There needs to be a new direction of thought and action away from organizational and individualistic centered ideology towards that of a unified front to stop economic inequality. Conservative's brain structure, policy and regulatory capture by the rich, money in politics, flaws in capitalism, and movement nearing the rise of a technological singularity will all play a role in crushing any hope for humanity unless this new direction is achieved. Until that time, it will be business as usual with the last two human generations witnessing ever increasing economic inequality in the USA being proof positive that the old way of thinking is outdated and outright ineffective. What follows is a compilation of four basic mechanisms taken from the FirstRateCrowd website which are instrumental in enslaving our thoughts and actions unless we change.
1) Conservative minded brain structure
We fancy ourselves like Rodin's statue "the thinker" as thoughtful and pensive individuals grappling with the great ideas of the world. Even if a lesser ape was to assume the same anatomical position as that of the statue, we know we are the true masters of our own thoughts and hence our own destiny. Not so for the lesser apes. Yet neuroscience research points out that only about five percent of our brain activity is at a conscious level, the remainder remains in the murky world of the subconscious.
Through millions of years, evolution has created us this way so much so that our thoughts and hence actions are dependent largely upon the physical structure of our brain. We are not nearly so smart and clever as we think we are. Rather we are to a large extent slaves to the will of this biological structure. If an anatomical brain structure is present we think and behave one way and conversely, if it is absent, we think and behave quite differently.
It is mostly this connection to our evolutionary past that makes us who we are today as either conservative or liberal with each having a different brain structure. In the biological cauldron of time we developed and diversified into these two major groupings each adapted to a unique way of dealing with the world. This is the reason for the plight we find ourselves in today; two major groupings seeing and acting differently to the same stimulus. Indeed, even just the choice of selecting this website was largely dependent upon these two groupings and the underlying structure of the brain.
This then brings us to Janebird21's previous post #27 which will automatically and forcefully create massive fear in the minds' of conservatives due to their brain structure when she says,
Instead of welfare programs What if policymakers looked at fair taxes and wealth distribution. What if that 1% paid their share of taxes and this was redistributed?
You can test this for yourself by presenting these concepts to known rabid conservatives and then monitor their reactions as I have done. Fear usually manifests itself either as (A) not getting what an individual wants or perceives they should receive or( B) by perceiving to loose something they already have. I can almost guarantee the terminology used by Janebird21 will end with an angry and fear based response from the conservative that you are trying to steal from them all they have worked so hard for and justly belongs to them as a God given inalienable right. Furthermore, if you try to persuade the conservative towards a more balanced approach with reason, logic, and facts, this will only further anger them with an even more palpable sense of fear driving their anger.
The main biological mechanism underlying this fear is presented in my post #20 under this same thread and repeated here,
Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality where Donald Trump's reptilian brain (amygdala) deprives oxygen to the frontal lobes.
Many times I will say the conservative brain structure "short circuits" their ability to reason and process facts in an attempt to ameliorate the fear." as indicated in my previous post with the quote,
"We know the brain structure of Republicans is different than that of Democrats. Functional MRI's indicate your amygdala, that structure of the limbic system which deals with emotional reactions, is enhanced. That is to say, anxiety and fear play a larger size role in how you process information. To put it bluntly, it short circuits your ability to reason and process facts in an attempt to ameliorate the fear."
The wording "short circuit" is not the most appropriate and here is a more nuanced and scientific approach as to what really happens.
Psychological look at how Trump's 'reptilian brain' motivates his actions | Opinion
By Deborah Stuckey Mulhern, Ph.D. Posted Jun 22, 2016
Instead, Donald Trump is a slave to the fear-driven operating system of the amgydala -- a small almond shaped structure that lies at the nexus of the three levels of the brain and is derived from the reptilian brain. Trump's power lies in his ability to activate this same operating system in his followers.
He has fine-tuned the skill of activating the primitive fear of the enemy or the "other" with speech and facial expressions -- the two things that most interest the amygdala. The amygdala knows no nuance. It sees nothing but bad and good, enemy or ally.
