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 bliss serendipity
Joined: 12/27/2006
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What are your thoughts on this well-written article by Naomi Klein? I am almost certain of what some commentators will say, but still would like to get feedback from all persuasions in this forum.


Let's put an end to Sarah Palin-style capitalism
By Naomi Klein
| July 31, 2009
We are in a progressive moment, a moment when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, and anything is possible. What we considered unimaginable about what could be said and hoped for a year ago is now possible. At a time like this, it is absolutely critical that we be as clear as we possibly can be about what it is that we want because we might just get it.
So the stakes are high.
I usually talk about the bailout in speeches these days. We all need to understand it because it is a robbery in progress, the greatest heist in monetary history. But today I'd like to take a different approach: What if the bailout actually works, what if the financial sector is saved and the economy returns to the course it was on before the crisis struck? Is that what we want? And what would that world look like?
The answer is that it would look like Sarah Palin. Hear me out, this is not a joke. I don't think we have given sufficient consideration to the meaning of the Palin moment. Think about it: Sarah Palin stepped onto the world stage as Vice Presidential candidate on August 29 at a McCain campaign rally, to much fanfare. Exactly two weeks later, on September 14, Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering the global financial meltdown.
So in a way, Palin was the last clear expression of capitalism-as-usual before everything went south. That's quite helpful because she showed us -- in that plainspoken, down-homey way of hers -- the trajectory the U.S. economy was on before its current meltdown. By offering us this glimpse of a future, one narrowly avoided, Palin provides us with an opportunity to ask a core question: Do we want to go there? Do we want to save that pre-crisis system, get it back to where it was last September? Or do we want to use this crisis, and the electoral mandate for serious change delivered by the last election, to radically transform that system? We need to get clear on our answer now because we haven't had the potent combination of a serious crisis and a clear progressive democratic mandate for change since the 1930s. We use this opportunity, or we lose it.
So what was Sarah Palin telling us about capitalism-as-usual before she was so rudely interrupted by the meltdown? Let's first recall that before she came along, the U.S. public, at long last, was starting to come to grips with the urgency of the climate crisis, with the fact that our economic activity is at war with the planet, that radical change is needed immediately. We were actually having that conversation: Polar bears were on the cover of Newsweek magazine. And then in walked Sarah Palin. The core of her message was this: Those environmentalists, those liberals, those do-gooders are all wrong. You don't have to change anything. You don't have to rethink anything. Keep driving your gas-guzzling car, keep going to Wal-Mart and shop all you want. The reason for that is a magical place called Alaska. Just come up here and take all you want. "Americans," she said at the Republican National Convention, "we need to produce more of our own oil and gas. Take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska, we've got lots of both."
And the crowd at the convention responded by chanting and chanting: "Drill, baby, drill."
Watching that scene on television, with that weird creepy mixture of sex and oil and jingoism, I remember thinking: "Wow, the RNC has turned into a rally in favour of screwing Planet Earth." Literally.
But what Palin was saying is what is built into the very DNA of capitalism: the idea that the world has no limits. She was saying that there is no such thing as consequences, or real-world deficits. Because there will always be another frontier, another Alaska, another bubble. Just move on and discover it. Tomorrow will never come.
This is the most comforting and dangerous lie that there is: the lie that perpetual, unending growth is possible on our finite planet. And we have to remember that this message was incredibly popular in those first two weeks, before Lehman collapsed. Despite Bush's record, Palin and McCain were pulling ahead. And if it weren't for the financial crisis, and for the fact that Obama started connecting with working class voters by putting deregulation and trickle-down economics on trial, they might have actually won.
The President tells us he wants to look forward, not backwards. But in order to confront the lie of perpetual growth and limitless abundance that is at the centre of both the ecological and financial crises, we have to look backwards. And we have to look way backwards, not just to the past eight years of Bush and Cheney, but to the very founding of this country, to the whole idea of the settler state.
