Posts tagged capitalism
How Crony Capitalism Corrupts the Free Market
Posted by Ryan W. McMaken
By: Iraklis Tsavdaridis *
The global movement for peace has to join forces against the united effort of capital and monopolies expressed for example by the G8. Imperialism is not all-powerful and is certainly not invincible.
Dear friends and comrades:
Let me thank the U.S. Peace Council for the invitation to be here with you in Chicago, which marked the history of the labor movement. We welcome the millions of people who love peace in the U.S., workers and all the poor and oppressed in this center of imperialism.
At the NATO Summit in Chicago, the CMP would like to denounce once again the largest war machine in human history, responsible for crimes against humanity since its founding in 1949 until today.
NATO has never been a defensive structure, it was not in 1952 when Greece and Turkey joined the “alliance” at the same time, and it was not for the life of the Warsaw Pact, established later than NATO and dissolved in 1991.
NATO was in friendly relations with all bloody and reactionary regimes and movements, all counter-revolutionaries of the world, their governments and leaders, extending the red carpet to Pinochet and the leaders of apartheid, and standing behind the coups and military dictatorships in Latin America and Europe.
You have probably seen the images by now. Athens on fire, the city literally burning as politicians within parliament voted to pass tough austerity measures to meet the demands of the EU and IMF, Greece’s international lenders. This story is about more than just austerity and riots – it’s wealth-extraction amidst economic collapse at work. The Greek economy is in the 5th year of a recession, which is a nice way of saying that it is in a depression. Money supply continues to contract, deposits are being drained and liquidity has dried up. The economy is in a free fall, and there is no bottom in sight. The proposals for recovery through “austerity” are just another way to keep the political system in place for as long as possible with the hope that the elites will be able to ride this storm out and come out the other end richer and more powerful than every before. We break down how exactly that works with Capital Account producer Demetri Kofinas.
And while we’re on the issue of debt, let’s take a look at how the US is dealing with it. US President Barack Obama released his 2013 budget today. While it will be analyzed, touted, and attacked, why should you care, or rather, why should you not care? We’ll tell you. And more economists come out saying the Federal Reserve is making a big mistake if it sticks to keeping interest rates near zero for the next three years. We look at how the Fed got here – it’s evolution into central planner, buyer of junk, war enabler, and firefighter of the economic fires it creates itself. We speak to G. Edward Griffin whose been opposing the Fed since at least the 1960s. G. Edward Griffin is author the bestselling book The Creature from Jekyll Island, which has been recommended by Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul on his reading list and which reportedly informed Dr. Paul’s writing on the Fed in his own books on the subject.
Griffin also takes us back in time, and reminds us how the Fed even came to be — the money trust meeting in secret on Jekyll Island in order to draft a cartel agreement that would eventually be known as the “Federal Reserve Act.”
Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman, former budget director for President Reagan.
Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”
By Andy Booker
Democrats are shocked to see President Obama treat Wall Street’s top banks with respect and kindness. In order to predict his kindness (Obama’s justice department has failed to prosecute the crimes that helped lead to the financial crisis of 2008) towards the top financial institutions it didn’t take a crystal ball, all it took was a list of his top donors which included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup. Applying this same logic to the GOP primary election Romney is the candidate that will likely be buddy-buddy with Wall Street. Mitt Romney’s top ten is made up of Goldman Sachs, followed by Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Morgan Stanley, Barclays (UK), Bank of America and JP Morgan. In contrast Romney’s co-frontrunner in Iowa, Ron Paul, has a top three donor list made up of the US Army, US Navy and US Airforce.
Obviously Goldman Sachs and company donate heavily to Romney not because they like his stance on the social issues but because he will continue the rigged game of crony capitalism. The revolving door from Wall Street (particularly from Goldman Sachs) to the White House will remain open and Goldman and company will maintain not only their rigged game but their influence.
The active duty military that make up Ron Paul’s top donor list are attempting to send a signal to the American people that Ron Paul’s foreign policy is the right choice.
So yes Romney and Paul are in a race to get the nomination from the same party but they could not be more polar opposites when it comes to their intentions for the Presidency.
Perhaps this is why Romney has not yet attacked Ron Paul directly. Attacking Ron Paul opens Romney up to a direct debate with Ron Paul on the issues. Such a debate would draw a clear distinction between Romney and Paul on the issues that a majority of the electorate, particularly the issue of support for TARP and future bank bailouts.
In October Milwaukee Story published this article that broke down Romney’s pledge to continue US interventionist/first-strike foreign policy. That foreign policy white paper was an additional signal to Wall Street that Romney was a safe bet as an establishment candidate and could be trusted to pull from Washington and Wall Street establishments to fill his cabinet posts.
It is critical to understand that even though Goldman Sachs tops Romney’s donor list does not mean they are lining up all of their resources behind Romney alone. Goldman has also donated heavily to Obama’s reelection campaign. And while this may signal a subtle divide in the Goldman ranks, a more likely scenario is that Goldman is simply hedging their bets and lending their Wall Street credibility to each candidate that they believe will allow the crony capitalism necessary for them to continue their winning ways.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
In his book “Capitalism and Freedom” (1962) Milton Friedman (1912-2006) advocated minimizing the role of government in a free market as a means of creating political and social freedom.
An excerpt from an interview with Phil Donahue in 1979.
Yesterday’s crowd-pleaser from MRC TV was just an appetizer. Here’s the main course via Reason — almost 19 minutes of Schiff taking on all comers at Zuccotti Park like some sort of Austrian-school ninja. Watch for the part where he breaks out the rhetorical nunchucks against regulation on grounds that everyone wants to pay lower prices for goods and is duly informed by a guy in a Guy Fawkes mask and keffiyeh that … no, not everyone does. There’s your “Obama 2012″ campaign slogan, I guess.
