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Forum Post: What Capitalism Delivers By Richard Wolff

Posted 1 year ago on June 23, 2012, 11:50 a.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Most Presidents preside over one or more capitalist downturns (recessions, depressions, crises, etc.). Every President since at least FDR generated a "program" to respond to the downturn -- as demanded by citizens and businesses. FDR and every later President promised that his program would "not only extricate the US from the present economic troubles but will also make sure neither we nor our children need face such downturns in the future." Obama is only the latest to do so.

No President has been able to keep that promise. The current capitalist crisis, now halfway through its fifth year with no end in sight, proves that preventing future capitalist downturns has eluded every past President and all his prestigious, high-priced economic advisers. Since President Obama's program is not basically different from earlier presidential programs, there is no reason to expect him to succeed either.

Failure to prevent capitalist crises has condemned millions of our fellow citizens to the repeated ravages of lost jobs, job benefits, and job security plus foreclosed homes and bleak job prospects for our children. The personal, family, and economic costs of the failure to deal with capitalist crises are staggering. Tens of millions of Americans today either have no work or must accept part-time jobs when they need and want full-time work. According to the US government, roughly 30 percent of the economy's tools, equipment, factory, office, and store space, and raw materials stand idle. This capitalist system deprives us all of the output and wealth that could be produced if the people denied jobs were combined with the idled means of production.

That output could rebuild our industries and cities, could convert them to environmentally respectful institutions, and could alleviate poverty in the US and beyond. If employed, those now without jobs could lead better lives, keep their homes, and be productive. We could all benefit enormously but for capitalism's abject failure to combine the people who want to work with unused means to produce the output we need.

Nor does the basic problem lie with government policies and programs. After all, the chief political parties, politicians, lobbyists, and their allies in the media and academia have all performed in unison to celebrate capitalism. They have insisted over the last fifty years that criticism of capitalism, no matter how poor its performance, was silly, unfounded, absurd, disloyal, or worse. Their mantra has been "capitalism delivers the goods."

Behind the protective cover of a near total ban on criticism, the US capitalist system deteriorated (the usual result when public criticism of a social institution is disallowed). Since this crisis began in 2007, capitalism has been "delivering the bads" to most of us. It increasingly threatens to deliver still worse in the years ahead. Capitalism's uncritical boosters are now pressing the government to cut back public services just as the mass of Americans need them more than ever. Their basic slogan and program remain: economic "recovery" for the few and austerity for the many.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the top individual income tax bracket on the richest Americans was 91 %, while today it is 35 %. In 1977, the tax those people paid on "capital gains" (when they sold assets like stocks and bonds at prices higher than they paid for them) was 40%. Today that rate is 15%. The mass of people never enjoyed such massive tax cuts. Those cuts made the wealthy still richer while forcing the government to borrow money to replace what it no longer got from taxes on the rich. How grotesque that the rich now use government debts as the excuse to cut public services for the mass of Americans!

The solution for capitalist crises like the one plaguing us today is not another President's program of reforms, regulations, economic stimuli, and deficit budgets. We have been there and done that. It has never worked to prevent this economic system from condemning people to endlessly repeated "hard times." It is long overdue to subject capitalism to the kind of serious, open, and free public criticism and debate that should never have been repressed in the first place. We need to examine whether and how the US might do better than capitalism.

Economic systems are born, evolve over time, and pass away -- like all human institutions. Out of the deaths of slavery and feudalism, capitalism was born. It promised, in the words of the French revolutionaries, "liberty, equality, and fraternity." It made some genuine progress toward those goals. However, it also erected some serious obstacles to ever actually achieving them. Chief among these was the organization of production inside capitalist enterprises.

