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Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough


#1

Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough

David Morris

The catalyst for a recent column by David Brooks was a speech delivered by his New York Times colleague Anand Giridharadas at the Aspen Action Forum.


#2

Let's hope that Bernie is able to drive the discussion in the middle and upper middle classes where, as Marx indicated, revolutionary concepts foment. Karl (and Groucho) Marx and George Carlin were great observers of the human condition and the ties that tend to bind it in an ossified state. David Brooks is a corporate tool who desperately wants his DNA preserved in the current order.


#3

The focus of the argument has certainly shifted over the last few years. Eight years ago, capitalism was the unquestionable god of the US Government.

It still is the god of the parts of the government where there are elected and appointed people calling the shots. But that, too, is changing. Otherwise, Bernie's and the Donald's candidacies would not have been imaginable.

The contest now is over what is imaginable.

Because many of us have discerned that to the extent we can imagine it, we can create it.

And many more of us are already working to create an equitable world right where we live. In due time, our influence in politics will become obvious. By then, capitalism may or may not be even part of the primary questions. Because right now it is obvious to anyone who cares to look, that capitalism it the primary fuel of global terrorism.


#4

Although Morris also wants us to push for the "imaginable", restoring FDR's New Deal policies/regulations that were removed in the name of "deregulation" during the past 40 years would get the 99% at least 90% of the way there with absolutely no imagination. The remaining 10% of the way there will involve imagination to add new policies to adapt to cultural and technological changes during the past 80 years.

New Deal policies provided mostly timeless incentives and disincentives that created a structure that kept the 1% on a leash for nearly 40 years. The 1% love current "progressive" strategies including minimum wage laws. CEO pay regulations and other actions that attempt to manage the symptoms of the problem without getting to the root of the problem because even corporations that don't have armies of lobbyists who write the rules have armies of attorneys and accountants whose sole responsibility is to find more ways to circumvent rules like minimum wage and CEO pay.


#5

Yeah, Bernie, our savior. This time for sure a Democrat will solve our problems, instead of betraying us, like the last two Democrat presidents did. Yeah, I'll have some of that Kool-Aid.


#6

I read responses like yours so often that I really despair for the future of the country.

What do you mean? What betrayal? And can we please move beyond Jim Jones allusions?

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that if you have a point to make, make it. Explain what the problems are. Explain why a Democrat is incapable of solving problems. Explain how you would do it better.


#7

Too little, too late, rather like Climate Change issue which the corporatist have fought via non-belief scenarios, for decades. They are really sociopaths that need to find out just what they futures hold---time to set them free...in their bogus free market.
Naturally, some of these 1% sociopaths already thought the rest of us would finally want to separate from them and their top-heavy, more obese global structures. So they put clauses similar to their ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) clauses to control through their trade agreements any and all local business bids--including procurement contracts.
The result, in their one-eye view, is a total mismatch in having to compete with their dreaded competitors ---those small to medium-sized businesses for any governmental procurement contracts....No problem--they see 100% wins..
So,-- be it, nation states can still, survive through their needed domestic economies by other means.
They may also have other fears, causing some bankers to attempt to 'get rid of'' or find means to control the mobility of cash..(giving question to the zero-interest rate argument).
Time will tell, but withdrawal seems to be the only option left...as sociopaths, at least these ones, --talk in a language that no longer sounds or appears to want to acknowledge the importance of or need for 'humanity and their gifts' ...another sad statement on the 1% and their avid followers.


#8

Sandersing down the rough edges of capitalism is not enough ...


#10

It was the Supreme Court that struck down much of the New Deal. The Supreme Court has historically been very conservative. We had to amend the Constitution to get a progressive income tax because the court always ruled that an income tax is unconstitutional. It was the Supreme Court that ruled that corporations are people (this is a logical fallacy called a category mistake). If corporations are people then they have constitutional rights. The police always sided with the owners and against strikers because a strike violates the property rights of corporations; i.e., the right to make money.

Are you aware that the Republican Teddy Roosevelt actually proposed steeply graduated income and inheritance taxes to redistribute the wealth long before FDR came up with the New Deal? Teddy was more progressive than his cousin, and Teddy was a Republican and Franklin was a Democrat. Go figure.


#11

`
I'm more worried about Democrats like Clinton and Obama
than I am David Brooks and the Republicans.

When Republicans are in charge, the majority of Democrats
raise cane about being sold out by the Republicans.

When Democrats are in charge, the vast majority of Democrats
are very quiet and tolerant about being sold out by a coalition
of Republicans and Democrats.
`


#12

Who gives a rats ass what that dumb shit David Brooks thinks? I used to merely be annoyed at why this guy from the paper of record had such ridiculously backwards views of the world. Then I realized he was the paper's token idiot. HIs contention that “The coming debate about capitalism will be between those who want to restructure the underlying system and those who want to help people take advantage of its rough intensity,” Brooks insists. “It will be between people who think you need strong government to defeat oligarchy and those who think you need open competition.” is totally off the mark.

We know that free and fair elections will create open competition and will alone defeat oligarchy. Citizens United needs to be overturned, and free and fair elections that only start 4 months before November voting. None of this 2 year long, don't say anything wrong while we keep you under the microscope, crap!

