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Factory Farms

Can You Be Doing More to End Factory Farming and Grow the Plant-Based Food Industry? We’ve all heard the phrase “vote with your dollar,” countless times. It’s a phrase that calls people to boycott or support companies whose values align with their own. But how often do you think about this phrase in-context of what you eat every single day? If you’re like most people, you probably do anytime you choose to pay a little extra for food that is organic or touts a specific health benefit you’re after. Increasingly, when people choose to buy plant-based foods, they are not only voting for that particular brand, they are also voting to reform our industrial food system.

Over the past 30 years, Americans have started to do something that previously may have seemed unprecedented: they started to eat less meat. Thanks in large part to growing education and awareness about the health implications of consuming red meat (not to mention the stray hormones and antibiotics in cheap meat and dairy), in addition to the environmental impact of factory farming … oh, and the horrific conditions the animals are subjected to in these facilities, people started voting with their dollars for plant-based alternatives.

In the past decade alone, demand for plant-based proteins and dairy alternatives has shot up. So much so that Big Meat and Dairy are actually pushing to ban these products from bearing the labels “milk” or “beef” (yes, they are arguing that the reason their sales are down and almond milk is up can all be chalked up to “consumer confusion”). The overall plant-based meat alternative sector is set to hit a market worth of $5.2 billion within the next two years, and food giants like Tyson and Cargill are actively investing in companies that make plant-based products. But this isn’t just another story of a fad consumer trend making a new corporation rich. The success of plant-based foods is a win for human health, the environment, and animals all in one … not to mention these products can help us feed our growing population without completely decimating our natural resources.

Growing the plant-based food industry and creating change in our current food system is a cause near and dear to Michele Simon, the Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Association. If you haven’t heard of this powerhouse organization yet, it is a trade group representing the nation’s leading plant-based foods companies. The Plant Based Foods Association aims to level the playing field for plant-based foods by lobbying to eliminate policies and practices that place plant-based meat, milk, eggs, and butter at an economic disadvantage, such as labeling restrictions.

In a recent episode of the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast [], Michele gets into the various ways our current food policy is failing the rising plant-based space. From checkoff programs that pay for multi-million dollar ad campaigns to subsidies for crops that go toward feeding livestock, these government-funded initiatives artificially lower the cost of meat and dairy, begging the question: Are we doing enough to change our failing food system by simply eating plant-based foods? In short, no.


Keynesian Economics and The Cancer Stage Of Capitalism: Is The Profit Motive a Destructive Force?

Thom Hartmann: How the GOP Used a Two Santa Clauses Tactic to Con America for Nearly 40 Years This scam has been killing wages and enriching billionaires for decades.

The Republican Party has been running a long con on America since Reagan’s inauguration, and somehow our nation’s media has missed it – even though it was announced in The Wall Street Journal in the 1970s and the GOP has clung tenaciously to it ever since.

In fact, Republican strategist Jude Wanniski’s 1974 “Two Santa Clauses Theory” has been the main reason why the GOP has succeeded in producing our last two Republican presidents, Bush and Trump (despite losing the popular vote both times). It’s also why Reagan’s economy seemed to be “good.”

Here’s how it works, laid it out in simple summary:

First, when Republicans control the federal government, and particularly the White House, spend money like a drunken sailor and run up the US debt as far and as fast as possible. This produces three results – it stimulates the economy thus making people think that the GOP can produce a good economy, it raises the debt dramatically, and it makes people think that Republicans are the “tax-cut Santa Claus.”

Second, when a Democrat is in the White House, scream about the national debt as loudly and frantically as possible, freaking out about how “our children will have to pay for it!” and “we have to cut spending to solve the crisis!” This will force the Democrats in power to cut their own social safety net programs, thus shooting their welfare-of-the-American-people Santa Claus.

Think back to Ronald Reagan, who more than tripled the US debt from a mere $800 billion to $2.6 trillion in his 8 years. That spending produced a massive stimulus to the economy, and the biggest non-wartime increase in the debt in history. Nary a peep from Republicans about that 218% increase in our debt; they were just fine with it.