And it is primed to see the former everywhere. When the amygdala takes over, the lower, reptilian brain is activated. And when this brain is activated, reason and sense are irrelevant.
Actually, not just irrelevant but physiologically embargoed. When the lower survival brain states are activated, blood flow is shunted away from the more highly evolved frontal lobe making thought and conscious decision difficult, if not impossible. This is the state of mind in which Trump speaks to his followers and the state of mind that he activates in them. That is why his words don't matter; only his emotions do. Logic and reason are silenced when the lower brain gains dominance. He and his followers are resonating with fear and anger at a pre-mammalian level. It is not a level at which to make decisions, let alone policy.
Deborah Stuckey Mulhern, Ph.D., a Teaneck native, is a clinical psychologist specializing in relationships, self-destructive behaviors and conflict resolution. She earned her master's in clinical psychology from Boston University and bachelor's in political science and psychology from Wesleyan University.
2) Policy or regulatory capture along with money in politics
There are reasons why the political process is ineffective in correcting economic inequality especially in the long term. Sterling, in his post # 12 under the topic First Rate Crowd's EIRA, captures the essence of this unproductive process as he writes,
Power begets power and a five to four conservative court vote will ensure the demise of Roe v Wade, the passage of laws to suppress minority voting rights, and a continuation of the gerrymandering process as a means for Republicans to stay in control. Are you tired of the political process yet?
Importantly, control of the country's political levers allows the Republicans to maintain their authority over tax policies in favor of the rich and hence the remainder of the population will continue to suffer from unabated economic inequality.
Doctor A in his previous post was correct when he presented the Economic Inequality Rating App as an alternative to putting so much energy into the political process with the following facts,
Stanford Professor Walter Scheidel is quite frank when he writes about income inequality in his new book, "The Great Leveler." "Income Inequality is a Destroyer of Civilizations"
The Professor says, "income inequality can be mitigated by policy, but is only leveled by upheaval - produced by war, state collapse, or revolution"
Our collective psyche has been indelibly imprinted from grade school on that this path of voting in political policy is the way to proceed and has made us blind to other alternatives. With regards to economic inequality, it is not the correct course of action. In fact, "mitigated by policy," the outcome of the political process, is both a slow and an uphill battle.
Jessica, in her post #13 under the same topic, builds upon Sterling's post pointing out flaws in the political process as an effective means to stop economic inequality by writing,
Political policy undergoes continuous erosion when it comes to correcting economic inequality. Money in politics and regulatory capture (including corporate capture) ensures the wealthy will always comeback into power. The Economic Inequality Rating App is a means to stop this insane never ending process.
Like Sisyphus of Greek mythology who was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity, it is the same with our political battle against the wealthy. For those of us who have lived many decades and have experienced this process first hand, we know the political process is a frustrating and demoralizing cyclic endeavor to control the power of the rich. It is said colloquially that power begets power, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the rich get richer. So it has been forever.
There are levers of power that sustain this ongoing insane process. Here are just two such levers:
1) Money in politics
© 2018 Scholars Strategy Network
How Money Corrupts American Politics
Benjamin I. Page, Northwestern University
the perfectly legal flood of money that pervades American politics has fundamentally corrupting effects.
The effects of money are manifold, subtle, and hard to pin down, but a number of pathways of influence can be laid out. Most are based on judgments about the best available evidence, short of irrefutable proof. But on certain key points the quantitative evidence is fairly conclusive. Political scientist Gary Jacobson and other scholars have pinned down how monetary advantages affect chances of winning congressional elections Large amounts of money are virtually essential if a candidate is to have any serious chance of winning. Inability to raise big money leads to losing general elections, losing party nominations, or giving up even before getting started. Thus the need to raise money acts as a filter, tending to eliminate public officials who hold certain points of view – even points of view that are popular with most Americans.
