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The Capitalist Manifesto: Let Poor People Die


The Capitalist Manifesto: Let Poor People Die

Paul Buchheit

The original Capitalist Manifesto was a 1958 book by economist Louis O. Kelso and philosopher Mortimer J. Adler. In their view of a properly conducted democratic capitalist society, a sort of modern-day Homestead Act was envisioned, in which all Americans would participate in the "capitalist revolution" of growing stock portfolios.


Mr. Buchheit is always spot on. For me he is saying it isn’t the not-wealthy that are poor, it is in fact the rich. They lack humanness. Empathy and compassion are the true value system that sustains life. All life. Without it we have what we have today, a world in chaos. For us that are poor it is insane to be bitter. Instead we should shine on like crazy diamonds. We are not burdened with the concept of I have mine and you can’t have any of it. In point of fact we can turn the other cheek and say, I am not a thief. It doesn’t make life any easier but it heals the soul. Thank you, Mr. Buchheit.


From the article:

“It takes a tragedy to reveal the true meaning of socialism. It’s not government control, but rather people controlling their own lives through empathy and cooperation.”

Critics of socialism are, almost without exception, either self-serving frauds who have hijacked government for their own purposes, or those who hope to be invited to join their club by parroting their propaganda.

To paraphrase the fictional gunfighter Shane, government, like a gun, “is only a tool, no better nor worse than the man using it.” We have to take back control of government and harness it to actualize our better nature—to reflect our empathy, our generosity, and our innate desire to cooperate constructively, which are fully as human (if not more so) as the tendancy to compete.

No, Mr. Reagan, government is NOT the problem. The problem is who controls it.


One of the characteristics of the Human species that helps demonstrate it a social animal is how the fetus develops in the womb. By any measure a child is born “a year too early” in that many of its functions that help allow it to survive are not yet fully developed.

Walking , speech , the fact it “naked” and cannot even survive the elements shows it depends on members of the Community to develop these faculties. Its SOCIAL development is as key to its ability to survive as any of its other traits. Horses can walk an hour after birth. Other primate species (bonobos, chimpanzees) see their offspring able to walk or use its own strength to cling to the mother within hours of birth. The HUMAN brain still spends a long time developing outside the womb and is developing as it exposed to and learning from other Humans. They need community.

There was an account of a youth found wandering the streets in some Germanic State in the 1800s. He was called Casper Hausen and he acted as would a three year old . It was learned that for whatever reasons he had been raised in a tower in a closed room with little to no human interaction. His food was passed to him through a slot in a door once a day. Without that Human and Social interaction he became all but non functional as a member of society.

This is what Capitalism does. It diminishes Community and makes it all about the individual and the self. As Society and community “break down” it becomes ever more non functional.


“Apparently, in 1958, economists and philosophers were not able to foresee the unlimited greed of the relatively few people with the power to manipulate the strings of the capitalist state.”


Capitalist economists were, and are, perfectly able to “forsee”, predict, the outcomes of their capitalist philosophies. That’s what economists do. What happened is they wanted “relatively few people with the power to manipulate the strings of the capitalist state.” And that’s exactly what they got.

“What is socialism? We cannot offer anything like a complete account here (the story of socialism is a long one and is still in the making), but it begins with the idea that society’s resources should be directed to serving the needs of people, not the profit dictates of the few. It is the socialization (democratization) of the economic sphere, and also the enlargement (de-privatization) of the political sphere. From that starting point, we are open-minded. There is a broad range of options, much to be debated, and enormous room for experimentation. There is a role for markets alongside democratic planning (for example, consumer markets), but not for a market society—that is, the Hayekian utopia of the self-regulating market, which becomes merely a disguise for the concentration of economic power and wealth.
…”[The] prohibition on critically assessing capitalism begins in the economics departments and business schools of our universities where, with but a few exceptions, it is easier to find an advocate of the immediate colonization of Mars than it is to find a scholar engaged in genuine radical criticism of capitalism." John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney, 2010


Social programs have been amazing. It’s equally amazing that republicans can get away with their hatred of them and get elected.


As usual, Mr. Buchheit gets it wrong.

  1. “The Capitalist Manifesto” was written to promote the use of employee stock ownership plans, whereby employees would end up owning a significant share of the companies they worked for. These were precoursors of “employee stock purchase plans” and 401(k) plans, designed to encourage employees to own and have a significant stake in their companies. I’ve been fortunate more than once in my career to work for such companies, and they’ve done wonders for my retirement funds. The fact that he uses this pro-worker vehicle as the springboard for letting people die does a tremendous injustice to the memory of Louis Kelso, who spent his career doing everything he could to increase employee ownership in companies.

  2. The Flint crisis is a crisis of government not capitalism. It was government screw-ups, in a government-owned water agency. I can see using Flint as an example if it had been privately-owned, but let’s be honest - we’re talking MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT and STATE GOVERNMENT responsibility. If this is damning to anything, it is damning to socialism, since this is government owning the means of production.

