Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/30/economy-isnt-working-thats-exactly-plan
“In the first part, they began systematically de-industrializing what had been the mightiest economy in the history of the world—the same economy that had almost single-handedly won World War II, the greatest industrial enterprise ever undertaken. They dismantled tens of thousands of factories, creating what became known as the “Rust Belt.” They literally sent factory designs to east Asia, rebuilt them, and when they were ready to go, flipped the switch, shut down here, and opened up there. The consequences were devastating.”
Listen to Billy Joel explain it:
well done on this effort. the economy does work as intended. It just wasn’t intended for us.
now hopefully freeman comes in today to get the plaudits for this essay after taking couple HEAT rounds for his last one…:))
‘He (Biden) spent five decades servicing the interest of the very wealthy.’
That’s exactly the reason why he remains the LOTE president-elect…
AND since the 80’s banks, who lost all of their business customers after they move their factories over seas, have like vultures focused on consumer debt to make their money: mortgages, credit cards, payday lenders, student loans and governments like never before. Where once you went to Saving Bank to get a mortgage to buy a house, now all the big banks are in the home mortgage racket cause now it is the only game in town. Clinton who signed the end a Glass Segal supported by Joe Biden allowed the banks enter new markets because they had lost the old business customers.
The consequences on the human psyche/spirit of both forced industrialization and forced de-industrialization examined in this (very long but --imo—worth the read) piece:
“Americans Invented Modern Life. Now We’re Using Opioids to Escape It.”
While you may not agree with all the premises in the piece, there are some bone chilling links between our culture and addiction-----wanting to escape the pain of the brutality that people endure from birth to death in this culture along with grappling the fact of our inevitable death. Not a good combination to say the least (i.e. brutal, cruel culture amidst knowing you are going to die).
As humanity encounters the limits of resource extraction and pollution on a finite planet – capitalism becomes increasingly incompatible with democracy and inequality grows. The irony of working class people vehemently rejecting Socialism, whilst defending the rights of capitalists to screw them over is maddening.
Covid is only a bump in the road compared to climate change, which poses the biggest challenge for the plutocrats – and so we have denial, inaction, and time killing cosmetic initiatives. Capitalism will happily settle for one big blaze before we go unless “we the people” protest.
“The second political point is that we would be worse than naïve, even worse than stupid if we imagine that Joe Biden is going to do anything at all about this.”
It’s very odd that we would be force-fed–daily, over five months!-- the message that the best plan for progressives is to vote for Biden and make him come around to our way of seeing things. . .
then suddenly we see articles with quotes like this that say we should have known all along that there was no hope for success in the very thing we were told to do.
So my question is, is this website running these progressive-friendly articles just so it has as large of a progressive audience as possible for its VBNMW stretch during every federal election campaign?
Over 204 years, paying off the costs of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, building out the entire continent, fighting World War I, surviving the Great Depression, fighting and winning World War II, and winning the better part of the Cold War, the country only had to borrow $1 trillion.
I just love that “building out the entire continent” part. What an astounding euphemism for slaughtering 18 million people and stealing their land.
In case anyone is wondering why this society is so screwed up, it’s in that sentence right there and the “building out the entire continent” lie. They/we didn’t “build out” the continent. We killed. And killed, and killed for over 300 years straight. Then, we stole children and more land for another 90 years.
That’s what happens when you divvy up reality and ignore the parts you don’t like. You lie. Lies have consequences.
The truth is, what we call “building” was actually “destroying” and “stealing.” We destroy out of greed and to experiencing ourselves to our full extent, because we’re psycho.
Lots of people including the author forgot that little half-step that a lot of corporations took before bailing on the US entirely. They moved their production and HQ’s to the anti-union south (i.e Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham). I live around Chicago - got to help shut down our union facility ($9 to $12 / hr) that was being moved to non-union Alabama ($5 / hour). Laid off twice during Raygun’s realm. When he broke the PATCO strike - it was a green light for migration.
Every Administration since Reagan (both Parties) have continued that Slide to fascist feudal system. And it’s looking like Biden is preparing to take another big leap in that direction
Covid-19 is no mere ‘bump’ in the road. It’s more of a STOP sign.
Clear skies the days after the lockdown shine light on the remedy:
“Drive less. Fly less. Truck goods across the country less.
