Capitalism

10 Reasons to Hate Capitalism Counterpunch by Gary Engler. The economic system encourages greed and denigrates cooperation and collectivism.

Harvard Business Review calls bullshit on today's "capitalists" by Arendt for Class Warfare Newsletter, 6/15/14. "Capitalists seem uninterested in capitalism—in supporting the development of market-creating innovations.

"... business jargon has mashed true innovation together with cost-cutting. (Sorta the same way today's Democratic Party has mashed progressivism together with corporate welfare.)

"...it’s no longer true that capital is scarce... Therefore, austerity can be seen as a form of looting - privatization (and subsequent under- or dis-investment in public assets) and the ruthless extraction of the life savings of the middle class, as it struggles to keep its head above water."


"We do not have free market capitalism in America; we have crony capitalism" (David Kupfer. "[Interview with] Robert F. Kennedy Jr." The Progressive, Nov. 2006: 33-36).


"Murray Bookchin: US political thinker whose ideas shaped the anti-globalization movement...

""Capitalism is a social cancer," he argued. "It is the disease of society"...

"His magnum opus was the Ecology of Freedom (1982). "The domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human," he wrote. "The long-term solution to the ecological crises is a fundamental shift in how we organise society, a new politics based on face-to-face democracy, neighborhood assemblies and 'the dissolution of hierarchy'"....

"In Remaking Society (1990) he wrote: "To speak of 'limits to growth' under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be 'persuaded' to stop breathing"...

"Without Bookchin's book, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971), anarchism would not be the force within the anti-capitalist movement that it is today. Bookchin parted company with anarchism in 1998, refocusing on "communalism", but his writing lifted and sustained the movement from the 19th into the 21st century" (Mike Small. "Murray Bookchin." Guardian Weekly, Aug. 11, 2006: 25).


"...a recent study from the Pew Research Center disclosing... "45% of Americans believe little or nothing of what they read in their daily newspapers...

The role devised by the Times for itself was to be the credible organ of capitalism ("newspaper of record"), with reports and editorials premised on the belief that US capitalism can produce a just society in which all can enjoy the fruits of their labor in peaceful harmony with their environment and the rest of the planet.

"The evidence is in. The case is proved a million different ways. American capitalism can't do that. It's produced an unjust society run by a tiny slice of obscenely rich people (including those controlling the New York Times) with a vested and irreversible interest in permanent war and planetary destruction" (Alexander Cockburn. "Join the 14 percent club! We won!" The Nation, May 30, 2005: 8).


Land of Opportunity

"Up until the 1960s, upward mobility was at the core of the American Dream. Then, the dream began to unravel, slowly at first, but picking up momentum in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Today, the US can no longer claim to be the model of upward mobility for the world...

"And what of that Old World, that caste-bound, class-defined purgatory so many millions of people fled from to start over in the American Eden? It is slowly becoming the new land of opportunity. More and more emigrants are choosing Europe over America...

"Europe is a more promising place for those anxious to move on up. According to the data collected by the Luxembourg Income Study, the most authoritative database in the world on income distribution, the United States ranks twenty-fourth amont the developed nations in income inequality. Only Russia and Mexico rank lower. All eighteen of the most developed European countries have less income inequality between rich and poor...

"...the US was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce in the 1980s... 0.1 percent growth after that... at the same time, corporate profits, as a percentage of national income, reached their highest level since the 1960s...

"...income mobility appears to be LOWER in the United States than in other OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries.

"America, it appears, is the land of opportunity for a small segment of high-income earners and a land of misfortune for many others. There are more poor people living in poverty in America than in the sixteen European nations for which data is available" (38-40)...

"the sink-or-swim mentality [of the US]... The World Values Survey found that 71 percent of Americans "believe that the poor have a chance to escape from poverty," while only 40 percent of Europeans believe that's the case. Strange, indeed, coming from a country that now has the largest percentage of its population in poverty of any major developed nation...

"Undoubtedly, the frontier mythology plays a significant role in understanding American attitudes about inequality and poverty. But there is also likely a more unsavory side to the issue. Racism... we find that many American associate poverty with black America, even though in terms of raw numbers, there are more whites living under the poverty line...

"White America can't afford to believe that the American way of life might, in some way, be to blame for the destitute conditions many black Americans find themselves in...

"Europeans... belief that market forces, if left to their own devices, are often unfair and, therefore, need to be tamed. Government redistribution, in the form of transfers and payments to those less fortunate, is considered an appropriate antidote to unrestrained market capitalism. That is why in Europe the notion of creating social democracies.... has flourished since World War II...

"The US is particularly stingy when it comes to helping the working poor. The legal minimum wage in the US in the 1990s was only 39 percent of the average wage, whereas in the European Union it was 53 percent of the average wage. In the United States, unemployment benefits are also less generous than in the European Union" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. pp. 40-43).


Job Creation

"...say the economists... the American economy has been an engine of job creation... "The American Miracle"...

"A closer look suggests that many of the new jobs created had little to do with superior entrepreneurial talent or better managerial skills or the quicker adoption of new technologies, but with other factors that artificially boosted the employment figures for a brief moment only to disappear just as quickly once the stock-market bubble burst...

"...real unemployment during that period was significantly higher, approaching the unemployment levels in the European Union. That is because more than two million discouraged workers simply gave up and dropped out of the workforce and therefore were no longer counted in the official statistics, and the prison population soared from 500,000 in 1980 to two million people today. Nearly 2 percent of the potential male adult workforce in the United States is now incarcerated. Moreover, many of the workers who did find employment in the boom period between 1995 and 2000 were temporary and part-time, without benefits, and for the most part underemployed... While the US Labor Department put the official enemployment figure at 6.2 percent in the summer of 2003, real unemployement, when discouraged workers who have given up are counted, is 9 percent of the workforce...

"...runaway extension of consumer credit, which allowed Americans to go on a wild buying binge... the result was that America's family savings rate, which was about 8 percent in the early 1990s, sank to around 2 percent by the year 2001...

"The US economy is experiencing its worst hiring slump in more than twenty years...

"Were the European Union to abandon much of its social net in favor of a more libertarian market approach, its 455 million people might find themselves saddled with the kind of deep social ills that now plague the United States, from great inequality to increased poverty, lawlessness, and incarceration. That's a high price to pay when we consider the fact that the American model not only has failed to deliver real job growth but also has forced millions of Americans into long-term debt and bankruptcy" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. pp. 52-55)...


Colby Glass, MLIS