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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #13401
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    woof

  2. #13402
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    Like, don't get me wrong. They're in Quebec but it isn't a race thing. The federal government has been pumping up the Quebec economy to suppress its separatist movement, often with little oversight of the money being spent there. English Canadian corporations are as rapaciously greedy and corrupting as any, but when you have the kinds of policies pursued by the federal government in Quebec it just invites rampant white collar crime. That's why when you page through the list of Canadian federal political scandals, scroll through the people and organizations investigated or indicted, and it's like... French name, French name, MP from Quebec, PMO chief of staff with English name but... oh look, actually from Quebec, corporation from Quebec, subsidiary from Quebec.

    The Sponsorship Scandal happened because the federal Liberals tried to pump up the Quebec advertising industry, and ended up creating sinecures. The Conservatives rejected a competitive IT services bid from Ontario-based TPG in order to give the job to Montreal-based CGI. Bombardier is a major Quebec employer whose bids are no longer being entertained by potential customers because they literally cannot deliver, but who cares, the government will pay their workers to do nothing. SNC-Lavalin is another major employer, and the reason their criminal prosecution must be stopped is because the penalty is a 10 year ban from federal jobs (and that's where literally all of their money comes from). The maple syrup cartel is protected for Quebec jobs. The Canadian government should have compromised on dairy during NAFTA 2 negotiations, but refused because of Quebec dairy farmers. The equalization payments formula that undervalues Quebec hydro power to ensure they're always a 'have not' province, even while their economy booms and Ontario is basically Michigan North.

    All of this bull****, probably bloating up Canada's white collar crime rate by thousands of percent, all just to keep Quebec from voting on independence again. This is bad for everybody.

  3. #13403
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    Are you sure it's not because French genes lend themselves to immorality and corruption???

  4. #13404
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    Oh yeah, another great example. Less criminal, but indicating government priorities.

    When the Liberals came into office there were two pipelines planned to cross Canada. One would have carried Alberta dilbit east, across the garbage unusable Canadian shield, to refineries and open ports on the east coast. The other would have carried Alberta dilbit west, across national parks, protected habitats, First Nations land, to a treacherous waterway in a section of protected BC coastline.

    The pipeline east was strongly opposed by residents of Quebec. Blocking the pipeline was a Liberal Party campaign promise, and they saw to it.

    The pipeline west was strongly opposed by residents of BC. Kinder Morgan decided the pipeline wasn't going to be profitable anymore, so the Liberal Party is buying it from them for $4.5 billion and maybe they'll even finish it some day (the estimated total cost for completing construction is $15-20 billion).



    So, like, whatever I guess? Quebec populism is satisfied, and the federal government gets to point at something to say - hey, look, our hand wringing about east coast separatism doesn't guarantee you'll lose money by investing in Canada! If it becomes a problem we'll just buy you out! Everybody wins!

  5. #13405
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Are you sure it's not because French genes lend themselves to immorality and corruption???
    I've been wrong before, but I'm pretty sure.

  6. #13406
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    I just felt the need to clarify this because saberopus said "woof", and it made me think that if you're not familiar with Canadian politics it might seem, like, kinda racist to belabor the fact that they're from French Canada.

  7. #13407
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    Oh yeah. That was a generalized woof for the whole scenario, not any apparent racism or whatever.

  8. #13408
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    Payless just announced they're closing all of their US stores.

    Totally unrelated, but mfw when major retailer after major retailer go under after leveraged buyouts by private equity, large retail space left empty by landlords, and yet somehow real estate and primarily cash businesses keep booming

    🤔

  9. #13409
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Payless just announced they're closing all of their US stores.

    Totally unrelated, but mfw when major retailer after major retailer go under after leveraged buyouts by private equity, large retail space left empty by landlords, and yet somehow real estate and primarily cash businesses keep booming

    🤔
    I mean Fentanyl Fanatics would make a great store name if it wouldn't get shut down.

  10. #13410
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    I mean, also, the system of shopping in America was obviously unsustainable. I seriously don't know who has the time to "go shopping". I barely have time to do my laundry on the weekends. I already know my shoe size, what brands I like. I also don't want to waste money driving for no reason.

    Why would I go to Payless, ever, when I can just buy what I want online and return it if it ends up ****ty? That's the real problem now, stores are a massive timesink and have limited selection.

