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Why our economy sucks

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Big Corporations like to state they're the ones creating new technologies and new jobs, but in reality they tend to only commodify ones from pre-existing industries. The vast majority of new jobs and new (previously non-existing) opportunites come from small independent companies. If our economic ecosystem does not foster the continued development and speciation of small companies then our economy and the government which lives off taxing it will continue to starve.

In order to make our country healthier and more durable we need to detach ourselves from inherently fragile large corporations that are overly optimized for short term profits. These large corporations are too dependent on the government welding it's regulatory power in order to create an artificially-stable and less free socioeconomic system to protect them. We need the proliferation of more small and medium sized companies that have built-in redundancies with integrated dual functionality that allow them to evolve easier and better endure the shocks and randomness of freedom.

It's not hard to see that in many ways the American middle class is worse off than it was 30 years ago, even though we have adopted a vast amount of technological advancements in that period. The problem I believe is centered around that types of tools that have advanced in those three decades contrary to types of tools that have not. This is caused by the size of institutions who had access to the required capital and resources to do the advancing. Large institutions make tools and technologies that empower their large size by giving them greater control over large amounts of people in order for them to create their own economic biosphere. Smaller companies tend to create tools and technologies that maximize their limited resources and empowering small groups to be nimble and quicker to adapt to the ever changing economic landscape. If our economy seems stagnant and slow to adapt, it's the result of us wrongly empowering too many large corporations which through mergers and acquisitions eventually bestowed too much power to a stagnant select few. Big government creates big corporations. Large institutions tend to innovate less on their own and rely on consuming/buying smaller creative companies as a strategic method to progress. This plan stops working when big government and big corps have colluded for decades until it reached a point where they stiffled and killed the innovative engine of the independent small company. These large institutions have created tools and technologies that have mostly benefitted themselves while at the same time they unintentionally eroded the middle class and the small and medium size companies that create it.
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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post #2 of 34
We need to reform and regulate the lobby system. Full stop.

When a decision is being made with regard to the guilt or innocence of someone on trial, we are prohibited from tampering with the decision makers (the jury).

When a decision is being made with regard to lawmaking, the same logic should apply.
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

We need to reform and regulate the lobby system. Full stop.

When a decision is being made with regard to the guilt or innocence of someone on trial, we are prohibited from tampering with the decision makers (the jury).

When a decision is being made with regard to lawmaking, the same logic should apply.

How does that work then and square with free speech and a representative government? Are you ready to ban the unions from lobbying congress?
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

How does that work then and square with free speech and a representative government? Are you ready to ban the unions from lobbying congress?

How do bans on jury tampering square with free speech? Representative government? We voted. That process is over. If candidates don't fulfill their campaign promises, we vote them out. Yes, if you give up your NRA, your AIPAC, your big pharma and big oil lobby, I'll gladly give up my EPA, my NAACP, and my union lobbies. Let's take care of all of that during the election process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack

Another example; in my state a physical therapist can't have a private practice, the chiropractor lobby stops their efforts to legalize PT private practice.

Sounds like you just love the lobby system.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

How do bans on jury tampering square with free speech? Representative government? We voted. That process is over. If candidates don't fulfill their campaign promises, we vote them out. Yes, if you give up your NRA, your AIPAC, your big pharma and big oil lobby, I'll gladly give up my EPA, my NAACP, and my union lobbies. Let's take care of all of that during the election process.

I don't belong to any of those groups and I certainly hope the EPA is not lobbying congress.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Sounds like you just love the lobby system.

If by that you mean I love the first amendment and freedom of speech then yes.
post #6 of 34
Brilliant post. I have not seen a better one in the past few months regarding the US economy. Thomas Friedman (I'm sure you all have your own opinions about him) was on CNBC stating, "We need 100 people creating 200 jobs, or even 50 people creating 3 jobs, or 1 person creating 5 jobs, all over the country".

The other point I agree very strongly with is the inertia of large corporations. They are becoming so stagnant once they become "established" that they can no longer cope with the global economy. To depend on them to pull countries out of the funk they operate in is borderline ludicrous. Look at tech companies, the ones supposedly most in tune with rapid change. Motorola, Nokia, HP, Sony, RIM... all gasping for air.