And then along came Bill Clinton. The screams and squeals from the GOP about the “unsustainable debt” of nearly $3 trillion were loud, constant, and echoed incessantly by media from CBS to NPR. Newt Gingrich rode the wave of “unsustainable debt” hysteria into power, as the GOP took control of the House for the first time lasting more than a term since 1930, even though the increase in our national debt under Clinton was only about 37%.

The GOP “debt freakout” was so widely and effectively amplified by the media that Clinton himself bought into it and began to cut spending, taking the axe to numerous welfare programs (“It’s the end of welfare as we know it” he famously said, and “The era of big government is over”). Clinton also did something no Republican has 'e in our lifetimes: he supported several balanced budgets and handed a budget surplus to George W. Bush.

When George W. Bush was given the White House by the Supreme Court (Gore won the popular vote by over a half-million votes) he reverted to Reagan’s strategy and again nearly doubled the national debt, adding a trillion in borrowed money to pay for his tax cut for GOP-funding billionaires, and tossing in two unfunded wars for good measure, which also added at least (long term) another $5 to $7 trillion.

There was not a peep about the debt from any high-profile in-the-know Republicans then; in fact, Dick Cheney famously said, essentially ratifying Wanniski’s strategy, “Reagan proved deficits ''t matter. We won the midterms [because of those tax cuts]. This is our due.” Bush and Cheney raised the debt by 86% to over $10 trillion (although the war debt wasn’t put on the books until Obama entered office).

Then comes Democratic President Barack Obama, and suddenly the GOP is hysterical about the debt again. So much so that they convinced a sitting Democratic president to propose a cut to Social Security (the “chained CPI”). Obama nearly shot the Democrats biggest Santa Claus program. And, Republican squeals notwithstanding, Obama only raised the debt by 34%.

Now we’re back to a Republican president, and once again deficits be damned. Between their tax cut and the nearly-trillion dollar spending increase passed on February 8th, in the first year-and-a-month of Trump’s administration they’ve spent more stimulating the economy (and driving up debt by more than $2 trillion, when you include interest) than the entire Obama presidency.

Consider the amazing story of where this strategy came from, and how the GOP has successfully kept their strategy from getting into the news; even generally well-informed writers for media like the Times and the Post – and producers, pundits and reporters for TV news – '’t know the history of what’s been happening right in front of us all for 37 years.

Wanniski was tired of the GOP failing to win elections. And, he reasoned, it was happening because the Democrats had been viewed since the New Deal as the Santa Claus party (taking care of people’s needs and the General Welfare), while the GOP, opposing everything from Social Security to Medicare to unemployment insurance, was widely seen as the party of Scrooge.

The Democrats, he noted, got to play Santa Claus when they passed out Social Security and Unemployment checks – both programs of the New Deal – as well as when their "big government" projects like roads, bridges, and highways were built, giving a healthy union paycheck to construction workers and making our country shine.

Democrats kept raising taxes on businesses and rich people to pay for things, which didn't seem to have much effect at all on working people (wages were steadily going up, in fact), and that added to the perception that the Democrats were a party of Robin Hoods, taking from the rich to fund programs for the poor and the working class.

Americans loved the Democrats back then. And every time Republicans railed against these programs, they lost elections.

Wanniski decided that the GOP had to become a Santa Claus party, too. But because the Republicans hated the idea of helping working people, they had to figure out a way to convince people that they, too, could have the Santa spirit. But what?

“Tax cuts!” said Wanniski.

To make this work, the Republicans would first have to turn the classical world of economics – which had operated on a simple demand-driven equation for seven thousand years – on its head. (Everybody understood that demand – aka “wages” – drove economies because working people spent most of their money in the marketplace, producing demand for factory output and services.)

In 1974 Wanniski invented a new phrase – "supply side economics" – and suggested that the reason economies grew wasn't because people had money and wanted to buy things with it but, instead, because things were available for sale, thus tantalizing people to part with their money.

