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December 5, 2018

It's Capitalism - PART 2

 

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It’s Capitalism – Part 2

by Mark Maxey

 

(PADEN, Okla.) Michael Roberts reports, the top 1% own 48% of all global personal wealth; 10% own 85%. He goes on to say, “This year’s report showed some interesting variations.  In the report, personal wealth is measured by the value of the property and financial assets after deducting any debt held by adults. During the 12 months to mid-2018, aggregate global wealth rose by $14 trillion to $317 trillion, representing a growth rate of 4.6%. This was sufficient to outpace population growth, so that wealth per adult grew by 3.2%, raising the global mean average wealth to $63,100 per adult, a record high (but remember this in nominal dollar terms, before inflation).”

 

Now, honestly, do you as an adult have $63,100 at your hands to spend right now?

 

Probably like many working class citizen, you do not. This is wealth inequality. At the hands of the capitalists.

 

What does the term capitalist mean? In the past, it was synonymous with Industrial Owner, Elitist, Robber Barons.  A definition of Robber Baron is a person who has become rich through ruthless and unscrupulous business practices. Remember the term in the 1920’s Shantytowns or Company towns.

 

One must watch the CORPORATION video to fully understand the negative impact corporations have on individual working class folks. You can listen also to the False Flag podcast on the same subject. Some research notes with links can be found here also.

 

Some may ask what a capitalist is. It is a wealthy person who uses the money to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism. True capitalism needs a competitive market. Without competition, monopolies exist, and instead of the market setting the prices, the seller is the price setter, which is against the conditions of capitalism.

 

Sounds good huh? But consider the report by Michael Roberts. If the top 1% own 48% of all global personal wealth; 10% own 85%, then obviously the “free” competitive market is held by either the top 1% or the top 10%.  Not the working class.

 

Who are the working class you may ask. The working class (or labouring class) comprises the people employed for wages, especially in manual-labour occupations and industrial work. So the owners only desire profit. They do not even consider the risk to the environment for their profit. They easily move American Union held jobs overseas where the pay is much cheaper. And the “working class” especially the Union workers, are left with no jobs. The company owner does not care.

 

The wealth inequality gap has grown so much wider in the past forty years. CNN in 2017 reported, “while wages for low- and middle-income workers have begun to recover, wealth inequality has still climbed to new heights, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve which conducts a checkup of the nation’s finances every three years.”

 

The income inequality gap is higher now in our society than any other generation in history. Jaffe says, “Of course, as Rebecca Burns writes, “it’s much easier to predict the future when you have the power and money to shape it.”” As long as this gap is huge, the worker remains in slavery with their CEO. Michael J. Moore in the Winter 2016 NEW POLITICS magazine speaks of this. “Of course, economic inequality raises concern among liberals, social democrats, and socialists alike. For all see in it an ethical problem, one of unfairness, of greed, of unequal control and power. But the new explosion of wealth inequality is much larger in scale than in the previous Gilded Age. It poses different questions with respect to the transformation of capitalism and the classical models and assumptions within which left politics typically operate.”


Economic inequality leads to broader, more general forms of power and control. Despite the dynamic nature of capitalism, the persistence of oligarchy and elite control should still be seen as the central, salient feature of modern society. To successfully fight this oligarchy is to move more LEFT, such as Democratic Socialism. As well common workers have an ally with one of the original workers union in America. The International Workers of the World, IWW (www.iww.org ) can assist in organizing, As well grassroots organizations, Our Revolution (Sen. Bernie Sanders spin off group) Our Democracy, The Young Turks, Black Lives Matter, and MPD (www.movement4peoplesdemocracy.org ) are all groups which can help amass and organize with breaking up these oligarchies,  The early muckrakers left a formidable change for investigative journalists,

 

The model for current work places has changed from my own understanding as I learned in the mid to late 1970’s. The whole workplace model has evolved with a concise plan that has taken over 40 years to implement. Many younger so-called knowledge workers no longer toil nine to five in a regular office but spend days and nights in front of their laptops at home or in co-working spaces. Part of the economics of the business model began to change in the 1970’s with the work done by Milton Freidman.  Milton was the new father of a new economic model in the 60’s through the 80’s which in turn set in motion a drastic change that totally tilted workers rights.  You can read more on Milton here.

 

The America I knew, back in the late sixties and early seventies is not the America of today.  “The change took place in the 1970s. There are a lot of reasons for it,” Noam Chomsky says. “One of the underlying factors, discussed mainly by economic historian Robert Brenner, was the falling rate of profit in manufacturing. There were other factors. It led to major changes in the economy — a reversal of several hundred years of progress towards industrialization and development that turned into a process of de-industrialization and de-development. Of course, manufacturing production continued overseas very profitably, but it’s no good for the workforce.”

 

Many of my peers nowhere come close to where their parents were financially at the same age. The economy has depleted their savings, no retirement funds. No vacation or weekend getaway property. Today’s Generation X and the Millennials are faced with a stark reality of being broke. It was in the 1970’s when Milton Friedman’s economic plan was put into place by the extreme fascist right-wing. This is the context I use fascism. Benito Mussolini consolidated control over the Fascist movement in 1919 with the founding of the Fasci italiani di combattimento, whose opposition to socialism he declared: We declare war against socialism, not because it is socialism, but because it has opposed nationalism.” Fascism further means a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. Does this sound familiar? “But Friedman was more than an academic. He was an advocate for, and popularizer of, a radical right-wing economic ideology,” Bernie Sander said.   “With all due respect to the late Milton Friedman, his economic program is nothing more than a wish list for the greediest, the most monied interests in our society. At the same time that this ideology is supported by the rich and powerful–except when they’re lining up in Washington for their welfare checks–this same ideology is almost unanimously opposed to working families and middle-class people across this country.”

 

The Republican right wing establishment has been dismantling our American dream. This has been going on for over forty years. Cold calculated robbing the working class of any opportunities. All the while lining their pockets from their corporate sponsors. Representing the corporations, capitalists, and not the citizens, the workers. Neither parties are the answer. It will have to be something new.


The lyrics from Jimmy Lafave poignantly says it best, a Worn Out American Dream. The changes to corporate America has caused this nightmare. Union busting tactics is another nightmare. The conglomeration of big business has caused it too. Toss in offshore accounts and overseas industrialization is a culprit too. Loss of jobs, reduced pay and diminishing benefits has decimated the working class.  When the top Ten companies represent the retail market, I can tell you the workers don’t share in the profits.


Michael Yates, in Monthly Review said, “Wages have changed considerably along with the cost of living in the past forty years. Others are not so fortunate. In 2010, more than 7 million people had incomes less than 50 percent of the official poverty level of income, an amount equal to $11,245, which in hourly terms (2,000 hours of work per year) is $5.62. About one-quarter of all jobs in the United States pay an hourly wage rate that would not support a family of four at the official poverty level of income.”


Michael D. Yates wrote for Monthly Review: It is by now well known that significant and growing economic inequality is a central feature of the U.S. economy, as previous articles in Monthly Review have shown.  However, the same is also the case for much of the rest of the world. Inequality arises in other countries for reasons similar to those in the United States, but each nation has its own history, along with widely divergent economic and political structures.


TO BE CONTINUED…Part 3 next….


 

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Mark Maxey
National Coordinator

 

 

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