It Isn’t That Simple

We Americans tend to be “either/or” people. A policy is right or wrong; a system is good or bad, “those people” are all sterling characters or (more frequently) worthless bums.

Things aren’t going well, and need to change? We throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Speaking of throwing, the election of Donald Trump has thrown a number of the problems with American governance into stark relief;  it’s hard to deny the influence of money, or the venality of certain lawmakers. But rather than resolutions to correct the laws and political processes that have led to the current mess, I am increasingly reading diatribes from people who have decided that it is all capitalism’s fault, and want to replace the country’s system of market economics with socialism.

As the kids might say, let’s get real.

First of all, the worst aspects of our current, deeply dysfunctional economy aren’t capitalism. A genuinely capitalist system is regulated by an impartial “umpire” (the government) to ensure that enterprises compete on that all-important level playing field. What we have today is corporatism: Corporatism has been described as what you have when you lose the laws and regulations that have kept businesses from being able to buy politicians– a system where government is effectively “owned” by special interests.

Market capitalism encourages transactions between willing buyers and sellers, both of whom are in possession of all information relevant to those transactions. Socialism is a system for the collective provision of goods and services that don’t meet that criterion–goods and services that the market cannot supply efficiently or fairly.  We “socialize” things like infrastructure, police and fire protection, and protection of clean air and water.

A healthy, growing economy requires both. Virtually all western industrialized countries have mixed economies, meaning that the government socializes certain areas of the economy and leaves other areas to the market. The challenge is to get the mix right.

Both capitalism and socialism can be manipulated by greedy or unethical offiicials–that’s why electing people who demonstrate respect for ethics and the rule of law is so critical. Unregulated capitalism becomes corporatism, allowing the “big guys” to prey on smaller businesses and consumers. Socializing too much of the economy depresses innovation,  invites stagnation and encourages petty bureaucrats to abuse their authority.

If we want to fix our broken economic system–and not so incidentally, our broken government–there is no substitute for doing the hard work of re-regulating markets in those sectors where markets work well, and carefully socializing areas (like health care) where the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that markets do not and cannot work.

We can and should argue about the level of regulation we impose on market enterprises–what is too much, what is not enough?–and we can and should require hard evidence before moving to socialize additional areas of the economy. What we shouldn’t do is apply  bumper-sticker solutions to problems requiring careful analysis and measured policymaking.

We don’t need to throw the baby out–just the dirty bathwater.

46 thoughts on “It Isn’t That Simple

  1. Sheila,

    “We don’t need to throw the baby out–just the dirty bath water.” Ditto.

    I believe we are doomed if we can’t achieve this objective. Much of the world, including the U.S., is moving in a POPULIST direction. Moving toward a new IDEOLOGY such as Socialism will be fruitless. I agree with much that Bernie Sanders stands for, however, if he would ever gain the Democratic Party nominee for President he would be TORN-UP in the general election.

    Let’s get real.

  2. Sheila writes, “First of all, the worst aspects of our current, deeply dysfunctional economy aren’t capitalism.”

    Albert Einstein completely disagreed and explained why in detail. Not to mention his detailed analysis of what capitalism does to the human spirit and how its rotten core has crept into our educational system. He called capitalism, “Evil.”

    But here is the most important point…”Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.”

    He wrote his famous dictum in 1949. We are still in the “predatory phase” of capitalism which is why we have a military budget of $1 trillion and threatening wars against nuclear powers.

    He wrote, “The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.”

    Workers are more productive than ever because of technology, but guess who has reaped all the rewards?

    Not the productive workers.

    Anybody claiming capitalism ISN’T the problem doesn’t understand a society of human beings.

  3. Marv Kramer – “Moving toward a new IDEOLOGY such as Socialism will be fruitless.”

    Marv, isn’t that taken from a page of the 1932 GOP playbook?
    Remember the opposition editorials on Social Security, Works Projects, Labor strife, Unemployment, harnessing the flooding rivers, the dam and bridge projects, the taming of the Missouri and the Mississippi. Nothing seemed to escape the naysayers.
    Was the gift of the Salk vaccine a socialist plot?