The more things there were, he said, the faster the economy would grow. And the more money we gave rich people and their corporations (via tax cuts) the more stuff they’d generously produce for us to think about buying.

At a glance, this move by the Republicans seems irrational, cynical and counterproductive. It certainly defies classic understandings of economics. But if you consider Jude Wanniski’s playbook, it makes complete sense.

To help, Arthur Laffer took that equation a step further with his famous napkin scribble. Not only was supply-side a rational concept, Laffer suggested, but as taxes went down, revenue to the government would go up! Neither concept made any sense – and time has proven both to be colossal idiocies – but together they offered the Republican Party a way out of the wilderness.

Ronald Reagan was the first national Republican politician to fully embrace the Two Santa Clauses strategy. He said straight out that if he could cut taxes on rich people and businesses, those tax cuts would cause them to take their surplus money and build factories, and that the more stuff there was supplying the economy the faster it would grow.

There was no way, Wanniski said, that the Democrats could ever win again. They'd be forced into the role of Santa-killers by raising taxes, or anti-Santas by cutting spending. Either one would lose them elections.

When Reagan rolled out Supply Side Economics in the early 80s, dramatically cutting taxes while exploding spending, there was a moment when it seemed to Wanniski and Laffer that all was lost. The budget deficit exploded and the country fell into a deep recession – the worst since the Great Depression – and Republicans nationwide held their collective breath.

But David Stockman came up with a great new theory about what was going on – they were "starving the beast" of government by running up such huge deficits that Democrats would never, ever in the future be able to talk again about national health care or improving Social Security.

And this so pleased Alan Greenspan, the Fed Chairman, that he opened the spigots of the Fed, dropping interest rates and buying government bonds, producing a nice, healthy goose to the economy.

Greenspan further counseled Reagan to dramatically increase taxes on people earning under $37,800 a year by doubling the Social Security (FICA/payroll) tax, and then let the government borrow those newfound hundreds of billions of dollars off-the-books to make the deficit look better than it was.

Reagan, Greenspan, Winniski, and Laffer took the federal budget deficit from under a trillion dollars in 1980 to almost three trillion by 1988, and back then a dollar could buy far more than it buys today. They and George HW Bush ran up more debt in eight years than every president in history, from George Washington to Jimmy Carter, combined.

Surely this would both starve the beast and force the Democrats to make the politically suicidal move of becoming deficit hawks. And that's just how it turned out.

Bill Clinton, who had run on an FDR-like platform of a "New Covenant" with the American people that would strengthen the institutions of the New Deal, strengthen labor, and institute a national health care system, found himself in a box.

A few weeks before his inauguration, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin sat him down and told him the facts of life: he was going to have to raise taxes and cut the size of government. Clinton took their advice to heart, raised taxes, balanced the budget, and cut numerous programs, declaring an "end to welfare as we know it" and, in his second inaugural address, an "end to the era of big government."

Clinton was the anti-Santa Claus, and the result was an explosion of Republican wins across the country as Republican politicians campaigned on a platform of supply-side tax cuts and pork-rich spending increases. State after state turned red, and the Republican Party rose to take over, ultimately, every single lever of power in the federal government, from the Supreme Court to the White House.

Looking at the wreckage of the Democratic Party all around Clinton by 1999, Winniski wrote a gloating memo that said, in part: "We of course should be indebted to Art Laffer for all time for his Curve... But as the primary political theoretician of the supply-side camp, I began arguing for the 'Two Santa Claus Theory' in 1974. If the Democrats are going to play Santa Claus by promoting more spending, the Republicans can never beat them by promoting less spending. They have to promise tax cuts..."

In reality, his tax cuts did what they have always 'e over the past 100 years – they initiated a bubble economy that would let the very rich skim the cream off the top just before the ceiling crashed in on working people. Just like today.

The Republicans got what they wanted from Wanniski's work. They held power for thirty years, made themselves trillions of dollars, and cut organized labor's representation in the workplace from around 25 percent when Reagan came into office to around 6 of the non-governmental workforce today.