HP killing off WebOS. One of the supposed poster boys of "innovation" having zero clue for the past 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commodification View Post

Big Corporations like to state they're the ones creating new technologies and new jobs, but in reality they tend to only commodify ones from pre-existing industries. The vast majority of new jobs and new (previously non-existing) opportunites come from small independent companies. If our economic ecosystem does not foster the continued development and speciation of small companies then our economy and the government which lives off taxing it will continue to starve.

In order to make our country healthier and more durable we need to detach ourselves from inherently fragile large corporations that are overly optimized for short term profits. These large corporations are too dependent on the government welding it's regulatory power in order to create an artificially-stable and less free socioeconomic system to protect them. We need the proliferation of more small and medium sized companies that have built-in redundancies with integrated dual functionality that allow them to evolve easier and better endure the shocks and randomness of freedom.

It's not hard to see that in many ways the American middle class is worse off than it was 30 years ago, even though we have adopted a vast amount of technological advancements in that period. The problem I believe is centered around that types of tools that have advanced in those three decades contrary to types of tools that have not. This is caused by the size of institutions who had access to the required capital and resources to do the advancing. Large institutions make tools and technologies that empower their large size by giving them greater control over large amounts of people in order for them to create their own economic biosphere. Smaller companies tend to create tools and technologies that maximize their limited resources and empowering small groups to be nimble and quicker to adapt to the ever changing economic landscape. If our economy seems stagnant and slow to adapt, it's the result of us wrongly empowering too many large corporations which through mergers and acquisitions eventually bestowed too much power to a stagnant select few. Big government creates big corporations. Large institutions tend to innovate less on their own and rely on consuming/buying smaller creative companies as a strategic method to progress. This plan stops working when big government and big corps have colluded for decades until it reached a point where they stiffled and killed the innovative engine of the independent small company. These large institutions have created tools and technologies that have mostly benefitted themselves while at the same time they unintentionally eroded the middle class and the small and medium size companies that create it.
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Brilliant post. I have not seen a better one in the past few months regarding the US economy. Thomas Friedman (I'm sure you all have your own opinions about him) was on CNBC stating, "We need 100 people creating 200 jobs, or even 50 people creating 3 jobs, or 1 person creating 5 jobs, all over the country".

The other point I agree very strongly with is the inertia of large corporations. They are becoming so stagnant once they become "established" that they can no longer cope with the global economy. To depend on them to pull countries out of the funk they operate in is borderline ludicrous. Look at tech companies, the ones supposedly most in tune with rapid change. Motorola, Nokia, HP, Sony, RIM... all gasping for air.

HP killing off WebOS. One of the supposed poster boys of "innovation" having zero clue for the past 10 years.

"Too big to fail"?

More like "Too big to grow."
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

If by that you mean I love the first amendment and freedom of speech then yes.

The lobbying system is not a question of free speech when campaign contributions are involved. It's a question of bribery and corruption.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The lobbying system is not a question of free speech when campaign contributions are involved. It's a question of bribery and corruption.

One can lobby without bribing. How do you fund a campaign if people and groups don't donate money?
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

One can lobby without bribing. How do you fund a campaign if people and groups don't donate money?

Would you say Paul Ryan has the right ideas about how you can separate lobbying and campaign donations?
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Would you say Paul Ryan has the right ideas about how you can separate lobbying and campaign donations?

How would that work? What would be the point?
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

How would that work? What would be the point?

The point would be making things like PT clinics possible in your state. Like ending oil subsidies and ethanol subsidies. Like making pols work for their constituents who voted them in, and not for whoever gives them the most money.

I mean Ryan, the Tea Party's champion for cutting pork, tried to push through, several times, a tax exemption for fucking air fresheners, FFS.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

We need to reform and regulate the lobby system. Full stop.

When a decision is being made with regard to the guilt or innocence of someone on trial, we are prohibited from tampering with the decision makers (the jury).

