Things you can learn at CPAC: Stalin dreamt of taking away your hamburgers

"What is America's biggest problem? Not socialism in Russia, but in America! They want to take your pickup truck. They want to take away your hamburger. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved."
- Sebastian Gorka

What do you get when you mix reactionary conservative politics with a general ignorance of what words mean, plus a disregard for basic reality in an environment of a batsh*t crazy cult? You get CPAC.
If you could describe CPAC in two words, it would be "Socialism Scary!"

And socialism is very, very scary when you have no idea what socialism is.
Anyone that attended CPAC can tell you the definition of "socialism". It means literally "bad/scary stuff."
I mean, they want to take away your hamburgers, for Gawd Sakes!

"We can't think that the American people understand what socialism is. We do have to go out and educate."
- Ronna McDaniel

So what do people actually believe is socialism?
Not surprisingly, it varies a great deal depending on your age and political perspective.
Thirty-five percent of voters in the 2018 elections were born in November 1973 or later. It shouldn't come as a shock that this group that may not remember the Cold War, but was directly effected by the 2008 crash, does not share the same political perspective as Baby Boomers at CPAC.

So what is this "socialism" that Republicans want to educate us about? Almost everything.

Specifically, in their vehement opposition to the Obama administration, conservatives narrowed “socialism” down to virtually any attempt to intervene in the economy on behalf of the broad public. The effort to save the American car industry? Socialist. Regulated markets to purchase health insurance? Socialist. Market-based measures for reducing carbon emissions? Also socialist.

This aggressive labeling coincided with a rise in favorable attitudes toward socialism among Democrats.

"So tell people, no more cars, no more cars ... It would end air travel. But you’ll get on a train, don’t worry about it. You just have to cross off about 95 percent of the world. And it would force the destruction or renovation of virtually every existing structure in the United States. New York City would have to rip down buildings and rebuild ’em again."
- President Trump

Between the GOP's overuse and abuse of the word, plus the fact that the Cold War ended decades ago, plus decades of austerity, plus the 2008 crash, people's opinions of socialism have changed and they aren't going back.

In September of 2018, Gallup asked Americans for their “understanding of the term ‘socialism.’” One-third—33 percent—answered that it meant a society with equal standing for everybody, in which benefits and services were free for all. When Gallup had asked Americans the same question in September of 1949, at the height of the Cold War, just 14 percent gave that answer, while 34 percent answered that it meant government ownership of all business and control of society. Half that total—17 percent—gave that answer in 2018. (Other answers drew far less support.)

That is, the public’s idea of socialism has shifted over the last 70 years from one verging on totalitarianism to one far closer to European social democracy. The disappearance of Soviet communism has clearly contributed to that shift, but so has the transition over that same 70 years to a more aggressive capitalism that has rewarded chiefly the rich.

In 2018, 10 percent of Americans associated socialism with benefits like free social services and universal access to medicine, as opposed to 2 percent who said the same in 1949. This is a direct byproduct of Republican rhetoric.

"So I am here with just one simple ask: join us to keep America great and just us to put socialism on trial and then convict it."
- Larry Kudlow

Putting something "on trial" when the conviction is already decided is called a "show trial". So it's ironic that Kudlow wants to mimic Stalin in that regard.

Despite Republicans controlling virtually every level of government during the last few years, Republicans are convinced they are losing the battle against "socialism". No evidence necessary.
It's similar to how Republicans are convinced that this 75% Christian nation is in danger of implementing sharia law.

For example, a January 2016 survey by Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP found that 54 percent of Republicans agreed that the U.S. is “evolving into a socialist state,” compared with 16 percent of Democrats.

“All forms of socialism are the same.”
- editorial in Investor’s Business Daily

All [socialist groups] are “precursor[s] to full-blown Marxist-Leninist communism.”
- columnist Jenna Ellis, Washington Examiner

Socialism “must always give rise to tyranny.”
- Trump

Socialism means “seizure of private property, and the dictating of individual behavior.”
- Charlie Kirk

Returning to reality, socialism is a very broad term.
It ranges from Anarchism (which essentially means a decentralized government with direct democracy at every level, as I understand it) to Communism.
In fact, socialism was conceived to empower and liberate, in the broadest sense of the word, the greatest mass of people. Conservatives have most often wanted to restrict both the empowering and liberating of the masses.