Over time, and without raising the cap, Social Security will face an easily-solved crisis, and the GOP’s plan is for force Democrats to become the anti-Santa, yet again. If the GOP-controlled Congress continues to refuse to require rich people to pay into Social Security (any income over $128,000 is SS-tax-free), either benefits will be cut or the retirement age will have to be raised to over 70.

The GOP plan is to use this unnecessary, manufactured crisis as an opening to “reform” Social Security - translated: cut and privatize. Thus, forcing Democrats to become the Social Security anti-Santa a different way.

When this happens, Democrats must remember Jude Wanniski, and accept neither the cut to disability payments nor the entree to Social Security “reform.” They must demand the “cap” be raised, as Bernie Sanders proposed and the Democratic Party adopted in its 2016 platform.

And, hopefully, some of our media will begin to call the GOP out on the Two Santa Clauses program. It’s about time that Americans realized the details of the scam that’s been killing wages and enriching billionaires for nearly four decades.

The Deadly Rule of the Oligarchs By Chris Hedges February 12, 2018

Oligarchic rule, as Aristotle pointed out, is a deviant form of government.

Oligarchs care nothing for competency, intelligence, honesty, rationality, self-sacrifice or the common good. They pervert, deform and dismantle systems of power to serve their immediate interests, squandering the future for short-term personal gain.

“The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments that rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one, of the few or of the many, are perversions,” Aristotle wrote.

The classicist Peter L.P. Simpson calls these perversions the “sophistry of oligarchs,” meaning that once oligarchs take power, rational, prudent and thoughtful responses to social, economic and political problems are ignored to feed insatiable greed. The late stage of every civilization is characterized by the sophistry of oligarchs, who ravage the decaying carcass of the state.

[... perfect description of the thinking of Trump and his ilk.]

Oligarchs accelerate social, political, cultural and economic collapse. The unchecked plunder leads to systems breakdown. The refusal to protect natural resources, or the economic engines that sustain the state, means that poverty becomes the norm and the natural world becomes a toxic wasteland. Basic institutions no longer work. Infrastructure is no longer reliable. Water, air and soil are poisoned. The population is left uneducated, untrained, impoverished, oppressed by organs of internal security and beset by despair. The state eventually goes bankrupt.

They lose touch with reality. In the end, they are overthrown or destroy the state itself. There is no institution left in America that can be called democratic, and thus there is no internal mechanism to prevent a descent into barbarity.

“The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it,” the political philosopher Shel' Wolin wrote in “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.”

This Is Your Brain on Money: Why America’s Rich Think Differently Than the Rest of Us Economist Chris Dillow cites research by Cameron Anderson and Sebastien Brion, showing that overconfident individuals are seen by others as more competent. He argues that, “overconfident people are more likely to be promoted. And this could have positive feedback effects. Higher status will itself breed even more overconfidence. (E.g. “I got the job so I must be good.”) And if bosses employ like-minded subordinates, the result could be entire layers of management which are both over-confident and engaged in groupthink.” Many other studies cited.

Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse By James Petras [a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York] February 11, 2018

Can anyone say with a straight face that the US remains a nation of free and autonomous citizens?

The public denunciation by thousands of women and a few men that they had been victims of sexual abuse by their economic bosses raises fundamental issues about the social relations of American capitalism.

The moral offenses are in essence economic and social crimes. Sexual abuse is only one aspect of the social dynamics facilitating the increase in inequality and concentration of wealth, which define the practices and values of the American political and economic system.

Billionaires and mega-millionaires are themselves the products of intense exploitation of tens of millions of isolated and unorganized wage and salaried workers. Capitalist exploitation is based on a rigid hierarchy with its private prerogatives, which enables the oligarchs to demand their feudal privileges, their seigniorial sexual predations.

US capitalism thrives on and requires unlimited power and the capacity to have the public treasury pay for its untrammeled pillage of land, labor, transport systems and technological development. Capitalist power, in the United States, has no counterpart; there are few if any countervailing forces to provide any balance....