  11. #13411
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    And to think, just a few decades ago Sears expanded into retail because their customers overwhelmingly demanded a “going shopping” experience, despite the added time and driving.

    HMMMMM.

  12. #13412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    And to think, just a few decades ago Sears expanded into retail because their customers overwhelmingly demanded a “going shopping” experience, despite the added time and driving.

    HMMMMM.
    They could possibly do so if they tried to do something, you know, experiential. Being forced to talk to people awkwardly harassing you to buy something is not an experience. Also no way they could recruit the talent needed to try and make buying a mattress in any way fun. Minimum wage = minimum effort. Oh sorry, "millenials are so lazy".

    In the end though it will never compete with bars or restaurants, or locations which you actually want to go. Murano glass isn't going anywhere, because tourism to Venice isn't going anywhere until the city washes into the Mediterranean. But a Sears? I guess if you want to hang out with the addicts in the half-closed mall, then go have fun? Or hang out in a strip mall anywhere. They're not attractive destinations.

    Seriously, going to a mall to me feels like making a visit to a Soviet politburo or something. Unwelcoming looking places, feel like you're being watched, feel like you're being pressured into certain behaviors. I utterly despise those places.

    I mean, markets are cool and all, but America wasted a massive amount of resources building unsustainable, hideous monuments. And now that computer technology and smart business reduced the overhead for distribution, it's all going to rot.

    Of course, not entirely their fault. The world economy has changed drastically in the past 20 years.

  13. #13413
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    BTW, we should mention at some point that Mike Pence went to Poland to try and get all of the European fascists on board with nuking Iran. It went horribly, fortunately, but if anyone thinks the Trump administration isn't actively trying to start a war they aren't paying attention to what they're doing. Trump would love a war, and just imagine the opportunities for more emergencies!

  14. #13414
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    You say “words” but kinda overlooking the fact that retail used to be decent. Retail was a viable career, dude. The people who used to sell you a mattress weren’t making minimum wage, they were making a living wage plus commission.

  15. #13415
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    Like, seriously, malls exist because back in the 70s and 80s people really DID make a day out of shopping. People didn’t feel like it was a waste of time, either. But most people back then had the free time and enough discretionary income to justify a trip to the mall to blow cash. NOT coincidentally, that went out at around the same time living wage+commission sales jobs did.

    You are literally looking at the corpse of the middle class and scatching your head at it. lol, of course you don’t understand what you’re looking at! It’s extinct!

  16. #13416
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    Computer technology and smart business (?) didn’t obsolete malls. **** no. The reason malls are being outmoded by Amazon is because spending money isn’t fun anymore. Period. Amazon is a utilitarian way of getting in with your money and out with exactly the purchase you want, at the lowest price out there.

    No more making a day of it. No more window shopping after buying what you need. No more eating at the food court, or catching a quick movie just because you’re already out and you have the time. Because you don’t have the time. Or the money. You’ve got exactly 10 minutes to order your flour sack dress because those fields ain’t gonna toil on themselves, and if you don’t like it, too bad, because your raise is someone else’s inflation and we just can’t ****ing afford it right now. It’s a return to the Sears ****ing Catalog and the gilded age that gave birth to it. All you can do is pray to god that the financial sector flips its **** and starts gassing Jews in some other country so you get to call yourselves heroes again, because otherwise they’ll do it in yours.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 02-16-2019 at 10:18 PM.

  17. #13417
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    Well heck, as long as I’m talking about how the finance sector is responsible for every evil in the modern world, maybe you folks would like to play a little game with me? I call it: guess who really started the war.

    Let’s start with the Civil War. Was it started by:

    A.) Northern industrialists who lobbied the government to minimize the federal influence of slave states.

    B.) An expansionist federal government who asserted powers over the states that were not devolved to it by the constitution.

    C.) Racist plantation owners who recoiled with violence at the suggestion black people deserved rights.

    D.) Southern financiers who fueled a speculative bubble in slaves by offering cheap credit for leveraged slave purchase, whose assets were about to turn into uncollateralized pumpkins at the strike of emancipation o’clock.

    Oh sorry I guess the name of the game spoiled the ****ing answer.

  18. #13418
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    I guess the Stalin was the last evil made not by the financial sector.

