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Loubird17 karma

The top 5 regrets of the dying, supposedly heard by a palliative nurse, has been circulating on the internet for a little while now: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/03/top-5-regrets-of-the-dying_n_3640593.html. Are regrets something you've heard much about from dying people? If so, which regrets have you heard the most? In addition, how would you describe the general state of mind of people who know they're going to die?

Loubird9 karma

Ok, I'll take the bait and make a more detailed piggyback on MyLoveTuft's comment. I won't say anything extreme like the U.S. is the farthest right it's "ever" been, because it's hard to compare late 18th/early 19th century politics to the 20th century conception of left/right. But certainly since 1980 the U.S. has embarked on a lot of political and economic changes towards the right: massively reducing taxes for wealthy individuals and companies, easing anti-trust legislation, reducing government funding for social welfare projects (esp. public housing), privatizing wholly or partially many services that used to be public (criminal justice system, housing that used to be public, public universities, public infrastructure), massively reducing regulation of the financial industry, reducing some regulations on food safety, taking away laws that limited corporate money from entering politics, and probably more issues that I'm forgetting. This movement towards the right is often called neoliberalism. It's a revitalization of 19th century liberal free trade economics, but with some changes. Two big changes off the top of my head: since there aren't gold or silver backed currencies anymore, the focus is on deflationary tactics of fiat currency; the moral regulation that was present in many 19th century political economists is gone, now we worship competition and profit as the main source of social good.

Neoliberal changes have been felt around the world, not just in the U.S. Third world countries have been affected the most by neoliberalism, as it was either enforced by U.S.-backed military dictatorships in the 1970s and 80s, or required as conditions for loans from the IMF or World Bank. So in countries like Chile, Indonesia, or Mexico, you saw a process of selling off state assets to wealthy individuals and companies, major slashing of social welfare programs, and an end to financial regulations. All these changes happened in a more gradual and partial fashion in Europe and the U.S. But I would argue that the U.S. has enacted bigger neoliberal changes than in Europe for a number of reasons. First, there are no strong leftist parties or organizations to stop neoliberal changes because the U.S. was really good at killing leftists in the early 20th century followed by McCarthyism in the mid century. Second, the two party system doesn't really allow for any non-mainstream parties to have any political clout.

Both Republicans and Democrats follow neoliberal economic policies. However, the Democrats want to have a few more taxes that fund a few more social welfare projects. But all very small, and still within a neoliberal, capitalist framework. The biggest difference between the two parties is on social issues: abortion, gay and transgender rights, equality between men and women, multicultural acceptance. While many people on the left agree with some of these issues, they are not necessarily "leftist" positions per se. At least not traditionally leftist ones. For example a Marxist-Leninist just won the Peruvian presidential election, and he is pretty conservative on many of those supposedly "leftist" social issues. In fact, there is a strong leftist critique of the liberal multicultural agenda because it is so easily coopted by corporations since it doesn't have a goal of true equality. Believing in multicultural sensitivity training for corporations or providing gender neutral bathrooms is far from being "leftist". Both these platforms can easily fit with a hyper capitalist economic/social/political system. However, often "alt right" online discourse makes a false equivalency between liberal (i.e. changing, more accepting) social values and being "hyper left".

Being a true leftist means that you want to move away from a free market and capitalist economy. Often leftists have values of solidarity, community, and working together. Consequently many of them want more equality and acceptance for marginalized groups. But without a fundamental critique of the market, those ideas cannot be considered leftist.

There is a growing possibility for the U.S. to be a little left leaning, returning to Keynesian economic policies that dominated the U.S. from the 1930s through most of the 70s (all those policies that were gradually changed by neoliberal policies starting in the 1980s). This is because young middle class folks have really suffered from neoliberal changes, their wages are declining, taxes increasing (to make up for the fact that the wealthy pay less taxes), and prices increasing. They are starting to vote for politicians like Bernie Sanders and AOC. However, neither are like the Democratic Socialists in many other countries. What they really are are FDR fans who want a return of Keynesian policies. I would call that left-leaning in our current climate, and not hyper left. Keynesian economics was an adaptation to ease the problems resulting from 19th century liberal free trade economics (especially the Great Depression), but it is still in a capitalist framework.

Loubird4 karma

What are the ways that the housed population are rude, condescending, or even violent towards the homeless? What is the worst treatment you have ever seen (done to you or others)? Not many housed people know that there are many more hate crimes committed against the homeless population than any other group. For example, from 1999-2017, there were 476 bias-based murders of homeless people and only 183 hate-based murders. That is why advocacy groups are fighting to include homelessness as a category for hate crimes. If you have the stomach for it, you can read about these crimes here.

Loubird3 karma

I have frequently seen many (nonacademic) articles suggesting people move to areas with more water and less prone to climate disasters. However, for most people in the world, this is often easier said than done. It isn't exactly easy for many people around the globe to just move to a new place if their home becomes a desert, gets burned down, or flooded. Poverty and anti-immigrant sentiments are both huge problems for relocation. What changes do you suggest to actually make this possible?