke records in June with almost 4.8 million jobs gained, slowed to 1.8 million jobs gained in July, 1.5 million in August, down to 660,000 jobs gained in September. If job growth continues to slow, it will take years to bring the economy back to its level of employment before the COVID recession. Job growth certainly does not look like a “V” anymore.

Payroll Employment

In many ways, the slowing job growth is not a surprise. Many of the jobs gained over the early summer stemmed from rehiring workers who had been on temporary layoff.  In April, 78 percent of the unemployed considered themselves on temporary layoff; that is down to 37 percent in September. Re-employing a worker from temporary layoff is much easier than matching an unemployed worker to a new firm. The number of individuals who say they are on permanent layoff has also grown considerably, from 1.5 million in March to 3.8 million in September. This rise in permanent layoffs is unusually swift. In the first six months of the Great Recession, the number of permanent layoffs grew just half a million. Furthermore, research suggests people overestimate the likelihood of re-employment and each month they are out of work reduces the chances their layoff is in fact temporary. As time passes, improvements in the labor market will become harder.

Permanent Jobs Lost

The number of unemployed actually understates the problem as millions of individuals have left the labor force. Many rejoined over the summer, but the labor force is still more than four million workers smaller than it was prior to the crisis, and it contracted in September, a disturbing stall in momentum.

Even as the economy was growing, there was evidence of extreme distress amongst families. Lines at foodbanks have shocked many. Surveys suggest surges in food insecurity. Reductions in employment, secondary incomes, tips, and gig work have left many families on the brink. Over 2.4 million workers have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, a number that is sharply increasing and demonstrating extreme hardships for many households.

These indicators suggest the economy needs more help. First, it is essential to control the virus. Many sections of the economy simply cannot restart until there is greater safety and better confidence in the safety of workers and consumers. In addition, the economy will continue to need fiscal support. The unemployed need more financial aid. Small firms – especially those in heavily impacted sectors – simply cannot survive without assistance. State and local governments are increasingly laying off workers as their budgets are under extreme stress. Smart fiscal policy can help keep the recession from turning into an even longer and more painful downturn than it already is.

The flashy GDP growth number for the third quarter is more a statistical quirk and reflection of the sharp dive and subsequent bounce in the spring, not an indication of current momentum. We cannot count on the economy to heal itself, it will take direct action.

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48 minutes ago, Pen said:

I think decent people still make up a majority. I am counting on that!

I never understand why people say this. I mean I guess if it makes you feel better then that’s great but historically the majority of people have usually been decent people. They were under hitler. They were during the red terror in the states. They were when we had slaves and during the civil war.  Decent people were the e majority when we had Japanese camps. 

Yes it is always up to good people to step up. But that doesn’t mean it is all okay either. 

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2 hours ago, Lanny said:

 

Many many problems, but remember that there are many very decent people, Blue or Red, in the U.S. Military, for one example, and they will get the USA through this. 

I disagree with almost all of what you wrote, but right now can't respond w/o getting too political and too worked up. I have no patience for the regurgitation of trite, tired right wing talking points.

But as to the above -- if we get anywhere near the point that we need the military to "get us through" anything domestic then go ahead and stick a fork in us, 'cause at that point we're likely already well and truly done. The incident this summer in Lafayette Square may well have been a testing of those waters by the current administration. The push back from the public and from top military brass was fast and harsh, and very rightly so. May it always be so.

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2 hours ago, Lanny said:

The Civil unrest is simply unimaginable to me when it goes on for more than several days. I am old enough to have lived through the original "Watts Riots" in L.A., and in my memory that lasted for about a week and was very very scary.  I was thankful that I had a gun and  prayed that I would not need to use it. That was before the days of CC (Concealed Carry) so I did not have it in the car with me and that was very scary.  People were shooting at people driving on Freeways around L.A.

The 90 or 100 days of rioting in Portland I cannot wrap my head around.

I was living in LA during the Rodney King riots, which spread all over the city. I stood on the roof of my apartment building and watched massive fires burning in every direction. A friend who lived in my building had her windshield smashed as she tried to drive home from work after the riots started.

The protests in Portland are NOTHING like that.

Despite blatant attempts by RW media to convince people that the entire city of Portland is overrun by anarchists burning and looting at will, the protests have been limited to a very small area of a few blocks downtown, there have been very few days of actual violence, and much of the violence has been perpetrated by police against protestors. The federal forces that were sent to the city over the objections of the mayor and governor (so much for "states rights", eh?) greatly exacerbated the violence — which of course was the whole point in sending them, in order to generate lots of video of police/protestor clashes so RW media could continue to create the completely false illusion that "leftist" cities are dystopian nightmares of crime and lawlessness.

