Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Capitalism as Cannibalism
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)
We need to remember that capitalism, when left to it’s own devices, becomes cannibalism. Behind the scenes in Congress there is a constant battle to the death for competitive advantage. This is what greases our government. Indeed Congress spends the majority of it’s time sorting out the pugilism between the waring lobbyists who are all looking for a hair up on the next guy for a piece of the pie. This is why the people’s work never gets done. When gas prices reached $5 a gallon last summer, the people driving the big trucks and SUVs realized they had just gone into hock for a piece of junk. It was embarrassing to them and even rednecks prefer not to be publicly embarrased. The PAC money poured once again into the oil lobby but by then the music had stopped and it was too late to bring the Titanic around. The legislative pockets were no longer greased and jobs, manufacturing and the economy are always low on the list of priorities in this Darwinian Plutocracy.
In contrast, the financial sector had long ago learned that extorting the government is a much more effective way to conduct business. An incestuous relationship with the treasury and a shell game with Congress guarantees results. Manufacturing has nothing on Voodoo Economics, Zombie Banks and Toxic Assets. This is what really scares the pants off Congress and fear is something you don’t understand.
The center of power in The United States resides with the few, the wealthy, the unelected. But even guiltless lords of power can be embarrassed leaving the rest of us with a valuable tool to use in reclaiming our Democracy.
So what ever happened to the anti-trust laws, the laws enacted after the first great depression that led to the break up of the railroads, big oil, AT&T and all the other companies that are too big to fail?
Big money in Congress.
Unfortunately, when change finally comes, it is always the bottom that suffers the most.