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Forum Post: obama speaks truth to power?

Posted 6 years ago on June 8, 2014, 8:14 a.m. EST by flip (7101)
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“A Touching Ruling Class Moment” by paul street

Last December, Obama advanced some revealing reflections before some friends atop the US capitalist class at an event called The Wall Street Journal CEO Council:

“When you go to other countries [Obama mused], the political divisions are so much more stark and wider. Here in America, the difference between Democrats and Republicans–we’re fighting inside the 40-yard lines…People call me a socialist sometimes. But no, you’ve got to meet real socialists. (Laughter.) You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is. (Laughter.) I’m talking about lowering the corporate tax rate. My health care reform is based on the private marketplace. The stock market is looking pretty good last time I checked.”

As the left, actually socialist writer Danny Klatch commented, “It was a touching ruling class moment. At a time of bitter partisan warfare in Congress and frequent mudslinging by business executives, a bunch of CEOs were able to sit down with their president and realize that they really aren’t so different after all. Together, they shared a good laugh at the idea held by many ordinary people in both parties – that Obama and Corporate America are somehow on different sides” (emphasis added) [25].



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[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

Using the symbolism of the OWS movement - the economic system is really working against 99% of Americans and for 1% of them. The 1% don’t and won’t, need Medicare and Social Security. The 99% need both and arguably, now more so than ever before.

Corporate executives in the U.S. take advantage of the deep deficiencies in the corporate governance laws to seize an increasing share of corporate revenue, enriching themselves at the expense of other stakeholders - such as employees and shareholders.

Big Pharmaceutical companies have successfully lobbied to prohibit the federal government, the largest single buyer of drugs - from bargaining over drug prices, resulting in US taxpayers now overpaying by an estimated half a trillion dollars in about a decade.

Mineral companies get resources at below competitive prices. Oil companies and other corporations get "gifts" in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year in corporate welfare, through special benefits hidden in the tax code. Some of this rent-seeking is now very subtle ie. US bankruptcy laws give derivatives (such as those risky products that led to the $150-billion AIG bailout) bail out priority but say that student debt can not be discharged, even in bankruptcy.

The people know which way the debate is going on this, just like they know where the control lies when Wall Street is bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, within a week’s time at that - while the rest of The US, The 99%, just goes wanting.

To regard Obummer as anything other than a Corporation Friendly Conservative, is to be either ignorant of the political spectrum or to be parDisan. Thanx for the revealing forum-post and a link to your source would be appreciated. Also see :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

as you know we agree on all of this - I am posting another piece from the same article - I usually do not put up links since it seems to me that anyone who wants to find it can do so easily.

[-] -2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

''The 1% are not about to expropriate themselves, even if asked nicely. And they have spent the past 30 years creating a lock on media and politics to ensure no one will do so through electoral means.

''Since no one in their right mind would wish to revive anything like the Soviet Union, we are not going to see anything like the mid-century social democracy created to combat it either. If we want an alternative to stagnation, impoverishment and ecological devastation, we're just going to have to figure out a way to unplug the machine and start again.''

Quoted from the David Graeber link above & yep, I found your link by following your info. Powerful stuff.

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

greaber is really good - have you read his book - very good but long! he needs a good editor - my opinion

[-] -2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

LOL, we spoke about that before ! I've got it & it remains on my shelf because it's like Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings' in size and so similarly, remains mostly unread by me at the moment !! You are right tho' & someone needs to make it more ''Hobbit'' sized - as I did read that & an abridged Graeber's ''Debt - The First 5000 Years'' would be a great idea !!!

Gotta go and get on with my day now flip. Solidarity to you and yours.

vale ...

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

thanks again - I recommend that you start at the end and read a few chapters - the info is really good about money and debt but too much detail to back up his argument. skip around and find the meat and you will be happy you did I think

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

''The Democracy Project - a History, a Crisis, a Movement'' was Graeber's second magnum opus :

But I dare not even think about getting that until I've read ''Debt ...'', lol. You gave me that 'read the end first and then look back at the beginning' advice before & I think that I'll take it .... once The World Cup is over, lolol. Graeber was on 'The Keiser Report' yesterday (Tues, 10th June) & I do believe that you'll enjoy the whole show :

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

watched the show and they gave a good synopsis of the book - debt is the first money not the barter system as we have been taught. war causes hard money to be used etc. you might want to read the part in the book about roman law - our idea of property rights comes from roman law and that is based on slavery! also the point they discussed about china debt and Hudson was important and glossed over because of time. seems to me that understanding money - fiat currency, hard money and debt is the most important thing for us today. many who are actually on our side when it comes to the political system still feel we must balance the government budget like a household or business. that is very much incorrect as I assume you know. not sure what I think about max - I haves seen some really good stuff from him and then some things that seem crazy. again thanks for that - I need responses from you occasionally - the other two nuts jobs here are mostly the only ones who respond to me and it is very boring! they seem to be shooz clones - they make nonsensical comments - I think they are both very young and probably on psych meds like many young people in this country??

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 years ago

Noam Chomsky - "On Banks" ...

"Before the 1970s, banks were banks. They did what banks were supposed to do in a state capitalist economy : they took unused funds from your bank account, for example, and transferred them to some potentially useful purpose like helping a family buy a home or send a kid to college. That changed dramatically in the 1970s. Until then, there had been no financial crises since the Great Depression. The 1950s and 1960s had been a period of enormous growth, the highest in American history, maybe in economic history.

"And it was egalitarian. The lowest quintile did about as well as the highest quintile. Lots of people moved into reasonable lifestyles -- what’s called the “middle class” here, the “working class” in other countries -- but it was real. And the 1960s accelerated it. The activism of those years, after a pretty dismal decade, really civilized the country in lots of ways that are permanent.

"When the 1970s came along, there were sudden and sharp changes: de-industrialization, the off-shoring of production, and the shift to financial institutions, which grew enormously. I should say that, in the 1950s and 1960s, there was also the development of what several decades later became the high-tech economy: computers, the Internet, the IT Revolution developed substantially in the state sector.

"The developments that took place during the 1970s set off a vicious cycle. It led to the concentration of wealth increasingly in the hands of the financial sector. This doesn’t benefit the economy -- it probably harms it and society -- but it did lead to a tremendous concentration of wealth."


Further, and in order to gain very important insights into the attitudes, behaviour and machinations of 'High Finance Crapitalism' and to realise how and why we are in the mess we are in - also refer to ...

Yes, anyone who regards household or business debt and current account management with any kind of equivalence to National Finances, is seriously mistaken, misguided or miseducated. Do not despair at that or the nature of discourse here on this forum, just speak honestly as you see things .. but don't forget the double tap on the shift / enter key - so that you paragraph occasionally ;-) Also by DG, fyi ...

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 6 years ago

The debate points you make have much more weight when they do not require baseless personal attacks.

"two nuts jobs" " boring", "shooz clones",?? "nonsensical comments"

"very young", "psych meds".


" still feel we must balance the government budget like a household or business. that is very much incorrect "

Whoops got a little substantive position slippin in there!

I agree, "we ain't broke! End Austerity!, Invest in the people!"

Please stick to substance, & set aside the schoolyard bully tactics.


[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

ok shooz - whatever you say. now I am hoping you will follow you own advice but the rational part of me knows you are not capable of that

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Come November the people will put the same exact cast of characters in charge as they always do, and then complain that nothing changes.

Same shit, different election. No ability to put anything together political on our own, completely begging the power elite to save us.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

right on turbo - this movement is certainly not begging the power elite but trying to wake up the 99%. some here seem to think the dems will save us - no chance