Modern capitalism was born with the so-called discovery of the Americas. It was the pillage of the incredible natural resources of the Americas that generated the excess capital that made the Industrial Revolution possible. Early explorers spoke of this land as a New Jerusalem, a land of such bottomless abundance, there for the taking, so vast that the pillage would never have to end. This mythology is in our biblical stories-of floods and fresh starts, of raptures and rescues-and it is at the centre of the American Dream of constant reinvention. What this myth tells us is that we don't have to live with our pasts, with the consequences of our actions. We can always escape, start over.
These stories were always dangerous, of course, to the people who were already living on the "discovered" lands, to the people who worked them through forced labour. But now the planet itself is telling us that we cannot afford these stories of endless new beginnings anymore. That is why it is so significant that at the very moment when some kind of human survival instinct kicked in, and we seemed finally to be coming to grips with the Earth's natural limits, along came Palin, the new and shiny incarnation of the colonial frontierswoman, saying: Come on up to Alaska. There is always more. Don't think, just take.
This is not about Sarah Palin. It's about the meaning of that myth of constant "discovery," and what it tells us about the economic system that they're spending trillions of dollars to save. What it tells us is that capitalism, left to its own devices, will push us past the point from which the climate can recover. And capitalism will avoid a serious accounting-whether of its financial debts or its ecological debts-at all costs. Because there's always more. A new quick fix. A new frontier.
That message was selling, as it always does. It was only when the stock market crashed that people said, "Maybe Sarah Palin isn't a great idea this time around. Let's go with the smart guy to ride out the crisis."
I almost feel like we've been given a last chance, some kind of a reprieve. I try not to be apocalyptic, but the global warming science I read is scary. This economic crisis, as awful as it is, pulled us back from that ecological precipice that we were about to drive over with Sarah Palin and gave us a tiny bit of time and space to change course. And I think it's significant that when the crisis hit, there was almost a sense of relief, as if people knew they were living beyond their means and had gotten caught. We suddenly had permission to do things together other than shop, and that spoke to something deep.
But we are not free from the myth. The willful blindness to consequences that Sarah Palin represents so well is embedded in the way Washington is responding to the financial crisis. There is just an absolute refusal to look at how bad it is. Washington would prefer to throw trillions of dollars into a black hole rather than find out how deep the hole actually is. That's how willful the desire is not to know.
And we see lots of other signs of the old logic returning. Wall Street salaries are almost back to 2007 levels. There's a certain kind of electricity in the claims that the stock market is rebounding. "Can we stop feeling guilty yet?" you can practically hear the cable commentators asking. "Is the bubble back yet?"
And they may well be right. This crisis isn't going to kill capitalism or even change it substantively. Without huge popular pressure for structural reform, the crisis will prove to have been nothing more than a very wrenching adjustment. The result will be even greater inequality than before the crisis. Because the millions of people losing their jobs and their homes aren't all going to be getting them back, not by a long shot. And manufacturing capacity is very difficult to rebuild once it's auctioned off.
It's appropriate that we call this a "bailout." Financial markets are being bailed out to keep the ship of finance capitalism from sinking, but what is being scooped out is not water. It's people. It's people who are being thrown overboard in the name of "stabilization." The result will be a vessel that is leaner and meaner. Much meaner. Because great inequality-the super rich living side by side with the economically desperate-requires a hardening of the hearts. We need to believe ourselves superior to those who are excluded in order to get through the day. So this is the system that is being saved: the same old one, only meaner.
And the question that we face is: Should our job be to bail out this ship, the biggest pirate ship that ever was, or to sink it and replace it with a sturdier vessel, one with space for everyone? One that doesn't require these ritual purges, during which we throw our friends and our neighbours overboard to save the people in first class. One that understands that the Earth doesn't have the capacity for all of us to live better and better.
But it does have the capacity, as Bolivian President Evo Morales said recently at the U.N., "for all of us to live well."
Because make no mistake: Capitalism will be back. And the same message will return, though there may be someone new selling that message: You don't need to change. Keep consuming all you want. There's plenty more. Drill, baby, drill. Maybe there will be some technological fix that will make all our problems disappear.
And that is why we need to be absolutely clear right now.
Capitalism can survive this crisis. But the world can't survive another capitalist comeback.


