Saturday, July 04, 2009


Reading a troll comment at another blog about the libruls being parasitical on the country really brought me up sharp. With almost a decade of wingnuts sucking the blood of the working people of this country, it takes amazing incomprehension of reality to arrive at the concept that the progressives are taking something away from the society.

By reducing taxes on the business segment, jobs were supposed to be produced, and the economy made more prosperous. Jobs going overseas in manufacturing was supposed to be replaced by high-tech jobs, and U.S. workers all rising into a higher pay scale and better conditions. As we know by observation, quite the reverse has been true. Yet no attempt to counteract that effect has been made, and the U.S. worker, and economy, have come to disastrous loss of earning power.

Noam Chomsky gave a lecture on this recently that bears a bit of attention from us all.

It’s always well to keep in mind a astute observation by Adam Smith about policy formation in England. He recognized that what he called the “principal architects” of policy—in his day, the merchants and manufacturers—make sure that their own interests are most peculiarly attended to, however grievous the impact on others, including the people of England, but far more so those who were subjected to what he called the “savage injustice of the Europeans,” and particularly in conquered India, his own prime concern. We can easily think of analogs today. His observation, in fact, is one of the few solid and enduring principles of international and domestic affairs well to keep in mind.
Along with the fact that bailing out banks is not uppermost in the minds of the billion people now facing starvation, not forgetting the tens of millions enduring hunger in the richest country in the world, well, also sidelined is an easy way to make a significant dent in the financial and the food crises. It’s suggested by the publication a couple days ago of the authoritative annual report on military spending by SIPRI, the Swedish peace research institute, the scale of military spending is phenomenal, regularly increasing, this last year as well. Now, the US is responsible for almost as much as the rest of the world combined, seven times as much as its nearest rival, China. No need to waste time commenting.

This distribution of concerns reflects another crisis here, kind of a cultural crisis, that is the tendency to focus on short-term parochial games. That’s a core element of our socioeconomic institutions and the ideological support system on which they rest. One example, now prominent, is the array of perverse incentives that are devised for corporate managers to enrich themselves. And, for example, what’s called the “too big too fail” insurance policies that are provided by the unwitting public. And deeper ones. They’re just inherent in market inefficiencies.
Well, in substantial measure, the food crisis plaguing much of the South and the financial crisis of the North have common roots, namely the shift towards neoliberalism since the 1970s. That brought to an end the postwar, post-Second World War, Bretton Woods system that was instituted by the United States and Britain right after World War II. It had two architects: John Maynard Keynes of Britain and Harry Dexter White in the United States. And they anticipated that its core principles, which included capital controls and regulated currencies—they anticipated that these principles would lead to relatively balanced economic growth and would also free governments to institute the social democratic programs, welfare state programs, that had enormous public support around the world.

And to a large extent, they were vindicated on both counts. In fact, many economists call the years that followed, until the 1970s, the “Golden Age of Capitalism.” That Golden Age led not only to unprecedented and relatively egalitarian growth, but also the introduction of welfare state measures. Keynes and White were perfectly well aware that free capital movement and speculation inhibit these options. Professional economics literature points out what should be obvious, that the free flow of capital creates what is sometimes called a “virtual senate” of lenders and investors who carry out a moment-by-moment referendum on government policies, and if they find that they’re irrational, meaning they help people instead of profits, then they vote against them, by capital flight, by tax on the country, and so on. So the democratic governments have a dual constituency, their own population and the virtual senate, who typically prevail. And for the poor, that means regular disaster. (Emphasis added.)

That short term profits, at corporations, have been substituted for development of long-term profitability has resulted in executives directing all profit to themselves - rather than profits for the firm, with its many employees and shareholders.

The controls that the past maladministration removed were keeping the economy from tanking, and by removing them the right wing has preyed on us all. The parasitical aim of the right wing is to keep the worker from profiting from the labor that we put out, and take as much away as we can stand. Of course, they're exceeded the limits and produced a worldwide economic crisis.

It will take a long time to recover and it will take the release of control - or taking away of control from those moneyed interests. Without control of the business community, they destroy themselves. We've learned the lesson again.

The wealth of a society cannot be taken away from the members of that society without destroying it.

Celebrate Independence Day.

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