In the capitalist corporate enterprises that dominate economies today, their major shareholders and the boards of directors they select are in the undemocratic, exclusive position of making all the key decisions. Major shareholders and boards of directors constitute a small minority of those directly connected to capitalist enterprises. The majority are the enterprise's workers and the populations of communities dependent on those enterprises. Yet that minority's decisions (about what, how, and where to produce and what to do with profits) impact the majority -- including bringing crises -- without permitting that majority any direct role in making those decisions. It is hardly surprising then that the minority seeks and is in the position to take the lion's share of income and wealth for itself. It likewise buys control of politics to block the majority from using government to rectify its economic disadvantages and deprivations. That's why we now have government bailouts for the rich and austerity for the rest of us.

Unless society moves beyond the capitalist organization of production, economic crises will keep happening and generating politicians' false promises to prevent them. It is naïve to expect the minority in charge of a system that still works well for them to democratize the economy and politics. That is a central task of the 99%.

http://rdwolff.com/content/what-capitalism-delivers

61 Comments

61 Comments


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[-] 6 points by shadz66 (17667) 1 year ago

I'd posit that it's not possible to properly critique 'C(r)apitalism in The U$A' and all its trappings and foibles without some recourse to the ever ballooning 'Military Industrial Complex'. Thus please see :

US radio host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Dave Lindorff illustrate just how much US tax money goes towards the country's war chest. "People have to realize that 53 cents of every dollar that they are paying into taxes is going to the military to an astonishing figure there is an enormous, enormous amount of money being blown on war an killing and destruction."

fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 3 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Good post Shadz

[-] 4 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist.~Dom Helder Camara

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

excellent. and still true

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

Yes it is, sadly.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

the well oiled machine of demonizing any help for the needy, the well developed blame the victim rhetoric, The selfishness and keeping up with the jones's, and the brainwashing of 99% to believe that the 1% corp execs are somehow magical super geniuses money creators. It is depressing, demoralizing and diabolical. (Sorry. too deep? Am I ranting.?) ;)

[-] 1 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 1 year ago

"And in this new book, Chris makes the case that the people who are supposed to be good at stuff in our country are no longer good at stuff.

We’re sort of calcified in a way in this country, that we count on an elite to do everything. But for a very important reason, our elite [pause] sucks! " Rachel Maddow

new book out that's called “Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy.”

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Yes.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

Don't dribble a golf ball on a basketball court. Too shallow?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

LOL

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

Ha! Made you laugh.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Yes. Thanks.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20415) 1 year ago

It is definitely time to begin considering moving away from capitalism which benefits the few, the "capitalists," toward an economic system that benefits all people and where the workers have more ownership and control over the means of production.

[-] 4 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

I think we need class conscious cooperatives. I wonder if some how existing left groups could be influenced to start there own cooperative enterprises.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20415) 1 year ago

This is something we should be doing. If we can't beat 'em, then we should do our own thing.

[-] -1 points by Growup6 (-125) 1 year ago

But yet you don't. Leftists would much rather let other people start businesses and redistribute what they've created. Loon co-ops don't work. Having everyone just paddle around without a hunger to do better doesn't create things. How much evidence do we need? The world needs do-ers, not just re-distributionists without motivation.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20415) 1 year ago

Right, because capitalism is working so well for everyone, and heck, we can all be entrepreneurs and millionaires.

[+] -4 points by Growup6 (-125) 1 year ago

Capitalism does work well. It's temporary set-backs are better than the permanent set-backs of other systems.

But go ahead, we're all waiting for the raft of businesses built on your ideas. Loons like you should get busy creating rather than simply being set to pounce for redistribution on what someone else has created.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20415) 1 year ago

You already said all that. Thanks for the inspiration.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Whatever is created can't be done without american workers, consumers, taxpayer dollars for r&d, infrastructure, subsidies, and much more. The 1% corp execs may have brainwashed you into thinking they are some sort magic money makers. but they can't create a G@d damn thing without the 99%. They ignore that fact at their own peril.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Food co op in bklyn only gets bigger! you don't know what your talkin about as always. And the only redistribution that is happening for the last 3 decades is from the 99% to the 1%. And the 1% just sit on the (our) money. At least when we have it we spend it. they horde it 'cause they are naturally greedy and selfish. And you support them taken your money?