Bliss
 bliss serendipity
Joined: 12/27/2006
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Posted: 8/2/2009 1:21:24 AM
But then why did it require socialism to bail out the ship of finance capitalism from sinking?

Bliss
 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
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Posted: 8/2/2009 1:36:20 AM

But then why did it require socialism to bail out the ship of finance capitalism from sinking?


One could argue socialism is why they needed the bailout in the first place. Won't be me who argues it though, it's a moot point now and a waste of keystrokes.
 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
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Posted: 8/3/2009 12:11:10 AM

When they try to demonize the other party and yell foul about being at the brunt of demonization, that would be 2 fouls and a graduated taxation rate for using up unnecessary hyperbole.


Leave it to a democrat to try to tax hot air. We thinking people won't stand for it, by the way.
 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
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Posted: 8/3/2009 1:49:42 PM

Mixed market economies are the ones that work the best.


I don't know if you've noticed or not but the one in the U.S. obviously has some problems right now. One of the biggest problems is no one can agree on which part of the mix is responsible for the damage.
 Outdoor2
Joined: 4/1/2006
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Posted: 8/3/2009 6:15:51 PM
^^^"....the weak are not provided for, the weak are preyed upon..."

I have only one question...WWJD?

The Shock Doctrine...The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Ms. Klein is an excellent read.
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
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Posted: 8/3/2009 6:54:06 PM

Hell, now that I think about it..more tax breaks to the capitalists, meager-earners though some of us might be


Why? Giving them tax breaks has worked so well since Reagan came up with it that we find ourselves on the verge of economic collapse. So they have taken the money they were given in tax breaks and invested it in factories in China?
 wisguyingb
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 8
Capitalism
Posted: 8/4/2009 5:58:32 AM
Maybe we should start redistributing grades in school. After all it's not fair that some kids (who study harder and make the extra effort to succeed) get good grades while other kids get bad grades. It's just not fair to those poor kids who only got a C or a D.

My point is that success in life is earned.

The ultra rich will simply move out of this country and into a tax friendlier country if we punish them with crazy high taxes. Then were left with no tax revenue from those individuals. It's already happened in states that have a millionaires tax. The rich just move out of that state and into a state that taxes them less or a state that has no state income tax at all.

Heck if you made a boatload of money on stock's that you bought in the past. You could just move to a tax friendly state and then sell them in your new home state in order to avoid the high taxes of your former home state. Then after a while you could always move back to your former home state. After the sale of your stock of course.
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
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Posted: 8/4/2009 6:55:19 AM

Maybe we should start redistributing grades in school. After all it's not fair that some kids (who study harder and make the extra effort to succeed) get good grades while other kids get bad grades. It's just not fair to those poor kids who only got a C or a D.


pure BS, First we are not all born with the same mental capacities nor are we all born into an enviroment that is condusive to academic achievement so it's not all about effort each one of us is different


My point is that success in life is earned.


To a degree I will agree with you but on the other side when fortunes are handed down from one generation to the next success becomes much easier, it's easier to end up on the top of the hill if you started from the top, Real success can be deifined by our current President or by Sotomayor who had to earn it fighting for it and will have to fight to keep it


The ultra rich will simply move out of this country and into a tax friendlier country if we punish them with crazy high taxes. Then were left with no tax revenue from those individuals. It's already happened in states that have a millionaires tax. The rich just move out of that state and into a state that taxes them less or a state that has no state income tax at all.