Communists reject democracy, of course, but other socialists have strongly supported it. In many parts of the world, including Europe, they were the most consistent advocates of democratization. Eduard Bernstein, for example, one of the fathers of social democracy, described democracy as “both a means and an end. It is a weapon in the struggle for socialism and it is the form in which socialism will be realized.” Conservatives, on the other hand, thought of democracy as “despotism of the multitude,” in Edmund Burke’s phrase, and liberals like Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill were resistant to expanding the franchise as well, because giving workers too much power would threaten the economic elites necessary for social stability. Only organizing and pressure from parties of the left broke liberal and conservative resistance to democracy in Europe.

“The lash of the dictator will be felt, and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test.”
- Rep. Daniel Reed (R-NY), regarding Social Security

“Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people,”
- Rep. John Taber (R-NY), regarding Social Security

“If Medicare passes into law, the consequences will be dire beyond imagining. One of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
- Ronald Reagan

“Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink?”
- Barry Goldwater

“A deterioration in the quality of care is inescapable.”
- head of the American Medical Association, Dr. Donovan Ward in 1965

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Azazello's picture

They want to take away your hamburger. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved."

Students of Soviet history will remember that Stalin didn't want to take away our hamburgers. He admired our hamburgers, and much else American, and wanted to import the technology needed to bring hamburgers to the Soviet Union. In 1935 he sent People's Commissar for External and Internal Trade Anastas Mikoyan on a trade mission to the US.

Mikoyan spent three months in the United States, where he not only learned more about its food industry but also met and spoke with Henry Ford and inspected Macy's in New York. When he returned, Mikoyan introduced a number of popular American consumer products to the Soviet Union, including American hamburgers, ice cream, corn flakes, popcorn, tomato juice, grapefruit and corn on the cob.[9]

They never caught on like they did here, but the hamburger patty survived in the Soviet Union as Kotlety.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

@Azazello

Stalin didn't want to take away our hamburgers. He admired our hamburgers

Serious question: How do you expect me to take a statement like that?

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Azazello's picture

@gjohnsit
I saw that quote over the weekend and thought about Stalin's actual dream concerning hamburgers.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

Socialprogressive's picture

@gjohnsit

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

@Azazello

What technology was needed to bring hamburgers to the Soviet Union? I doubt many Russians were eating in restaurants in 1935 and those who were probably expected something fancier than a burger. (A burger is great, but a well-made Chicken Kiev is to die for--and I don't even like chicken.)

For a hamburger made at home, you need beef, a meat grinder, your hands (to form a patty)and a fry pan,or a broiler (found in most ovens) or a grill. If the vendor of your beef is willing to grind it, you don't even need a meat grinder. If you want a hamburger bun, that requires the "technology" of an oven and a recipe. (As an aside, I relish my burgers, no pun intended, but I stick one in between two slices of organic or "clean" supermarket sliced bread, toasted. (When I used buns, I toasted them, too.) I do that only because organic and "clean" bread are easier for me to come by than is a "clean" or organic hamburger or hot dog bun.)

The only thing unique to the U.S. about a hamburger was putting a Hamburg steak between two pieces of bread. Ice cream is not unique to the US either. A form of ice cream was a treat in Ancient Rome, requiring ice from a nearby mountain. (That long before the Industrial Age, get ice this way was not as difficult as it would be today.)

Certainly tomatoes originated in the "New World," but, by 1935, thanks to explorers, planting tomatoes was not unique to the US, nor was tomato juice or any other tomato derivative. Corn also originated in the Americas, but it is one of the most widely-distributed of the world’s food crops. I don't, however, know if that was true by 1935.

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Azazello's picture

@HenryAWallace
The Soviets deeply admired US industry and sought to adopt its processes. They were horribly behind in industrialization and the US was the gold standard.
I've forgotten right now, and don't feel like looking it up, but I believe Mikoyan returned with, like, 10 or 12 restaurant-size hamburger grills. Likewise some industrial-scale ice cream makers.
Oh yeah, pickup trucks ? Virtually the entire Soviet auto industry was based on obsolete US designs and manufacturing equipment.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

"So tell people, no more cars, no more cars ... It would end air travel.

LOL. The airline industry today only exists through massive Federal subsidies, non-competitive markets, and legal protection carve outs.

Indeed, air travel would end tomorrow if the Federal government stopped socializing it.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

@Not Henry Kissinger
iphone_0.jpg

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger But we're not going to mention the subsidized roads and petroleum. Or what they put in the ground and air...

