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HCH
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"such a lazy and ill-informed response. very predictable though. "


You'll be the first to go to the stocks when we send all the "socialists" to Gitmo.

8/13/2018 12:44:41 PM

adultswim
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socialism will win, sorry HCH

https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/

8/13/2018 12:50:29 PM

dtownral
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Quote :
"You'll be the first to go to the stocks when we send all the "socialists" to Gitmo.

"

yes i've read all about "the storm"

#qanon #maga #thestormisuponus #wakeup #payattention

8/13/2018 1:18:25 PM

Dentaldamn
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are people still so stupid that they think their lives are devoid of socialist policies? Western civilization as we know it wouldn't exist.

8/13/2018 2:59:28 PM

dtownral
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it's just a result of how far we have shifted to the right and how pro-capitalist and pro-corporation both political parties have become. most of the things that democratic socialists want wouldn't have even been very radical decades ago.

[Edited on August 13, 2018 at 3:06 PM. Reason : .]

8/13/2018 3:06:38 PM

LoneSnark
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"if you think it's a vaild point then explain why numerous failed capitalist states don't mean that capitalism is bad."

A capitalist state? I would appreciate your list of historical examples of failed capitalist states. When I hear capitalist state, I think of banana republics where a cabal of super rich are in league with the government, so the economy is dominated by state sponsored monopolies (think much of the third world). There isn't much difference between such places and a socialist state functionally, since it is still just a bunch of state sponsored monopolies.

I mean, a state is a political thing. A government can collapse into civil war even if the economy is well run. Conversely, a state can drag on for decades while the economy is in perpetual collapse. So it is fair to believe that a "failed state" doesn't have much to do with capitalism or socialism or even free enterprise.

8/15/2018 12:12:45 AM

dtownral
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your response is exactly my point, when capitalism doesn't work it's because of the state and it's not really the fault of capitalism because of whatever but when socialism doesn't work it's because socialism doesn't work

8/15/2018 8:10:48 AM

LoneSnark
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I wouldn't agree with that statement. Like I said, miserably poor citizenry alone doesn't cause a state to fail. Socialism just makes everyone poor. In general, a poorer citizenry is less able to wage a revolution. As such, it is politics and only ever politics that causes states to fail.

That said, it is entirely plausible for socialism to work just fine, if the political environment works. Think back to the theory of the firm: a corporation is very much small scale voluntary socialism. A small city-state with relatively few inhabitants can most likely function rather well if they get the governance right. We have corporations functioning with 2.3 million employees (Walmart). They can manage that number because they're only having to manage a small aspect of their people's lives on a daily basis. Similarly, they don't have to actually manage their happiness, as unhappy employees can quit at any time. But, something less than a million people can probably be managed in a socialist construct as long as the politics and traditions allow it.

8/15/2018 11:35:05 AM

adultswim
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"Socialism just makes everyone poor"


There is no point at all in talking to this guy.

8/15/2018 11:37:22 AM

dtownral
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my favorite part was when he said a corporation was socialism

8/15/2018 11:38:40 AM

LoneSnark
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I wish I could take credit for that statement, but that understanding of the firm is really quite old in academic circles. A bunch of people got together and decided to form a collective with some people in charge and work together. Sure, the only difference between a mill owned town in the 19th century and the Soviet Union is that the Soviet Union would kill you for trying to quit and move away, not a huge distinction.

What was the Soviet Union if not a single corporation with a slave work-force and captive customer base. It also sold and bought in international markets in hard currency.

[Edited on August 15, 2018 at 11:49 AM. Reason : ,.,]

[Edited on August 15, 2018 at 11:51 AM. Reason : .,.]

8/15/2018 11:44:27 AM

dtownral
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yeah i mean it was basically capitalism

8/15/2018 11:52:19 AM

adultswim
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no understanding of socialism, no understanding of the soviet union or its history. doesn't even seem to really understand capitalism? what kind of books does this guy read?

8/15/2018 12:12:06 PM

NyM410
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Paul Ryan: A Life Driving Up Deficits While Preaching Austerity

8/15/2018 12:19:18 PM

Dentaldamn
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Wasn’t this thread about democratic socialism??