When a decision is being made with regard to lawmaking, the same logic should apply.

The problem with the judicial system in the United States is there is to much leniency now.The prisons are over flooded with criminals and they are letting them get out to early not even finishing their sentences.The jury sometimes is mixed up to some extent also.Like the Casey Anthony Trial.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

The problem with the judicial system in the United States is there is to much leniency now.The prisons are over flooded with criminals and they are letting them get out to early not even finishing their sentences.The jury sometimes is mixed up to some extent also.Like the Casey Anthony Trial.

Wow. Comprehension fail.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The point would be making things like PT clinics possible in your state. Like ending oil subsidies and ethanol subsidies. Like making pols work for their constituents who voted them in, and not for whoever gives them the most money.

I mean Ryan, the Tea Party's champion for cutting pork, tried to push through, several times, a tax exemption for fucking air fresheners, FFS.

How do you solve the problem that one person's special interest is another person's grassroot effort? If the constituents are the one's contributing then do you stop them?

For some time congress hasn't really had an open door. Laws are made in private meetings. To me that's more of a problem than the money spent on lobbying. Lobbying costs a ton of money anyway. Why not find ways to make it cheaper and then more people could afford it.

Plus everyone is willing to give up their principles when their guy is winning. I guess they never had those principles to begin with.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

How do you solve the problem that one person's special interest is another person's grassroot effort? If the constituents are the one's contributing then do you stop them?

Follow, or rather, REGULATE the money trail. It's that simple.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Follow, or rather, REGULATE the money trail. It's that simple.

And that is an infringement of freedom. Your goal is to regulate political speech.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

And that is an infringement of freedom. Your goal is to regulate political speech.

Laws against same sex marriage are an infringement of freedom. Laws against abortion are an infringement of freedom.

But let's look more closely related to my point.

Bribery laws are an infringement of freedom, are they not?

The goal is in no way regulation of political speech. The goal is stopping politicians from doing favors for reward. Money is not speech.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Laws against same sex marriage are an infringement of freedom. Laws against abortion are an infringement of freedom.

I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

But let's look more closely related to my point.

Bribery laws are an infringement of freedom, are they not?

I supposed they could be. Common sense would tell us that public officials personal gain in the course of their duties should be illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The goal is in no way regulation of political speech. The goal is stopping politicians from doing favors for reward. Money is not speech.

Lobbying is not the same thing as bribery. Those two things are not equal.
post #20 of 34
This article from Seth Godin is a good read. The trend in capitalism towards short-sightedness, for instant gain (to hell with the future!), perhaps goes a long way to explaining why our economy sucks.

Quote:
Short-term capitalism.

There are a few reasons why one might not care what happens in the long run:

You don't intend to be around
You're going to make so much money in the short run it doesn't matter
You figure you won't get caught
Short-term marketing involves using deception to make a quick sale, or using aggressive promises to get a quick hit. Having a price war counts as well. Linkbait is on that list as well.

Short-term architecture means putting up a cheap building, a local eyesore, something that saves money now instead for building something for the long haul. The guys who put up the Pantheon in Rome weren't doing short-term anything. Hard to say that about a big box store.

Short-term manufacturing ignores the side effects of pollution, bad design and worker impact because it's faster money in the short run to merely make the product (and the sale) in the most direct way possible.

Short-term investment banking invests in transactions that are unsustainable and eventually blow up (after commissions are paid).

Short-term sales involve spamming as many people as you can, as fast as you can.

Short-term hiring requires you to hire cheap, train as little as possible and live with turnover.

Bernie Madoff was a short-term capitalist, of course.

Left to their own devices, (particularly during difficult economic times) too many people misunderstand the essence of capitalism, and rationalize a do what it takes mindset that is ultimately self-defeating. The reason we need the SEC, the EPA, transparent operations, a free press that cares about its mission and people willing and able to speak up is that they make it expensive to choose the short-term option.

The short-term capitalist is betting that someone else will clean it up.

One of the worst things you can call a business person, I think, is a short-term capitalist. He selfishly takes for now and fails to contribute in return.

