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Living in the New Guilded Age


#1

Living in the New Guilded Age

Robert Reich

The Trump Justice Department has approved a $69 billion merger between CVS, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, and insurance giant Aetna.


#2

If Democrats ever get back in power, one of the first things they need to do is revive antitrust.

I wouldn’t count on either, but especially Democrats seriously pursuing antitrust. They’ve been pro-deregulation since Carter. Come on, Reich, get out and vote Democrat to fight big corporations is laughable.


#3

Guarantee right to vote in the Constitution and a new voting rights act come first, I say. Maybe not in that order, but we aren’t going to have a friendly court for anti-trust actions for a while. We can force it to be friendly to voting though.


#4

Reich sez: “Executives say the combination will make their companies more efficient, allowing them to gain economies of scale and squeeze waste out of the system.”

This may be the first time I’ve seen ‘waste’ employed as a euphemism for ‘profit’.


#5

“One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so- called “normalcy” of the 1920’s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.” FDR 1944

I look around me and cry for my beloved country. Any sane person would.


#6

But that is exactly what “profit” is: an institutionalized wealth surplus that a few self-appointed individuals get to use for whatever they want. It’s exactly what capitalism is about: organized wasting of the biosphere and humanity. I, for one, admit that it’s a tremendously successful racket.


#7

So Robert the Economist is telling us that monopoly capitalism – with all of its excesses – was modified after the Guilded Age and only became harmful again with modern Rethuglicans and the Idiot of Orange in control – and the Duopoly Dims are the solution to changing that.

Phew, I thought we had to build power with non-violent revolutionary organizations, movements, parties and coalitions to change the political-economy. But all we have to do is vote Dim. Easy enough.

Now I can actually take off one of my few non-work days in peace.

Thanks for the info, Bobby.

Tweet Out


#8

The d-party had huge majorities, a mandate, and a banking system teetering on collapse in 2008.

They bailed out the banksand now those banks are even TBiggerTF
They gave us the health insurance company bailout act (RomneyCare).
They sealed their doom as a party with 1,000 seats lost nationwide over three cycles.

Now, does their 2016 electoral strategy sound like it was geared toward anti-trust legislation?:

“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

I read your comment in another thread highlighting the fact that the d-party has no coherent policy stance. Then I read on and saw not one d-party apologist counter your argument by stating what the d-party policy strategy was. I’m becoming quite doubtful about November’s purported blue wave. The r-party has pretty much closed the enthusiasm gap and Millennials are NOT planning on voting in large numbers. Gee, I wonder why.


#9

I always had a vision of “the guilded age” as having the sparkle of solid gold. Now it evokes the distraction of yellow aluminum (with all the health caveats) foils stuck onto rotting wood with striking similarity to ‘guilt’


#10

Must be millennials seeing through the SCOTUS elevation of the abstract predation values of slavery to ‘personhood’ in the heartless ‘corporation’ speaking money rather than any of the native languages of human beings. If you think thats a joke, read financialization contracts (small print)

Wheeha… slavery didn’t get ‘eliminated’, it was simply morphed through financialization into core institutions AND A LANGUAGE ALL ITS OWN!

I demand QUALITATIVE easing and a glossary to take back the meaning of human interactions in oikos!


#11

You took the words right out of my mouth, so I took the liberty of removing the extraneous ones.   Reich –
like the troll LRX who posts here frequently – has become such a stooge for the useless DamnocRats that
it’s become difficult for me to take anything he writes seriously.


#12

You know what ELSE is laughable: Your belief that the damnocrats are worth a shit nowadays!


#13

Agreed, the Democrats should revive antitrust legislation. Of course, so should the Republicans, for pretty much the same reasons. Of course, neither has moved in that direction for almost two generations.

When such things were enacted, there was an active union movement in the US. Where unions were able to unite in solidarity between them, better legislation was enacted.

Americans are not ready to strike because the organizations that could potentially assure them mutuality in a strike do not exist or are not adequately influential.

At present, we need local and mid-level organizations of all sorts, in order to barter collectively. These should include “third” parties, consumer cooperatives like food coops, neighborhood groups, and of course unions and guild associations.


#14

Apparently all of this began in 2016. We have a B.T and an A.T and everything from monopolized power , to growing poverty, from the wealth gap to racism , from poor health care to increased military spending and wars abroad is A.T stuff.

Reich might as well adopt the slogan “Make America great Again…Vote Democrat”.


#15

Robert,

I’m sorry weren’t you driving the get away car when Clinton passed, NAFTA (which sold out the working class and unions), Welfare Reform (which slashed social safety nets for the frontline communities and children) , Telecommunications Act ( which allowed for consolidation of media so we have the likes of Rupert Murdoch and co. ? Glass–Steagall (which deregulated banks and turn banks into casinos, creating the 2008 crash?)

And then you have the audacity to campaign for Hillary (Super Predators and Walmarts Little Union busting Lady?)

I’m sorry your career seems to have been enriched by these atrocities and now you are playing as if you had nothing to do with them or never heard of them?

I think you need to go soak your head.


#16

Perfect!


#17

I am so glad I’m not the lone wolf howling about Reich. There was a time I felt like I was.

Here’s what this fellow is. He’s apparatchik of the Democratic Party, specifically the Clintonista NeoLiberal, Imperialist establishment. But his job is to pose as a left winger in order to win over left wings so he’ll have some sway with them when it comes time to get them to support his true masters.

I despise him. Thank Goddess I’m not the only one who see through him.


#18

The last sentence of jneastra’s post does seem out of character, but a dash of dashes helps:

Come on, Reich, [telling us to] get-out-and-vote-Democrat to fight big corporations is laughable.


#19

Given the four decades long decline in union membership to the current low level, the present time can hardly be called guilded (sic).

As for Professor Reich, he has long been a Democratic Party apparachik, as LibWing notes above, who portrays himself as a progressive. He deserves a lifetime achievement Oscar for his performance, and if the statue can’t be solid gold, it should at least be gilt.

Meanwhile, Trump was in Kentucky yesterday campaigning for a Republican member of the House of Representatives who is in a close race. They hope that some of Trump’s shiny orange popularity in that state will rub off on the candidate. I think it’s called “gilt by association”.


#20

Knowing I’ll get alot of shit for this, I’ll repeat that Bernie’s roll is exactly the same as you describe Reich’s. He made that absolutely clear at the Dem Convention when he and his movement truly had an opportunity to walk out and either join w/ the Greens (who had ballot access) or go purely independent. Of the two, I’d say Bernie’s behavior’s are more destructive because of his roles in the (s)electoral process.