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When will this house of cards finally collapse?

September 9, 2011

Almost everything in our capitalist world order requires a suspension of logic.  Like:

1) We have the technology to meet the material wants of everyone, yet we accept as inevitable massive poverty, degradation, and insecurity.

2) We have the technology to meet the material wants of everyone, yet we accept that our living standards are only sustainable if we win a never-ending global competition.

3) It’s preferable, a la yesterday’s Obama speech, to cut already insufficient health coverage for the poor and those over 65 in order to build more roads, bridges, or to somehow incentivize companies to produce other unspecified products. Caring adequately for our fellow citizens cannot be the highest of priorities.  Does anyone know what is?

4) Social security provides on average about $1,100 per month to retirees but even this meager amount is widely seen as unaffordable.  Adequate retirements cannot be the highest of priorities.  Does anyone know what is?

5) There can be no reasonable doubt we live in an aristocracy of wealth but we continue to act as if we’re a democracy. We also pretend we’re rugged individualists when the sad reality is we’re almost all serfs desperately struggling to look pretty for our masters who we pray may hire us.

6) We have the power to create our own purchasing power through monetary creation yet we accept that we must not only submit to borrowing our own currency from China and the wealthy but that our very living standards must be based on their whims.

7) The United States is surrounded by Canada, Mexico, and two oceans, yet we accept that we must maintain a massive military complex to protect us from “dire” threats like Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan, the combined GDP of which is but a very tiny fraction of the US.

8)  Capitalism is inherently a ponzi scheme in that it’s based on a never ending accumulation of profit that can only be sustained by an ever rising level of investment spending.  Such investment cannot be long term profitable or maintain mass prosperity, though, since the wage will not provide sufficient purchasing power to buy the final output.  We therefore oscillate between bubbles that inevitably crash when the investments driving them prove unsustainable and periods of widespread unemployment and insecurity.  Private investment can never be sufficient to maintain consistent widespread prosperity.  This is a fundamental Keynesian (and Marxian) insight that’s completely forgotten by today’s “Keynesian” economists.  We pretend instead that we’re in some early 19th century version of a small business / agrarian economy rather than a massively concentrated global oligopoly / oligarchy.

The contradictions of this class based, immoral socio-economic system are endless.  When will this house of cards finally collapse?

From → Wealth & Poverty

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