  19. #13419
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    BTW, we should mention at some point that Mike Pence went to Poland to try and get all of the European fascists on board with nuking Iran. It went horribly, fortunately, but if anyone thinks the Trump administration isn't actively trying to start a war they aren't paying attention to what they're doing. Trump would love a war, and just imagine the opportunities for more emergencies!
    It's a real problem that Americans refuse to understand what happens elsewhere in the world in any way except through the prism of their own domestic politics (and a perennial problem, at that).

    The idea that some have espoused that the Iraq War will be the template for some kind of conflict between US allies and Iran is really off base. A war between Israel and Iran is becoming increasing likely, but not because the Trump admin is actively seeking a war. It has more to do with local dynamics in Syria than the sentiment of anti-Iran hawks in Washington, or with anything related to the Iran nuclear deal. But Americans like to pretend that geopolitics is just one big morality play, so...
    Last edited by Eversor; 02-17-2019 at 09:48 AM.

  20. #13420
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    Yeah I'm small-minded, thanks for taking the time to post.

  21. #13421
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    Now that I'm up and have coffee and am not working.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Computer technology and smart business (?) didn’t obsolete malls. **** no. The reason malls are being outmoded by Amazon is because spending money isn’t fun anymore. Period. Amazon is a utilitarian way of getting in with your money and out with exactly the purchase you want, at the lowest price out there.

    No more making a day of it. No more window shopping after buying what you need. No more eating at the food court, or catching a quick movie just because you’re already out and you have the time. Because you don’t have the time. Or the money. You’ve got exactly 10 minutes to order your flour sack dress because those fields ain’t gonna toil on themselves, and if you don’t like it, too bad, because your raise is someone else’s inflation and we just can’t ****ing afford it right now. It’s a return to the Sears ****ing Catalog and the gilded age that gave birth to it. All you can do is pray to god that the financial sector flips its **** and starts gassing Jews in some other country so you get to call yourselves heroes again, because otherwise they’ll do it in yours.
    You're speaking to someone who didn't experience adulthood before the recession, so, yeah, I have no idea what the U.S. was like on that level. I have family who complain about food prices like they're surprised when a cheap meal is now $8. As if that hasn't been the standard for me.

    Maybe yeah, when people had decent incomes and free time that stuff would be fun. As you point out, that's not the world we live in.

    My comment on Amazon being a smarter business was precisely that: they're a utilitarian way of getting in and out. That's exactly how people want to experience shopping today. The trend is, of course, completely toxic and awful. But that doesn't mean Amazon isn't playing the trend like a pro and completely destroying U.S. retail in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Well heck, as long as I’m talking about how the finance sector is responsible for every evil in the modern world, maybe you folks would like to play a little game with me? I call it: guess who really started the war.

    Let’s start with the Civil War. Was it started by:

    A.) Northern industrialists who lobbied the government to minimize the federal influence of slave states.

    B.) An expansionist federal government who asserted powers over the states that were not devolved to it by the constitution.

    C.) Racist plantation owners who recoiled with violence at the suggestion black people deserved rights.

    D.) Southern financiers who fueled a speculative bubble in slaves by offering cheap credit for leveraged slave purchase, whose assets were about to turn into uncollateralized pumpkins at the strike of emancipation o’clock.

    Oh sorry I guess the name of the game spoiled the ****ing answer.
    Where did you read about Southern financiers starting the war to protect their assets? Was it just to preserve slavery so they could recompensate, or were they trying to profiteer off of the war?

  22. #13422
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    Hi, Eversor!

  23. #13423
    I don't think Jon is entirely right about the malls. From my perspective, there is rarely any store of interest to me left in a mall. Before, I could spend hours circling around Waldenbooks, Babbages, Suncoast, and their like while my wife was shopping or looking in clothing and shoe stores. I might even make some purchases in those stores. With eCommerce I was much more likely to purchase online if there was a fair price difference and pretty much all of those stores went away. Eventually even KB went away and now there's just Gamestop which no longer appeals to me. So, basically, most of the stores in the mall are clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. Basically nothing I'm interested in seeing on an extended shopping trip. I make virtually all of my non-grocery and non-automotive (although a good chunk) online. I'm not trying to say my experience explains the entire situation, I just think it's a gross oversimplification to say the reason is people don't have the time or money. Having said that, my eyes really have been opened as far as how bad it must be for some people. The town I lived in, Manhattan, Kansas, was generally pretty terrible for pay for the "regular guy". The school district I worked for would start a custodian out at $9.50 per hour and that was considered pretty good pay in that town. There weren't a lot of those jobs.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  24. #13424
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Yeah I'm small-minded, thanks for taking the time to post.
    Still taking things personally, I see...

