Posted 10 years ago on Sept. 15, 2012, 4:44 p.m. EST by Carroll
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Capitalism--so many flavors to chose from.
There's State Capitalism of the Soviet Union, idiotic central planning propped up by a totalitarian party.
Or the Corporate Capitalism of Italy and Germany between the wars that bred insanity to the march of machinery.
Or Il Duce's little cousin in the USA, lacking only the cult of The Leader and an urgent call for National Unity, but with the necessary legislation in place with the Homeland Security and Patriot Acts in hand.
Wait, Free Market Capitalism waves its flag above its statue of liberty reminding us there is no better theoretical option this side of tribalism to solve economic problems--never mind the soul-numbing properties inherent in its invasion of all space and time.
Of course Worker Capitalism (Communism) has yet to be tried other than for a few months at a time.
Apart from the 1,000 blends and mixes, does that cover the field?
No, this list omits the most efficient capital market of all, the most prosperous and secure example of capitalism in the world today: the American political system or Political Capitalism. From day one in this country politics has been mediated by a capital market. Voters buy as much influence as they can afford--appropriate for a country set up to harbor a capitalist economy. In the old days, the average of the prosperous business interests bought government that looked after the concerns of the middle class who did, after all, throw over the king for not doing it himself. By providing a business-friendly environment government ensured the economic stability that kept the support and the campaign funding coming.
Then the limited-liability laws the 19th. Century created the modern corporation with a concentration of wealth so great as to tilt the cart. The capital market of politics was inundated with such wealth that the demands of the deep pockets buried the voice of the average citizen. For the last 150 years the invisible hand has been self-correcting within this latest and greatest version of Political Capitalism. Congress barters legislative bias for tenure in office, as it always has. But now the legislative bias no longer serves the middle class and cannot even provide economic stability for anyone. In our little capitalist country, democracy should mean economic opportunity for all, purchased at the ballot box. But rather, the vote has become an ornament and we have economic opportunity only for the deep pockets, the average of which no longer equates to the commonwealth. The advertising jingle "What's good for General Motors is good for the USA" has shown its lie.
If we want to set the matter right we have to find a way to become players again in the political system, that is, to force Congress to reckon with a countervailing power that challenges the deep pockets. We can not do that by 'taking money out of politics' because our system works in no other way. Besides we already tried to do that and the money runs right back in faster than a dog can lick itself. We have to balance the money influence.
The pile of money large enough to counter deep pockets is right there in front of us. But we meekly refuse to see it or seize it and point it at Congress. Call it People's Capitalism. Or leave that awful term out if you wish--just give the people some power to control their destinies.
The pile of money? The money in The US Treasury--it belongs to the people anyway if you listen to the politicians who refer to it as the 'taxpayers' money'. The current owners? Congress gets to spend it and the use of an object establishes ownership. The Treasury funds are, in fact, the working capital that Congress uses to dicker with the deep pockets who dicker back with their contributions and demand laws to let them grow even wealthier.
How to transfer ownership to the people? Let Congress pass a law giving financial ownership to the taxpayers pro-rated to their paid-in taxes (Stock Certificates for INDIVIDUAL taxpayers only--the object is to re-balance the system toward democratic rule). Let the owners redeem their Shares anytime there is a surplus in The Treasury (2001 comes to mind). The collective weight of all voting taxpayers who can gain ONLY by efficient government that solves all of society's problems will create an 800 lb. gorilla looking over Congress's shoulder as they sit to bargain with deep pockets. All the contributions in the world will not carry the day at the next election if everyone is losing money on its Share in government ownership. Next time they'll think twice before they cheat.
And when Congress refuses to cede ownership to the people? To the streets, all 100%, to Occupy The Treasury.