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

exactly what I was going to say,. the redistribution is from the many to the few!!!~! These right-wingnut trolls are so detached from reality they just can not be reasoned with.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

They know. They think the 1%is gonna tinkle down on them. I think they call it ass pirational. They would betray there own mothers if they thought the 1% would throw them a crumb. This has become entertainment for me. Any real substantial satisfaction for me has to be on the street.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Marx and Engels considered capitalism inherently unstable; that is moving from crisis to crisis. The theory is much too complex for even abbreviated explanations, but the general idea (very simplistically) is that the relentless quest for profits leads the bourgeousie into various schemes, each more removed from the original mode of production relying on less capital and more financialization and each leading into a new economic cycle ending in a crisis.

Governments actually encourage this, though the results are painfully obvious in advance. Marx and Engels deduced that governments promoted these endless cycles, because, as Marx wrote in the Manifesto, "The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeousie."

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Thanks. That kind of fits pretty well doesn't it.

Governments can't just sit still, they know they have to impress someone and get or keep supporters. It is similar to the 'Peter Principal'. Obama might be an example of someone with drive, some good intension... then he probably received some threats, and had some deals thrown at him, and had to jump onto the Bankers side in the Financial Crisis. Of Course after the Bailouts, he was kind of in bed with his policy and the bankers. Then more deals to get Obama Care passed and maybe some campaign money from Pharmacies, Health Care, and Bankers. But war-wise, global trade, and jobs-wise he had no abiliby to see through the fog.

Certainly, we have bubbles, bubble pop, then on to the next financial creation (a new bubble).

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Since the entire system in a capitalist society is controlled by the ruling class, the workers really have only the illusion of choice.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

There are two sides of the coin:

A) yes, I think there is a strategic plan to reduce wages in the US.

B) 70% of US people are living their lives and are okay, some are okay but not making much money. Wages have been decreasing since like 1970 on average, Pension are short $1T, Retirement nest eggs have disappeared, but there are people that are used to making decisions in their lives, they have taken control of their lives, and they are successful.

The conclusions many of us are making is that only a small percent of young people will ever be able to have success or anything like the standard of living of older people like the parents.

Oh, we are also concluding that people that control politics, media, corporations, banks, and polticians 'don't give a damn about us'.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Success isn't about an individual's economic well-being; it is about the well-being of all in the society, which put simply means let's first furnish the basic needs to all and concern ourselves with luxuries after that.

In The German Ideology Marx wrote, "...people cannot be liberated as long as they are unable to obtain food and drink, housing and clothing in adequate quality and quantity." People can't really be free unless their basic necessities are met first.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

But the sleeping masses are not awake. People are myopic. People in the US are productive, but sort of cloistered. Citizens aren't concerned about everything going on.

They are just living their lives - even if they are asleep to philosophy, corruption, the profound influence of money on laws, taxes, regulation, legisliation, national leaders and presidents, environmental resources, consumer buying behavior, standard of living, US Savings Rates, US Savings Interest Rates, underfunded pensions of $1T dollars, and complicated lucritic benefits packages for public employees at state or city level, union members, and private executives, the loss of strength and capital in corporations due to lucritive benefits packages at corporations, the loss of integrity of investments due to extensive benefits packages of executives, and loss of integrity of investments for investors when corporations use shell companies, off balance sheet transactions, and detour from GAAP accounting rules.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

You're right; the workers in general are asleep and myopic, which is why most revolutionaries of the last century stressed educating the lower class before attempting to mobilize them. That's probably more true today, Trotsky, Che, and others, advocated violent change, but even for a peaceful transformation, education is the mandatory first step.