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

ggersh's picture

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

Amanda Matthews's picture

@ggersh @ggersh
That’s a demeaning load of nonsense. I’ve been poor (legally fit the definition) most of my life. I have this phone because of my daughter. I am old. But I remember when we lived in the projects when I was growing up. Like when my Mom had to make us homemade tomatoe soup on a borrowed bbq grill out in the collective back yard. We didn’t have gas, she did have canned tomatoes, and the milkman’s bill was one she always tried to keep paid, so we had milk and butter. And we were all freaking smart enough, from my Mom down to my youngest siblings, to understand our reality. We were poor. And we had no illusions or delusions about it. Neither did our neighbors. We knew what and who we were. And that was poor.

Why it’s a given that the poor are knuckle-dragging, uneducated idiots mystifies me. Could someone please explain why that is? I’ve run into it all my life. You would be surprised (or maybe not) at some of the things people will say when they don’t know they’re talking to someone who came from poverty.

EDIT TO ADD: yes CPAC sucks. Anything associated with the DNC and ‘New Democratic Party’ do too. So I made my first campaign donation today - even though I’m totally disgusted that we’re being bombarded with campaign crap this far out of the election. (My petition still has only 10 signatures.) I have to Tulsi Gabbard. I want her to be able to stay in long enough to show other candidates what a great running mate she would be.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
of the working poor.
Not each and every one of them.

My experience is that JS is mostly right.

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@gjohnsit mother why in hell she and my grandparents voted like they were rich when they were anything but. One of my first "political" comments to my Depression era grandparents when they told me they were Republicans was something like "I thought only rich people were Republicans?" My grandmother looked at my mother and said "I think she's a liberal" with a somewhat horrified expression, not sure how old I was but I do remember that. I don't think the remark is really meant about the actual poor in America as much as those who are NOT anywhere near rich, and yes, live OFF OF government programs while voting them away for others, and from my own experience, it fits my family perfectly.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

snoopydawg's picture

@lizzyh7

"You're not rich enough to vote republican." Smart man my grandpa.

That so many people who rely on government programs vote for them is just mind boggling. It's the republicans who are first in line to gut benefits. The democrats will go along with them, but they lower the amount of the cuts. Obama signed a bill that cut $8 billion from food stamps. Haven't seen any democrat saying that we need to add to the programs. Nope. Cut them just a tad less.

IMG_2757_2.JPG

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@gjohnsit
His works were masterpieces, brilliant stories he made up in his head. He was hardly the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet personally. Or so I’ve read. If you’ve read anything by Mr.Steinbeck OR about him, he was a pretty ‘complicated’ guy.

That statement is a blanket indictment of the lack of awareness (for lack of a better word) of the poor. There are no qualifications. And I wasn’t arguing for or against Mr. Steinbeck, but I am trying to figure out why that quote is considered appropriate. It sure isn’t true. And when untruths are posted, are we not supposed to object? And don’t stereotypes like this hurt the poor? And why would it be acceptable under any circumstances?

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
fully across, even if it does use the version that mistakenly targets the poor:

temporarilyembarassedmillionaires.org
Do you plan to someday in the future have more money? Are you concerned that your taxes are too high, because someday you might pay too much tax. Do you ride the bus only because this year you can’t afford that luxury car you’re going to have? Do you live pay cheque to pay cheque like most people just because you haven’t had your lucky break.

You aren’t rich and it’s very unlikely you ever will be. The economic and power systems of this planet are not designed for you to get rich. The American dream doesn’t exist and it never did. Stop being a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and just be a person.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@gjohnsit
he said and did

I must go over into the interior valleys. … There are five thousand families starving to death over there, not just hungry but actually starving. The government is trying to feed them and get medical attention to them, with the Fascist group of utilities and banks and huge growers sabotaging the thing all along the line, and yelling for a balanced budget. In one tent there were twenty people quarantined for small pox and two of the women are to have babies in that tent this week. I've tied into the thing from the first and I must get down there and see it and see if I can do something to knock these murderers on the heads.
Do you know what they're afraid of? They think that if these people are allowed to live in camps with proper sanitary facilities they will organize, and that is the bugbear of the large landowner and the corporate farmer. The states and counties will give them nothing because they are outsiders. But the crops of any part of this state could not be harvested without them. … The death of children by starvation in our valleys is simply staggering. … I'll do what I can. … Funny how mean and little books become in the face of such tragedies.
Letter to Elizabeth Otis (1938), as quoted in Conversations with John Steinbeck (1988) edited by Thomas Fensch, p. 37

The problem lies in the QUOTE. Not Steinbeck.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

ggersh's picture

@Amanda Matthews @Amanda Matthews meant any class/gender etc.etc. but the
working man who worked his ass off just to survive.