We need to take the country back by electing Bernie Sanders, who has pledged to overturn citizens united, and new congress and senators whenever you get the chance.


#13

Government officials will continue to cozy up to our oligarchy until we get public financed elections. If I am running for office and you send me a $20 dollar bill while someone else goes to a $500 a plate fund raising dinner, everyone knows who has my ear in policy making decisions. Having a few rich friends building up my campaign war chest discourages some of the most competent people from running against me. My enacting legislation on their behalf keeps those big checks coming. The day we free ourselves from the shackles of oligarchy will be the day we regain control of our elections from the rich and powerful.


#14

Flapdoodle64, you insinuate Bernie will be yet another backstabber similar to the likes of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? History may be the best predictor of the future but in Bernie's case that is a good sign! Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden are most definately cut from the same cloth and that cloth was manufactured by the 0.01%. They are and will continue the status quo as they were and are supported by the big banks, and big business...in other words there's not a dime's worth of difference between them and their republican counterparts. Bernie Sanders however is or at least in the past has been a man of his word and for the most part (there's no such thing as the perfect politician) a representative of his electorate. Bernie Sander's voting record in both the House and Senate has been consistently for legislation that will be beneficial to his constituents which happen to be the voters rather than big money. He has a list of ideas that if even a portion of them are implemented will have a very beneficial influence in turning the government around to where it represents we the people instead of the 0.01%. Further, not only does he have the ideas but he has devised ways to implement and pay for them as well. For example he proposes a free college education through grad school for all U.S. citizens who want to get a college education and plans to pay for it by imposing a small tax on the billions of high speed transactions taking place on Wall Street. So yeah, Bernie very well could be our savior! We certainly don't have anyone else running on either the republican or democratic side that even come close to what Bernie Sanders proposes nor do any of the existing candidates possess a voting record that is as consistently in support of we the people rather than the super rich. What have we got to lose by giving him a chance?

Of course we can't expect Bernie Sanders to accomplish everything he says he wants to accomplish unless we eliminate the obstruction that Obama has faced with the republican House and now Senate as well. We need to vote the teabaggers and other repukes out and replace them with progressives. Finally, the most important thing is we have to get out and vote and encourage others to vote. If elected we need to have Bernie's back. In a democratic form of government aka government of, by, and for the people we the people ARE the government and as such we can't just sit back and watch our elected officials do all the work. We elect them to represent us meaning that we do the work and then they get it made into law meaning we all have to participate rather than sit on the sidelines complaining.


#15

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#16

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#17

I think it is important to think of the commons-I believe a place to start this is community health care centers. Interestingly it was Bernie Sanders who wanted this part of the ACA act. I think the funding for it was stripped away. In New England to be a town or city it was required there be a common-a place for people to gather and come together.----Also their needs to be a discussion about work place democracy-most of all in corporations-and I'm not talking about unions-a corporation has a different status and employee's should have a voice in how it is run-people should insist that the work area be run as a co-op. The first thing to do is break the strangle hold of ignorant feeding corporate media.


#18

We're stuck because there has been no realistic discussion on this issue. Tragically, the "inequality" discussion by libs today is restricted to the gap between the better off, and the well-off. There is actually a big difference between being poor, and being low-income. America has a poverty crisis. Out here in the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. What is today's progressive response? Right... We talk about gay marriage as a human right, yet ignore the reality that (per the UN's UDHR) food and shelter are fundamental human rights -- even for the jobless poor and the disabled. Liberals today so strongly believe in the success of the corporate state that they think everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief.

"Sanding down the rough edges" means nothing more than tweaking policies to secure a measure of economic stability for the better off alone. Even Republicans Eisenhower and Nixon understood why poverty relief was absolutely vital to the stability and growth of the middle class/economy. This generation ignores our own history. Our class war remains intact. We now watch as the rich do to the middle class what the middle class already did to the poor.


#19

Can anyone describe a progressive socioeconomic agenda?


#20

A point many people just aren't getting today: This isn't the first time the US has been in this sort of mess, as the richest few took control of the country -- to everyone's harm. In the past (1910s, 1930s,1960s), the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, ultimately united to successfully push back -- to everyone's benefit. That can't happen this time, and it would be wise to realistically assess our current social/economic crisis.

On the election: In a nutshell, Republicans represent the interests of the rich. Democrats today represent only the middle class, as do most third parties (with an occasional pat on the head to low wage workers). For whom can the masses of poor -- and those who get why unrelieved poverty is such a critical issue -- vote today?


#21

David Brooks is an ignorant ass. He should be shunned.

Moreover, the article's analysis of the current problem of capitalism lacks any clear recommendations for remedial actions. This seems to be a common aspect of many such articles I've read here at CD. Is there no economist, sociologist, philosopher, journalist or politician willing to suggest how to change an economic system that has the world by the throat?

Paralysis of analysis is what happens when nobody wants to suggest a plan to effect fundamental change. Except, perhaps, guys like Chris Hedges who, last time I looked, was urging people to "rise up". Yeah, right.

Any fundamental change to capitalism will probably take the rest of this century to accomplish. If the world survives till then.