Life in Portland was, and is, totally normal. In fact, compared to what is "normal" in much of the rest of the country right now, I'd say it's better than normal because everyone is masking and distancing, and the state has one of the lowest death rates in the country. 

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I live in a low income area in a mobile home park. DH has not lost his job; in fact, he is getting some overtime, but we are still struggling due to the increase in costs of groceries and some unforeseen expenses (gas is cheap though we don't go anywhere). Many, many people in my area are really hurting. There is no buying of houses (although I know two families who short sold houses lately) here. I waited 1 1/2 hours in a food bank line a couple of weeks ago (I have a family member who is very food insecure and doesn't own a car, and unfortunately, I really can't afford to feed another mouth on a regular basis). Today, on the other hand, DH happened to be at a store while the food pantry was there, and he drove through in record time and received enough food to feed 3 neighbor families and my family member. Hit or miss on waits there honestly. Overall, though, our local food pantry has tripled the households it is assisting. The economy is looking bleak from my perspective in the bottom half of income.  

All that being said, we've always had people at this level of need, but that faction is growing rapidly. For the most part, I am simply caring for those around me as I am able, and slapping my hands over my ears and singing "lalalalalala". Not much else I can do really as far as I can figure out. 

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Please be specific. The military IS NOT A POLICE FORCE nor should it be routinely used to quash localized civil unrest. NATIONAL GUARD/RESERVE UNITS may be requested by local officials but, even then, they serve ONLY under the direction/command of state/local civilian officials. Dear God, these men/women sign up to serve the nation not narrow parochial/political interests!

My aunt is the ED for one of Seattle’s largest food banks and their client base expanded exponentially. They now rely on volunteer delivery drivers to provide food aid.

Edited by Sneezyone
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This dashboard from the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Dept. of Commerce has information on the various economic indicators, nationally and also by state.  It's important to not only compare changes on a quarterly basis, but YTD and annual comparisons. The recent gains are attributed to reopening parts of the economy that were closed down earlier this year.

This is a booklet that explains what the BEA does and the significance of the different measurements. If you poke around the website there are all kinds of tidbits of information.

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I almost failed economics in college...twice....so....this is my uneducated opinion....

 I think there will be some bubbling not even bc of the election but bc of the unpredictability of covid but it will settle down one way or another. People made a lot of money of the last few years, both on Wall Street and off - and they will try to protect it at whatever cost possible.

I think people always think that it's all political, I think it's all about money.

That being said......my grandmother told me many stories about living through Russian revolution....But I think the world is different now is that people with money are more savvy in how to protect themselves.

I think at the end of the day it won't be much different. That's all I got.

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I think there is a lot of economic pain to come.  The money supply in in the US is about 20% higher than it was a year ago.  That helped slow down some immediate economic problems, but it has pushed some of the problems down the road.  

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I think the worst is yet to come. There are many people who are very stable or can at least keep up staus quo. But on the flip side, there are many people are living off of savings, or extended unemployment. They are able to scrape by for a few months or a year. But when major home repairs or car repairs will inevitably hit, they may not be able to afford those. Landlords that have not had rent payments, will slowly be forced into bankruptcy.  People who are dying are taking away income from 2 income households. People have lost healthcare and are putting off medical decisions that could worsen to the point of making major problems. People are not putting money into retirement funds if they are living on unemployment. Job promotions may not being happening because employers are trying to hold down costs. 

The economy works like a living, breathing entity. Right now, it is holding it's breath. It won't be long before it starts to slip backwards due to lack of air (aka money) being moved through it. 

Edited by Tap
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5 hours ago, Lanny said:

So complicated and so many issues involved and trying not to be "political".   The GDP increase in the 3rd Quarter was the highest in history?   The combined Online Sales of 2 recent Online event days were bigger than those of "Black Friday"?  The unemployment rates of African Americans and of Latinos, before COVID-19 were the lowest in history?

Astonishing to me, a few days ago, was an article I read about the NYPD advising very high end apartment buildings to be prepared to defend themselves.   That's OK, but I was surprised that some of them have sub-machine guns.   Those are mostly "Blue" families in  multi million dollar apartments.

The Civil unrest is simply unimaginable to me when it goes on for more than several days. I am old enough to have lived through the original "Watts Riots" in L.A., and in my memory that lasted for about a week and was very very scary.  I was thankful that I had a gun and  prayed that I would not need to use it. That was before the days of CC (Concealed Carry) so I did not have it in the car with me and that was very scary.  People were shooting at people driving on Freeways around L.A.

The 90 or 100 days of rioting in Portland I cannot wrap my head around.

The censorship that is imposed now is very sad as is what happened to the Journalists and 95% of the media who do that.

