Populism - Good or Bad?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Josh
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Josh » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:43 pm

Those uppity peasants. Don't they know their lords and masters know what's best for them?
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Dan Z
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Dan Z » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:44 pm

Kind of a periodic societal reset?

Was FDR a populist?

Andrew Jackson?
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Robert
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Robert » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:31 pm

Dan Z wrote:Kind of a periodic societal reset?


I think it can be.

Dan Z wrote:Was FDR a populist?

Andrew Jackson?


I do not know enough about them and their platforms to really know. I would doubt FDR was. He worked at amassing power into DC.

50 years ago, the Democrats were the little government people and the Republicans were the big government people. It seems to be whichever party is out of power for a while seems to become the little government party until they get power.

We will have to wait to see if Trump breaks that mold and really does send a lot of the power back to the people and states.
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby MaxPC » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:52 am

Robert wrote:
Dan Z wrote:Kind of a periodic societal reset?


I think it can be.

Dan Z wrote:Was FDR a populist?

Andrew Jackson?


I do not know enough about them and their platforms to really know. I would doubt FDR was. He worked at amassing power into DC.

50 years ago, the Democrats were the little government people and the Republicans were the big government people. It seems to be whichever party is out of power for a while seems to become the little government party until they get power.

We will have to wait to see if Trump breaks that mold and really does send a lot of the power back to the people and states.


Agree with Robert. History supports the idea of a periodic societal reset. I like to think of it as the swing of an ideological pendulum. Same thing.

ohio jones wrote:Image
(he didn't actually say that, but it sounds like something he would)

Good one. :rofl:
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:35 am

Josh wrote:Those uppity peasants. Don't they know their lords and masters know what's best for them?


Doesn't Trump's cabinet look mostly like lords and masters - billionaires and generals?
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby appleman2006 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:16 am

Bootstrap wrote:
Josh wrote:Those uppity peasants. Don't they know their lords and masters know what's best for them?


Doesn't Trump's cabinet look mostly like lords and masters - billionaires and generals?


People in charge that have actually done something and lived in the real world/ What a novel idea!
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Robert
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Robert » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:38 am

Bootstrap wrote:
Doesn't Trump's cabinet look mostly like lords and masters - billionaires and generals?

Most were self made. Upwardly mobile. This is a leveling mechanism working.

Few have the money just because they inherited it. This is what creates the divide that causes revolts. The haves, have for generations and loose all touch with the have nots.

The legislation over the past 8-12+ years has been more about the elites in Washington gaining power. This becomes the power imbalance that is not maintainable. Our system gives the have nots a tool to use to reset the balance. Elections. If they institute term limits into Congress, this will continue to bring balance.

I can not speak for others, but I would much rather see self made millionaires in government then Lords and Ladies that inherited their power generationally. I would also like to see business minded people running the government instead of corrupt politicians who lied and cheated their way to the top.

One thing we see often in a Christian lifestyle is that it brings prosperity. Generally, working hard and not doing things that corrupt our lifestyle are healthy and often profitable. We do not squander money on worthless physical pleasures ... as much. This allows us to accrue wealth. Wealth is not evil. The love of wealth and letting it be our focus is.

The US republic structure was created to keep the Lords and Ladies out of power and for the power to be dispersed to the people. It was created as "limited" government. Our society was a reaction to the unfair Monarchy system from England. The founders knew there would be have and have nots. What they wanted to do was create a system that gave opportunity for anyone to become a haver. They also wanted a system that would easily allow for shifts of power from and to. Wealth does that. Only 5% of the millionaires in the US inherit. 95% are self made. This is a pretty good shift of power. Trump saying he wants to remove 75% of regulation will assist in allowing this shift of power. Millionaires are made mostly by starting and running your own company. Only a few people make massive wealth working for someone else. Regulation often hurts the small business owner while the large business can handle it. They also have the fund to lobby so the regulations hurt smaller business more. This removes competition. This is what a lot of the regulation is of late.

This is one of the issues that have driven a lot of Trump populism. The have nots feel the haves, not wealthy but powerful elites, have made things imbalanced for them. Trump, although coming from wealth, has made his own wealth, yet has kept a connection with the have nots. He dislikes similar things the have nots dislike. The have nots did not support him because he was a kind, clean, dignified person. The elected him because he has shown he will fight and push to get his way and they felt that his was was very close to their way. They like it that he is harsh and strong. They want that projected to other nations right now.

So far, with the actions he has taken, he has done what he said he would. So far, the have nots seem to be filling spoken for and supported. We will see how long that lasts. The job does change the person in it, for good or ill. We will have to see which way Trump goes. So far, he seems humbled by it. This is a good sign. Not sure that will last with his personality, but we will have to wait and see.

I don't think he should study Andrew Jackson. I think he should study Nebuchadnezzar. This might be a closer parallel.
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JimFoxvog
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby JimFoxvog » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:12 am

Robert wrote:One thing we see often in a Christian lifestyle is that it brings prosperity.

I notice how that worked for generations of slaves.

The people demographers classify as "black" have a higher church attendance than those classified as "white", but are less prosperous.

I think the perspective of James is more biblical:


Riches are often from the exploitation of others.
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Robert
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Robert » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:15 am

JimFoxvog wrote:I notice how that worked for generations of slaves.


I was making a general statement. I have seen time and time again people that follow Christ, that leave their habits and harmful lifestyles behind become prosperous. Not, there is no guarantee, and it should not be the reason, but it is often the by product.

If you look at the abolitionists in the US that drove the movement to free the slaves, you will see followers of Jesus behind it. Christian faith and community "OFTEN" brings prosperity. Learning to live in that prosperity is essential. I can find just as many verses that show that Jesus did not reject all people of wealth. It is how we handle wealth that is the issue.

JimFoxvog wrote:The people demographers classify as "black" have a higher church attendance than those classified as "white", but are less prosperous.


I do not understand what you are saying here.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:31 am

I'm thinking of the "waiting in line" analogy.

To me, one of the problems with this is that many groups could use the same analogy. Blacks see themselves at the back of the line too, and when they look at the people in the front, they see mostly whites. At the same time, many whites look at the same line and it feels like the blacks are getting ahead of them. In both cases, they can start to feel bad about the other group.

In the 1950s, Americans really could do well simply by taking jobs at factories and restaurants and working full time. That was partly due to the fact that the rest of the world's economy was in a shambles because of World War II and was still rebuilding. Today, do you really get to the head of the line just by taking whatever job you can get and working hard? The people I see making it often start their own business, get an education, or do something else that gets them out of line.

Trump says he will bring back factory jobs. I doubt it. Factory output has gone up in America, factory jobs have gone down - we can do more with fewer people, and factory owners would rather avoid paying wages when they can. Now I see computers eliminating jobs in checkout lines, and they are experimenting with tablets on tables at restaurants so you don't have to hire as many waiters and waitresses. Those jobs aren't going to Mexico, they are just disappearing. There's no law that says you have to spend your profits on labor. Trump says he will bring back factory jobs from China or Mexico. Let's watch what happens in the next 4 years. I doubt that companies will pay Americans a living wage to do the kinds of things they do in Mexican or Chinese factories. I doubt that factory jobs are going to be the backbone of a new American economy where people are rewarded for standing in line, working hard, and obeying the rules. I doubt that trade wars will help American prosperity.

I think this is a real problem, and the government can play a role in solving it. I also think the church can play a role in solving it, finding ways to create new kinds of jobs that pay well enough, or inviting people to join us in communities where we live well together on less money, or helping people get access to training that can help. I'd love to see us do more of this as the church.
Last edited by Bootstrap on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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