Good bye have a nice life do you need help packing and oh yea bye the way if you are importing goods to sell to the USA you will find a competitive tax levied on your products. The rich share in all of the benefits we have from our military to our roads let them move to another country and find the same perks, they buy multimillion dollar homes and write off the taxes they have many benefits not afforded to the working middle class


Heck if you made a boatload of money on stock's that you bought in the past. You could just move to a tax friendly state and then sell them in your new home state in order to avoid the high taxes of your former home state. Then after a while you could always move back to your former home state. After the sale of your stock of course.


Sounds like one of the many loop holes that the rich take advantage of that should be closed
 Wookie50
Joined: 4/9/2006
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Posted: 8/10/2009 11:16:40 AM
It seems like this thread has turned into the predictable all or nothing deal. Its either laissez faire capitalism or pinko socialism. The problem with capitalist cheerleaders is that they tend to see any and all rules as tyranny. Try playing sports without a referee. Its the deregulation that leads to recessions, job losses and the government picking up the slack. Big government is a response to market losses and lousy wages. Accept a middle ground, such as the New Deal and the economy will stay stable as it did then.
 eeeo4U
Joined: 6/25/2007
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Posted: 8/20/2009 2:54:49 PM
Don't know what's going to happen...I had either a financial or a contractural stake in 46 of the Chrysler dealerships closed...heck I thought I was immune but nobody is!
Several posts ago someone said that true socialism is when the successful person wants to help the unsuccessful succeed...this would be great but not if someone else decided who needs help and how much.
 Outdoor2
Joined: 4/1/2006
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Posted: 8/29/2009 12:28:38 AM
(panic legislation is never good)

Except for K Street and their ilk.

PROFIT has been sacralized as embodying moral right:

It says so right on the money! In God We Trust! Ergo...he must be a capitalist!

Unfortunately, the_money_changers_in_the_temple parable is an inconvenient truth for many who proselytize the "almighty" dollar.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 14
Capitalism
Posted: 8/30/2009 11:55:15 AM


But then why did it require socialism to bail out the ship of finance capitalism from sinking?


A bailout was not necessary. It was counter-productive. These companies that failed, failed because of terrible business decisions and a terrible business model. The bailout allows the sick companies to survive when we should let them die, and added over a trillion dollars to our national debt.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
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Posted: 8/30/2009 12:09:17 PM

Palin is, of course, the perfect expression of this conflation of capitalism, "freedom," and "Christianity"--as was our last president, and not least in their shared inability cogently to explain this conflation. Not that it SHOULD matter in regard to policy in our secular republic....BUT, Jesus was, quite clearly, NOT a capitalist!


Sarah Palin proudly bragged about Alaska's oil dividend wealth distribution scheme. Hardly a capitalistic model.
 kabiosile
Joined: 11/3/2005
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Posted: 8/31/2009 10:37:26 AM
This conversation cannot take place in the USA right now because most here have no clue what Capitalism and socialism really are. Plus many of us can only think in dualism and think it has to be one or the other. We have been dumbed down so badly that we lack creativity.

Someone will bring up health care for all, and someone will say look at Canada and UK They will claim their system is somehow so horrible even though they are often ranked higher than our own system. Let's just assume though for sake of argument that they had very bad systems that dont work etc. (I know I know, we are the only developed nation that is barbaric enough to allow corporations to profit off of the deaths of tens of thousands of people whom die for no other reason than lack of sufficient health care due to them being denied coverage or not being able to afford it, or it only covers part even when they do shell out tons of money.) This is for sake of argument that I am granting the naysayers their fantasy of us having a better system than Canada and UK and Sweden etc.

Let's assume that Nation X has a socialized system and wait times are intolerably high. Are we so absolutely uncreative in this nation to not think of a solution to this SIMPLE problem which is still better than letting tens of thousands of people die every year to make insurance company profits soar?