[-] 1 points by brosefstalin (139) from Wantagh, NY 1 year ago

The workers I don't think are asleep, just desperate. It's the middle class that holds everything back. It's hard to fight a revolution when not picking up this week's check means next week you don't eat.

The middle class was created and continues to exist as a buffer against the lower class. The best thing for society would be for the middle class to dissolve and for the then engorged lower class to begin demanding rights.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

The middle class is dissolving. Real wages have basically been stagnant for more than three decades. The only people that have accumulated more real money are the ruling class.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Makes sense in a very democratic way. Hey was wondering was Trotsky the poet. Oh no I'm thinking of Tolstoy. I'll look up Trotsky.

Some social democrats known as "economists" argued that the party should focus on helping industrial workers improve their lot in life. Others argued that overthrowing the monarchy was more important and that a well-organized and disciplined revolutionary party was essential. The latter were led by the London-based newspaper Iskra, or in English, The Spark, which was founded in 1900. Trotsky quickly sided with the Iskra position

[-] 0 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Trotsky, Lenin, and others were known as Bolsheviks (Marxists). Stalin was not among them. Once Lenin died, and Stalin seized power, he ruthlessly hunted down all well-known Bolsheviks and assassinated them.

Marx, Engels, and most early Communists believed violent revolution was not only necessary, but inevitable. In today's world, in well-developed countries, violent revolution is like shooting oneself in the brain; such a person is not very likely to survive.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Yes. And those that particpiate in revolution kill off the other political rivals sometimes just to make sure there is no competition. Marx and Engels were just theorist though. I'm not sure if they participated or orgainzed revolution, did they?

Anyway Stalin was paranoid they say. He created a cult of personality. But Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin probably were violent planners of the revolution. As I understood it... There never was a Marxist type social-political system.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Marx and Engels did not participate in a revolution, though their ideas were revolutionary.

About the mental condition of Stalin, I don't know, though he behaved like a madman. Lenin began to implement Communist practices, but died before accomplishing much. When Stalin took over, Trotsky, who had formed the Red Army, fled. Stalin, however, patiently exterminated all his rivals. The USSR never successfully implemented Communism, nor has any other country, but no Communist revolution has succeeded in what Marx would have considered the ideal country with the right conditions. He believed the best breeding ground would be a heavily industrialized country with a well-defined, oppressed working class.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Ah, so maybe in 10 more years...

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Che Guevara in one section of The Che Reader, called "Guerrilla warfare: A method," wrote, "In all countries where oppression reaches intolerable proportions, the banner of rebellion must be raised..." His sentiment pretty well echoed the notions of Marx and Engels, who believed everything in a given society had to reach a critical mass before a revolution could be successful.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

I suppose Marx & Engles had very high standards. We have had small revolutions in this country that brought Women's vote, Civil Rights, Black Vote, End to Vietnam, Labor Rights, Labor Safety. Etc.

I have to admit in my adult life it seems as though most US Stakeholders have a deaf ear and blind eye to social injustice though. Seems pretty clear watching Bill Moyers and Yves Smith. And Paul Krugman's article Greece As A Victim.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Marx and Engels specifically meant violent uprisings, though, some of the labor disputes may have into that category.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

But did Marx and Engles say that it would take a violent event to bring about social change.... or did they kind of wish and plan for violence in a base level, evil, lust of violence kind of way. I'm trying to find some distinctions, but my imagination is slow.

I think Marx & Engles said it would take a violent revolution - from the point of view of philosophers, thinkers. Yes, they were trying to image a better world. And maybe their thoughts were positive and helpful. Certainly Marx appears to have tried to comtribute to many different schools of science.

Perhaps we have to present Marx and Engles as historians, philosophers, scientists, and as ideologs. They were educated trend spotters ... sort of like Gerald Celente or Friedman. But ... they probably wanted to be part of the process of change in the world ... and for all I know they had a look first hand at Feudal Europe.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

They did have a look at feudal society in Austria and Hungary, where feudalism was not ended until after the Springtime of the Peoples in 1848.