8/15/2018 1:54:12 PM

dtownral
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yes, and the most popular examples have market economies so i'm not sure what these guys are even worried about

8/15/2018 2:10:23 PM

Dentaldamn
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Some people just hate a good time.

8/15/2018 2:12:51 PM

LoneSnark
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They call "the popular examples" democratic socialism, but words need to have meaning and those examples are at most "mixed economies". They are far more aptly described as free market economies. I mean, a "free market economy" is gonna have a government with taxes that the government spends in an effort to improve the lives of the citizenry...that taxes are high doesn't change the form, just the degree. After-all, they don't actually have very much state ownership of anything in these countries. Usually even the post office is privatized. The government subsidizes private enterprise to provide services to the citizenry, sometimes at 100%, but they don't operate the industry in question. In terms of sheer "state ownership", the U.S. is arguably more "socialist" than some of the most popular examples. So yea, when I hear socialism, I think state ownership of the means of production. "Welfare state" is a term that exists, we don't need to morph the word socialism to mean that.

Quote :
" what kind of books does this guy read?"

My favorite book on the subject was The Rise and Fall of the The Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR from 1945. It was a good walk through the economist academic communities over the post war era. In effect, how Soviet academics believed things should work, and the policy implications of those beliefs as soviet planners and their citizens attempted to implement that understanding, with the mixed results that followed, and the resultant evolution of Soviet academic understanding, rinse and repeat over the decades until the end. It was very well written, gave the reader a sense of being on the journey with the planners and their academic community which were honestly doing the best they could to make things work with the knowledge they had and the political realities they faced.

But, it is rather pedestrian, a book written for a student audience. I picked it up from a the NCSU library book sale, so it was probably assigned reading for some class somewhere.

[Edited on August 16, 2018 at 10:48 AM. Reason : .,.]

8/16/2018 10:45:27 AM

adultswim
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Socialism = social ownership of the means of the production, not state ownership. State ownership is a pathway to transform a capitalist society into a socialist one.

A corporation is not socialism, because it has a single owner (or group of owners) controlling labor. A worker co-op is socialism, because labor controls itself collectively.

In all honesty, libertarianism and communism have the same end goal: a stateless society where workers dictate their own future. The main difference is how that society is built, through selfless collectivism or selfish individualism.

[Edited on August 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM. Reason : .]

8/16/2018 11:04:34 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Socialism = social ownership of the means of the production, not state ownership."

State in my mind is often just another way of saying "Government of a geographic area", be it large or a community garden with five members.

So, what does it mean to you? How are actual collective decisions made under stateless socialism? In every instance of socialism I've ever read about, governance has been a thing. A worker owned collective has managers hired or appointed in some fashion (elections, appointments, drawn lots) to govern the factory. They have rules and enforcers to enforce them. What they are most certainly not are stateless entities, the state in question just might have its authority limited to immediate factory property.

The key difference between a capitalist firm and a worker owned collective is the governance over how people are chosen: in the former, managers are appointed or elected by the owners, in the latter, workers are proclaimed owners and act accordingly. There is still an apparatus of governance to force the participants to honor the process (if 40% of the workers loose the vote, say, they must be stopped from acting like they won).

So, I've probably read too much about how things worked in practice and not enough theory. So, introduce me to what the scene would look like when a bunch of pure socialists arrive to make a controversial decision about how to organize something. Does being a proper selfless collectivist mean everyone will just think identically, and so no decisions will ever need to be made, since everyone in attendance would agree anyway and knows it, so they don't need to have meetings at all, no dissenters ever need to be dealt with, everyone just acts in accordance?

Quote :
"In all honesty, libertarianism and communism have the same end goal: a stateless society where workers dictate their own future."

As a libertarian, you have us wrong. "A stateless society" would be an anarchist. There are anarcho-capitalists, but even they will have a government, they just envision it being a contractual affair (everyone picks their own government to pay taxes to). A libertarian wishes to have a "watchman state", namely a government which exists, has taxes and then spends that money in an effort to improve the lives of the citizenry, namely by providing courts to settle disputes and arresting criminals which engage in crimes against people and property, little else.

[Edited on August 16, 2018 at 11:37 AM. Reason : .,.]