Capitalism is the pipe dream of those whom wish to lord over others. It is true as another poster pointed out that even a great many of socialist revolutions turned into some form of oligarchy. This also does not mean the idea itself is to blame it means the same people whom were causing your problem before are finding a way to continue said problem in new system. It means a creative solution is needed to counter this. This holds true for capitalism as well. There could be things done to make it impossible for anyone to become so extremely wealthy as to be 500-5000 times richer than the poorest classes. This will aid in righting the system. Any system that allows extremes in difference to wealth will have a class that suffers. One mans savings is another mans food that he dont have. There is a direct cause and effect because contrary to the belief in capitalism the world cannot continue to be our bottomless trash can, their are not infinite resources, and we cannot have permanent exponential growth.

We are coming to a crossroads as a species right now as we speak. We have a choice to continue capitalism and continue down the road to suicide due to capitalism's reliance on infinite exponential growth, infinite resources that do not exist, and the assumption that we can treat the planet as a two bit whore, whom we can rape for profit to infinity.

Our population numbers soar closer and closer to our own destruction. I believe it would be quite wise to reconsider while we can.

In the future I foresee a world without money, without classes, without nations, without the idea of other. Cooperation must replace competition. It has to happen the current system is impeding progress in the name of profit and we cannot afford this. We have to learn to control the amount of births on our own or believe me we are in for some serious problems in the near future. Exponential growth is the pipe dream of an ignorant species that did not know it even lived on a finite planet, with finite resources. We know better now but, we are not making changes based on that knowledge. We are continuing the status quo. This is the path to matricide which in this case since we live on the mother we would be slaying it means SUICIDE as well.

I do not care what Ism we choose if we continue the same old crap. No one person is more important than another. No one person deserves more than another. United we stand divided we fall.

When the system purposefully divides the people and offers the treatment of royalty to some and poverty to others, we are spinning our wheels for foolishness no matter what the ism of the day will be.
 kabiosile
Joined: 11/3/2005
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Posted: 8/31/2009 12:01:50 PM


How do you plan to ensure this communist utopia of yours refrains from becoming an oppresive tolitatian oligarchy, as has happened everywhere communism or socialism has ever actually been tried?


I dont believe in sacred isms... I have no issue with mixed systems or even a voluntary one. I believe if given the option most people would see the benefits of working together for the common good. I do not believe any system should be forced. I believe libertarian socialism is a decent model, look it up. Further it would be quite disingenuous to say everywhere it was tried turned totalitarian and or oppressive. Sweden is quite socialist and they are neither oppressive nor totalitarian. They also do not have oligarchy shall we take some notes how they pulled it off? Again we can be quite creative people. I believe we can overcome these issues. There are many systems throughout Europe that avoided the totalitarian bit, and the oligarchy and there are many who did not. I also know of a great many of working communes even in the USA that are not oligarchy nor totalitarian. It is not communism or socialism that create the mentality that set the stage for these things. It is wicked people whom wish to dominate and lord over others that causes the problem. Those people will have to be dealt with as they come up. The way to do this will be different for each culture and there will likely be no one size fits all solution to that. The people should decide on how to handle that.

For the people by the people for real is the way I would suggest. Not the illusion of it.
 kabiosile
Joined: 11/3/2005
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Posted: 8/31/2009 12:55:41 PM


In practice neither socialism or communism yields the liberal utopia, and can often yield a pure nightmare...

And capitalism has some sort of better record? HAHA! Capitalism is a utopia for those seeking to exploit others and has historically been just as much and even more than a nightmare for many. The point is that neither system has to turn into a nightmare. The question I believe should be what can we do to bring things to more of a balance? Like I said I am no socialist nor capitalist. I do not care for worship of isms. My point here is you cannot demonize socialism and claim capitalism is not often just as guilty of the same issues you are trying to suggest are exclusive to socialism. There have been a great many capitalist dictatorships, Fascists, etc etc etc. They have a tendency to turn oligarchy more swiftly than any other form and often turn to tyranny just as often as any other system...