Ship goods across seas and oceans less.”
We shut down for a month and survived.
We should plan more shutdowns.
The US “almost single-handedly won World War II”???
What have you been smoking?
How to put this simply, Mr. Freeman - in this case by making claims I don’t support.
Broadly, though we are agreed on the de-industrial-izing economic shift, its right wing political consequences, and the lack of power and political will on the part of right liberal Democrats to reverse those politico-economically driven changes, I disagree with you as follows.
First, you explain Reagan’s supply side economics as entirely due to a sudden decision by the rich. There are two problems with this view:
First, economically your analysis ignores the steady - though highly uneven, depending on the state - decline of industrial unions prior to Reagan;
and second - and as a result - it ignores the ‘pre-Trumpian’ right wing shift and ‘pre-full-fledged-Rust-Belt-economic trend’ that already formed the electoral and populist basis for the “Reagan Revolution” by 1980.
Rather, I think we have to see that, by 1980, a corner had been turned: that the long-term shrinkage of post-WWII industrial labor - due to technology, pre-rust-belt-offshoring, and the McCarthy Period de-radicalization of labor - had BY 1980 fully laid the groundwork for the increased power of capital to accelerate the offshoring etc. that you describe.
Though never radical after WWII, the simple fact of deindustrialized and de-unionized labor, I would argue, had an enormous impact on the ‘residual class consciousness’ and political views of a de-industrialized working class.
Or to put it differently - it wasn’t an abruptly assertive class of capitalists and investors that asserted their profit-maximizing will; it was the progressive weakening of political and union organizational resistance to those ‘ruling classes’ that, circa 1980, reached a tipping point.
At the risk of repeating myself I really do feel like WASF on so many levels.
It’s hard to know where to start or focus. Though I do think our human induced predicament can be boiled down to a few basics.
Another example of why I feel WASF is the massive disconnect between the economy and the dying earth (due to the “economy”)----the latest iteration being the boon in bitcoin and latest prediction that bitcoin will soar.
Today’s news on “market watch” feature a couple of typical greedy looking, stupid assholes (the Winklevosses) smiling in their garish suits, feeling SOOOO good that they have hit the jack pot $$$$$$$$ with bitcoin:
Realization ‘cash is trash’ could soon see bitcoin price hitting $500,000, says Tyler Winklevoss
Of course NO mention of this:
Bitcoin Is Terrible for the Environment
One transaction can use as much energy as an entire household does in a week.*
And on a personal note re the bizarre news that creates the most cognitive dissonance I’ve ever experienced with all that is going on in these times:
I’ve given up looking for a small home. Sales in my area were up over 25% this year and keep going up. Prices of homes are in keeping with sales----very high and rising.
So I will accept staying in my tiny home without closets. In keeping with . . … I think pony boy who commented on this: living with less is good!
You really have to live with less if you don’t have closets, lol!
Tried to find a carpenter to build a closet here but all of them---- within at least a 100 mile radius---- are booked through at least the next 12 months. Building homes, doing major construction jobs on pre-existing homes. It feels like the home building and sales situation is worse than the flipping and building craze years ago.
“Profit is king. Companies aren’t welfare agencies”.
The wages are lower elsewhere. Also, automation. Its all about profit and gobal value chains. The unskilled jobs and the well paid skilled jobs are both on their way elsewhere. Thats what the trade deals do, make that easier. Sorry, until we face this huge transition to a future where machines do work and humans study or whatever, maybe even starve in large numbers because of greed, head on and stop our denial we cant solve the immediate problem and instead it will become a unspeakable disaster. The kind we don’t talk about, but which could happen.
We need to face facts.
Interesting that “controlled demolition” is used a couple of times here.
It was the climactic controlled demolition of 9/11 that opened the gates wide for the burgeoning police state, a necessary precursor to keeping the restless rabble under control. As noted, Biden offers no real hope for change. The last Dem president completely wore that trope out, but he at least presented himself well. Whatever the solution to our problems may be - assuming there is one - it will not come out of the DC echo chamber.
Is it possible to document this process of decision-making by the wealthy? Such a far-reaching plan must have been discussed, fleshed-out, argued over…
I think the “Powell Memorandum” explains quite a bit, but there must be more material. If it has been assembled already, where might one find it?