Marx believed the old system had to be completely swept away. Otherwise, the old bourgeois habits and system would resurface. Che Guevara said much the same thing when recalling the Cuban revolution, in which at first Communists shared power with the older segments of society. That didn't last long.

Che envisioned Cuba completely different than it has turned out. He foresaw a day when Cubans would earn the highest real wage in the Western Hemisphere. Still, Cuba has, for all intents and purposes, 100% literacy, universal health care, and guaranteeed housing, but it also has some of most deplorable economic conditions in the world.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Che is new to me. I never really surfed to find out who he was. Now you have helped me link him to Cuba. Well I'm sure it has hurt Cuba that they have been embargoed for 50 years. But without capitalism I am at a loss to even guess what the state system is. We know they have a great black market and a hidden economy of US dollars being sent secretly to Cuba.

So yes there is a market in Cuba and there is knowledge of capitalism. I'm guessing that Cuba's wages before the revolution are similar to Central America today in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and in many Caribbean Island.

Colonist were granted land with Charters or Marques just as Lands were Granted in the USA prior to the Westward Movement.

And there were European Guild Systems and Apprenticeship Systems that taught men some kind of Technology/Skill that made them valuable. Farmers, Shop Keepers and Restaurateurs learned from their fathers, I guess.

There is a big problem when large parts of the populations don't have a "Trade" or "Profession" (which is a kind of education). There is a big problem when you have masses of poor people. There is aproblem when you have different classes based on language or polarized populations based on nationality or education.

And that brings us back to Marx and Engles. You were saying how important it was to educate people. But you were talking about political education and the language of Unions. But maybe you also meant that unions could teach the common language if some migrants or poor didn't speak the dominant language.

IN the USA education in unions and workers rights lead to higher wages, better conditions and eventually other worker benefits. And then there was a start of the Backlash from the Wealthy Executives or Rich owners probably starting at least by 1970 (Occupational Health and Safety Act).

Strategies had to be found to reduce overhead, taxes, and Wages and Benefits... unless new ways to make profit with less labor could be found.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Funny, a lot of right wingers call Che a cold-blooded killer, an amoral man, but it was the U.S. government in the form of the CIA that hunted down Che and finally murdered him in cold blood. Even then, to try and make the murder appear like battle injuries, they shot Che repeatedly in the legs to finally kill him. Nice guys, huh?

The Cubans, now, as bad as things are under the heavy US embargo, are still far better off than under Fulgencio Batista, the US puppet, who ran Cuba before the revolution. That guy was a cold-blooded killer assassinating as many as 20,000 people and imprisoning and torturing god-knows how many more.

That the US backed such a ruthless excuse for a human being speaks about the character and morality of American politicians. No wonder so much of the world hates the United States.

Che and most revolutionary leaders believed in general education for all and leading the masses by the best of examples, which Che demanded of himself. The children of revolutionaries, he wrote, never learn to say daddy, and the wives of revolutionaries live as widows.

Certainly, Che was a dangerous man, but only to the enemies of the revolution and foes of the workers.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Thanks. Yes, appears we have sociopaths in government with evidence aplenty. 1) The 'Hedgemony' in Central and South America often performed by the CIA is all the proof you need. 2) Look at the undeclared wars we fought out in the open with our army. 3) Look at congressional response to current unemployment and the loss of home ownership, then check out the reduced benefits in job training, education, food stamps, mental health, etc 4) No prosecution for Financial Fraud in the Sub-Prime Housing Crisis, no FBI staffing, No national 'message' that we will prosecute and please forward your referrals to the FBI 5) Banks are bigger than ever, because Politicians need funding every year for campaigns 6) Congress says 'TBTF' what is that? (Deaf and Blind). Sociopaths....