8/16/2018 11:33:16 AM

dtownral
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democratically

8/16/2018 11:36:41 AM

LoneSnark
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So, a democratic state that owns the means of production would be pure socialism? How is that stateless?

8/16/2018 11:39:08 AM

dtownral
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Quote :
"social ownership of the means of the production, not state ownership. State ownership is a pathway to transform a capitalist society into a socialist one."


[Edited on August 16, 2018 at 11:42 AM. Reason : mostly i was pointing out that this is a thread about democratic socialism, but your ? was answered ]

8/16/2018 11:41:49 AM

adultswim
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You can't just make up a definition of state and then base your argument on that.

A state is a defined concept of centralized, concentrated power. Stateless societies still involve collective organization, but it's community-integrated, non-rigid, and most importantly, not concentrated in the hands of the few.

And the definition of libertarian is pretty wide, ranging from the equivalent of anarchism, to state capitalism.

Quote :
"A libertarian wishes to have a "watchman state", namely a government which exists, has taxes and then spends that money in an effort to improve the lives of the citizenry, namely by providing courts to settle disputes and arresting criminals which engage in crimes against people and property, little else."


Man, I'm pretty sure we want almost the exact same thing, except you have a warped concept of what socialism actually is (it does not mean transforming everyone into equalized, mindless, drones). And you're attached to the concept of money.

[Edited on August 16, 2018 at 11:55 AM. Reason : .]

8/16/2018 11:53:36 AM

LoneSnark
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"except you have a warped concept of what socialism actually is (it does not mean transforming everyone into equalized, mindless, drones). And you're attached to the concept of money."

I was asking. You said it was stateless, which I took to mean un-governed. To be ungoverned would require everyone being equalized, mindless, drones. But, no, your definition of stateless seems to just mean "governments small enough to walk away from (this government runs the factory, only, this other one manages this apartment block) and that they seem to do it with various forms of direct democracy. Well, nah, sensible humans can function under such a system. You just need to figure out a way for all these baby-states to cooperate on a larger level, which is usually done using money. So, what is the non-money alternative to replace money?

8/16/2018 12:13:14 PM

adultswim
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[Edited on August 22, 2018 at 12:53 AM. Reason : https://twitter.com/zachjcarter/status/885526254149095424?lang=en]

8/22/2018 12:49:14 AM

LoneSnark
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That is hilarious. As if the U.S. was somehow all powerful and could collapse any country at will. No one invaded the Soviet Union. No one has invaded Venezuela. It is plausible to believe the CIA is sabotaging all they can...but it is absurd to suggest that is the cause of their problems. Free market economies function better with trade, but they most certainly do not require it. Prices will adjust. Business owners will take steps to minimize the CIA sabotage. The damage can be real. An assertive sabotage campaign can make a country poorer. But, what it cannot do is make it dysfunctional, because it is not any different from what economic activity has to deal with anyways. Thieves, robbers, murderers, rival businesses, gang activity, mob activity, corrupt cops, all these do very real economic damage. Just one more gang, be it the CIA, trying to ruin your business isn't going to make things all that much worse for you.

Point is, maybe there are enough CIA agents to wreak enough murder and havoc to make life difficult in a small city-state. But the costs would be huge in the number of dead agents as the police and citizenry would naturally kill and capture many of them in the course of combating their criminal activity. But there is no evidence of this.

Similarly, while it is obviously true that trade barriers suck, trade with the U.S. is not the end all of existence. The U.S. historically had insanely high trade barriers, this didn't harm Europe in the 19th century. You just produce more at home and trade less than would be efficient.

But, somehow, high trade barriers and secret sabotage campaigns from invisible invaders are all it takes to bring down socialist state-run-economies. Well, if they're that fragile, then no point having them.

8/31/2018 3:20:47 PM

adultswim
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Quote :
"Thieves, robbers, murderers, rival businesses, gang activity, mob activity, corrupt cops, all these do very real economic damage. Just one more gang, be it the CIA, trying to ruin your business isn't going to make things all that much worse for you."


Quote :
"Business owners will take steps to minimize the CIA sabotage."