So what is your point?
 kabiosile
Joined: 11/3/2005
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Posted: 8/31/2009 1:12:21 PM
There was nothing in what our forefathers said that would rule out socialism or be for capitalism at all. They set up a frame work for a republic and fought tooth and nail over their ideas for economy. The founding fathers saw it fit for the people to experiment with our system other wise there would be no changing it at all. The only thing they even laid down was a bill of rights and a constitution the rest is up to the people. So we very much so have the right to make changes to our economic system under the constitution. While maintaining our republic and way of governance. Economics and governance not the same thing. Just because you are capitalist nation does not mean you are free, and vice versa. There have been capitalist dictators just like as there have been socialist.

 kabiosile
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Posted: 8/31/2009 8:05:57 PM


Socialism is an idealist's dream that will only make our population lazy, weak, dependant, and uncompetitive.


Nice circular argument based on nothing. I can do the same thing with capitalism.

Capitalism is an oligarchs dream, that will only make our population greedy, overzealous, master/servant mentality, making our economies and population weak, unable to cooperate to achieve any kind of significant progress, because they are too busy trying to screw each other competing for the hoard, attempting to make profit for a few at the detriment of all others.

I care not for one exclusively over the other. They both have their strengths and weaknesses depending on how they are put to use. A mixed system is also possible and can work out quite nicely. Though most wealthy people do not like to discuss this because it would mean the end to their life of lording over others like royalty.

Not all capitalism ends up like blank and not all socialism ends up like blank. It greatly depends on how they are balanced and implemented. As far as dependency etc. Capitalism also has dependency issues the people do not depend on each other but, the very few with money instead where they are in most cases historically, as well as today taken advantage of/exploited to varying degrees.. We are social animals, we are always going to have times where we are dependent on one another regardless of what system is in place. My biggest issue with pure capitalist systems is the value system is screwed. More importance is place on the generation of profit and things that are truly valuable such as the environment for example are considered externalities of little value other than to exploit. This does not take into account the myriad of things that nature does for us for free everyday that even if we could figure out how to do it ourselves would be SO extremely cost prohibitive that we would end up screwing ourselves. Capitalism is a contradiction. It is the true something for nothing. It relies on the ability to exploit something and or someone. Without this the whole system begins a tumble. So basically you have to find a way to get something for free or as cheap as possible and sell it for as much as you can get. So someone/something is always being screwed.
 badge3939
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 21
Capitalism
Posted: 8/31/2009 9:38:23 PM
Ronald Reagan on Capitalism and Socialism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gIxuOabGBE&feature=related

Hope you enjoy his stories.
 kabiosile
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Posted: 9/1/2009 1:20:55 AM
Now that I watched two men I do not particularly care for as far as most of their ideas go perhaps you will give mine a look as well. I am well aware of Friedman and Reaganomics etc. While Reagan came across as a likable sort and I believe he may have meant well. His administrations policies were quite destructive. They set the stage for the globalization and all of it's destructive effects. Not to mention the sheer number of coups and massacres in Latin America under these nuts as well as a great many whom preceded him, whom pretended to care so much about freedom. If that was true why did they make so many coups on democratically elected governments to put in through violent coup backed by our country some of the worst right wing dictatorships this hemisphere has seen? (Eg: VINICIO CEREZO, ROBERTO SUAZO CORDOVA, GENERAL EFRAIN RIOS MONTT, GENERAL MANUEL NORIEGA, to name a few..



On with the discussion of capitalism. I want to bring attention to a free book written by an economist named Dean Baker. The book is titled aptly The Conservative Nanny State. How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.

