Year End Editorial: The Heartless “Inefficiencies” Of Today's Vulture Capitalism!
Pope Francis' insightful comments about capitalism got me to ponder the state of capitalism as practiced here in the USA. While chest thumping right-wing corporate shills like to portray capitalism as a system where anyone with just hard work can become a self-made millionaire or even billionaire, nothing is further from the truth. The reality is that in many cases, favorable legislation bought by campaign contributions gives “self-made” billionaires and the corps. that they own the leg up that they need to “succeed.” It sure is helpful to have a bought friend in Congress or the Senate or the Statehouse.
Let's take a look at an imaginary catalog of goodies to see some of the things that a well placed campaign contribution has bought many “generous” millionaires and billionaires. Is a pesky regulation standing in the way of your profits Mr. Billionaire? No problem, your owned elected can sponsor legislation that will exempt you or water down that regulation. Are unions bothering you when they have the nerve to ask for a living wage? Your owned elected can take care of that post haste with union busting legislation. Want to offshore jobs Mr. Billionaire Job Creator? No problem, your owned elected will fight for lower trade tariffs and support “free” trade agreements. Need money? No problem, your elected could get you a subsidy. Isn't capitalism wonderful? Yes, for the rich.
The best way that I can describe how today's capitalism manifests itself in the USA is by saying--The many shall. suffer so the few shall prosper. The average citizen is suffering a slow death of a thousand cuts. How are we suffering? Let me count the ways:
1- When corporate owned electeds give out special tax breaks and subsidies to their well to do sponsors, it adds to the deficit. Guess who has to pay for that?
2- Endless wars are “encouraged” by defense contractors who constantly remind their owned electeds where their bread is buttered. Guess who has to pay for that in both money and lives?
3- When owned electeds rant that government regulations are hurting our “job creators”, it means that they are going to try to eliminate a regulation that hurts one of their wealthy sponsors, even if it helps you.
4- Money from corporations and the super rich shout to the people that we elected to represent our interests, while our votes only whisper. Self-serving politicians know that they need our votes only once in an election term, but need their wealthy owners 365 days a year.
5- Thanks to years of deregulation, most U.S. radio and television stations are owned by a handful of mega-corps who have turned them into corporate propaganda ministries. So much for free speech or a free press.
6- When government functions are privatized, a new layer of corporate middlemen add to the costs of performing that function. Imagine how healthcare costs would go down if we nationalized healthcare and used the savings to protect EVERYONE, not just those who can afford it.
7- All of the concessions that are “given” to the previously mentioned princes of capitalism by our electeds have to be paid for. Our electeds know that and are prepared to sacrifice our present and future to do it. That's why we hear them demanding cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education, unemployment, you name it. They are hurting us to help their wealthy owners.
The brand of capitalism that we have today has nothing to do with earned rewards that come from taking a risk, it's about corps. and the rich pocketing profits and getting their losses paid for by government bailouts. Heads they win, tails we lose. Although it is said that power corrupts, under today's capitalism money is power and corrupts absolutely! Keep that in mind as we begin 2014 and make a resolution to work together with me and your fellow Americans to weed out the corruption of government and of our system by those members of the private sector who would game the system and undermine the American way of life!
1/20/2014 05:42:05 am
Capitalism works for capitalists. Problem is 90% of Americans are not capitalists, they are employees. Most of their 'capital' is tied up in housing, the rest in non-performing stocks. Median household net worth is the same now as in 1990 -- $77,000. Since 1979, average income of the bottom 90% declined $900, while that of the top 1% increased $700,000.
1/20/2014 09:23:32 am
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