Suggested Discussion Outline

Post Reply
Posts: 2061
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »

A. 12 Years A Slave

We should take as long as everyone would like to discuss the movie and book.

Please note that Pat posted on under Participant Comments for 2/12/2014 a NY Times Review of an exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society entitled “When Slavery and Its Foes Thrived in Brooklyn.” The review itself is full of interesting facts such as --

A-1. Brooklyn was the third-largest city in the U.S. until it merged with New York 1/1/1898 which was 33 years after the end of the Civil War. [Today it would rank 4th behind only the rest of NYC, LA & Chicago.]

A-2. As of 1790, a third of its population was black and nearly all of the blacks were slaves. Approximately 60% of white Brooklynites were slave owners.

A-3. Nevertheless, Brooklyn was a hot bed of abolitionism, in relative contrast to Manhattan.

A-4. Slavery was abolished by the State of New York in 1827, only 33 years before the start of the Civil War and 14 years before Solomon Northrup was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

B. The Economic Slavery of Blacks following the Civil War as share-croppers, miners, etc.

C. The Creation and Perpetuation of America’s Permanent Under-Caste.

C-1. K-12 schools in America have traditionally been financed from local property taxes. America’s Permanent Under-Caste lives, for the most part, in inner-city ghettos which have no property-tax base so, no surprise, their schools are atrocious.

C-2. For more than 5 decades, the U.S. Government has consistently reported that 30% of our population is functionally illiterate, as defined by the ability to read the warning label on a can of rat poison.

C-3. Accordingly, when we studied for our 3/13/2013 meeting “The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America’s Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing” by Howard Steven Friedman, there was no surprise that in each of 5 vital measures of a nation’s well-being (health, safety, education, democracy and equality), that the U.S. RANKED AT THE BOTTOM of the list containing 13 other developed countries.

C-4. Studies also consistently show that the U.S. ranks AT THE BOTTOM in terms of upward mobility.

D. Proposed Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign(s).

There are at least two possibilities that spring readily to mind.

D-1. Doing the Heavy Lifting required to assimilate the Permanent Under-Caste into the rest of American society. However, this has already been the subject of Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaigns following our meetings of 1/22/2009, 5/16/2009, 1/13/2010 and 9/12/2012.

D-2. Instead, I would highly recommend that we address a topic which has arisen in passing at several of our meetings over the years but about which we have never taken action = The Exportation of American Jobs Which Is (and Has Been) Made Possible By The Free Flow of Capital.

D-2-a. Whenever we discuss the way American jobs have been exported, many of us have lamented the decline of labor unions and the increase in the number of states that have right-to-work laws.

D-2-b. The truth is that labor unions and/or right-to-work laws only affect functions (such as final assembly of foreign cars in the U.S.) that are difficult to export.

D-2-c. Because the free flow of capital means that American workers are pitted against the world’s poorest workers, not just American workers living in right-to-work states.

D-2-d. In contrast, if capital generated in America were forced to remain in America, not only would there be full employment in America as American capital competes for scarce American labor, but the standard of living of American workers would once again rise relative to foreign workers as America once again sees more capital employed per worker than elsewhere in the world.

D-2-e. When we discussed this in passing at prior meetings, I referenced how Brazil 50 years ago built up its economy by imposing virtually-confiscatory withholding tax rates on payments leaving the country (dividends, interest, royalties, etc.) and how already-developed countries (such as the U.S. in the 1960’s and 1970’s) limited the amount of foreign investments that American individuals and companies could make (the old OFDI Program) and imposed special taxes on repatriations from foreign investment (the old Interest Equalization Tax).

D-3. Any other E-mail Campaign proposals, anyone???

Post Reply

Return to “Discussion Outline – 12 Years A Slave, the 1853 autobiography of a free black man who was kidnapped in Washington DC in 1841 and sold into slavery, which became a famous part of the Abolitionist Movement – Feb 12th”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest