Marx disdained capitalism because in part he was sure capitalists could never get their game right. Selfishness eventually, he was sure, would always defeat their purpose.
Capitalism is true to itself only when it spreads wealth, to the advantage of the working middle class, more than it concentrates it. When it concentrates wealth more than spreading it, capitalism soon becomes something else. Plutocracy or oligarchy, or a brew of the two. Take your pick.
Isn’t this the lesson of “trickle down,” of which Ronald Reagan was the most famous and influential booster? Playing on for three decades, bolstered anew by the Bush-Cheney warmongering, the trickle down economy has shrunk the middle class, undercut American competitiveness, and added massively to the national debt – the weight of which threatens the cherished American Dream.
The national debt nearly tripled under President Reagan, and nearly tripled again during Bush II, all on the pretext that national security demanded it. Though we reign now as the world’s only superpower, our national security is more threatened than it has ever been, at home and abroad. Superpower is a bullseye, pinned on our backs.
The longer we live by trickle down, the less secure we will be, economically and domestically. The more we are divided between the One Percent and the Ninety-nine Percent, the weaker free enterprise will be at securing the middle class on which consumer economics depends for survival.
Serious conservatives can’t possibly be comfortable knowing that the national debt grew most heavily under two Republican presidents, with Bush II leaving the country and the presidency encumbered with raging budget deficits, debilitating unemployment, and a sputtering economy, from which reversals are far from assured.
The politics that pervade Washington and most state capitals today show little promise of delivering such reversals. Conservatives have permitted the fiscal responsibility that long was their guiding tenet to pass into the hands of the corporate rulers, whose sole allegance is to the bottom line, and who impose their will on the capitals by flooding the system with money that pads the pockets of legislators, lobbyists and lawyers.
By anointing corporations with unlimited First Amendment rights, the Supreme Court has effectively silenced the Silent Majority. It gives them the power to spend whatever it takes to buy as much media and political influence as it takes to keep themselves essentially free of any rule of law that nations may want to exert.
Since the Supreme Court has equated corporations with persons, might this free the people to indict them by citizen arrests? If a corporation swallows or kills a competitor, leaving thousands of workers without jobs, why not charge them with homicide, as if it were one person killing another?
How about trying Mitt Romney for murder, since he built his substantial fortune by killing a dozen companies?
– Frank Mensel, March 2012