What I've run into is people who have more money than
you looking down on me, they seem to be tRump like
where they only count $$$$$ as a means of being better.

That that even happens is quite telling in of itself,
amerika, capitalism, neoliberalism are failed ism's an
a failed country.

EDIT:Yes CPAC/DLC both suck and I also donated to Tulsi
maybe my last donation, as elections are only a picture
painting a false narrative, legitimizing our corrupt govt.

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

Amanda Matthews's picture

@ggersh
that particular quote though. And not against you personally. And there are others here who don’t see any problem with it either. Maybe it’s just me. But I think is a horrid sentiment that more than a few have latched into. Poor and stupid going hand-in-hand.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

ggersh's picture

@Amanda Matthews I hardly meant for it to offend
sorry if it did.

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

Amanda Matthews's picture

@ggersh
poor as a target. Historically it’s been fine to insult and take advantage of the poor. Here are two CONTEMPORARY definitions of being poor:

poor people
people who get foodstamps and live off ssi checks. They cannot live independently or support themselves because they are either lazy or just plain stupid. They will never be able to afford the luxuries other people do. Like a nice car or house. They usually grew up this way and its passed down from generation to generation. They like to get angry at people with money and opportunities.
Poor people live off mac n cheese and kool aid
Rich eat Lobsters and go to the finest restaraunts.

Poor people dont drive or drive a jalopy.
Rich people drive Mercedes BMW's and Lexus.

Poor people usually have lived their lives in sub standard conditions.
Rich people usually either were born into money or came into it and can afford to live wherever they choose.

Poor people have nothing in the bank. They make under 20 g a year and rich people make 100'000's to millions.
by Nieg September 01, 2007

Poor People
Lower than Dog shit. Lazy people that got fucked life because they listened to everyone and didn’t think for themselves. Usually will vote any politician who will give them free stuff without actually working Like healthcare or free college tuition. You can identify them because they way they Dress, looks and smells like shit or weed and body odor. Waste their money on stupid shit like Taco Bell instead of investing it. Uses government assistant money for junk food and subscription to Netflix And Apple. Poor people Makes a lot a littledumb fucking decisions like not using protection during sex. And the worst thing is the majority of them are socialist.
Poor people are pathetic.
by It’s true bitches October 24, 2018

poor people
Stupid, uneducated fucks with no money.
Soon they start talking everyone understands why they are poor.
Every big city full of examples.
by M&M August 26, 2003

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwi3qdjRhfHgAhVH...

These people are saying the same thing your post said. And it was perfectly acceptable to say it apparently. And BELIEVE ME, I’ve known from personal experience that the poor have very very few champions. I guess it doesn’t pay well enough.

But between you and I? We’re fine. I know you had no bad intentions when you posted it. You just posted what most people think. And I objected. And now it’s no big deal, okay?

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

ggersh's picture

@Amanda Matthews and for your 411, I for one don't
measure people by the amount of $$$$ one has or
doesn't have.

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

@ggersh
It asked "Are you part of the top 1%?"

19% of people responded "yes".

Nuff said

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@gjohnsit
Gotcha chief. I guess I’ll go tape up my bleeding
knuckles and wallow in my ignorance and resign myself to accepting that stunning evidence you presented.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
The closest thing he is known to have said did not call out the poor, but the middle class:

“Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: ‘After the revolution even we will have more, won’t we, dear?’ Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picknickers on her property.
"I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew—at least they claimed to be Communists—couldn’t have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves.”

The misquote has some appeal, but not in its singling out of the poor. It's people who have jobs -- once upon a time, decent union jobs, even -- who imagine that their precarious (indeed, illusory) financial security is a result of their own virtue, and that this virtue will one day bring in the ship of their good/great fortune, as long as the Commies don't come and ruin everything first. Steinbeck might have been presciently talking about all those blue collar union guys who thought anyone without a job was just lazy, and then lost everything (jobs, homes, communities, pensions) when the reality of modern capitalism came to claim its due from about 1975 onward.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@UntimelyRippd
‘misquote’. It’s a horrid statement when used out of context. And quite demeaning as well.