The need for money tends to filter out centrist candidates. Most congressional districts are gerrymandered to ensure a big advantage for one party or the other, so that election outcomes are actually decided in low-salience, low-turnout, one-party primary elections. Primaries are usually dominated by ideological party activists and money givers, who tend to hold extreme views and to reject all but the purest partisan candidates. This contributes to party polarization and legislative gridlock in Congress.
The need for money filters out candidates on the economic left. Democratic as well as Republican candidates have to raise big money, most of which comes from economically successful entrepreneurs and professionals who tend to hold rather conservative views on taxes, social welfare spending, and economic regulation. As a result, few candidates whose views are not broadly acceptable to the affluent are nominated or elected.
The quest for money tilts candidates' priorities and policy stands. Countless hours spent grubbing for money from affluent contributors changes candidates' priorities and sense of constituent needs. As they speak with potential donors, candidates hear repeatedly about resentment of progressive taxes and "wasteful" social spending. Special tax breaks for corporations and hedge fund managers start to sound reasonable.
Affluent citizens get extra influence by turning out to vote, working in campaigns, and contacting officials. Campaign contributions are not the only way in which affluent people get involved in politics; these same people tend to be active in other ways too, underscoring their importance to candidates.
Money can tip the outcome of close elections. Money spent on media, organizing, and turnout tends to increase vote totals, giving a significant advantage to candidates favored by money givers.
Money buys access to officials. When big contributors contact officials they tend to get attention. Their economic resources enable them to get a hearing, to offer help with information and expertise – even to draft bills. Research shows that these processes boost the influence of the affluent on the policy topics and ideas officeholders consider, biasing the public agenda toward the concerns of the affluent.
The quest for re-election money affects officials' priorities and policy stands. From the moment they win office, candidates look ahead to the money they must raise for reelection, and this is bound to steal time from official duties and slant their attention toward constituents who are substantial donors.
2) Regulatory capture (and corporate capture)
"Regulatory capture is a form of government failure which occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of firms or political groups are prioritized over the interests of the public, leading to a net loss for society. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called "captured agencies"
"Likelihood of regulatory capture is a risk to which an agency is exposed by its very nature. This suggests that a regulatory agency should be protected from outside influence as much as possible. Alternatively, it may be better to not create a given agency at all lest the agency become victim, in which case it may serve its regulated subjects rather than those whom the agency was designed to protect. A captured regulatory agency is often worse than no regulation, because it wields the authority of government. However, increased transparency of the agency may mitigate the effects of capture. Recent evidence suggests that, even in mature democracies with high levels of transparency and media freedom, more extensive and complex regulatory environments are associated with higher levels of corruption (including regulatory capture)."
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
The Corporate Capture of the United States
Posted by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance & Financial Regulation, on
Thursday, January 5, 2012 Editor
American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of yore: They have the power to control the rules under which they function and to direct the allocation of public resources. This is not a prediction of what’s to come; this is a simple statement of the present state of affairs. Corporations have effectively captured the United States: its judiciary, its political system, and its national wealth, without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion. Evidence is everywhere.
The “smoking gun” is CEO pay. Compensation is an expression of concentrated power — of enterprise power concentrated in the chief executive officer and of national power concentrated in corporations.
This is the essence of “capture” – CEOs are enriched, while all other corporate constituencies, including government, are left with liabilities. A relatively few autocrats have taken control over the policies and wealth allocation of the United States.
The financial power of American corporations now controls every stage of politics — legislative, executive, and ultimately judicial. With its January 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court removed all legal restraints on the extent of corporate financial involvement in politics, a grotesque decision that can have only one effect: maximizing corporate – not national — value. Today’s CEOs have been granted the power to direct political payments and organize PAC programs to achieve objectives entirely in their own self-interest, and they have been quick to use it.
Capture has been further implemented through the extensive lobbying power of corporations. Abraham Lincoln’s warning about “corporations enthroned” and Dwight Eisenhower’s about the “unwarranted influence by the military/industrial complex” have been fully realized in our own time. Reported lobbying expenditures have risen annually, to $3.5 billion in 2010. Half of the Senators and 42 percent of House members who left Congress between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists, as did 310 former appointees of George W. Bush and 283 of Bill Clinton.