Many many problems, but remember that there are many very decent people, Blue or Red, in the U.S. Military, for one example, and they will get the USA through this. 

Comparing the “Watts Riots” to the protests in Portland is absolutely ridiculous and exactly the type of hyperbole fanning the flames in the country. I actually live in OR and I don’t know what you watched or read about in your country, but it sounds like it’s very, very removed from what actually happened here. If things are so bad why was Portland just ranked one of the top 10 places to live in the country? Why are houses selling like crazy with insane bidding wars? The housing inventory is the lowest on record. Wouldn’t people be moving out of the city if it was really such a scary dangerous place?

And I have absolutely no idea what censorship you are even talking about. As for lots of decent people, I don’t see how that means anything. Do you think bad things only happens where there are all bad people or the majority of people are bad? Maybe all the decent people out there on both sides need to get out of their biased news and social media bubbles and actually pay for and use news sources that are consistently rated reliable and center. Otherwise, perhaps they are just part of the problem.

As for the economic part of your post, as an economist, I can’t even go there. Others have already provided real data and context, not Fox news talking points with no thought or context.

Edited by Frances
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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I was living in LA during the Rodney King riots, which spread all over the city. I stood on the roof of my apartment building and watched massive fires burning in every direction. A friend who lived in my building had her windshield smashed as she tried to drive home from work after the riots started.

 

They announced the day the riots started that all schools South of Adams would be out for the day.   Our school was just a block north of Adams, so we went in.  By 9:30am most of the area was on fire.   We had to wait for police escorts to come and help us get out of the area and we couldn't leave until all the kids were picked up or got home somehow.   I remember it so vividly.   We were all worried about getting home, but we were also so worried about our students.   In the days that followed I went down into the city and helped people get groceries (stores were burned or looted clean or boarded up), clean up, etc.....it was my 3rd year teaching.

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This is a photo of the Portland Police Bureau, which is across the street from the Hatfield Courthouse where the protests have been centered. Dh took it, I was driving. I passed by kids in tutus holding hands with their Dads walking home from ballet, and passed shoppers heading home from stores. 

74F7B110-C5EE-4BDD-996E-D2A825CE3C0D.jpeg

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This is a block beyond that. The wooden structure is restaurant seating outdoors.  People are very much living pretty normal urban lives in downtown Portland. Other than a lot of ACAB graffiti and some boarded up stores in a few blocks immediately surrounding the courthouse (a lot of which are actually beautiful murals), downtown looks the same as it ever did. 
 

I am super sick of hearing that Portland is burning. My dad calls in a panic every time Fox News carries a story. I keep taking pics to reassure him. He can’t quite reconcile the two stories in his head.

44420ECB-91D8-4DC7-A82E-86B326D4E350.jpeg

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It certainly doesn’t help when the spin on economic data is absorbed without critical thought or consideration of the underlying data or circumstances.

Back in February or March professional Economists were explaining that any recovery from the depths we sunk to would look like massive gains on first blush. Still, it’s inaccurate to view them in isolation, without looking at the losses that we suffered over the sum total of the last four years. If you have lost $100 on the gambling tables, strike it big and win 80 back, is that really a victory? That’s what we’re looking at right now.

Beyond that, if I hear one more person suggest to black/brown Americans that an extra five bucks in your pocket is worth the racist, disrespectful, threatening behavior they have experienced in the last few years, I will lose my mind. Who would take that trade? Your life/safety for a couple beers? Folks can’t be bought that cheaply. Gratitude isn’t the emotion that’s motivating these communities, TYVM.

Edited by Sneezyone
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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

This is a block beyond that. The wooden structure is restaurant seating outdoors.  People are very much living pretty normal urban lives in downtown Portland. Other than a lot of ACAB graffiti and some boarded up stores in a few blocks immediately surrounding the courthouse (a lot of which are actually beautiful murals), downtown looks the same as it ever did. 
 

I am super sick of hearing that Portland is burning. My dad calls in a panic every time Fox News carries a story. I keep taking pics to reassure him. He can’t quite reconcile the two stories in his head.

44420ECB-91D8-4DC7-A82E-86B326D4E350.jpeg

Because Fox News lies. 

I hope your dad pays attention to that cognitive dissonance, because it will eventually lead him out of the fog that has crept in over the last 4 years. 

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Regarding the economy: student loan debt will be the next catastrophe. 
 

Also, inequality of housing will continue to get worse. I recently read an article saying that corporations are buying so many houses now that home ownership by normal people will become less and less. 
 

I don’t understand why anyone thinks that increasing the tax rate for higher incomes is a bad thing. 

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35 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

Regarding the economy: student loan debt will be the next catastrophe. 
 

Also, inequality of housing will continue to get worse. I recently read an article saying that corporations are buying so many houses now that home ownership by normal people will become less and less. 
 

