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The Bush administration and the global decline of American capitalism

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:48 PM
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The Bush administration and the global decline of American capitalism
Report on US: The Bush administration and the global decline of American capitalismPart one
By Barry Grey
4 March 2006

Social inequality

The enormous concentration of wealth at the very top of American society and the growth of social inequality are part of the same process of decline, in terms of the world market, and internal decay. That American society ever more openly assumes the form of a plutocracy is a symptom not of health and vigor, but rather the opposite. The previous ability of the American ruling classunder enormous pressure from below, and certainly not without internal frictionto bring about a general rise in working class living standards and a moderation of economic disparities was an expression of economic strength and confidence in the future.

Those conditions no longer exist. There are by now hundreds of studies and thousands of statistics documenting the staggering and ever-widening chasm between the uppermost social layers and the vast majority of the American people. Large sections of the population live in a state of desperation and near destitution. But more broadly, working people and most of the professional, managerial and self-employed population have been swept up in a permanent maelstrom of economic insecurity and dislocation.

Just to cite one statistic: the New York Times recently reported that the very wealthiest Americanssome 45,000 taxpayers with incomes starting at $1.6 million, who comprise the top 0.1 percentsaw their share of the nations income more than double since the 1970s, reaching 10 percent in the year 2000. That is a level of income concentration last seen in the 1920s.

The existence of such obscene levels of wealth and grotesque levels of inequality is noted only on occasion in the media, and even more rarely by the Democratic Party, which still claims to be the party of the people. The mind set that prevails in ruling circlesliberal as well as conservativewas starkly revealed in the recent strike by transit workers in New York. Even as workers who make $50,000 a year were being roundly denounced by politicians and newspapers as greedy thugs and rats, it was reported that Wall Street was planning to hand out some $21.5 billion in year-end executive bonuses.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/mar2006/bgp1-m04.shtm...
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:15 PM
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1. In spite of the general rightness of this article I cannot condemn capital
ism as a whole because of it.

A system is only as good as the people who run it and make it up.

I still believe in incentivization, and well-regulated capitalism, Rooseveltian Social capitalism, if you will.

It is not American Capitalism that is falling per se, it is BushPutinist Crony Capitalism.

Finally, most Communist states wind up have greater wealth inequity that America even now, it just that they don't measure such things because, of course, living in a Communist state means automatically that there is 100% even distribution of the wealth.

:sarcasm:
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not enough firms competing for customer dollars?
The existence of such obscene levels of wealth ... is noted only on occasion in the media


...it was reported that Wall Street was planning to hand out some $21.5 billion in year-end executive bonuses.


Did the $21.5 billion come from the customers of those Wall Street firms? Is the author of the article able to offer services as good as the services that those firms offer? Is the author of the article willing to charge less than those firms?
Perhaps the author of the article could stop being an author and instead establish and run a Wall Street firm that pays low bonuses or no bonuses.
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Ben Ceremos Donating Member (387 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. So, a complete description
Edited on Mon Mar-06-06 04:56 AM by Ben Ceremos
of the malaise of capitalism evokes in you an apoplectic reaction in which you invoke market "efficiency" as a rebuttal. Are you so entrenched in the lies of the capital-holders that you sell your own interests down the river by spouting capitalist platitudes? I doubt you will ever see the light..."Greed, it's about greed, stoopid."


(Edited for punctuation.)
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SoulDrift Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 07:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. Some regulation is healthy
I am most astounded that Americans allow language to be so perverted by PR people--prime example, when people cite the statistics listed in this article about the wealthiest Americans' income level, it's called "class warfare." But the increase in earnings itself through creative use of politics and policy is NOT class warfare. Huh?
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