July 20, 2009
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The concentration of wealth is the root cause of the problems outlined here. This is nothing new. Huey Long was waring of this in the 1930s. He also pointed out how his “Democratic” collegues in the US Senate were as responsible for this as the Repubicans. The problem is that things have gotten a whole lot worse since the time of Huey Long.
The economic theoretical principles expounded by Milton Friedman were adopted by Reagan. The only problem was in application, these theories did not work except to further cocentrate wealth.
One of the problems touched on here, but not addressed, is that coporations since 1886 have the rights of individuals. It is obvious that they are not individuals, but by creating the legal fiction that they are, their ability to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands is multiplied.
Socialims is no more an answer than laise faire capitalism. A hybred system which exists in some Wester European countries is much more workable, and it was also what was proposed by Huey Long.
Huey Long was fatally wounded by a gunshot (possibly assassinated) in 1935. President Obama, according to some claims I have seen, fears going the same way as President Kennedy. A system of class collaboration like that which is apparently dying out in Western Europe is impossible if the capitalists do not agree to compromise on the matter of public provision. People in the USA and elsewhere have every right to try hybrid systems if they wish, but your country’s ruling élite seems to balk even at the kind of ‘socialised’ medicine that Australia and Canada have had for years. If capitalism really can’t stretch to any public provision, I can only suggest that it must be eliminated. If the people genuinely oppose that, they have only themselves to blame.
Let’s not forget that this whole sorry tale did not come about merely due to ideological caprice, but through the falling rate of profit inherent in ‘mature’ capitalist economies. Returns from capital invested are bound to diminish as workers get better off and competing economies ’emerge’, while lowering wages and creating unemployment to compensate lowers sales and thus profits. Debt is no solution in the long run, which we (the ‘West’ and Japan, not just the US) have already had. So, world socialist revolution, neo-feudal finance fascism, or world war III?
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