Capture has placed the most powerful CEOs above the reach of the law and beyond its effective enforcement. Extensive evidence of Wall Street’s critical involvement in the financial crisis notwithstanding, not a single senior Wall Street executive has lost his job, and pay levels have been rigorously maintained even when, as noted earlier, TARP payments had to be refinanced in order to remove any possible restrictions.
Finally, capture has been perpetuated through the removal of property “off shore,” where it is neither regulated nor taxed. The social contract between Americans and their corporations was supposed to go roughly as follows: In exchange for limited liability and other privileges, corporations were to be held to a set of obligations that legitimatized the powers they were given. But modern corporations have assumed the right to relocate to different jurisdictions, almost at will, irrespective of where they really do business, and thus avoid the constraints of those obligations.
Like the epic battle between hyenas and lions, this political fighting for economic control between the rich and those that have not is viscous and enduring. This is madness. Let us put an end to this nonsense by supporting the Economic Inequality Rating App. It creates a new environment not controlled by these politically generated forces and can stop economic inequality. The political process is ineffective in creating long term results on our behalf whereas the Economic Inequality Rating App (EIRA) bypasses the pitfalls of politics and directly solves the problem of inequality.
3) Flaws in capitalism, which disproportionately impacts the poor, keep us bound in the status quo.
The home page section of this website, under BASIC CONCEPTS, with the title, "Our Position Paper On Economic Inequality," points out basic flaws in capitalism, with the Economic Inequality Rating App, (EIRA) as a counter balance to traditional capitalism as quoted here,
FirstRateCrowd is the vanguard of reasoned capitalism, leading the way to prevent its own demise. Aspects of our economic system are shattered, providing instability of unprecedented proportion. In the past one hundred years, we have witnessed a major depression, a major recession, and now rampant inequality. These dramatic shifts indicate a flawed system; they certainly are not indicative of a smooth operating and well oiled machine. History is well-equipped with examples of this type of volatility bringing about a precipitous economic system change, a change we do not want. Our crowdsourcing Community, with its power of choice based upon "the wisdom of the crowd," and the Economic Inequality Rating App, (EIRA), can help to remedy these economic failures. By modifying and taking corrective action now, the capitalistic economic system we already have in place can be saved. We can prevent a future catastrophic event from occurring.
The economic system is broken and no longer works for us, yet we do not want to do away with it. Rather, we want to repair it by regulating it in a practical and common-sense way, and make it ours once again; this will change the balance of the inequality equation. Our new form of EIRA provides the crowd a new way to choose its economic outcomes in a more favorable fashion aligned with its own best interests. It is an existential principle of choice in economic matters that allows it a greater freedom in meeting its own needs; this more sovereign position is the liberty we strive for.
Our strategy for creating this new kind of company is to provide individuals in the marketplace choice by using the EIRA; this is a democratic principle. This position will not only allow for more wealth and income to flow to the remainder of us, but will modulate the behavior of the 1% from its eventual self-destructive behavior. We want to emphasize that we do not wish to do away with capitalism. We do, however, wish to regulate and damper the ill effects of its actions by offering people choice. Through this process, we have a means to further democratize the economic landscape, generating a more equitable position for all involved.
There are a few proposed solutions being bantered about in the public domain but they have no realistic chance of being successful in changing the economic inequality landscape. These options, presented by politicians and pundits, are fractured along political and class lines. They are unrealistic and insufficient to meet the needs for true change. Their impotent views and callous indifference to suffering is providing lip-service only. In contrast, our organization presents a concrete and realistic way forward; it is by uniting with us in our endeavor that a realistic and viable change will occur for the common good.