The internet has opened two doors. First, it's easier than ever to do the short-term thing, anonymously if you choose, with a big splash, internet ads, eBay scams and more. On the other hand, since there's a revolution going on, it's also easier than ever to build something that matters, something that lasts.

The thing to remember about the short-term is that we'll almost certainly be around when the long-term shows up.

It would also help is America started to manufacture things again, and re-invest in its infrastructure... as happened when the US was a real economic powerhouse decades ago. We have become a service economy, directionlessly bobbing around on the monetary waves created by the new mega-manufacturing nations of the far east, while our infrastructure still remains reliant on an energy source that is largely controlled by people who hate our freedoms, oops, err, I mean, by nations who have developed a deep mistrust of us... and with decades of justification for such.

It would also help if the negative redistribution of the nation's wealth (aka the wholesale transfer of money away from the working and middle class, further enriching a minority, privileged, and largely parasitic elite class) was halted and reversed:The strength of any nation's economy is hugely dependent upon the spending power of its middle (and working) class. Our middle class (and working people all over) have their backs against the wall, while the minority mega-wealthy elites are getting all the breaks.

So, for all the Friedmanite and/or Keynesian afficionados here, (and others) what are the solutions... if any?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Lobbying is not the same thing as bribery. Those two things are not equal.

Tell that to the physical therapists who would like to open up private offices but cannot, because the medical lobby has paid a sum of money to public officials' campaigns and asked them to block professional access to physical therapists in return.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

So, for all the Friedmanite and/or Keynesian afficionados here, (and others) what are the solutions... if any?

Reasonably high flat tax with a very high standard deduction. Tax credit for jobs creation.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Real progress empowers the individual by elevating a person's uniqueness and their special role within their community. Much of what gets advertised as technological progress today actually does the opposite and reduces elements of human labor and intelligence into a numerical value to be bought and sold like a commodity. Large and inherently fragile institutions (regardless if they're corporate or governmental) rarely expand individual freedom and create new innovations and genuine opportunities for the development of the middle class. More often than not, large institutions seem systemically biased to only create more effective chains.

Large corporations and governments commodify, small ones modify.
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Reasonably high flat tax with a very high standard deduction. Tax credit for jobs creation.

By "flat tax", do you mean a uniform percentage of income, from abject poverty right up to gazillionaire status?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

By "flat tax", do you mean a uniform percentage of income, from abject poverty right up to gazillionaire status?

Yep. But at a high rate. With a high standard deduction for everyone. Something like 50% for every dollar earned over $100,000. The rate would be adjusted annually according to budget requirements, and tied to a balanced budget amendment, but the standard deduction would be adjusted only for inflation. That way, for every dollar you want to spend bombing Muslims, you increase the tax rate accordingly, but it doesn't affect the middle class at all. For every dollar you cut, the tax rate for the rich and upper middle class can go down. But it's always tied together.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
‎"Steve was very fast thinking and wanted to do things, I wanted to build things, I think Atlas Shrugged was one of his guides in life."- The Woz [on Steve Jobs] @ http://www.electronista.com/articles...tion.from.ceo/
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Tell that to the physical therapists who would like to open up private offices but cannot, because the medical lobby has paid a sum of money to public officials' campaigns and asked them to block professional access to physical therapists in return.

There may or may not be a quid pro quo. At the end of the people and groups have a right to donate money to people they want to support. Lobbying is part of the process of putting you case in front of politicians. To curtail that is to revoke some amount of freedom. One of the problems is that politicians use these laws to carve our special exceptions. After Citizens United the democrats want to reduce corporate speech but leave unions untouched. I wonder why?

So there you see is the problem. Every solution to "fix" a problem reduces freedom and creates a system that can be manipulated unfairly. So let's not.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

There may or may not be a quid pro quo. At the end of the people and groups have a right to donate money to people they want to support. Lobbying is part of the process of putting you case in front of politicians. To curtail that is to revoke some amount of freedom. One of the problems is that politicians use these laws to carve our special exceptions. After Citizens United the democrats want to reduce corporate speech but leave unions untouched. I wonder why?