The much-celebrated technological innovations have been subsidized by the state and its educational and research institutions. Although these are financed by the tax-payers, the citizen-workers are marginalized by the technological changes, like robotics, that they originally funded. High tech innovations flourish because they concentrate power, profits and private privilege.

The hierarchical matrix of power and exploitation has led to the polarization of mortality rates and moral codes. For the working poor, the absence of competent health care has led to the massive use and abuse of prescription opioids and other addictive drugs. For the upper class, it has led to the flagrant physical and psychological abuse of vulnerable employees, especially, but not exclusively young working women. The prestigious bourgeois media blur the class polarization by constant reference to what they term ‘our shared traditional democratic values.’

The most advanced forms of entertainment thrive in an environment of absolute impunity in which the occasional exposé of abuse or corruption is hidden behind a monetary settlement. The courage of an individual victim able to secure public attention is a step forward, but will have greater significance if it is organized and linked to a massive challenging of the power of the bourgeois entertainment industry and the system of high tech exploitation. Sexual abuse of an individual in the workplace is just part of a chain that begins with exploitation of workers in general and can only be stopped through collective worker organization.

Servitude and moral degradation are the outcome of an atomized, impotent laboring class who may change one boss for another or one vulgar president for a moralizing hypocrite. We hope that the exposés will start something but without class conscious organizations we '’t know what will arise.

Slavehood 2017 By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.] May 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

When in the 18th and 19th Century African slaves did not ‘behave’, they were cruelly beaten sometimes to death as a deterrent for others. They were deprived of food for their families. Their women were raped. They were traded to even harsher white masters. Their lives were worth only what their labor could produce. They were treated as subjects, devoid of human warmth.

Today we have become all slaves; slaves to the powers of mafia bankster of finance; slaves to the western lie-propaganda; to the lobbies and their giant all dominating corporations – to the war-industry, because we happily believe what we are told about ever-increasing terrorism that needs to be fought with eternal wars; slaves to the environment-destructive hydrocarbon industry; to the pharma-industry; to the Monsanto-ized agroindustry; to senseless consumerism – and foremost – and summing it all up: to greed, endless greed that drives endless growth, nurturing endless competition fomenting adversity, destroying solidarity, instead of amical cooperation for a harmonious human cohabitation.

As people of western nations, we are enslaved to an all-engulfing neoliberal fascism – to a predatory economy. Corporate lie propaganda drip-feds our brains. We haven’t even noticed it. We are enslaved to so-called ‘leaders’, put in office by obscure foreign masters of deceit – the ever-stronger corporate controlled propaganda machine – the six all controlling Zion-Anglo media, whom we believe whatever lie they vomit – because it is more comfortable to believe a lie than to confront the truth – that’s self-imposed slavehood.

That’s how far we have gone. Because we are clearly on an almost irreversible downward track – sliding and running towards our own demise – into darkness – the darkness of chaos and bloody wars, endless wars against self-invented terrorism; wars that keeps our western economy running – and our armchair politics alive. Wars that kill and slaughter millions and millions – but all in ‘far-away’ lands. We are told we are protected. Our police and military watch over us. The new gods – money and military.

Although ‘pride’ was never an appropriate term to integrate our soul and minds, as we the western powers – have for centuries enslaved, raped, exploited and slaughtered the indigenous people, those who have for millennia, for history of mankind survived and passed on our human genes from one murderous civilization to another, always in the hope that the new one would see the light.

We can only hope that the patience of these native people, the survivors, our saviors – will prevail, that before we disappear in darkness, in the void of a manmade blackhole, we will awake, open our eyes and seek the light – become finally human, the term we have fraudulently applied to ourselves – the western civilization.

Independent thinking has become a crime, as it impedes the advancement of slavehood. Education is designed to kill individual thinking and the wide range of inventiveness – because it’s dangerous – for those who enslave and control us. ‘New-speak’ education has to make us thinking what the system wants us to think. That’s what western education has become in the last 50 years – a farce to keep us as non-thinking idiots.