    And Todd Smekens writes: “Anybody claiming capitalism ISN’T the problem doesn’t understand a society of human beings.”

  4. Todd; could anyone, even Albert Einstein, possibly foresee the Donald Trump dynasty taking over the United States government? Could even the brilliant Albert Einstein possibly foresee the dumbing down of America to this gutter level, morally bankrupt, bought-and-paid-for administration, fully supported by Congress as they ignore the Constitution giving them the power to protect us from such as Trump and are guided only by Citizens United?

    Regulation is needed in all businesses/corporations the same as criminal and civil laws are needed to remind and control the public to think before they act just as parents need to guide their children. The need for regulation IS that simple but the fact that it cuts into profits appears to have obfuscated the need, making it obsolete today. “What we shouldn’t do is apply bumper-sticker solutions to problems requiring careful analysis and measured policymaking.” No one appears to even be trying to apply bumper-sticker solutions today and rule of law is no longer the rule of this land.

    I’m going to speak to the “elephant in the room this morning”; the morning after Stormy Daniels’ much awaited interview being published. It was a major let-down; other than the possible legal ramifications still in question regarding that $130,000 payoff by someone, I won’t wait for the movie to come out. What I learned watching Stormy is; after 40 years of Trump’s public sexual adventures and recent hidden sexual abuse lawsuits (let’s not forget Trump’s campaign references to his impressive”size”); is that after only one actual sexual encounter, Stormy, a porn queen, wasn’t interested in seconds. He also made a comment comparing her to his daughter Ivanka after being spanked with his own magazine. Stormy even turned down his offer to appear on his TV program, “The Apprentice”. Is that why he has fought so hard to keep it hidden? She was unimpressed with him as a TV star and obviously, Casanova, he ain’t!

  5. So, Marv and Todd, which is the problem: Capitalism or Socialism, or don’t we have both and don’t we benefit from both?
    Why should we take sides? Why should one make way for the other?
    Let’s concentrate on exercising our power to depose the despot in the White House and the oafs in the Congress. We have plenty of reasons to vote NO to GOP now. Let’s select NO in November and REFRESH two years later.

  6. A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The trend toward a gig economy has begun. A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors.
    From Chris Hedges today: 4 NY yellow cab drivers have committted suicide because Uber and Lyft make it impossible to feed their families. Yellow is regulated; Uber and Lyft aren’t.

  7. OMG,

    I didn’t take the side of Capitalism. I agree 100% with Sheila.
    We need to have a hybrid. We have to find some formula for FUTURE UNITY. Like you,I want a No in November, not some “pie in the sky” solution with Bernie Sanders or a Joe Biden.

    As JoAnn pointed out, Albert Einstein was talking about the 30’s and 40’s. Fortunately for those times, he didn’t have an EARLY ONSET SCHIZOPHRENIC [SOCIOPATH] as President and a Neo-Fascist leaning Republican Majority Party in the U.S. to worry about.

  8. I always like to get my economic advice from physicists. I’m not sure what we should do with the economists. As Sheila has noted, this system that Todd so abhors is NOT a capitalist one, but a corporatist one. We have to change that in order to make any social progress whatever. We START that by throwing Republicans out of office and making it clear that we want anti-trust laws enforced, that corporations are not people, and health care is indeed a right, not a privilege.

  9. Call me cynical, but…this reads like it’s a missive from the DNC and seems like a salvo directed at Bernie and his campaign.

  10. I’m just glad there were not so many people amongst the Democratic Party back in the day (when Medicare was a thought/idea) who thought Medicare was a “pie in the sky” idea.

    That’s the problem,today’s Democrats just want to continue the economic policies supported by the Republicans. Gotta keep the donor-class happy. Any efforts to help those outside of the uppermost 20% are denigrated and dismissed.

    About those cab drivers….Those cab drivers had no one in DC and most likely their local government looking out for them. If they were voters,voting did them absolutely no good.