So there you see is the problem. Every solution to "fix" a problem reduces freedom and creates a system that can be manipulated unfairly. So let's not.

Why not simply make all donations strictly anonymous, and any disclosure an ethics violation?

We currently have a system that is definitely being manipulated unfairly, and it's made a mess of the country. Not every reduction in freedom is worse than the alternative, as we can see from our lack of freedom to give money to a jury member.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The lobbying system is not a question of free speech when campaign contributions are involved. It's a question of bribery and corruption.

There should be a disclosure when these big campaign contributions come through where is this money coming from? Transparency like Obama stated in his speeches years ago.Sadly you are right what you say.It is pathetic what is going on in the political system today.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

There should be a disclosure when these big campaign contributions come through where is this money coming from? Transparency like Obama stated in his speeches years ago.Sadly you are right what you say.It is pathetic what is going on in the political system today.

There is disclosure, and limits on contributions. But with PAC lobbying and collective donation, that doesn't mean very much. I think we should continue to limit donation amount, and make donations completely anonymous, especially between the donor and the recipient, in order to avoid political favors.
post #31 of 34
Limits on contributions encourage corrupt work arounds. Witness all the money that Obama got from prepaid cards that cannot be tracked. "Foreign secret money" I think.
post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 
A healthy middle class is sustained when an economy has a robust oscillating process between the creative ability of individuals on one side of the socioeconomic system and the commodifying powers of collectives (govs and corps) on the other. When a country is lopsided towards large commodifying collectives (which are structurally biased towards making people either equally poor or equally dependent on it), the middle class eventually erodes.
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commodification View Post

Big Corporations like to state they're the ones creating new technologies and new jobs, but in reality they tend to only commodify ones from pre-existing industries. The vast majority of new jobs and new (previously non-existing) opportunites come from small independent companies. If our economic ecosystem does not foster the continued development and speciation of small companies then our economy and the government which lives off taxing it will continue to starve.

In order to make our country healthier and more durable we need to detach ourselves from inherently fragile large corporations that are overly optimized for short term profits. These large corporations are too dependent on the government welding it's regulatory power in order to create an artificially-stable and less free socioeconomic system to protect them. We need the proliferation of more small and medium sized companies that have built-in redundancies with integrated dual functionality that allow them to evolve easier and better endure the shocks and randomness of freedom.

It's not hard to see that in many ways the American middle class is worse off than it was 30 years ago, even though we have adopted a vast amount of technological advancements in that period. The problem I believe is centered around that types of tools that have advanced in those three decades contrary to types of tools that have not. This is caused by the size of institutions who had access to the required capital and resources to do the advancing. Large institutions make tools and technologies that empower their large size by giving them greater control over large amounts of people in order for them to create their own economic biosphere. Smaller companies tend to create tools and technologies that maximize their limited resources and empowering small groups to be nimble and quicker to adapt to the ever changing economic landscape. If our economy seems stagnant and slow to adapt, it's the result of us wrongly empowering too many large corporations which through mergers and acquisitions eventually bestowed too much power to a stagnant select few. Big government creates big corporations. Large institutions tend to innovate less on their own and rely on consuming/buying smaller creative companies as a strategic method to progress. This plan stops working when big government and big corps have colluded for decades until it reached a point where they stiffled and killed the innovative engine of the independent small company. These large institutions have created tools and technologies that have mostly benefitted themselves while at the same time they unintentionally eroded the middle class and the small and medium size companies that create it.

You are telling me that small companies are the backbone of the economy and we should start to stimulate more money to them so our employment situation will get stronger and better.
post #34 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

You are telling me that small companies are the backbone of the economy and we should start to stimulate more money to them so our employment situation will get stronger and better.

We certainly need to be investing more money into small companies instead of pumping money into large corporations and allowing the government to continue to create more regulations that only help protect large corps from real competition by making it exponentially harder for small companies to survive.
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
Reply
We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

Join 'The New Middle Class Movement' @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ne...45269528896164
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