Batista, Pol Pot (killing of intellectuals or opponents), Mao? the Chinese Revolution was a series of purges (killing of intellectuals or opponents), Stalin series of Purges (killing of intellectuals or opponents), Castro Purges? (not sure)

Che is understandable from a pragmatic point of view for his planning resistance and survival of his rebelion. I suppose it is just an example of Strategic thinking. And strategic thinking is an outgrowth of the military traditions (just as factory management is). It is possible that our US Military taught the kind of strategic thinking that the US acts ignorant of and not responsible for in most political speaches or media press releases (we would call these propaganda)

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

I'm don't know about purges in Cuba, but Castro's regime has definitely executed and imprisoned tens of thousands. Amnesty International considers the Cuban government oppressive, but also finds many human-rights violations in the United States including the death penalty; womens rights, which includes conception and abortion rights; inhumane treatment and even torture of prisoners pointing out Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tent city in Phoenix, Arizona; and has even called for the arrest of George W Bush and Dick Cheney for crimes against humanity.

All this probably proves Baron Actons conclusion that "power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

[-] 1 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 1 year ago

Cuba's major export is doctors?

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

I have a lot of respect for some of the discipline I have seen in peoples eyes in foriegn countries. Studying does that. I'm not sure I am up to the same level, although I'm not uneducated.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

No Idea. There is a common language through Central and South America and with Spain...and maybe Islands and other former colonies... Phillippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba. Cheaper Universities.

The training of Doctors can be done anywhere. Cuba might have good medical schools since Hugo Chavez goes to Cuba for Medical treatment.

[-] 1 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 1 year ago

I guess they just let any old ghetto kid go to med school.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Sugar.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

James Loewen says that the Sugar Cane Farming Ruined some of the Islands like Haiti (or I maybe paraphrasing). So apparently Farming can 'often' have bad effects for countries. I think Cane farming starts by burning off all the vegetation and then depletes the soil of nutrients.

He also said ships brought over pigs and other animals that ran wild on some of the islands and ...someting like ruined the enviroment. We know hogs urine or waste is very toxic and damaging.

[-] 0 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Once again you prove your knowledge of history, people and politics to be far less than you pretend, poser: "Bolshevik" and "Marxist" were NEVER exact synonyms, regardless of which totalitarian pervert was twisting their meanings at any given point in the replacement of the old Czars by, well, the new Czars.

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[-] 1 points by brosefstalin (139) from Wantagh, NY 1 year ago

Of course Marx wasn't a pragmatist--the philosophical theory of pragmatism didn't exist until Marx was getting along in his years. However, I think most of the original pragmatists would generally be on the same level as Marx as far as his hopes for humanity were concerned.

To think that William James in any way agreed with Capitalism is a foul and uninformed thought.

"The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community."

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

We can do better than capitalism! Great article, thanks for posting.

It is too bad that our resident right-wing dogma trolls can not read nor understand a clear argument.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Well written article, hits most of the important points!

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 1 year ago

True, "we need to examine whether and how the US might do better than capitalism" using much more effective and efficient evolution of capitalism, so create a new constitution, as follows:

We the peoples, in order to secure Freedom and Justice for All, do enact this Constitution for Strategic International Systems LLC (or SIS LLC) as summarized in the following Business Operations Forecast:

The customer value mission of SIS LLC is (1) to organize all customer-investors into 3,000 investment squad sites of 16 friends (or virtual specialties), and related internet investment legislatures of 50,000 friends (or virtual towns), requiring (2) a $20 weekly capital contribution for 1 year (or $1,000) to (3) create your investment club bank of 50,000 friends (or physical town) -- that is, having $50 million in initial assets -- which (4) due to the operation of today’s fractional banking system becomes (5) $500 million in new annual business loans (or $10,000 in new annual individual loans) from yourself as a new bank officer to yourself as a new business officer who (6) takes 75% employee business control as business officer-investors and 25% customer business control as bank officer-investors of (7) your specific 12 businesses (or investments) in your new bank investment account wherein (8) your investor voting power equals (9) your 1 of 12 levels of experience in (10) your 1 of 12 sectors in 1 of 50 industries in 1 of 200 occupations in 1 of 3,000 specialities which (11) votes-upon your purchasing (or investment) orders as (12) proposed by your employee-elected chain of command.