  11. William,

    “Call me cynical”

    I was an opponent of the Democratic Leadership Council probably before you were born. This is no missive from the DNC.

    And you are cynical. All I’m saying is that a Brooklyn Jew, representing Vermont in Congress, the most secular state in the U.S., with anti-Semitism rampant and increasing exponentially, means that Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a “chance in hell” to be elected President.

    This doesn’t come-up and I’m forced to say it because the Republicans would LOVE to see him as the Democratic Party nominee.

  12. Why not take lessons from the Scandinavian countries, which have blended aspects of the economic system called Capitalism the social concerns of Socialism?

  13. It seems to me that this debate about capitalism vs. socialism misses the deeper reality. Our system of economics is going through a massive change. We have moved to a global economy at the same time that over-population, a depletion of natural resources, and ecological disasters are nipping at our heels. How we maintain a civilization during this time is the question, not who’s team (capitalism vs. socialism) is the winner. Unless we get our act together, there will not be any winners… only losers.

  14. William,

    “I’m just glad there were not so many people amongst the Democratic Party back in the day (when Medicare was a thought/idea) who thought Medicare was a “pie in the sky” idea.”

    You don’t listen to anyone other than yourself. Who said anything about Medicare being a “pie in the sky” idea.

  15. “What we have today is corporatism: Corporatism has been described as what you have when you lose the laws and regulations that have kept businesses from being able to buy politicians– a system where government is effectively “owned” by special interests.”

    This is the truest of the statements made in today’s blog. We already have a blend of capitalism and socialism, but it is NOT being regulated or controlled by our government such that special interests don’t pervert this blend and bend it to their own wants. What we actually have, as someone mentioned, is REPUBLICANISM, that self-serving ideology that favors only the rich. If this was Russia at the turn of the 20th century, Republicans would be labeled czarists.

    Getting rid of Republicanism and advancing the controls on capitalists will save our democracy and allow real markets to function.

  16. In 2018 America Capitalists own the government-lock, stock and for the foreseeable future.

  17. Recommended reading: “The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?” Ian Bremmer on State capitalism.

  18. As i have railed on wall streets greed, I have a better name for this, (thanks) take heed, seems jared is deeply into the presidents daily briefs,er brief…this along with,what else,congress and the like use to get some updates on what to trade for etc? could this effect be insider trading,imgine that. Martha Stewart has nothing on this mob… why not? after all, they are the,,,nations keeper?.
    update, my trek to the backwoods bar ,louisiana,was uneventful, no one had any money…go figure..

  19. JoAnn > Todd; could anyone, even Albert Einstein, possibly foresee the Donald Trump dynasty taking over the United States government? <<

    The answer is yes, there was someone, H. L. Mencken said, "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    By the way Marv, Bernie would have won in 2016 and he can win in 2020.

  20. ISN’T THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT TO SOCIALIZE? To tame the human animal, especially the systemic organisms through which the brute power of the human animal’s feral nature is multiplied? In that sense, democracy, unitary states, federations, confederations, oligarchies, theocracies, etc. are all, at their root, at their best, socialist.

    Philosophically, I can think of only one reason to avoid socialism: to ensure the strong win every contest, and many believe that is the way God intended things to work; obviously, this presents us no good news.

    There is also a phony reason to avoid socialism. That line of tainted thinking derives from a number of state examples of apparent and brightly labeled socialism, which actually were dictatorships disguised as socialism; the USSR, Cuba, China, North Korea, all served to inject the evils of dictatorship into the virtues of socialism. Hence, like Pavlov’s dog, the entire world now confuses socialism with some form of dictatorship.

    Reasonably, any form of government, as well as any degree of socialism embedded in whatever system, in order to assure continued innocence, must have oversight, oversight which is perpetually innocent and/or continuously able to cleanse itself, while simultaneously having the teeth to enforce oversight.

    Talk about Catch 22.