  3. Finally, as a supposed economist, he doesn’t even understand the definition of “socialism”. Socialism is not

people controlling their own lives through empathy and cooperation.

Rather it is, despite Buchheit’s assertion to the contrary,

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.


Since the 1990s, Democrats and liberals have actually invalidated the very concept of US poverty, attempting to claim that in our great capitalist state, no one is worse off than min. wage workers. Since the 1980s, US job losses well exceeded job gains – lost over 6 million mfg. jobs alone since 2000. We continue to ignore the consequences, even as the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation. Years of work went into using media to “re-educate” the broader public to no longer acknowledge the jobless as humans. Otherwise, we would find ourselves compelled to demand that govt. restore the basic human rights (UN’s UDHR) of food and shelter to discarded workers. This would put a crimp in the years of mass upward redistribution of the nation’s wealth.


Incorrect.Poverty statics were cut in half – not poverty. From FDR to Reagan/Clinton, the US implemented a full range of programs that took the country to its height of wealth and productivity. Then we decided to phase out those programs, even as the US was already into the period when job losses exceeded job gains. When we ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, we ended the primary means by which we previously determined poverty figures. A significant portion of the very poor are no longer included in any statistics. There has been no incentive to investigate the outcome of ending most safety net programs. We can rely on logic to see that massive job losses of recent decades, surpassing job gains, means that the number of jobless must have increased. And again, there is no welfare aid to fall back on.


Well, you can pretend what ever you want. Tremendous gains in helping people have occurred. Gains have slowed over the past couple decades because republicans have gained huge of control both in Washington and in states. That’s democracy–or what’s left of it. Republicans have been assaulting democracy for quite a while and it has worked out very well for them.


There are plenty of jobs available in the US. The problem is that they don’t pay enough to live on. It’s time to fix that. Democrats are talking and thinking about it. Republicans are not. Obamacare helps huge amounts of low income folks, but some states would not accept the aid for their poorer citizens–ALL republican controlled. The republicans just gave the wealthy $1 trillion of our money and they say they plan on giving the wealthy another $2 or $3 trillion. You are blind to reality.


Being excited about “the growth of the economy” is kind of like being excited about the rapid growth of a cancerous tumor. Sure, as long as you don’t admit to the cancer as being dangerous you could say “now if the rest of the body would grow that fast.” Except, that it shouldn’t be growing so fast in such an unwieldy manner. I thought conservatives are slow to accept change. Obviously, they are the more reckless political party. They obviously have no care for the future.


Thanks for pointing this out. My partner literally moved from one state to another, in order to access life-saving medical care with supplemental ACA Medicaid funds that her previous Governor rejected.

As much as i despise ACA as the massive corporate sell-out that it is, i too rely on the supplemental Medicaid funding that it provides.


I am a big picture person so I won’t debate facts and figures. I think I understand what you are saying and I tend to agree with it but others here may not get a clear picture. As we have seen concerning other U.N. statements and policies, they are not in good favor in amurika. It will have to come from government itself, which is not of the people. What are the odds?


You know, a lot of conservatives have been bitching about Paul Manafort’s prosecution NOW on what basically is financial crimes. And, I have to sympathize somewhat with them when they say “why now”? This is true, Manafort should have been prosecuted for ALL the financial crimes probably 20 yrs ago when he was becoming rich because of them. The huge problem in this country is that the rich feel entitled and are largely not prosecuted for these crimes while all the rest of us are for the smallest violation. We all know this and that was just another reason the rubes believed Trump and voted for him (cleaning the swamp). I’m not naïve on this as it has always been going on, but the problem is now it is in your face deliberate, don’t give a fuck corruption with some of it written into law by our legislators.


What needs to be done is pass laws that truly deter these ass holes. Send them to jail if convicted, don’t just give them a slap on the wrist fine. They need to go to the same jails that you & I and poor people would go to, not the so called “club feds”. You will see this kind of bullshit crime drop drastically once you start to send the Jamie Dimons’ of the world to the shitty jails with the “real” folks.


Yes, three strikes you are out rules passed to Punish the poor for committing multiple crimes as contrasted to these Asshole CEO`s committing crime after crime wherein the Corporation fined again and again shows exactly who the system designed to protect.

A hungry guy getting a life sentence for stealing a pizza as opposed to a 200 million dollar fine for a 1 billion dollar fraud committed. Something very wrong here.


At one time I did qualify in my state, but our hateful, racist governor and senate elected not to extend Medicaid.


We must never accept the Obama pledge of “we must move forward” again. Without accountability there is no democracy, only thieves in the night. I agree with you 1000%.


Jimmy Carter (in 2013): "The disparity between rich people and poor people in America has increased dramatically since when we started. The middle class has become more like poor people than they were 30 years ago."

Claims middle class Americans are as financially shaky as the poor were when he was president more than three decades ago