Bedtime for Capitalism?

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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 05 Oct 2008, 11:22am

JulieJazz wrote:I am 100% opposed to the 700 billion dollar bailout. I think it is time that individuals should NO LONGER be protected by the legal entity of "the corporation" when making detrimental mistakes. It is high time that executives should be held PERSONALLY accountable. I am even more sickened by the huge payouts these fuckers have been getting when let go from their company. If you do a shitty job, you do not deserve 20 - 40 million dollar severance packages! The average workers of these crap, large firms have to take the fall out both from customers (for decisions they did not make) and with the possibility of job loss. The public/tax payers have paid tremendously for this insipid greed. I think if I were an American now, I would be teetering on the edge of revolt.
You keep wondering, don't you? A buddy of mine has a friend who lives in Savannah. The guy lives a month-to-month existence, working as a security guard. No health insurance because he just can't afford it. Last month he developed bladder stones or kidney stones. A ninety minute hospital visit that included pain killers and fluids and x-rays resulted in a $2500 bill. He's in negotiations with the hospital for a payment schedule. I keep thinking, how can a society exist with so much insecurity? Revolutions occur when a sufficient number realize that they really have nothing left to lose, and the fuck-you free-market-raping going on would seem to be pushing things in that direction. Or doing its best to.
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by dpwolf » 06 Oct 2008, 11:15am

Capitalism trumps democracy
The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair — stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding.

By David Sirota

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair — stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout last week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

As a financial crisis became a political panic, capitalism murdered democracy (ironically, while pursuing a vaguely socialist bailout). Only, unlike a typical horror story, the dead body wasn't hidden, it was dumped in the nation's public square.

The fiasco started, like most, with unreasonable demands. Under threat of financial meltdown, capitalism's corporate lobbyists asked our democracy to forsake its usual deliberations and hand over $700 billion of taxpayer money in less than a week.

Many were surprised when democracy responded with such valiant defiance. As television screens split between the floors of the stock exchange and the House of Representatives, lawmakers initially voted with their constituents and against the bailout.

That's when this husband-and-wife argument escalated into a grisly crime of passion.

CNN's Ali Velshi frothed that "the banks and the companies don't care about the intricacies" of democratic deliberations. A CEO angrily told CNN that "the money is being held hostage to the political process" — as if government resources are rightfully Wall Street's. And as the Dow tanked, the Chamber of Commerce threatened retribution against recalcitrant lawmakers.

The final deathblow came from TINA, shorthand for "There Is No Alternative" — the motto that Margaret Thatcher used to peddle her corporatism, and that Washington and Wall Street used to promote theirs.

Whether it was a Barclays Capital executive telling reporters "there is no choice" or Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., insisting that "this needs to be done and it needs to be done right away," responsibly democratic prescriptions were pulverized by capitalism's deranged mantra of inevitability and urgency.

To even mention, as economist Dean Baker did, that the taxpayer giveaway could exacerbate the crisis was to risk flogging by columnists like Tom Friedman. The sycophantic flat-earther vilified bailout opponents (i.e., most Americans) as mentally incapacitated deadbeats who "can't balance their own checkbooks."

By the time the fight hit Congress' upper chamber, senatorial morticians were embalming democracy's corpse. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., permitted consideration of just one alternative, and he rigged parliamentary procedure to guarantee its defeat.

Yet, if capitalism took democracy's life through a perverse legislative process, then it robbed its grave with the bailout bill's substance.

American democracy is defined by vesting government power in systems and rules, not in individuals and whims. We have been, as John Adams wrote, "an empire of laws, and not of men" — until now.

Instead of responding to this meltdown by updating regulatory institutions or investing in job-creating infrastructure, the bailout gives one unelected appointee — the Treasury secretary — complete authority to dole out $700 billion to bank executives, with little oversight. And here's the scary part: That lurch toward dictatorship was motivated not just by crony corruption, but also by a deeper ideological shift.

We now face market forces uninhibited by democratic governance — Chinese dictators and Saudi princes can move trillions of dollars without so much as a news release. Thisbailout, marketed as a speed enhancer, is an aggressive attempt to discard democracy's checks and balances and pantomime that kind of autocracy.

While our political culture still required a public sales job (thus, the fearmongering), the bill's czarism aims to permanently euthanize democracy in the name of improving our capitalism's global agility. In that sense, last week's spousal killing wasn't random. It was the beginning of a systematic assault on our Constitution and a radical departure from Franklin Roosevelt's original covenant — a dangerous "new deal" we should have said "no deal" to.