    This Catch 22, this gotcha aspect of government systems–all of them–was the elephant in the room when Hamilton, Jefferson and co-conspirators were trying to form a more perfect union. Ironically, the elephant in the room then is still the elephant in the room now. And the same taint that poisoned the meaning of decent socialism forevermore for the entire world is now poisoning the meaning of decent democracy.

    It may be worth considering that the last great red, white and blue hope for that innocent oversight of government is violent reestablishment. Journalism has for some time provided that oversight, and though weakened and tainted by the same forces that weaken and taint government, journalism’s last working vestiges may yet save the day. But if they don’t, we’re back to violent reestablishment.

  21. Monotonous,

    “By the way Marv, Bernie would have won in 2016 and he can win in 2020.”

    My only response to that statement is that “you’re very ignorant when it comes to the extent of anti-Semitism in the U.S.” You must be receiving materials from the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] who has been actively covering up anti-Semitism for almost 50 years in order that the massive aid to Israel could continue. Any exposure of the forces behind the anti-Semitism would have immediately curtailed the extent of the aid or possibly cut it all off.

    As a matter of fact, President George Bush did exactly that after I published the information contained in http://www.TheAlarmReport.info in 1991. He announced, shortly thereafter, that he was temporarily cutting off all aid to the State of Israel.

  22. I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of this posting. However, for a society and economic system thus described to work the participants must have the knowledge to function within it. I want to echo a common theme of Dr. Kennedy’s concerns, we as a collective body lack this knowledge. I am appalled at the level of willfull ignorance practiced by to many of our citizens. Critical thinking is aquired and our educational system, also one of those areas where a market approach fails, is under attack by those who have adverse agendas. Education in the civic arts like economics, political science, history and sociology are key to our survival.

  23. In engineering we are taught that when a process is too variable, that is producing out of spec product too often, random fixes in a haphazard order typically makes things worse. Compensating for this puts that further out of whack which upsets the other thing…… effective, but tedious, process improvement begins with root cause analysis.

    There are so many dysfunctions in government today that it’s tempting to settle for a shotgun approach. Just start fixing anything.

    But what’s the root cause, the process variable that led to all of the issues?

    IMO it’s the quality of the information available to our central nervous system; the voter/consumer/worker/tax payer/public. We all play all of those roles in a democratic mixed economy and they all function based on the information we have at our (unfortunately typically lazy) disposal. We are not dumber than ever before we are mal-informed more than ever before. Why is that? Because wealth collectors can and do collect wealth that way.

    Politely we label it advertising, what it really is is propganda and what it does is brainwashing. It’s effectively cultural manipulation for the purpose of wealth concentration and it’s been perfected.

    That fact requires us to reconsider the intersection of democracy, free speech, and propganda. (We could add capitalism to that list)

    That requires us to elect people who are capable and willing to rewrite the rule book in the face of a new game; the technical ability to manipulate culture. But first they have to be people who haven’t benefited from what they have to fix.

    I think that requires a clean sweep of our present representation to government who got there by taking advantage of what needs to be fixed.

    Doing that requires unity stronger than the propaganda aimed at maintaining the problem.

    I see no pathway to that more effective than all who see the problem agreeing to ignore the noise and focus on the root cause of all of our maladaption to the environment.

    All Ds this year. Work the primary to select the best Ds based on their commitment to legislate a solution to the root cause then vote them in.

  24. In my eyes the problem isn’t the Capitalism, it is the Capitalist Dictatorship that has developed the way the markets are being manipulated – and the fact that much of the banter by talking heads is all about the money – but nothing about human – planetary cost. Capitalism is GOOD – a dictatorship by ‘capitalists’ – NOT GOOD, I am not just a ‘consumer’ of ‘goods and services’ – I am an American Citizen. I inform myself with all the resources I can muster and humanly consume… I am glad I found Dr. Kennedy’s blog – which I regularly consume!… good thinking type material, ya know.

  25. William : I wish I had written the following. It deserves to be shared right here and read in its entirety. This post summarizes and articulates what I’ve tried to convey for the past two years.

    “I think that the Clinton Liberals do not understand that they have lost legitimacy.

