Sunday, December 9, 2018
My 7 Reasons Capitalism is Done and Over With (with free book excerpt)
Seven Reasons Why Capitalism,
As We Know It, Has Run Its Course
Free book excerpt #33 from, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto 4th Edition” by Rev. Paul J. Bern
For a website view, click here :-)
As world trade continues its anemic 1.2% average annual growth rate, politicians in most industrial countries, and particularly in the US, have an incentive to make exaggerated claims about the alleged ongoing economic recovery. The government wants us to think the Great Recession is over, and that we're on "the road to recovery," while the American people and other nations look on skeptically. The ugly truth is that more and more people have lost confidence in – and consequently no longer trust – the federal government. To make matters worse, 2015 turned out to be the year when the American public lost confidence and trust in law enforcement (think Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Gardner in New York, and that's just for starters). The street protests in Ferguson, New York, Chicago, L.A., Atlanta, Baltimore and elsewhere attest to the authenticity of that mistrust, which continues to get progressively worse. Below are seven important social phenomena that point to a more realistic economic and political outlook for 2019. Let's start where it matters most by beginning with the economy.
My Seven Reasons Why Capitalism Can't Recover
1) The Central Banks are clueless. The usual tricks that U.S. and European central banks use to keep their debt-based economies going are long-exhausted. Interest rates cannot get much lower. And because cheap money wasn't working, the printing press was turned up a notch, into what the U.S. federal reserve calls quantitative easing -- injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into the world economy, escalating an emerging trade war. Most recently, the Fed is raising rates at the insistence of investors and retirees, who have been seeing zero income from their “investments” for many years. This is bound to end disastrously one way or the other.
2) Trump's Trade Wars. For a global economy to grow, global cooperation is needed. But in a major recession all countries engage in a bitter struggle to dominate foreign markets so that their own corporations can export. These markets are won by devaluing currencies (accomplished in the U.S. by quantitative easing), installing protectionist measures (so that a nation's corporations have monopoly dominance over the nation's consumers), or by waging warfare (a risky but highly effective form of market domination).
3) The Pentagon's Military Wars. Foreign war is a good symptom of economic decay. The domination of markets – every inch of them – becomes an issue of life and death importance. Wars have been unleashed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. America is fighting scores of clandestine wars in numerous other countries as well. "Containing" economies like China and "opening" economies like Iran and North Korea become more urgent during a major recession, requiring brute force and creating further global instability in all realms of social life.
4) The U.S. Economy is going nowhere in a hurry. The most important consumer market in the world, the U.S., is a nation of totally bankrupt consumers. Nearly 18 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, while further job losses are certain due to nearly every state's budget deficit. States are bracing for more painful cuts, more layoffs, more tax increases, more battles with public employee unions, more requests to bail out cities. And in the long term, as cities and states try to keep up on their debts, the very nature of government could change as they have less money left over to pay for the services they have long provided." (date 12-05-10; the problem with state government budget shortfalls has since gotten far, far worse – PB)
5) Bailout Capitalism Emerges. First it was the banks and other corporations that needed bailing out in 2008, and now whole nations want the same. Western nations bailed out their banks by falling into the massive debt that they are now drowning in. Greece and Ireland have been bailed out, with eyes shifting to Portugal, Spain, and Italy. With the emergence of “Brexit”, the entire European Union is being called into question as the Euro takes a beating in the bailout spree. If the EU is dismantled, the shock waves will quickly reach other economies globally.
6) Bailout Repercussions. All western nations -- starting with the U.S., Canada and Great Britain – are grappling with their own national debts. Rich bond investors are demanding that these countries drastically reduce their deficits, while also demanding that the deficits be reduced on the backs of working families instead of rich investors. This is tearing the social fabric apart, as working and poor people see their social programs under attack. In Europe mass movements are erupting in France, Spain, Portugal, England, Greece, Ireland, Italy, etc. Social stability is a prerequisite for a recovered economy, but corporate politicians everywhere are asking much more than working people are willing to give.
7) The Far Right Emerges. To deal with working people more ruthlessly, the radical right is being unleashed. In normal times these bigots yell furiously but no one listens. But in times of economic crisis they're given endless airtime on all major media outlets. The message of the far right promotes all the rottenness not yet eradicated by education: racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, violence, and a backward nationalism that fears all things "foreign." These core beliefs effectively divide working people so that a concerted campaign against the corporate elite is harder to wage. Meanwhile, labor unions, progressives, and other working class organizations are instead targeted.
America imports twice the dollar amount of manufactured goods than it does oil. Since 2000 the US experienced a rapid increase in the imports of advanced technology products. A country dependent on foreigners for manufactured and advanced technology products is not a superpower. When it comes to Americans ages 18-24, 63% could not locate Iraq, Iran or Israel on a Middle East map. Fifty percent could not locate New York City. Moreover, 30% of respondents thought US population exceeded one billion. Forty-seven percent of all urban school children do not possess basic grade level skills. Is there any doubt as to why the jury system is a sham? Despotism and dictatorship reign when ignorance and nonsense rule societies. Society will divide itself into exploiters and exploited. In the early 1800's, complex literacy in New England exceeded 93%. A small farm nation, without newly built schools, sport stadiums, and "prestigious" universities had a much better track record. They keenly observed the American ideal of independence while never watching TV or indulging in Virtual Reality.
A country that has too many lacking in native knowledge is not a superpower. Countless industrial plants have been closed as 3.5 million jobs in manufacturing have been outsourced in the last ten years. In that time 7 million less jobs have been created than what population growth required. The high tech jobs never appeared as touted. Information Technology, computer system designs, and telecommunications in fact lost 17%, 9%, and 25% of its work force respectively. Even wholesale and retail trade experienced job losses, mainly at the managerial levels. As several hundred thousand engineers languished in unemployment lines for years, salaries for law school graduates continue to skyrocket. Firms in Philadelphia and New York are offering newly trained ruling class members over $125,000.00 in annual salaries. A country that does not fully utilize and reward its productive citizens and instead caters to the parasitic and marginal sectors is not a superpower. A country whose populace has been reduced to chattel by the special interest-driven 'health care for ransom' system is not a superpower.
Unfortunately, lawsuits for unproven and astronomical monetary amounts are pursued as the main recourse. These acts obviously fuel the healthcare crisis. Senator Hillary Clinton, who received $4.6 million from a trial lawyer group, helped to block medical lawsuit reform during her 2016 campaign. This mild bill would have saved her constituents $800.00 a year in premiums. A country that allows legalized bribery to plutocrats to influence law and policy is not a superpower. A country in which 4-7% of its people are illegals who now choose to dictate terms is not a superpower. This is clearly a breakdown of law and order.....”
In closing, the various reasons for capitalism's impending failure I have just elaborated on do not happen in a normal economic cycle of boom and bust. These symptoms point to a larger disease in the capitalist economic system, a disease that cannot be cured by politicians who swear allegiance to this deteriorating system and to the wealthy elite who benefit from it. To ensure that the economic system is changed so that working people benefit, the ones who do the real work every day to keep things moving, large-scale collective action is necessary based on demands that unite the majority of working people. The ongoing fight for a $15.00 per hour minimum wage is one good example of large-scale collective action. What America needs is a massive job-creation program at the expense of Wall Street, an expansion of Social Security and Medicare, and a moratorium on home foreclosures. If the Christian community worked cooperatively with the unions in promoting these demands, working people could put up a real fight. After all, the Bible says, “The workman is worth his/her wages”.