Until we can correct the heretofore mentioned imbalances caused by capitalism, and create a new direction of thought and action, the system will continue to be rigged, and we will continue to be crushed under the boots of the elite. The collapse of capitalism is usually caused by the wealthy creating risky laws to enhance their wealth and is the mindset as to how they operate. Whereas they may get killed in the market, many of us less fortunate literally get killed by economic collapse. Until the imbalance is rectified, it will be the same business as usual in a repetitive cycle of upward fortune followed by downward disasters. Although after each and every disaster new laws are put into place to contain the greed of the wealthy that created the disaster to begin with, these laws are quickly diluted down or repealed all together to favor the wealthy once again. What else can we expect from a legal corporate system that has a primary emphasis on fiduciary laws, that is to say, laws that mandate corporations make money for their stock holders as the basic reason for their very existence.
One has only to couple this with the Robert's Supreme court decision "Citizens United" where Corporations are now considered People to see where this is going. It is clear the very wealthy have been manipulating the court system for the past 30 years to feather their own beds. This is continuing at an unprecedented pace and the trajectory points to more and more control for the corporate elite.
4)The rise of the technological singularity.
The speed and power of the coming technological singularity is unprecedented in human history with its exponentially accelerating future growth predicted; a new approach must be implemented to counter the self-serving affects the wealthy will have upon economic inequality because of this. A new direction must be taken and that requires a new way of thinking.
My post #1 under the topic Economic Inequality: The Singularity, Pitchforks And Torches Will No Longer Be Able To Stop The 1%, expresses my sentiment of a loosing battle with the wealthy as they become more and more entrenched in their control of the technology, and hence, economic inequality.
The coming Quantum Computer Revolution with its associated subjects of the Singularity, will make it impossible to stop the 1% with the outdated modes of pitchforks and torches. The 1% will obviously own the superior computers and robotics. They will gain the ability to hide on the internet never to be caught.
It is obvious only the very rich will be able to afford the Quantum Computers ushering in the Singularity. The following is a quote I found from PC World.
"D-Wave last year introduced the second-generation quantum computer called D-Wave Two which has a “list price north of $10 million,” according a research note from financial firm Sterne Agee on Wednesday. The note had a picture of a D-Wave Two with a list price of $15 million.
I have done a scientific study (Ha...just kidding) by asking my friends if any of them have the means to afford a Quantum Computer and the answer was a resounding "No." Actually, many did not even know what a quantum computer was let alone Kurzweil's concepts on the future of technology.
With access to the fastest and most sophisticated computers in conjunction with changed laws in their favor, the rich will be able to hide in the internet with their Quantum Computers making the decisions for them. We will not be able to catch-up to them as they continue to upgrade and expand their technology nor will we be able to even locate them. Just try poking a pitchfork at your computer and see what happens.
I build upon this again in my post #6,
The Creation Of New Laws Developed From And In Response To The Coming Singularity Will Favor The Rich. This Will Create A New Class Of Inequality And Precipitate Increased Human Rights Abuse Disproportionately Upon The Poor. The Initial High Costs Of The Neurological And Technological Brain Adaptions Will Be A Major Factor Contributing To This New Form Of Inequality.
I frame this narrative with the following two prominent mechanisms,
Unfortunately, because the creation of new laws is mostly based upon past actions, it almost always lags behind technological developments. As we draw closer to the Singularity, this time differential between past actions and the creation of new laws may very well decrease due to new technology in the legal arena itself. But overall, in absolute terms, it will take more time to develop these laws. This is because the new laws will need to be developed in some ratio to the exponentially accelerating new technology being developed. One can envision a legal system not capable of keeping up with the dizzying array of new social implications needing regulation and control. Of course there will be technological developments in the legal arena itself to aid in the processing of this technological onslaught. But one can see a scenario where even the new legal technology will be overwhelmed at some point. With an absolute increase in time needed to process the new technology, forms of human rights abuse will multiply against those individuals least capable of defending themselves.