    Often people speak of Trump as being not legitimate because he lost the popular vote like George W. Bush. The issue is that I do not believe that Clinton Liberals understand the importance of where their legitimacy comes from.

    The core source legitimacy for the Liberal movement has always come from standing up for the common citizen against the plutocracy. With the rise of neoliberalism, the Liberal movement has been co-opted and represents the upper middle class and the very wealthy.

    Gone is the discussion of the New Deal and anything that might help the common citizen. Note this dismissive attitude that many Clinton supporters had towards the economic grievances of the Bernie Sanders base. That is because Clinton supporters are not personally affected. It is not the upper 10 percent that has to deal with the worst of the recession, student debt, underemployment, gig economy jobs, and having no healthcare. The other issue is that Sanders would, had he been allowed to do what be campaigned on, narrowed the gap between the middle class and upper middle class. Leftists wanted Bernie because Obama sold out to Wall Street and nobody was under any illusion about Clinton, who would have sold out too.

    The same could be said of the economic despair base that was decisive for Trump in 2016. It is not wealthy liberals in the big coastal areas that are seeing their jobs get outsourced. Liberals seem to have a contemptous attitude that robots or outsourcing will replace the former middle class. They also seem to be willfully ignorant than increasing the supply of labor will reduce the bargaining power of workers, a predictable result of the open borders policy they advocate. Well first of all, the evidence for robots taking over is on shaky grounds, but the real issue is that Liberals believe what they want to believe. Why Germany can have manufacturing and unions, while Americans cannot is something that they cannot answer.

    They never considered the possibility that when they undermined the economic struggles of the former middle class and working class, they were undermining their own legitimacy. A poignant example of this is how Clinton Liberals called Bernie Sanders supporters “Bernie Bros” and working class whites “deplorable”. It was a shock for them on election day in 2016.

    Apparently, even though Liberals consider themselves more intelligent than us, they do not want to recognize that calling people names doesn’t motivate people to vote for you. The issue here is that they see their credentials, like Ivy League or working for Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, etc, as a source of moral superiority in a way not dissimilar to how Conservatives see the rich as superior. Thomas Frank in Listen Liberal covers this in detail. After this time, I am forced to concede that the right wing “out of touch Liberal” criticisms may have been valid after all.

    Another alarming consideration is the nature of the reactions of Clinton Liberals to the rise of Bernie Sanders. Several years ago, Yves wrote an editorial about the possibility of a Elizabeth Warren run.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/should-elizabeth-warren-run-for-president.html

    Four years later, the left appears to have achieved this objective with a Sanders run. Whatever else, Sanders just blew the mask on the upper middle class liberal elites and their rich backers. He did so in exposing the true face of the Democratic Establishment. The similarities with McCarthyism are very striking, if not disturbing. The ongoing Russia hacked the elections debacle is not helping either. It is a modern day Red Scare. The issue is that Liberals do not tolerate dissent from their ideology. Nor do they tolerate a champion who would attempt to pass another New Deal and take on the plutocracy.

    What is left of the Liberal movement without another New Deal and the fact that they are supposed to stand up against the rich? Identity politics with Wall Street? Liberals have no legitimacy any more, even though they don’t realize it. That is why we are in this current crisis. The other of course is that the rich are really greedy and have used identity politics in a manner quite similar to how they manipulated the Tea Party. Worst of all, the Clinton Liberals are incapable of admitting their errors, having learned nothing from the 2016 elections, and will repeat them.”

    From Here..

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/links-3-24-18.html#comment-2943570

  26. Fixing all that’s wrong will take decades given the pace that democracy crawls. But we don’t have to fix everything this year. We do have to fix the root cause now which will elevate the next thing we should fix to root.

    If we can’t break out of the propaganda death spiral nothing else will ever get fixed. When I was learning to fly one of the lessons was first, fly the damn plane. That’s the prerequisite for solving whatever else has gone wrong.

    I fear that shotgunning all that’s wrong this year will fix nothing. We’ll get what we got in 2016. United authoritarians vs divided liberals.

