THE DEEPLY CORRUPT, PREDATORY, AMERICAN BUSINESS MODEL—BASED UPON PAYING MOST EMPLOYEES BADLY—AND FOCUSING SOLELY ON THE INTERESTS OF SHAREHOLDERS--IS A DISASTER FOR MOST AMERICANS
DO WE REALLY UNDERSTAND QUITE HOW DISASTROUS? I SUSPECT NOT
PRODUCTIVITY UP BY 80.4% SINCE 1973. MEDIAN MALE COMPENSATION HAS SCARCELY MOVED—IN OVER 40 YEARS!
THAT IS A DISGRACE
There are some signs now that people are beginning to wake up to the scale and significance of both income and wealth inequality—but I still see no clear evidence of the kind of mass outrage that will be required to change things for the better. Also, the system is now so tilted at every level to favor power and money that it seems likely that it would take decades to rebalance things—assuming Congress wanted to carry out reforms in the first place (which it clearly doesn’t).
Currently, Islamic fundamentalism seem to be have replaced communism as our most serious perceived threat—and we always seem to have a bogeyman. In my opinion, the current American Business Model is a much more real and serious threat to the quality of life of most Americans. Beyond that, as the impact of the recent Great Recession showed, it has an unhealthy degree of global influence.
I find all of this both fascinating (given my interest in economics, current affairs, and history) and horrific. A pretty evil force is at work and it seems to be facing no serious opposition. In fact, a great many Americans still don’t seem to be aware of what is going on.
Given the sophistication of the propaganda that saturates us every waking day—combined with who owns the media and who funds our political system—I guess that situation should scarcely be a surprise.
So what does the future hold?
More of the same, I suspect.
The American tragedy continues.
Senator Elizabeth Warren does seem to understand the realities. The following is from www.Vox.com
Elizabeth Warren explains the real way corruption in Washington works
It's not primarily about quid pro quo cash for favors. It's about whose voices get heard and what issues end up on the agenda. "The wind only blows from one direction," Warren said. "It only blows from the direction of those who have money." Yes, campaign contributions matter. But big interests have "invested in other ways," too. They've invested in paying attention to what happens and to having their agents show up constantly and make noise. Consequently, the concerns of the rich and powerful are present in "every rule that's written, in every conversation, in every discussion."
Warren's perspective on this is supported by my favorite book about influence peddling —Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why.
The authors show two things. One is that it's not true that the richest interest group always wins. Better-financed groups lose to less-financed groups all the time in DC. One big reason for that is that the American system is simply set up to make change very difficult. What normally happens is that the status quo wins, not necessarily the richer side.
But money does matter. Money matters because you have absolutely no chance of winning unless you can get on the agenda, and you can't get on the agenda unless you have money to spend. An ultra-rich interest group can be defeated by a merely rich interest group, but unless you can show up on Capitol Hill with some kind of sack of cash you can't get your voice heard at all.