Perhaps worse yet, the initial inability of the poor to merge with the new technology due to prohibitive costs will create a new form of inequality; it is an inequality of technological fitness. In contrast, those who can afford to be integrated and augmented with the new high priced technology will transcend a mere biological survival of the fittest to a new form of survival whereby the most technologically integrated individuals become the most fit. This is regardless of their genetic background. Moreover, because the new laws will favor those at the top of the economic pyramid, those at the base will be subject to more crushing human rights abuses than those at the top even if it is just periods of time. And granted, the unit price of the technology will eventually come down as it did with computers and cell phones, but it still makes opportunities ripe for abuse during these transition periods. Still, there may be unforeseen consequences not matching past behaviors that could also propagate abuse. Like the stock market, past behavior may no longer be predictive of future events. If we are really changing neuronal behaviors, will our old models of predicting future behavior hold up in the new reality?
From: Ray Kurzweil Predicts Three Technologies Will Define Our Future
By Sveta McShane and Jason Dorrier
Written Apr 19, 2016
This is the last in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book " The Singularity Is Near."
Of all the technologies riding the wave of exponential progress, Kurzweil identifies genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics as the three overlapping revolutions which will define our lives in the decades to come. In what ways are these technologies revolutionary?
The genetics revolution will allow us to reprogram our own biology.
The nanotechnology revolution will allow us to manipulate matter at the molecular and atomic scale.
The robotics revolution will allow us to create a greater than human non-biological intelligence.
Once again the most fit, now meaning those individuals who can afford the new technologies, are more likely to survive and one can bet their last dollar that some form of a predator to prey relationship will evolve between the unequal economic classes.
A new direction of thought and action created by the technological singularity will require a new direction of thought and action on our part to survive in this new reality. I continue on to share by stating,
Let there be no doubt, the single most important aspect we are really battling for here is to control the future—our future—for the good of the whole. Will we control it or let the wealthy elite control our destiny? Make no mistake; what happens here will determine the outcome of humanity. Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future—will it be us or them?
Regarding the words, "Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future", the word control implies some form of active intent. One only has to look at the modern day corporate players of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and other key players at the top of the corporate pyramid to see the level of active control they employ to promote their interests. Their intent is for world domination at least realistically in their their respective fields to control the future. They actively appropriate large amounts of capital and talent to ensure their future technological dominance. A quest to maximize profits and continue growth marches lockstep with a corporate fiduciary duty regarding such matters for their shareholders. This is an active intent to control the future.
The above four powerful mechanisms, although not exhaustive in scope and breadth as there are many more mechanisms, are too much for us to surmount and we will be conquered and eventually destroyed by the elite's economic inequality unless we begin to think and act differently.
Janebird21 ends her post in the work I am referencing with a sequence of what if? statements,
Instead of welfare programs What if policymakers looked at fair taxes and wealth distribution. What if that 1% paid their share of taxes and this was redistributed? What would the human race look like and what doors would open to us if we could change all the brains of a population for the better? What if wealth redistribution was the catalyst for the next step in human evolution.
Unfortunately these are based upon the same old rigid thoughts and actions that have gotten us into the predicament we find ourselves in today. Although they are compassionate and noble, they are nonetheless antiquated and ineffectual. Rather, I present the following set of what if statements as a guiding light to get at and solve the root cause of the problem:
1) What if everyone was to recognize economic inequality as the real problem at hand and not the fractured and disparate set of problems individuals and organizations are currently trying to solve?
2) What if all of these various individuals and organizations were to shift the focus of their attention and resources to solving the problem of economic inequality first as a bold unified step towards answering our common threat?
3) What if everyone in the 99% was to actively support the development and implementation of the Economic Inequality Rating App (EIRA)?
We now have the choice of creating a fair and just world for ourselves, or experiencing Orwell's boot in our collective face,
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. George Orwell
We are our own worst enemy when we allow these antiquated mechanisms to control our lives. The old rules of activism must be supplanted with a new mindset. The clock is ticking. Wake up and embrace a more advanced activism; rise up to the power of FirstRateCrowd's EIRA.