Quote :
"Point is, maybe there are enough CIA agents to wreak enough murder and havoc to make life difficult in a small city-state. But the costs would be huge in the number of dead agents as the police and citizenry would naturally kill and capture many of them in the course of combating their criminal activity. But there is no evidence of this. "


you cant be serious with this

8/31/2018 4:20:29 PM

JesusHChrist
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^^That is some tortured logic, man

8/31/2018 4:26:02 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"you cant be serious with this"

I think I am. I'm not going to pretend it is impossible to believe anything but what I believe, so I suspect you believe the contrary of my position. How much can stagflation in the 70s be blamed on Soviet sabotage agents here in U.S.? All of it? The communists performed regular insurrections and sabotage against the people of Hong Kong, but their economy seemed to handle the onslaught.

So, rather than being shocked that anyone would dare suggest "short of invasion, economic collapse has internal causes" you could at least suggest which mechanism of action I may have overlooked.

8/31/2018 10:30:17 PM

HCH
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9/7/2018 11:49:47 AM

dtownral
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conservatives are worse at memes than democrats are at politics

9/7/2018 11:51:42 AM

HCH
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That one hit a little too close to home?

9/7/2018 11:57:40 AM

afripino
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^but you'll drive on those socialist roads tho.

9/7/2018 12:09:25 PM

dtownral
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^^ no, i'm totally on board with taxing all of your shit

9/7/2018 12:16:25 PM

adultswim
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9/7/2018 12:27:29 PM

HCH
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Roads are not socialist. Think before you speak.

^Nobody is arguing that socialists arent ok with taking everyone else's property. Their problem is that they arent willing to give up all of their own property.

9/7/2018 12:28:20 PM

dtownral
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yeah that's why socialist tax policy always includes individual exemptions that only socialists get to claim

9/7/2018 12:30:02 PM

adultswim
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Quote :
"^Nobody is arguing that socialists arent ok with taking everyone else's property. Their problem is that they arent willing to give up all of their own property."


do you know the difference between personal and private property? if not i am happy to explain.

9/7/2018 12:32:44 PM

afripino
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if you're ok with taxation at all you're a socialist to some degree. it's a spectrum

9/7/2018 12:37:53 PM

Dentaldamn
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I get a special tax exemption for being a card carrying socialist. It’s very nice.

9/7/2018 12:50:48 PM

dtownral
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with the tax exemption and the cash from soros, being a socialist is a really sweet gig

9/7/2018 1:16:11 PM

afripino
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I just found out that I can write off my mileage if my travel was solely for the purposes of removing a confederate monument

9/7/2018 2:01:30 PM

HCH
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Quote :
"socialist tax policy always includes individual exemptions that only socialists get to claim"


Also receiving socialist tax exemption, and more!



9/7/2018 3:12:40 PM

dtownral
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that would have been a trash post even if you didn't post a giant photo

9/7/2018 3:18:59 PM

Dentaldamn
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I thought this thread was about democratic socialism.

9/7/2018 9:37:30 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"Dude, we already have socialism. Schools, firefighters, Medicare, USPS, libraries, roads, etc."


Leaving aside whether these things qualify as "socialism," I'm not sure they're examples that you want to point to. Our schools are notoriously bad, Medicare pisses almost everybody off, USPS is on life support (provided, in no small part, by Amazon), libraries are quaint relics, and our roads are famously derelict.

Quote :
"No one invaded the Soviet Union."


This will certainly come as news to the 26 million Soviets who died in World War II.

The problem with William Blum's unbelievably stupid and myopic statement isn't that he got his facts wrong, it's that he only told half the facts. Yes, all the Commie countries got fucked with by others. In that, they are like all of the other countries, including the mean ol' United States. Kris and I covered this ground, years ago, when he tried to make the same "Everybody ganged up on the poor USSR so it never had a chance."

The USSR was around for about 75 years, if we start from the October Revolution. During that time it fought a nasty civil war, had some foreign interventions from the Allies, and got invaded by Germany. All difficult things to overcome, and credit where credit's due: in spite of all that, they rapidly industrialized and performed early wonders in the space race. They also brutally subjugated everybody they could get their hands on, and eventually entered an inescapable spiral of decline.

