As we face the future of the EU zone, it appears more clearly that the cost of survival to EU of capitalism cannot be found without its abandonment of the predatory version that has been its model since the Milton Friedman model took over the Economics profession. By contrast, the only Social Democratic country to be tested in this period was Iceland, which allowed its economically irresponsible banks to go bankrupt and used its economic muscle to nationalize them, doing better than USA has done by nationalizing the debt and bailing out the bankers. Socialism without the medieval tradition of Russia or China has given Scandinavia a democratic social structure without a history of brutal suppression of counter-revolutionary forces and a history of gulags. And these countries are among those with superlative scores for social contentment, with only a few of the wealthier countries joining them for what must be reckoned as economic success. Yet the propaganda machine of predatory capitalism has persuaded the likes of the USA electorate that those gulags are the unavoidable products of even the mildest forms of social thinking, and they also ignore the prosperity of the people who live that way, in most cases without significant mineral resources. As we watch Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland teeter on the edge of the ash pit of predatory capitalism, with which they are threatened by the failed EU adoption of this 300-year old model of supposed automaticprosperity, it is time for us to learn what we need from Lord Keynes and FDR.
Monday, May 21, 2012
In recent years, we have seen a new form of truth appearing on the public scene. Things which were once known to be true have been effectively rendered false and vice versa by the simple stratagem of having them repeated endlessly as such by persons who hold positions that used to vouch for their veracity. As an example, the Secretary of State continues to refer to Iran as being a democracy until 1979, although the clear historical record establishes that the Shah’s regime was a military dictatorship from the time of the overthrow of the elected government by the action of the US and UK in1953. Still, Hillary Clinton continues to maintain the contrary and the historically ignorant US populace seems to accept that the support of the US government rendered Shah’s regime democratically pure. It is a shame to keep repeating lies like that, even when the lies are governmentally concocted instead of being purchased from private media corporations. At this moment the Walker administration is presenting the lie that if they can change the current rules on counting the gains and losses of jobs in WI, the losses last year can be magically transformed into gains. If the Koch billions can change the meaning, as for example by just asking the employers, then the deeper pockets can triumph over the more recent ways of counting. By the time the Labor Department gets around to denouncing the switch, the Kochs may have solidified their ownership of the government of WI. The Truth is not for sale, even for billions.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
In this last week’s news we finally have a picture of where the billionaires’ lobby is reaching, as heard from their chosen lackey. Scott Walker is on tape about his plan to divide and conquer Wisconsin working people and reduce them to brand of servitude lower than that they have seen for almost 100 years. There is not even a hint of the limitation of employer arbitrariness almost unknown since the New Deal. For a nation founded on equality, it is shameful that they are hopeful of reducing to mockery the
goal of equal justice under law, and to restore the image of a people who are cruelly ruled by a rich minority. What is even more shameful is the eagerness of some in a State founded on the Enlightenment to be ruled by a badly educated puppet on behalf of billionaires who have no inkling of the ideals of justice and due process as it came to us through Jefferson, Lincoln and the Roosevelts. We pride ourselves as a free people. The greed of the plutocrats is a danger to that autonomy. The Constitution is our shield against that greed and the loss of our freedom to what Teddy Roosevelt called “malefactors of great wealth”. To defend ourselves we must know who we are and who seeks to use us. Our salvation remains the ballot box.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Supreme Court has not actually decreed that someone who has a billion dollars is entitled to a billion votes but when analyzing the fruitfulness of their campaigns, they concentrate as much on the money as on the voters. If the analysts are right then maybe that opening line is not as far off the mark as it should be. And since the same Court guarantees anonymity to the funders of campaign ads, how do you know who is telling you things that you might actually believe? If there isn’t a signature line on the ad, you should discount what you are told exactly. The art of lying in ads is something taught as PR in all the business schools, and the billionaires get what they pay for. So unless you Know well who is jerking your strings, you should lump them all with the “Swift boat veterans” and drop their stories into the round file. What can be bought can be shaped to the purchasers’ liking, especially if they get to rely on your natural credulousness. When the Court makes no room for knowing who is counting on the voters’ good nature, and giving the PR hirelings free rein to hide their motivations, you must know that money talks, and the big bucks talk the loudest, just as if every billionaire had all those billions of extra votes.