  25. #13425
    Quote Originally Posted by saberopus View Post
    Hi, Eversor!
    Hi!

  26. #13426
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Still taking things personally, I see...
    There are a multitude of ways to express what you expressed without the condescension. Not taking it personally.

  27. #13427
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    There are a multitude of ways to express what you expressed without the condescension. Not taking it personally.
    But you are taking it personally. Because you're assuming that I was passing some kind of judgment about you.

  28. #13428
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Still taking things personally, I see...
    I read Reid's admission of being small minded as simply stating a fact, and therefore as a sign of humility (rather than sarcasm).

  29. #13429
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    You read it wrong, then

  30. #13430
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I read Reid's admission of being small minded as simply stating a fact, and therefore as a sign of humility (rather than sarcasm).
    Hell yeah.

  31. #13431
    I think I just confused everyone (including myself)

  32. #13432

  33. #13433
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Where did you read about Southern financiers starting the war to protect their assets? Was it just to preserve slavery so they could recompensate, or were they trying to profiteer off of the war?
    Nowhere. I'm extrapolating. Political economists have spent the last few years resurrecting the financial history of the antebellum period, so it's a topic that comes up a lot if you pay attention to what they're doing.

    It's now a matter of record that the south had a complex system of financial derivatives ultimately based on leveraged slave speculation. The public and media at the time were preeminently concerned about slave prices over commodities prices (e.g. press coverage of the Dred Scott decision). Just like stock markets today, the value of the capital (slave) became unhinged from the value they could realistically produce, and just like markets today, this was a result of irresponsible policies and regulations ("Reagan-like").

    The term I've seen used most often to describe the threat of abolition w.r.t. southern finance is "existential". And we all know how finance responds to existential threats:

    Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia.
    By the way, a lot of the financial history of the Civil War was more or less intentionally buried to tie up the evils of slavery in a nice neat "racist south" package. The north was complicit in the exploitation of slave labor, even if they didn't participate directly. For example, look into New York's governance before and during the Civil War. Finance wanted New York to secede in solidarity with the ****ing south!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    I don't think Jon is entirely right about the malls. From my perspective, there is rarely any store of interest to me left in a mall. Before, I could spend hours circling around Waldenbooks, Babbages, Suncoast, and their like while my wife was shopping or looking in clothing and shoe stores. I might even make some purchases in those stores. With eCommerce I was much more likely to purchase online if there was a fair price difference and pretty much all of those stores went away. Eventually even KB went away and now there's just Gamestop which no longer appeals to me. So, basically, most of the stores in the mall are clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. Basically nothing I'm interested in seeing on an extended shopping trip. I make virtually all of my non-grocery and non-automotive (although a good chunk) online. I'm not trying to say my experience explains the entire situation, I just think it's a gross oversimplification to say the reason is people don't have the time or money.
    The whole business model of a shopping mall was to drive impulse/convenience purchases off of general leisure time. Mall stores have always had higher markup than non-mall stores; e-commerce didn't make those stores less competitive, people started getting more choosy.

    I mean, you literally said you used to spend the whole day at a mall, making impulse buys while your wife shopped for clothes, and now you aren't doing that anymore. That's my whole thesis, lol.

  34. #13434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Nowhere. I'm extrapolating. Political economists have spent the last few years resurrecting the financial history of the antebellum period, so it's a topic that comes up a lot if you pay attention to what they're doing.

    It's now a matter of record that the south had a complex system of financial derivatives ultimately based on leveraged slave speculation. The public and media at the time were preeminently concerned about slave prices over commodities prices (e.g. press coverage of the Dred Scott decision). Just like stock markets today, the value of the capital (slave) became unhinged from the value they could realistically produce, and just like markets today, this was a result of irresponsible policies and regulations ("Reagan-like").

    The term I've seen used most often to describe the threat of abolition w.r.t. southern finance is "existential". And we all know how finance responds to existential threats:
    I suppose that does make more sense of why people were willing to push the country to the brink debating over which states would be free or slave states. If you're leveraging to give loans to plantations and other slave-based industries, there's nothing which will make you happier than expansion of slave labor, increasing the value of your loans and keeping you solvent.