I don’t understand why anyone thinks that increasing the tax rate for higher incomes is a bad thing. 

 

Why are corporations buying houses?

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I'm not sure what to think about the economy. Right now, we are hearing about small businesses closing and people struggling, but there are also help wanted signs all over the place. Several new businesses are opening or building in our community. Houses are selling so fast. I friend of mine sold her house in a couple of days for $20K over the asking price!

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8 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I never understand why people say this. I mean I guess if it makes you feel better then that’s great but historically the majority of people have usually been decent people. They were under hitler. They were during the red terror in the states. They were when we had slaves and during the civil war.  Decent people were the e majority when we had Japanese camps. 

Yes it is always up to good people to step up. But that doesn’t mean it is all okay either. 

 

It is true that a majority of people being decent won’t necessarily stop something terrible.

 

But consider the opposite, if most people aren’t decent and what that would be like. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Pen said:

But consider the opposite, if most people aren’t decent and what that would be like. 

Oh we don't have to imagine what that would be like, we already know. Of course, I'm pretty sure each of the 15,000 people that participated in the event in this photo considered themselves "good decent people."

Which is exactly the problem.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 8.08.51 PM.png

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13 minutes ago, Pen said:

D’you suppose we are really so far from those scenarios? So much more evolved? We are not. We are one generation away from that kind of open, widespread terrorist activity and could easily regress. The fact that we are awash in arms with people loudly proclaiming they have and will use them is indicative of just how close we are. The commitment to using WORDS, accepting the results of a participatory democracy, and majority rule is a choice not a given.

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5 hours ago, Frances said:

This. The speculatory market (all cash buyers) is booming. This will not only exacerbate inequity but drive young families away from the best investment most of us ever make...home ownership.

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7 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Imo this depicts a society with total decency breakdown:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0671640984/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_t1_oQLNFb5QT24K2

A mob of 15,000 white people lynching two Black men is not an illustration of lack of decency? Interesting that both of the examples you chose to illustrate "total decency breakdown" are African. Are the majority of people in white cultures always decent?

With respect to the first book you cited, Colin Turnbull's account of Ik culture, his extremely biased claims have been debunked by other researchers who worked with the Ik. Many of the people whose photos appear in the book as Ik are not actually Ik at all, and most of the people he used as sources of information on Ik culture were from other tribes. The person he relied on for translation spoke only broken Ik. He went in with a thesis he wanted to prove and selected facts (and misinformation) to fit his thesis. That was unfortunately common among anthropologists in the 60s & 70s. Chagnon's work among the Yanomami is a similarly egregious example.

See Bernd Heine, "The Mountain People: Some Notes on the Ik of Northeastern Uganda," for a more accurate picture of the Ik.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/1159836

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

A mob of 15,000 white people lynching two Black men is not an illustration of lack of decency?

 

 

 

Lynching is despicable. 

 

 

The term “lack of decency” for things like lynching, Krystallnacht, Rwanda Genocide etc is egregious.  

 

I would prefer the term evil for lynching and genocide both. 

 

And particularly As a person with Black American and Jewish American family roots,  I think  this “lack of decency” thing should stop.  Now.  I am certainly done with that myself. 

 

It isn’t what I meant when I replied to @Lanny using the word decent or decency, and doubt it was what he meant.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Pen said:

The term “lack of decency” for things like lynching, Krystallnacht, Rwanda Genocide etc is egregious.  

I would prefer the term evil for lynching and genocide both. 

All 15,000 people who participated in that lynching were actually "evil"? And the millions of other Americans who aided, abetted, and supported lynchings (not to mention slavery) for hundreds of years — all evil? How about the millions of Germans who either supported the Nazi regime or turned a blind eye to the atrocities that were happening — evil or decent?

Relying on the basic decency of the majority to prevent bad things from happening is both naive and dangerous, because it leads to a sense of complacency and a belief that we don't need to be alarmed when terrible things start happening, because we can count on the majority of "decent" people to put a stop to it. 

Every atrocity in human history occurred while the majority of people in that culture considered themselves "good decent people." I have no doubt that the 15,000 people who participated in the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith considered themselves, and were considered by their friends and neighbors, to be good decent people upholding American values. Ditto all those who participated in hundreds of other lynchings, and those who supported slavery, and those who lined up to spit on Black children who just wanted to attend school. If history teaches us anything it's just how frighteningly easy it is to convince large numbers of people that those who are "other" — by skin color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or even political beliefs — do not deserve basic human rights. 

Evil cannot accomplish much without the complicity of "decent" people, whether that takes the form of active participation or merely willful ignorance. And I am seeing things happening  in America right now that absolutely scare the shit out of me.

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