Idiots are easily enslaved and exploited and sent to wars – to steal foreign resources to satisfy the greed of a few. We love to be cannon fodder, as we were told – enslaved – to believe that good patriots love to die for their country. We are blinded and avoid seeing that we are dying fighting to satisfy puppet leaders’ greed for power and money – whose power is nothing more than that allowed them by the Masters who control the world and who pull the strings on their marionettes.

Hating Capitalism

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

Exposés of Capitalism

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.)

"’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."

"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 aban' 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)...


Capitalism Is a ‘Suicide System’ capitalism isn’t the end all be all of society, and if we want our planet to persist, it may be time to consider other economic systems and other ways of living life that '’t lead to suicide... “We can organize communities differently; we can organize the world differently,” concludes the “Trews” host with excitement. “We can love each other differently.”

Yes, there is an alternative to capitalism: Mondragon shows the way, Richard Wolff: Why are we told a broken system that creates vast inequality is the only choice? Spain's amazing co-op is living proof otherwise

Capitalism in Crisis: Richard Wolff Urges End to Austerity, New Jobs Program, Democratizing Work

Yes, There Is an Alternative to Capitalism: Mondragon Shows the Way: Why are we told a broken system that creates vast inequality is the only choice? Spain's amazing co-op is living proof otherwise, by Richard Wolff

IRS Seizes Money From Guiltless Americans on Mere Suspicion

Chris Hedges: The Myth of the Free Press The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes... The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses.

But to maintain this myth they have to destroy the credibility of journalists such as Webb and Assange who shine a light on the sinister and murderous inner workings of empire, who care more about truth than news.

Quotes on Capitalism

"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).

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." - Winston Churchill

"Fascism is capitalism in decay.: - Vladimir Lenin

"Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." - John Maynard Keynes

"I served in all commissioned ranks from a second Lieutenant to a Major General. And during that time, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism." - Smedley Butler

"They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?" - Fidel Castro

"The left is back, and it's the only path we have to get out of the spot to which the right has sunken us. Socialism builds and capitalism destroys." - Hugo Chavez

"In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy." - Fran Lebowitz

"Capitalism is against the things that we say we believe in - democracy, freedom of choice, fairness. It's not about any of those things now. It's about protecting the wealthy and legalizing greed." - Michael Moore

"Here's what I don't think works: An economic system that was founded in the 16th century and another that was founded in the 19th century. I'm tired of this discussion of capitalism and socialism; we live in the 21st century; we need an economic system that has democracy as its underpinnings and an ethical code." - Michael Moore

"The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn't deliver the goods." - John Maynard Keynes

"Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation." - Eugene V. Debs

"I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating... because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition." - Fidel Castro

"Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction." - W. E. B. Du Bois

"Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force." - George Bernard Shaw

"There's definitely evidence that capitalism at its most ruthless rewards psychopathic behavior. When you look at the worst corners of the American health insurance industry or the sub-prime banking market, it really feels like the more psychopathically someone behaves, the more it's rewarded." - Jon Ronson

"Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

"The trouble with capitalism as a system is that only those who have or can get capital can make it work for them, and that leaves out damn near all of us." - Molly Ivins

"The government may change faces from time to time, but it's not like we fight wars for democracy - we fight wars for capitalism and for oil." - Woody Harrelson

"Western capitalism is a looting mechanism. It loots labor. It loots the environment, and with the transpacific and transatlantic 'partnerships,' it will loot the sovereign law of countries." - Paul Craig Roberts

"Capitalism offers you freedom, but far from giving people freedom, it enslaves them." - Ian Mckellen

"Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil." - Michael Moore

"I have come to the conclusion that capitalism is successful primarily because it can impose the majority of the costs associated with its economic activities on outside parties and on the environment." - Paul Craig Roberts

"World wide capitalism kills more people everyday then Hitler did. And he was crazy." - Ken Livingstone

"Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class." - Al Capone

Colby Glass, MLIS