I will share a couple chapters here but, put the link so you can visit his site and read it yourself. Again free book. ENJOY!
http://www.conservativenannystate.org/cns.html


<div class="quote">
Chapter 1 — Doctors and Dishwashers: How the Nanny State Creates Good Jobs for Those at the Top

The first chapter deals with the most basic issue, how the nanny state ensures that doctors and other highly educated professionals are in short supply, and that the supply of less-skilled workers is relatively plentiful. A big part of this story is trade. The conservative nanny state makes it easy to import goods as a way to replace much of the work done by workers in manufacturing, such as autoworkers, steel workers, and textile workers. Twenty-five years ago, manufacturing was an important source of middle class jobs for workers without college degrees, typically offering health care and pension benefits, in addition to a middle class wage. If goods produced by workers in developing countries (who typically earn only a small fraction of the wages of U.S. workers) can be imported, then the demand for the manufacturing workers in the United States will be reduced, placing downward pressure on the wages and compensation not only of manufacturing workers, but of workers without college degrees in general.

Immigration is another part of the story. The conservative nanny state allows many less-skilled workers into the country to fill jobs at lower wages than employers would be forced to pay the native born population. While allowing immigrant workers into the country can be seen as part of the free market, like allowing imported goods into the country, this is only half of the picture. The conservative nanny state puts on strict controls to limit the extent to which doctors, lawyers, economists, journalists, and other highly paid professionals must face foreign competition. These restrictions take a variety of forms, which will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 1, but the key point is that not everyone’s labor is placed in international competition. Those at the top of the wage ladder get to enjoy protected labor markets. This both raises their wages and means that everyone else must pay more money for their services.

The conservative nanny state also involves itself in other ways to ensure that highly skilled workers are paid well, and the rest of us pay the taxes in the form of higher prices for the goods and services they produce. For example, licensing requirements, like admission to the bar for lawyers, often are designed more to restrict supply than to ensure quality for consumers.

On the other side, the conservative nanny state beats up on less skilled workers when they push too hard to restrict their supply in the same way. One way the nanny state hampers efforts by less-skilled workers to push up their wages is by outlawing many types of union activity. For example, secondary strikes are illegal. This means that one group of workers can’t stage a strike in support of a second group of workers (e.g. truck drivers can’t refuse to deliver food to a restaurant where the workers are on strike). In the case of a secondary strike, the conservative nanny state will fine or even imprison workers for being too aggressive in pushing for higher wages. Apparently, employers are too weak to be able to bargain with workers without help from the government.

Of course, this is all supposed to happen behind the scenes, no one is supposed to notice these forms of government intervention. The conservatives want the public to believe that the differences in pay between doctors and dishwashers result from nothing other than the natural workings of the market..........




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Chapter 6 — The Rigged Legal Deck: Takings and Torts (The Nanny State Only Gives)

In a market economy, people are supposed to be able to freely contract as they choose. This raises the question of why so many conservatives want the government to ban certain types of contracts. Specifically, “tort reform” laws at both the state and national level limit the type of contingency fees that clients could arrange to pay their attorneys. These laws restrict the percentage of a legal settlement that can be paid to a lawyer and impose other restrictions on the type of contracts that people can sign with lawyers, if they want to sue a corporation.

These restrictions can make a difference in the public’s ability to sue large corporations, because many clients do not have money to pay a lawyer in advance. They instead must pay them following any settlement, if they win one. Since there is often a great deal of risk in legal suits (it is difficult to know how a judge or jury will rule), and corporations can make suits extremely costly by filing many motions, the contingent fee (which depends on winning the case) that a lawyer requests may be fairly large.

Libertarians would not object to large contingent fees — if clients don’t want to pay them, then they can look for another lawyer. However, the conservatives have promoted caps on contingency fees ostensibly as a way of protecting clients. In reality, such caps are an infringement on individuals’ right to freely contract. In a market economy, the government should not be determining which contracts are acceptable for people to sign. But conservatives want the nanny state to make it more difficult to collect damages from big corporations, so they have no problem with this form of governmental intervention in the market.

In recent years, many conservatives have expressed concern about governmental “takings” in which regulations or zoning restrictions (often for environmental purposes) lower the value of a person’s property. They have argued that property owners should be compensated for any takings.

