July 6,2017 By Jack Jodell, American Dissident, N.M.P.
COUNTDOWN: I HATE to report that an awful 1,296 days still remain in this horrible administration’s term in office…
Today’s reactionary, politically and economically off-the-charts radical right wing Republican Party seems hell-bent on delivering the extremely errant Libertarian dream of as little government regulation over business as possible, and that “the market” will cure all ills, provided it is left alone to self-correct whatever mistakes it may have made. This blogger is unconvinced, and completely rejects this idealistic and naive philosophy! In fact, I see the need for even greater regulation! In this age of Donald Chump and his presidential cabinet stocked to overflowing with anti-government and anti-labor billionaires, a dangerous precedent has been established: roll back or eliminate regulations, allowing these careless businesspersons to soil and pollute with impunity, and ensure that, above everything else, they profit immensely with no interference at all! As these greed-obsessed billionaires help themselves to record profits, they are proving what a failure their capitalist system truly is.
Evidence of what a farce corporate capitalism is abounds all around us, from the record, ever-growing wealth disparity we have been living under for years now to the ever-increasing amount of advertisements we are plagued with on commercial network TV stations to the ever-shrinking amount of individual owners of television stations, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. The free market loving supporters of this craziness all claim to believe in competition, and claim that government influence or regulation hampers competition, but in actual practice, they engage in monopolistic behavior which by its very nature stifles competition.
I have only scorn to heap upon these “free market” advocates, as they have been lying to us for decades. Our economic system has NOT grown fairer or more inclusive over the past 40 years – exactly the OPPOSITE has occurred for all but a tiny handful. Former Reagan-era economic advisor Art Laffer gave us his preposterous Laffer Curve, which assumes that as the rate of income taxation gets closer to 100%, the rate of production will fall as there would be no incentive to produce anything. This completely ignores the fact that a top income tax rate of more than 90% was instituted by FDR in the Great Depression and remained in effect for a great many years thereafter. While it’s true that World War II and its aftermath greatly added to the size and scope of our economy, the fact that our highest tax rate was very high never impeded production – thoroughly disproving Laffer’s assertion. As a matter of fact, during the 1950s, with Republican Dwight Eisenhower as President, the top tax rate was 91%!
Not to completely dismiss Laffer, though: even a child would recognize that, by greatly overtaxing an individual for a very long time, that person’s incentive will be reduced. It is actually a sort of mindset or perception thing. Post World War II America’s goal was to avoid the horrible, near-universal poverty of the Great Depression and to maintain high wages for American workers. This was accomplished through a strong network of labor unions and a progressive tax system, wherein the earners of the highest incomes were taxed more heavily, as they could more easily afford it. This goal was met and these high wages and progressive taxation produced the largest and strongest Middle Class in the history of the world. But business owners eventually grew tired of paying what they viewed as excessively high wages, They began looking for cheaper sources of labor, and began to export American jobs to much cheaper, foreign slave-wage labor markets.
There soon dawned our current era of stagnant wages and corporate capitalism, which dominates globally today. During the 1980s, we saw this phenomenon of destroying or nullifying labor unions come into being. Along with Laffer came the rise of economist Milton Friedman, his Chicago School of Economics, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. The goal of the economy now became to maximize the profits of corporations, to be achieved by decimating labor unions and by slashing as many government regulations as possible. These regulations had been necessary to protect the public from the excesses of concentrated capital, and monied types and corporations set about to rid themselves of as many of them as they could. Snide, sneaky billionaires like Sheldon Anderson, the Mercer family, and the Koch brothers began to corrupt our political system by contributing millions of dollars to the campaigns of like-minded conservative and/or reactionary political candidates. Previously accepted candidates whose mores and morality expressed the values of traditional New Deal or Great Society Democrats became labelled with supposedly negative monickers like “socialist” or “far-left”, by slick new far-right sleazebags like Frank Luntz, Roger Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch – even though they had once been the politically, economically, and socially-accepted norm. Regrettably, this outpouring of millions to buy political influence has so far been successful and has resulted in the election of a Republican Congress led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (RUIN) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as the crazed, billionaire-friendly President Donald Chump. If that sorry collection of greedy plutocrats disguised as public servants doesn’t provide a strong case to GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS – it appears that nothing will! We have been brainwashed into believing a number of fallacies: that the capitalist system is the best there is (it ISN’T); that business is more efficient than government (SELDOM, as in many cases, EACH have their drawbacks); and that billionaires are somehow smarter and more deserving of wealth than are workers (One glimpse at the bumbling oaf Donald Chump puts that idea to rest permanently). Paul RUIN is a follower of the hypocritical author Ayn Rand, who maintained that the rich unquestioningly deserve everything they have and that government programs are undesirable – until she herself became destitute in her old age and gladly accepted Social Security and Medicare! It is a tragedy that, even today, she still has followers like RUIN who believe in her crazy notions!
The fact of the matter is this: corporate capitalism is a bankrupt system that depends on lying, cheating, and exploitation to survive. It is inherently greed-obsessed, and therefore has little to offer the non-wealthy 99% MAJORITY. It perpetuates cycles of boom and bust, and MUST be replaced with a far more just, fairer, and much more inclusive system!
Art Laffer, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and the Chicago School of Economics are all FULL OF S-IT!!!
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