Elsewhere in the park, the revolution might not be televised but apparently it will be catered. With one caveat: You only get to eat if you’re doing something productive for the cause, like drumming 15 hours a day. You see, the people’s mess hall doesn’t have time for … freeloaders.
The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.
For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.
They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day…
Today, a limited menu of sandwiches, chips and some hot food will be doled out — so legitimate protesters will have a day to make arrangements for more upscale weekend meals.
In other words, a guy with no job who’s been sleeping in the park for a month and prone to saying things like “power to the people” is entitled to feast on sheep’s-milk-cheese salad, but a guy with no job who’s been sleeping in the park for years and prone to saying things like “I’m hungry” has to make do with whatever the local soup kitchen is shoveling. Some occupiers really are more equal than others.
Be sure to read to the end of the Post’s article for details on the confrontation between OWS’s self-appointed security team and the “trouble-prone southwest section of Zuccotti Park,” which is troublesome enough that some women have reportedly abandoned the protest in fear for their own safety. (No one knows how bad it is inside because there’s an informal “stop snitching” policy that’s intimidating people into not reporting crimes.) Zuccotti Park isn’t that big so some of this must be going on right under the NYPD’s nose, yet for political reasons, Bloomberg and the landlord are apparently content to let the movement’s own “security volunteers” handle it rather than risk a confrontation by intervening themselves. Disgraceful, and needless to say, the outrage it would inspire if the protesters’ politics were different would be apocalyptic. As it is, if someone does get seriously hurt in there, they should sue every city official and agency in sight — Bloomberg, Ray Kelly, straight down the line. They might not win but the shame alone will be worth it.
Corporatism Is Not Capitalism: 7 Things About The Monolithic Predator Corporations That Dominate Our Economy That Every American Should Know0
[CIM Comment: If there was one article to read and share this weekend this might be the one]
Right now, there is a lot of talk about the evils of “capitalism”. But it is not really accurate to say that we live in a capitalist system. Rather, what we have in the United States today, and what most of the world is living under, is much more accurately described as “corporatism”. Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further. In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations. Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society. As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today. Corporatism is killing this country, and it is not what our founding fathers intended.
The following is the definition of “corporatism” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary….
the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction
Corporatism is actually not too different from socialism or communism. They are all “collectivist” economic systems. Under corporatism, wealth and power are even more highly concentrated than they are under socialism or communism, and the truth is that none of them are “egalitarian” economic systems. Under all collectivist systems, a small elite almost always enjoys most of the benefits while most of the rest of the population suffers.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters realize that our economic system is fundamentally unjust in many ways, but the problem is that most of them want to trade one form of collectivism for another.
But our founding fathers never intended for us to have a collectivist system.
Instead, they intended for us to enjoy a capitalist system where true competition and the free enterprise system would allow individuals and small businesses to thrive.
In an article that was posted earlier this year on Addicting Info, Stephen D. Foster Jr. detailed how our founding fathers actually felt about corporations….
The East India Company was the largest corporation of its day and its dominance of trade angered the colonists so much, that they dumped the tea products it had on a ship into Boston Harbor which today is universally known as the Boston Tea Party. At the time, in Britain, large corporations funded elections generously and its stock was owned by nearly everyone in parliament. The founding fathers did not think much of these corporations that had great wealth and great influence in government. And that is precisely why they put restrictions upon them after the government was organized under the Constitution.
After the nation’s founding, corporations were granted charters by the state as they are today. Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense.
Our founding fathers would have never approved of any form of collectivism. They understood that all great concentrations of wealth and power represent a significant threat to the freedoms and liberties of average citizens.
Are you not convinced that we live in a corporatist system?
Well, keep reading.
The following are 7 things about the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy that every American should know….
Obama raised more money from the financial industry than any other candidate in American political history.0
A Lesson about Crony Capitalism for the OWS Crowd
Unless you identify your economic enemy correctly, you cannot succeed in defeating him. The typical Occupy Wall Street sap, the radical left’s modern incarnation of the useful idiot, thinks his enemy is an evil Wall Street billionaire.
But Wall Street banking firms did not survive the financial collapse of 2008 — virtually unscathed — by bailing themselves out. With only one major exception (Lehman Brothers), incompetently managed banks were not forced into bankruptcy by the government. Bondholders and shareholders were not told to pick up their crumbs, suffer debilitating losses, and learn their lesson for the next time.
No, the government, the same irresistible and evil force that OWS now wants to manage our entire economy, decided instead to bail out the banks. Taxes paid by the occupiers, or more likely their parents, were looted to accomplish this. The government chose to double down on moral hazard. Goldman Sachs, GE, AIG, and their ilk were unjustly saved and rewarded by the government for their mismanagement, with democrats leading the charge. Democrats voted overwhelming for TARP, while the republicans largely demurred.
The Democrats in government played first economic responder because their power is sustained by the largely Democrat donor base that comprises Wall Street and hedge fund royalty. Virtually everyone on Wall Street comes from same the leftist universe as the occupiers. John Mack, Chairman of Morgan Stanley was a Hillary supporter and fundraiser. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, was an Obama supporter and fundraiser. Wall Street is a leftist Democrat playground , as surely as is San Francisco.
Comrade Obama raised more money from the financial industry than any other candidate in American political history. Indeed, Obama amassed a treasure trove so vast from these and other mega-wealthy donors (like labor unions) that he decided to forego public financing of his campaign, a first for presidential nominees since the system began.