  27. Market capitalism encourages transactions between willing buyers and sellers, both of whom are in possession of all relevant information to those transactions. Well, is not that just dandy. Name one.

    Probably escape the argument with “encourages,” but then what is the relevance of the definition. Perhaps you should say “……..with some limited success.” Even then, point to where such a system has worked over a long period. Never has.

    I have for 60 some years thought that some sort of socialism that allows free markets and the accumulation of wealth may be the best combination. But now you have Russia with a government setting up oligarchs. Maybe China will do better.

    We must first accept the common good as our goal and then accept human greed as a necessary evil. Such a system may have a chance. But the right has demonized the common good and made greed good. We have a long way to travel.

    First step is for all to vote straight democratic in November.

  28. Expect more visitors here as I have advertised the site as a roosting place for loons. However, every now and then I spot a synapse and wish there were a “like” button. What I hear today is that the blogger does not like the first Amendment nor Citizen’s Action decision that leveled the playing field. As Ruth Holladay would say, “get bent”. Communism is, essentially, only centralized Capitalism….so Capitalism by itself is evil. See Liberal Fascism for the story of how FDR brought Fascism to America along with a vast host of Communists to implement it.
    As for having all the information, that is where centralized sorts foul up. It isn’t possible for them or for market based investors. See Mises, Hayek, and any other competent observer. Bear in mind that economists are but apologists for the Usury State and Capitalism is but State Sponsored Usury. We need not your advice about socializing things or the bs you shovel about market failure. By and large, we need more markets in schools, in police and fire protection, in medical practice….everything benefits from free markets.

  29. John Neal,

    “I value your comments. I went to http://www.killingthemessenger.info/. I must be dense. Please tell me how we should read or interpret this, or the upshot of what is trying to be convey??”

    It’s a POTENTIAL coded death message delivered by John Grisham thru his book:”The Chamber.” He’s a personal friend of the Bush family. You’re not dense. It’s my fault. I haven’t coordinated it with my other websites. It’s a threat made to me that I better not continue to expose the Bush family as I had previously done in http://www.TheAlarmReport.info or the Religious Right/Far Right as I also had done in http://www.Democracide.info. I’ve been effective.

    The book is coded with a similar code used in Agatha Christie’s book “AndThenThere was None” which was the World’s Best Selling Mystery of All Time. My ex-brother-in-law also an attorney does read mysteries. I don’t. In 1994, he came running up to me at the Court House in Jacksonville telling me that I was in a book by John Grisham. He was aware of my political activities both in Dallas and in Jacksonville. The code is directed at me for my consumption not the public’s. It was effective, I got the message.

    A movie was made a few years later. Before it was released and with the help of Oliver Stone’s attorney I was able to have the codes and threats eliminated. Some of those who have witnessed the movie have expressed to me that it is the worst movie they have ever seen. It would be since I HAD BEEN one of the main characters in the book. By the way, Oliver Stone and John Grisham were mortal enemies at the time. That’s why I was able to obtain the help I needed.

    We’re talking about events that occurred almost twenty-five years ago. Why this is still so important is the fact that NOTHING HAS CHANGED SYSTEMATICALLY since then. The WEB OF HATRED on all levels has just expanded. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT A SOCIOPATH IS NOW IN CONTROL. In my mind, THAT’S A BIG DIFFERENCE.

  30. Leon, why do you disagree with Adam Smith’s definition of what makes markets free as well informed buyers and sellers?

  31. Smith’s invisible hand is competition and informed buyers and sellers.

    How can there be competition for public safety as an example?

    Would you get competitive quotes from fire departments while your house was burning?

  32. William , I agree with your comments @ 11:50 am. I will add this Saturday we had coast to coast demonstrations March for our Lives against firearm violence, by young and old alike. The media here in Indianapolis as usual gave the march here little publicity.

    What is irksome to me in the extreme is our McMega-Media is failing to ask our elected officials to comment on these marches. Oh well, hours and hours of reporting on Stormy Daniels.