The United States, in the 75 years after the Declaration of Independence, also fought what was, in effect, a nasty civil war, then promptly got into a "Quasi-War" with its only significant ally, then got invaded again and had its capital burned to the ground. Of course, we also brutally subjugated most of the people we got our hands on, but we entered an ill-defined spiral of doing it less (don't tell the Indians) and getting richer while we did so.

Point is: the Commies had it rough, and so did everybody else, so that doesn't get to be their excuse for failing.

---

Now, back to Democratic Socialism:

I don't think "socialism" is a dirty word like "communism," and I'm fine with saying that the Nordics are socialist and that they've done reasonably well with it. Not sure that their situation is really comparable to many other countries, not sure that we can really emulate them, but fine.

That said, I don't think socialism, democratic or otherwise, is the way to go. I don't think "selfless collectivism" is a thing that happens or can happen on any scale. I don't think labor can be trusted to control itself collectively any more than any other group. Owners are not especially evil and workers are not especially virtuous; they both operate in a range of morality which, over time, will probably tend towards self-interest. It might be great at first, just like American democracy; but sooner or later people realize they can start voting themselves free shit, just like American democracy. The difference is a company can't borrow and/or print infinite money to keep everybody on the do, and will soon have comparably bad consequences to what capitalist owners do. Either way, we end up with a shitty situation because people are shitty.

No. Better to let companies and organizations run however they will, but set up mechanisms whereby the negative impacts of their behavior are offset in part by extra costs, the proceeds of which can go to compensate those adversely affected. There are a thousand specifics we could talk about, but it would probably go a long way if we really used those mechanisms already in place. In theory, existing business taxes could offset some of the negative externalities of large businesses like Amazon - increased strain on government services, for example. That can affect everybody in a community, including those who don't really benefit from Amazon's arrival. Normally, the increased tax revenue from a massive, wealthy company like Amazon would be enough to improve and expand those services. Instead, what do communities do? They race to the bottom, offering tax breaks, free improvements, etc. to draw these companies, bringing in all of the consequences but hamstringing their ability to make whole those who are hurt by it.

So I am for incentives against actions that create negative externatlities, or which at least provide recompense to those affected. But then people take that straightforward idea and come up with terrible ideas like...

Quote :
"why shouldn't large companies that are partially responsible for housing issues pay a tax to combat housing issues?

Also it's $275/year"


For one thing, it makes zero sense to incentivize having fewer employees. If anything, this tax should be inverted; a facility with a capital investment greater than X but fewer than Y employees might pay a modest premium to help deal with the ramifications of automation. I'm not against automation any more than I'm against globalization or the steam engine or any other advance that amounts to "creative destruction," but nor am I against the government taking a part of the gain and using it to smooth the transition for others.

For another thing, though it pains me to say it, LoneSnark is right: Amazon didn't come in and make it harder to build housing in Seattle. Government policies did that.

9/8/2018 3:22:28 PM

Cherokee
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^outstanding post. Yes.

9/8/2018 5:40:05 PM

Pupils DiL8t
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Quote :
"Medicare pisses almost everybody off"

https://news.gallup.com/poll/186527/americans-government-health-plans-satisfied.aspx

Weird...

9/8/2018 6:27:03 PM

rwoody
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Quote :
"Our schools are notoriously bad, Medicare pisses almost everybody off, USPS is on life support (provided, in no small part, by Amazon), libraries are quaint relics, and our roads are famously derelict."


This is silly. The vast majority of our country has been educated by public schools for the last century. For every great private school, there is one that is a total ripoff and/or teaching kids that Jesus wouldn't allow dinosaurs.

Any talk of tweaking Medicare gets people pretty angry, they must love it. I have a close family member with disability Medicaid and its phenomenal. Especially compared to the nightmare of private insurance.

USPS gets our mail to almost anywhere in the country in just a few days for less than a dollar, pretty amazing if you ask me.

Libraries are still used across the country and are a great resource for the underprivileged. Did anyone on this board grow up without massive use of local libraries?

There are major infrastructure issues (mostly bc of lack of funding), but who doesn't use public roadways every day?

9/8/2018 7:03:45 PM

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