Thank you for your help. I’m glad you could throw much-needed light on this issue!

Now back to CPAC SUCKS...

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Daenerys's picture

@UntimelyRippd A lot of people still believe the American Dream propaganda--if you just work hard enough you too can be rich one day! Which of course is demonstrably not true. My FIL is like this. Also that no one should be allowed to have anything without working their ass off for it.

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This shit is bananas.

Lily O Lady's picture

@ggersh

management” instead of savings. Our tiny nest eggs are unironically called “wealth” which I think is both cruel and delusional. Our pittance cannot compare or compete with the insane wealth of the 1%.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

ggersh's picture

@Lily O Lady got our annual GS cookies delivered today, should
we continue to buy them in 5 years time we will be giving
them cookies along w/our money. The boxes are half the
size they used to be 5 years ago, that's real "wealth"
management.

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

@ggersh @ggersh
several years ago (could have been five-ish) they did downsize some of the boxes (thin mints, definitely) by 10 or 15%. and over the last 8 - 10 years, the price has gone up (EDIT to fix my math) 20 to 30%, depending on where you live (I believe they range from as low as $4/box to as much as $6/box depending on the council/region).

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

ggersh's picture

@UntimelyRippd and rice rises by 20-30%
i would think that's half as much, so
hardly an exaggeration at all.

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

@ggersh @ggersh
so they're exactly what they were 5 years ago, meaning you're actually completely wrong in your particular assertion, but I was being generous because I was too lazy to check.

And you didn't say, "The cookies cost twice as much for what you get," you said the "boxes are half the size," which isn't even approximately true. It's not news to anyone that prices of stuff are higher than they were 5 years ago, and girl scout cookies are no exception.

And the price rise I cited was over the last 8-10 years. In most places they've gone up 7 - 10% in the last five years. I think that ten years ago, they were 3.25 in this area (certainly no less than that), and are now $4, which is a 23% rise.

Having now done some research, I conclude that the price (EDIT: per ounce) of Thin Mints has risen at most 33% from what it was TEN years ago, and I believe has risen less than 3% in the last 5 years.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Lily O Lady's picture

@UntimelyRippd

More relevant is the story of three people in a room full of cookies. One person takes all but a dozen and says to one of the two other people,”Look out! They are after your dozen.”

Calling the average savings account “wealth” is ridiculous. One crisis could wipe out most people’s pitiful savings and run them into intractable debt. Yet the financial “industry” (another canard IMO) beguiles the American public with talk of wealth when real wealth is further and further out of reach.

BTW, I sold GS Cookies back in the day when the Chocolate Mint Cookies were made of high quality ingredients and came in a thin box with a single row of cookies. All boxes of cookies sold for $0.50 a box including the Butter Coolies (Trefoils), Assorted Sandwich Cookies(gone and forgotten), and others.

But that isn’t relevant to the concept of wealth and Americans’ delusion of being potentially wealthy. We have the banks and titans of Wall Street to perpetrate that con.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady
who shared this with us the first year my daughter sold cookies.

The only unhappy, maybe even tragic, experience we had was with those cookies.
They just didn't sell. It was about 1932, the worst of times, known as the Great Depression,
and the Scout headquarters, some where in down town Chicago, had the bright idea of
raising money thru selling cookies door to door. Well, the cookies for our troop arrived and
we were all given so many boxes to sell. At 50 cents a box.

Money was scarce. Nobody had any. MY mother said cookies were a lot cheaper at the A & P, and so did everyone else'[s mother. So after knocking on doors and giving nice speeches , all cookie boxes were returned to headquarters unsold.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Lily O Lady's picture

@UntimelyRippd

for the same price. Strange if true. And off topic again. Cookies are not wealth. Neither are crumbs.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady
the precariousness of middle class security. these girls were from the sorts of families that normally would have thought themselves secure. the managers of the girl scout council were themselves from a social class that did not comprehend the character of the economic crisis -- did not imagine that their clients were compelled (or chose as a matter of caution) to exercise such frugality that they would not buy the cookies even for their own families.

i'm also surprised by the fifty-cent price tag, which seems rather extreme. i wonder if she was misremembering. a hershey bar at the time cost 4 cents, and an unskilled workingman might earn a dollar a day. things weren't standardized at the time -- in fact, according to the girl scouts' website, the first commercially baked cookies were commissioned by the Philadelphia council in 1934, so my relative might also have been off by a couple of years (or the girl scouts might not have been aware of the chicago council's effort). such information as i can find suggests that the earliest commercially-baked girl scout cookies might have sold for about 25 cents a pound, which would still have been pretty expensive, but not unthinkable.

HOWEVER: it's worth noting that the cultural phenomenon did explode in the popular consciousness during the 30s. They might have failed in my great-great aunt's central illinois community, but they succeeded elsewhere. When we think about economic catastrophes like the Great Depression, we need to remember that most people were doing okay -- just as most people did okay right through the crisis from 2008 to 2015 or so. It can be very, very difficult to get through to such people, either during the crisis or in its aftermath. They tend to ascribe their own smooth sailing to their particular virtues, and others' sorrow to such people's moral (or other) shortcomings.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@ggersh
some cookie boxes from the early to mid '80s. What I found is that Samoas (Caramel Delites) were 7oz then, same as now; Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) were 6.5 oz, same as now; Thin Mints were 10 oz, vs 9 oz now; and Peanut Butter Sandwich were 9 oz, vs 8 oz now.

I did see one box of Samoas that was 7 1/4 -- maybe they bumped it at some point when there was a price bump. I don't know.

It's quite remarkable, though, how many sites you find where people discussing it assert boldly that 30 years ago there were a lot more cookies.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

ggersh's picture

@UntimelyRippd https://www.quora.com/Are-there-fewer-thin-mint-cookies-in-a-box-of-Girl...

But really

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

Is just a bunch of Brownshirts waiting on the word to go out and smite everyone not them. They've spoiled for a fight for so long they reek.

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and/or collective ownership of the means of production. As soon as FDR established welfare and social security, if not sooner, some people began screaming about, among other things, his turning the US into a socialist nation. Obviously, the US never has been a socialist nation and still isn't.

We are, obviously a very capitalist nation with some public programs for the "common welfare" and the "common defense." These include the US armed forces, street, roads, highways, bridges, traffic lights, street signs, street lights, inspections to make certain buildings are safe and up to code, animal control, the United States Postal Service, police forces, most fire departments, public schools, colleges and universities, and, yes, social security, Medicaid, Medicare, whatever Bubba Clinton left of welfare and so on. Some of these are typically provided free of charges, others require payment of a toll or a co-pay or a fee of some kind, but less than the cost would be if provided by the private sector.

I prefer the classic definition because I don't know of any society with no public programs whatever. So, at what point does it become socialist? I would argue that it becomes socialist only when it meets the classic definition. However, on some boards, I've had my virtual head virtually off for suggesting that--and, oddly enough, by people who want more social programs, not by "Red baiter" types.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Returning to reality, socialism is a very broad term.
It ranges from Anarchism (which essentially means a decentralized government with direct democracy at every level, as I understand it) to Communism.
In fact, socialism was conceived to empower and liberate, in the broadest sense of the word, the greatest mass of people.

A very astute understanding of a very large branch of Anarchism!

Give rose

(Cat dammit, where the fuck is ZhenRen when we need hir?)

The Anarchism ZhenRen and I advocated for over at Daily Kos, known as anarchosocialism or Mutual Aid Anarchism, is an exact fit with your understanding of Anarchism generally. We just add that we have means in our model -- mostly based on increase in human compassion "across the board" in exchange for less need for the use of authority in society -- to address the issues of the weaker and disadvantaged people among us.

And your explanation:

Conservatives have most often wanted to restrict both the empowering and liberating of the masses.

is why such nonsense as anarchocapitalism is, well, nonsense. So much so, in fact, that some Anarchist sites flatly refuse all support for the ideology, as well as its cousin-germain American "Libertarianism". (When Europeans use the term "libertarian", they're talking about something closer to anarchosocialism than to anything in an American's mind attached to that term.) Most modern Anarchists recognize the entire Right -- the conservatives, "libertarians", et al. -- as merely wanting to replace public archons with private ones. That, of course, is exactly contrary to anything having any business being called Anarchism, by the very derivation of the term: an- (meaning "no") + archon (meaning "boss" or "master").

Smile

edit: Some really promising titles over at The Anarchist Library this month!

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

thanatokephaloides's picture

You do know, gjohnsit, that watching or reading CPAC will rot your brain, right?
/s

Seriously: thank you for surfing this slime so we don't have to!

Give rose

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides