Nation of Change; Why So Many Americans Defend the Failed Capitalist Experiment

The following is an excellent article from the Nation of Change website written by Paul Bushheit on September 13, 2015 titled “Why So many Americans Defend the Failed Capitalist Experiment” and I quote:

“Members of the sinking middle class in our pathologically unequal society may well find it convenient to blame people in lower economic classes, who are unlikely to fight back. It’s a game for the people looking down on a troubled nation.”

Capitalism has worked for big business and for the people with stocks and estates. But for the past 35 years our economic system, stripped of sensible regulations, has poisoned the nation with deadly inequality and driven much of middle America to an ever-widening lower class.

Yet for much of the nation the delusion persists, against all common sense, that deregulated free-market capitalism works, that it equates to true Americanism, and that people have only themselves to blame for their failure to thrive in this expanding world of wealth. The reasons for this delusion are not hard to determine.

1. The Rich are Easy to Understand: Capitalism Justifies Selfishness

Studies have consistently shown that increased wealth causes people to turn inward, to believe more in their own “superior” traits, and to care less about the feelings and needs of others. This anti-social attitude blends well with the Ayn-Randish “greed is good” message of unregulated capitalism.

Other studies have determined that money pushes people further to the right, making them less egalitarian, less willing to provide broad educational opportunities to all members of society, and certainly part of the reason that our investment in public infrastructure as a component of GDP dropped by 60 percent from 1968 to 2011.

2. The Would-Be Rich: Dollar Signs Dance in Their Heads

Capitalism allows profit-seekers to view students as sources of revenue, and to drain money from the public school system. Jeb Bush likened schools to milk cartons in a supermarket aisle: “I wish our schools could be more like milk…You can get whole milk, low fat milk or skim milk…chocolate, strawberry or vanilla…milk alternatives, like soy milk, almond milk and rice milk…Who would have ever thought you could improve upon milk? Yet, freedom, innovation and competition found a way.”

Bush’s milk alternative is the charter school business. David Brain, head of the tellingly named Entertainment Properties, called it “a great opportunity set with 500 schools starting every year. It’s a two and a half billion dollar opportunity set in rough measure annually.”

But the money didn’t start rolling in until the public school system began to be starved. The U.S. Department of Education reported that $197 billion is needed to repair the nation’s K-12 public school buildings. The public system is going broke, deprived of tax dollars that go to charters. State budgets are providingless per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago – in many cases far less.

And the results of the capitalist school experiment? Still coming in, althoughevidence is quickly accumulating that many charter school systems are mired in fraud and secrecy, and shaping up as a prime example of the folly of treating human beings like products to be bought and sold.

3. The Rest of Us: The Media Keeps Telling Us that Capitalism is the Only Way to Live

The mainstream media’s unwillingness to state the truth about inequality has led people to vastly underestimate the wealth gap in our country, guessing that the poorest 40 percent own about 10% of the wealth, when in reality they own much less than 1% of the wealth. Out of every dollar, they own a third of a penny.

Conservative writers overwhelm us with their capitalist-loving mantras:

—–Income inequality is simply not a significant problem. (The Wall Street Journal)

—–Income inequality in a capitalist system is truly beautiful… (The Washington Post’s George Will, quoting John Tamny)

—–Capitalism has worked very well (Bill Gates)

—–A free market system…ensures a fair, democratic process (Sarah Palin)

—–Let the market do its job (Chicago Tribune)

Many of them believe that the state of America is reflected in the stock market. But the richest 10% own over 90 percent of the stocks and mutual funds. No problem for the Koch Foundation. They comfort us with the knowledge that If you earn over $34,000 a year, you are one of the wealthiest one percent in the world.

4. Anyone Above the Lowest Class: It’s Empowering to Look Down on Someone

Members of the sinking middle class in our pathologically unequal society may well find it convenient to blame people in lower economic classes, who are unlikely to fight back. Guidance for such condescension comes from libertarian write Charles Murray, who apparently doesn’t understand the family stress caused by the lack of educational and employment opportunities. He accuses the poor of having a “genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line.” And, he adds, “Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms.”

This inspires people like Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, both of whom compared the safety net to a “hammock,” and John Boehner, who explained the thinking of poor people: “I really don’t have to work…I think I’d rather just sit around.”

The critics of struggling Americans should be reminded that the cost of the entire Safety Net is only about ONE-SIXTH of the $2.2 trillion in tax avoidance that primarily benefits the rich.

A good American capitalist like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham would say, “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally…It’s a game we play.”

It’s a game for the people looking down on a troubled nation.”

(THIS ARTICLE TIES IN WITH THE BLOG POST I JUST PUT ON WORDPRESS, CONCERNING BIG MONEY CONTRIBUTIONS IN POLITICS FROM THE BOOK “FLEECED” BY DICK MORRIS AND EILEEN MCGANN FROM CHAPTER 18 TITLED “FROM MOVIE LIGHTS TO LIGHTING UP” ON PAGE 300 AND THE “CONCLUSION” ON PAGE 305 FROM BIG FISH CONTRIBUTORS LIKE THE KOCH BROTHERS, SHELDON ADELSON AND OTHERS SUCH AS GROVER NORQUIST WHO HAS POLITICIANS SIGN A PLEDGE OF NO NEW TAXES.  IT’S GOOD TO HEAR THAT SOME POLITICIANS THAT TAKE THE MONEY DON’T ALWAYS SELL OUT.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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