Monday, August 15, 2011

Capitalism's new face (hint: sober, lights-on ugly)

Shamus Cooke discusses what the new era of capitalism will continue to usher in. And we - as in we working/struggling citizens worldwide - need to decide (quickly) what we're going to do about it. Naturally, this isn't just about us. It's about what kind of world our children, grandchildren, and fellow earthlings are going to have to operate in.

"...The world economy is in shambles and about to get worse, according to even mainstream economists. How bad is anybody's guess. Some things, however, are certain: the recovery that politicians have been promising for years existed only in their heads. The reality of the situation is now apparent to millions of people across the globe, who before clung to the empty promises of economic recovery. This new found consciousness will inevitably find expression in the political realm and, more importantly, the streets.

A key aspect of this sudden mass awareness is in response to high unemployment and the deeply unpopular measures that politicians are forcing upon working people, both byproducts of the Great Recession. Politicians are blaming "the markets" for demanding austerity measures, but "markets" are simply places where wealthy people invest their money. To guarantee a profitable return on their money these investors demand that labor laws be squashed and social programs be eliminated, all over the world...

....Implied in this nation-by-nation restructuring is a restriction of democracy, since these anti-worker policies negatively affect the vast majority of the population. The riots in London are an expression of this, as are the mass demonstrations throughout Europe as well as the Middle East. In the United States democracy is circumvented via the so-called Super Congress, whose duty it is to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Austerity programs throughout Europe are being implemented against the wishes of the general working populations.

Also included in this attack on working people is the corporate elite's doubled efforts to divert the working class anger towards fake populist movements -- like the Tea Party in the U.S. -- or against minorities, such as Muslims and immigrants in the U.S.

This will require that working people stay focused on who exactly is attacking them, while focusing on measures that can serve as alternatives to what the corporate elite are forcefully implementing.

The most immediate and important demand of working people must be taxing the rich and corporations, since social programs need to be funded and expanded, and a massive jobs program with a strong green component is desperately overdue. It's not by coincidence that taxing the rich is rarely used in austerity plans; and when on rare occasions the rich are taxed, it's at low levels with high publicity, so the angry public will think the illusion of "shared sacrifice" is a reality..."

Read entire piece here.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I agree with the author's observation, saying that ending the Bush tax cuts would not be sufficient. We must return to pre-Reagan marginal tax rates, on the top bracket, of 70%, and even consider the 91% to 92% threshold that we saw in the 1950s.

We're truly in dire straits, and it looks like the prospect of people hitting the streets is becoming more and more likely.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

With the corporatized, corrupted crowd in there now, the 1950's tax rates aren't gonna happen. It would be a miracle if they had to pay the tax rates of the 70's.

They DO need to be paying their fair share, however, and these offshore tax shelter business scams need to END.

And Wall Street gamblers need to pay a transaction fee on each trade, like the rest of the developed world insists on. Half a cent per trade harms no one, and adds up to billions more tax dollars in the coffers. Especially these damn speculators who cause so much trouble anyway!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Hate to be a blog whore, but conditions at another blog have kind of forced me to set up my own to express my, evidently, radical hatred of Obama.
I offer a tongue-n-cheek solution to the Social Security SciFi Story over at my place. If the moment takes you:

moonseller.blogspot.com

Caution: I'm a radical leftist progressive. Be forewarned! You may read things damning the Democrats, Obama, Hot Dogs, Mother and Apple Pie (Maybe even Chevy)which as everyone knows, isn't supposed to happen. We're all supposed to get inline, put own our newly ironed brown shirts and be good little boys and girls and do as we're told or we don't get any porridge tonight!

FT

10:03 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Anna & JG,

Missouri Mule posted this on her facebook page and Jersey put it on bsense:

from MoMule over at the facebook

EMPLOYEE NOTICE
Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, Congress has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early, mandatory retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to Congress to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Congress deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Congress.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Congress has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle

Sincerely,

The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)

PS - Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off..

Addendum from FT:
If this were to ever become law, it would be an...
Obamanation!

FT

1:11 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

That's about it, isn't it? Although I'd be happy to retire now IF I could get my FULL amount that I've paid into so far.
I've been working since I was 14, and I will not be allowing ANYONE to steal my future Social Security - especially not corporate people!!

2:32 PM  

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