  33. Marv,

    I’m a little puzzled by this statement…”As JoAnn pointed out, Albert Einstein was talking about the 30’s and 40’s. Fortunately for those times, he didn’t have an EARLY ONSET SCHIZOPHRENIC [SOCIOPATH] as President and a Neo-Fascist leaning Republican Majority Party in the U.S. to worry about.”

    Hello?

    Adolph Hitler, the Nazi-Fascist might have been a tad worse than Donald Trump.

    Einstein’s solution was not pure socialism, but social planning versus letting the free market dictate winners and losers like shareholders vs workers. When manufacturing went offshoring, the shareholders won big and so did the CEOs.

    Meanwhile, an entire generation of workers dropped from Middle Class to minimum wage service workers or worse depending upon the shape of their bodies.

    Probably even more important than labor is our natural resources. Free market capitalism is UNSUSTAINABLE. The growth demanded by Wall Street analysts is unsustainable.

    We now have a branch of economists called environmental economists who are calculating the external costs ignored by capitalism and their proponent economists.

    Once again, our economic system is well known for socializing costs while privatizing profits–it’s not even a decent marketplace because it’s premise is based on well-informed or rational buyers and sellers.

    Haven’t we been talking about propaganda for months?? 😉

  34. “Downfall (2004 film) – Wikipedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downfall_(2004_film)
    Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German-Italian-Austrian historical war drama film depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler’s rule over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was based on several histories of the period. The film was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, and written and produced by Bernd Eichinger.”

    Todd; I just watched the movie “Downfall”, “based on several histories”, seeing Donald Trump in Adolph Hitler, or Adolph Hitler in Donald Trump, they seemed interchangeable in their egos and goals. The comparisons being made between Trump and Hitler and the chaos in the Bunker were last days of Hitler; the chaos we read about in the White House are the early days of Trump. But the egos and obvious mental imbalance are comparable. I have read much about WWII and seen many old newsreels, actual historical films from WWII when the History Channel actually broadcast history and documentaries. After the movie I checked the blog and found your comments; felt a need to call your attention to the movie. It begins and ends with comments from a documentary from the actual woman who was Hitler’s secretary; it also ends with reports of what happened to his closest generals after the war. My opinion of her end remarks was that her denial of any knowledge of what was happening seemed to me to be the unbelievable typical “good German who didn’t know” excuse. Will our history books be filled with the “good Americans” who don’t know today what Trump is doing or what is going on?

    “Adolph Hitler, the Nazi-Fascist might have been a tad worse than Donald Trump.”

    Hitler had more years on the job which would explain how he “might have been a tad worse”; Trump is a new-hire and is still learning to become a full-fledged Fuhrer. I have no doubt he will succeed; and could surpass Hitler who didn’t have nuclear weapons at his disposal. Hitler began his reign with a “deeply dysfunctional economy”; Trump is heading this county into a “deeply dysfunctional economy”, there is a difference between them in that respect.

  35. Todd,

    Marv, I’m a little puzzled by this statement…”As JoAnn pointed out, Albert Einstein was talking about the 30’s and 40’s. Fortunately for those times, he didn’t have an EARLY ONSET SCHIZOPHRENIC [SOCIOPATH] as President and a Neo-Fascist leaning Republican Majority Party in the U.S. to worry about.”

    Hello?

    Adolph Hitler, the Nazi-Fascist might have been a tad worse than Donald Trump”

    Your previous statement:”He wrote his famous dictum in 1949. We are still in the “predatory phase” of capitalism which is why we have a military budget of $1 trillion and threatening wars against nuclear powers.”

    Why I should I be thinking of Adolph Hitler? He died by suicide in 1945. According to YOU, as pointed out above, Einstein made his statement in 1949 while he was living in the U.S. Hitler was no longer in the picture. Using the words 30’s and 40’s by me was misleading, I should have been more specific to 1949 which I was thinking about when I made the statement about Donald Trump.

    I hope your mind is more at ease now.

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