David Sirota, author of "The Uprising," is a fellow at the Campaign for America's Future and a board member of the Progressive States Network. His blog is at http://www.credoaction.com/sirota
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Oct 2008, 11:30am

Sirota echoes one of the themes in John Dean's Broken Government. To Dean, contemporary coverage of politics is too obsessed with policy instead of process. Good process, Dean argues, leads to good policy; haphazard or no process leading to good policy is blind luck. Authoritarian Republicans, who believe that government doesn't work anyway, are not interested in learning or employing proper process for investigating, creating, and enacting legislation. They are more comfortable with rule by fiat. No surprise, then, that policy for the last eight years has been short-sighted and contemptuous of legislative tradition and democratic ideals. It all becomes self-fulfilling prophecy: want proof that government doesn't work? Elect Republicans and they'll prove it doesn't work because they don't believe it can or should. No employer would ever survive hiring people who don't believe in their jobs and deliberately seek to fuck it up. Yet American voters for the past thirty odd years have participated in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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dpwolf
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by dpwolf » 06 Oct 2008, 12:15pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:Sirota echoes one of the themes in John Dean's Broken Government. To Dean, contemporary coverage of politics is too obsessed with policy instead of process. Good process, Dean argues, leads to good policy; haphazard or no process leading to good policy is blind luck. Authoritarian Republicans, who believe that government doesn't work anyway, are not interested in learning or employing proper process for investigating, creating, and enacting legislation. They are more comfortable with rule by fiat. No surprise, then, that policy for the last eight years has been short-sighted and contemptuous of legislative tradition and democratic ideals. It all becomes self-fulfilling prophecy: want proof that government doesn't work? Elect Republicans and they'll prove it doesn't work because they don't believe it can or should. No employer would ever survive hiring people who don't believe in their jobs and deliberately seek to fuck it up. Yet American voters for the past thirty odd years have participated in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Never thought of it that way. It ignores the greed factor but seems true enough otherwise.
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by eumaas » 08 Oct 2008, 8:31am

"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 08 Oct 2008, 9:48am

Image
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Flex
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Flex » 08 Oct 2008, 11:51am

eumaas wrote:http://www.snlbailout.cx/

Amusing.
Oh yeah, I saw that when it aired. Really funny.
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by eumaas » 10 Oct 2008, 1:58pm

Image
I love this picture! I need more pictures of investment drones crying about the markets collapsing. Feed me! Feed me!
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by BostonBeaneater » 10 Oct 2008, 2:08pm

eumaas wrote:Image
I love this picture! I need more pictures of investment drones crying about the markets collapsing. Feed me! Feed me!
C'mon over here sweetheart. I'll make you feel better.
Image

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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by JennyB » 10 Oct 2008, 8:21pm

BostonBeaneater wrote:
eumaas wrote:Image
I love this picture! I need more pictures of investment drones crying about the markets collapsing. Feed me! Feed me!
C'mon over here sweetheart. I'll make you feel better.
I totes thought that was Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson.
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by eumaas » 10 Oct 2008, 8:30pm

JennyB wrote:
BostonBeaneater wrote:
eumaas wrote:Image
I love this picture! I need more pictures of investment drones crying about the markets collapsing. Feed me! Feed me!
C'mon over here sweetheart. I'll make you feel better.
I totes thought that was Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson.
I met Samantha Ronson and all I got was a lousy story.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 18 Oct 2008, 12:40pm

Image
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

BostonBeaneater
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by BostonBeaneater » 18 Oct 2008, 12:42pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:Image
Beautiful!
Image

eumaas
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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by eumaas » 18 Oct 2008, 12:48pm

BostonBeaneater wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:Image
Beautiful!
That's an old IWW (my union!) poster: http://www.iww.org/graphics/documents/p ... yramid.gif

http://www.iww.org

I just posted a few days ago about the IWW's Sex Workers union (it's under the Public Service department, IU No. 690):
http://www.iww.org/unions/dept600/iu690/

Which means there are anarcho-syndicalist strippers out there.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Bedtime for Capitalism?

Post by Flex » 18 Oct 2008, 12:49pm

eumaas wrote:Which means there are anarcho-syndicalist strippers out there.
Whenever I think life sucks, I remember this fact.
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