This means you will have 75% employee business control over your workplace as business officers and, as bank officers, 25% customer business control over all 12 investments (or businesses) in your new bank investment account. In turn, with this 100% town-level business control of your 3,000 workplaces, you can decrease your 12 customer consumption expenses by 75% for services, vehicles, education, retail, food, construction, technology, manufacturing, wholesale, health, justice, and banking expenses; that is, over your first 12 years of SIS LLC membership using a 75% more effective and efficient town design, and related 3,000 workplace designs (herein). Furthermore, while creating your new town & workplace design as described by this constitution, you will replace today’s communist big businesses, and related big governments, with your new small investment club banks, and related small businesses (or investments), as proposed, financed, and patronized by your 3,000 investment squad sites of 16 friends (or virtual specialties) in your internet investment legislature of 50,000 friends (or virtual town).

Why? First, because today’s executive business income (mostly from bank or financial asset income) is 33% of all income which is a huge amount of upper 1% income to split among yourselves as new bank officers having 25% customer business control, right? Second, because today’s executive business wealth is 42% of all wealth which is a huge amount of upper 1% wealth to split among yourselves as new business officers having 75% employee business control; that is, only after becoming new bank officers (above) first, right?

For example, this means if you earn $12/hour today, then you will earn $36/hour tomorrow after adding (1) your old wage income, plus (2) your 33% (more and new) interest income as a new bank officer, plus (3) your 42% (more and new) dividend & gain income as a new business officer. Together, these 4 sources of wealth & income from your specific 12 businesses (or investments) will double your net worth every 6-12 years (until retirement); that is, from the compound interest decline of today's upper 1% executives whom you will replace as the new bank & business investor-officers. So, with this power, let’s end today’s communist big businesses, and related big governments, okay? How? By helping to operate your own Business Operations Forecast (above) at http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrategicInternationalSystems/ ; so help us help you, today!

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[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Any system is only as good as the people who are part of it. Blaming capitalism for the improper actions of a small group of wealthy individuals is completely wrong. Their increasing manipulation of our government and economy has been allowed to grow by the great majority of an apathetic population.

The people have allowed the monied voices of the few to drown out the voices of the many. Wealth does not deserve speech at all within democracy and it's greedy voice must be silenced in order to hear freedom sing it's lovely song.

I blame the people that make up our country more than the wealthy who wish to enslave it. The many stare injustice in the face and continue to cooperate with it, without which tyranny would perish. They march off to war, supply the treasury to finance it, and under the banner of patriotism, willingly and enthusiastically applaud the most terrible crimes against the one thing they pretend to hold sacred, justice!

Capitalism is the problem? What form of government has ever existed that it's people did not allow to become corrupt? What we need are an improved form of people, one where justice rules their hearts and minds, their eyes clearly able to see each individual as equally precious as their own flesh. When that day happens, it will not matter what form of government we choose!

[-] 1 points by brosefstalin (139) from Wantagh, NY 1 year ago

Then you will need a largely religious edification of the masses. Does no one find it at all curious that the rise of neoliberalism coincides with the demise of religion? John Stuart Mill was largely in awe of the early Christians--but religion has been disenfranchised by neoliberalism. Art and Religion--the two great enemies of Capitalism.

[-] -1 points by john23 (-272) 1 year ago

Sigh....such misinformation. We haven't been in a capitalist society since 1913....from a man most of you would respect (Stewart):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-sk6-gbEBc

An interest rate controlled economy is not a free market capitalist society. Check out this website to understand why:

www.hmscoop.com