    Any references re: finance in the antebellum south?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    By the way, a lot of the financial history of the Civil War was more or less intentionally buried to tie up the evils of slavery in a nice neat "racist south" package. The north was complicit in the exploitation of slave labor, even if they didn't participate directly. For example, look into New York's governance before and during the Civil War. Finance wanted New York to secede in solidarity with the ****ing south!
    I mean, derivatives are derivatives, no reason someone in New York wouldn't take up some of that slave debt if they could profit. Makes me wonder what the economic incentives were for free staters. I guess business wants to expand where it can either way, so keeping out the competition is good.

  35. #13435
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    Since we're on the topic of economics, let's talk about the myths about the Treaty of Versailles.

    Well we all already know the truth: the Treaty of Versailles was an excessively punitive, humiliating treaty for Germany which result in mass inflation and is partially responsible for the rise of Nazism. Right!?

    Actually, no, that's not really the case at all. Let's look at the Franco-Prussian war. France lost. They were made to give up territory, and Germany occupied France until a sum total of 5 billion francs was paid. 5 billion is quite a bit of money:

    The 5 billion gold marks, converted using the retail price index in 2011, was worth 342 billion. Converted using the GDP deflater it amounted to 479 billion and substantially more according to other comparisons such as GDP per head.
    You're basically looking at about 400 billion USD when updated to today's dollars paid from France to Germany, in full. Compare that then to the Treaty of Versailles indemnities:

    In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks (then $31.4 billion or £6.6 billion, roughly equivalent to US $442 billion or UK £284 billion in 2019).
    So, basically, the amount tacked onto Germany for WWI, a war which mind you completely devastated France and Belgium, was hardly more than Germany extracted from France post the Franco-Prussian war. Yet, the French economy didn't collapse, or go through hyperinflation. So why did the German economy? Well, it's because Germany has a history of being really terrible at managing money. Germany financed WWI by taking out foreign loans. These amounted to so much that, by the end of the war, about 90% of the budget was going to paying off the interest of loans.

    But didn't Foch say:

    This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.
    Isn't this proof that they saw the Treaty of Versailles as too harsh??

    **** no. In fact, if you actually read what Foch thought, it was the 100% exact opposite. He said this because he believed Germany, if not occupied and contained, would simply use its surviving industry and light punishment to rebuild the army and attack again. He was basically literally right that the Treaty of Versailles would not work to contain German aggression.

    Germany also didn't pay ****. Havenstein deliberately sabotaged the economy to try and get reparations reduced. The idea that the French occupation was any less harsh than the German one in 1871 is a joke.

    Part of the myth comes from the fact that the British and French governments basically lied about how harsh the treaties were to appease their citizens. Germany was worse. They lied to their citizens claiming they didn't even lose the war, lol. Their propaganda about the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles was basically just that, and it's the same propaganda from the same people who would start the "stabbed in the back" myth and begin implicating Jews in Germany's defeat. So while it's not exactly Nazi propaganda, it's about as close as you can be without actually being Nazi propaganda.

    In any case, yeah, the World Wars are a huge case of the defeated writing much of the history. The causes of WWII are a huge one. Germany, if you could personify it, was a sore loser and couldn't accept defeat and basically destroyed Europe as a result.

    I'm really starting to hate apologists for Imperial Germany. The country was a ****ty, aggressive belligerent nightmare that didn't get punished enough and still decided to ruin half of everything and create the worst genocides for no good reason.

  36. #13436
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    Also the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a million times harsher than the Treaty of Versailles and what the Germans had planned for the French was harsher as well. But that didn't stop the Germans from whining and pretending to be victims in a war they legitimately do bear alot of the responsibility for.

  37. #13437
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    Also, you know, in case you were wondering what people mean when they say Poland is slipping into fascism:



    The TL;DW is a far-right group won control of parliament* and the presidency and are ignoring the constitution and supreme court. The EU can't level any punishment as Hungary, another EU member with a far-right president, is vetoing any punishment on Poland.

    Fun stuff.
    Last edited by Reid; 02-17-2019 at 09:08 PM.

  38. #13438
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    Is admission into American Ivy League schools based on merit alone? I'm asking due to learning of certain public figures having been in Ivy League schools.
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  39. #13439
    Based on family donations mostly (is the word on the factory floor)
    sniff

  40. #13440
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    It's based on merit, as merit is defined under capitalism.

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