There are two important problems with this argument. First, there is a basic asymmetry; the government takes actions all the time. Some of its actions may lower property values, but others raise values. For example, creating a park increases the value of the property near the park. Similarly, building a highway that makes it easier to commute to a major city increases the value of land that can be sold for suburban development. The government doesn’t get compensated by private landowners when it increases the value of their land, therefore the payments would be entirely one-sided if the government was forced to compensate landowners when it reduced the value of their property. Of course, this is exactly the sort of nanny state that conservatives want — it only gives them handouts, it never takes anything away.

The second problem with the “takings” argument is that a policy that allows property owners to be compensated every time the government does something to reduce the value of their property would flood the courts with lawsuits. Can someone sue if the government opens an airport ten miles away, shuts a school, or allows a sports stadium to be built in the area? A reasonable conservative argument is that intelligent property owners understand that there is a risk that the government will take actions that will affect the value of property. In principle, this risk is built into the price of the property. If property owners are too dumb to understand the risk when they purchase property, why should the nanny state come to their rescue?

In fact, the traditional legal theory on takings, espoused most clearly by Richard Posner, a conservative legal scholar, is that the government should compensate property owners only in extreme cases where the government’s actions amount to a near-total taking of the value of the property (e.g. building a hazardous waste dump on nearby property). This minimizes the role for government, and encourages property owners to be mindful of potential risks before they buy property.



My point for posting this is two fold. First gives a chance for people to read the work but, I think this is incredibly important to the debate at hand because it shows that our supposed capitalist system and the party whom likes to call any social programs "evil socialism" when they give money to those in poverty or in the lowest sectors of of economy but, have no problem with the long laundry list of government interventions when the money goes the other direction as it most often does.

I find this hypocrisy quite interesting. I believe both conservative and progressives want government intervention the difference is the conservative party wants the money to flow from bottom up and the progressives want to use this to make a safety net to try to lessen the effects poverty imposed by the system.. So the money of course will have to go in the other direction.
 flyonthewall!
Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 24
Capitalism
Posted: 9/3/2009 6:35:59 AM

oh NOOO! Swamp is on top 2% bracket !!!!!


Sigh. The top 1 percent tax bracket is a personal income of merely $300K a year. If you live in or near major meto areas (NYC, LA, SF, DC), a nice house will cost a million or more. It depends on where you live as to whether that $300K a year makes you "wealthy".

In rural Georgia, sure that's a lot of money. In NYC, not so much.
 badge3939
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 25
Capitalism
Posted: 9/3/2009 6:30:27 PM
Certain industries need to have more taxation such as oil industry to reduce monopoly, while green industries need to get taxed less.


Doing that is an act of discrimination.


Why not tax the green companies more? Oh that would hit Al Gore and his carbon credit company and his monopoly.

Or better yet. No company taxes at all.

Then all social programs would fail. Wake up. If it was not for Capitalism and free enterprise. There would be no social safety net.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 26
Capitalism
Posted: 10/2/2009 1:52:38 PM
Personal opinion

Capitalism is like a mirror that exposes you for what you are, good or bad.

If you have a sheep like mentality than capitalism will expose it. If you have initiative and are willing to learn then you rise to the top. If you are lazy then you sink to the bottom. If you consume without looking at what you consume then don't be surprised when you get sick or hurt.

If you are lazy and uninformed then odds are you hate capitalism.
 kabiosile
Joined: 11/3/2005
Msg: 27
view profile
History
Capitalism
Posted: 10/2/2009 2:04:59 PM
interesting opinion but, it does not make any sense. I know a great deal of people whom work on farms harder than anyone in wall street ever worked in their lives but, they are still poor as dirt. They are not lazy at all. In fact most wall street friends of mine where some of the laziest **stards I knew. Not to mention some of my uber rich friends who never worked a day in their lives, get fat, drunk, and other things we wont mention every day.

being lazy or working hard has nothing to do with it at all.

Me thinks you uninformed if you think it does.
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