Modern Capitalism In a Nutshell

I don’t understand all the fuss about the new President-Elect who refuses to relinquish personal control over his corporate empire. Critics call it a “conflict of interest.” This shows a basic lack of understanding of the finer points of “evolved” modern capitalism.

  • You can’t make money off of other people’s money. They have to consent to give it to you.
  • If they won’t give it to you, con them out of it.
  • If they won’t be conned, pass laws so you can legally just take it from them.

There are corporate exceptions, of course. They stand out like shining beacons on a rocky, stormy shore.

What happened?

Modern “Capitalism” scarcely resembles that “laissez-faire” Capitalism originally envisioned by Adam Smith and early followers, who saw value as the product of labor, not money and influence. They saw economic prosperity as the result of free trade within the same fabric of existing laws and courts that we live under, not as an end-run around them. Most of those pioneer economists would undoubtedly have been horrified to see what we have done in their name.

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Conservatism to Totalitarianism

From Moyers: “Ultraconservative powwow –> “The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States,” Alison Smale reports for The New York Times.”

Interesting how the new “conservatives” are increasingly sidling up to the totalitarian regimes, yes?

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” ~~ “Animal Farm.” George Orwell (1945)

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Election Hindsight 2016

from my Facebook post …

Hindsight is always a cheap currency, but I think I should have seen this coming. It came to me while packing boxes of surplus household goods for donation to charity; go figure.

The new American “REDS” – populism, authoritarianism, threats to the established Constitution, promises of arrests and purges, and pogroms against minorities – what’s not to like here? Republicans will rush to assure us that nothing of the kind is going to happen, and let’s hope they’re right. But it’s a resurgent American phenomenon, which we have not seen since the McCarthy era. It bears watching, with sharp hawk eyes, by those of us on the left and right who still care what happens. Give us strength to get through this.

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Trump One Last Time

Let’s talk about Donald Trump one last time.

Maybe you’re undecided. Maybe you don’t care for the Trump demeanor and attitude, or some of what he says about others. Perhaps the programs he’s come up with aren’t quite your cup of tea. Perhaps you read the 2016 Republican Party Platform and found it too draconian for your taste. You told yourself, “He won’t be able to do that; it’s just words.”

Perhaps you “hate Hillary.” Perhaps you say “I never voted Republican in my life and I don’t plan to start now.” Never mind that this is no longer the Grand Old Party or “The Big Tent.” You thought you were supporting Republican ideals all these last twenty or so years, but you weren’t. They no longer exist.

You might say with some honesty that you don’t hate women, you don’t hate people because of their skin color or religion, you don’t hate gays or immigrants per se … because you’re not a hater.

You might say that just because the KKK supports Trump, A Trump vote doesn’t necessarily support racism. Wrong. If you voted for racism, you support it. Racists are never innocents. There’s just no way around that fact.

A vote for Trump IS support for racism and all the other “-isms” he promises America.

Anyone who votes for Trump is deliberately supporting a radical change in our national attitudes toward democracy, freedom and equality, no matter what they say, no matter what alibis and rationalizations they offer.

If you should still be thinking of voting for Trump, I beg you to consider this:

Our parents taught us to never bring shame upon the family name. If you vote for Trump, friends and family who knew better may have a hard time forgiving you. If at some future turn of events in a Trump presidency, you regret your decision, it’s too late.

It’d only be fair to ask: if you did it once, how do we know you wouldn’t ever do it again?

~~ If you liked this article, please feel free copy and paste it into email or social media with credit and page URL.

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The Sanders Legacy

I probably spend too much time on Facebook. I also put huge blocks of my retirement hours into Perl projects, and yes, I’m still writing my book. Readers rarely respond to posts here, in part because the anti-spam interface makes it a pain. On my Facebook page, a good post will usually get a few “Likes,” sometimes maybe a dozen. I got 53 “Likes” on a New York Times post on another issue. This one on Bernie is well on the way., so I thought I’d get off my butt and share it. The rather snide NYT article is “What Is Sanders’ Endgame?” and you can read it there. My reply follows.

“At the end of the day, is his ethos greater than his ego?” There was no call for this small-minded NYT conclusion. Sanders has been a game-changer from the beginning. He forced [almost] all the other candidates of both parties to either address or pay lip service to important national issues they’d rather ignore. If he cashed in his chips tonight and retired to a remote cabin to contemplate his long decades serving the public, he has already made more of a difference than many presidents-elect. Bernie has raised our expectations.

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Why Undecided Youth Should Vote Democratic in 2012

Maybe you’re thinking neither political party has a handle on the economy. Maybe you’re mad at Team Obama because he couldn’t reach out across a bipartisan aisle like he thought he could. Maybe you’re thinking you won’t even vote in the 2012 election.

Well, the GOP’s “social conservative” plank should be the deal breaker for you.

If you’re from a poor or middle income family, or you’re an ethnic or cultural minority, or a woman, or gay, you’re a target. If your civil rights are eroded or actually taken away by legislative fiat, you lose full civil equality. You lose your standing as a fully equal citizen to debate and argue the national issues, including both the economy, and your own right to have a fully enfranchised say in it.

No matter who you are, or what your background and upbringing was, maybe you just think it’s time we work together to put the “all” back in “all men are created equal.”

“Social conservatism” is, among other things, a cancerous code word for anti-gay, anti-women, anti-minority, anti-Islam and even anti-Semite.

Most Republicans don’t fit that description, and many are as nice as any other folks you’d hope to meet. Right now, though, if you vote Republican, you’re stuck with the “social conservatism” baggage a cult minority has imposed on the much bigger GOP.

As Chris Rock said, “If you vote against Obama because he can’t get anything done, it’s kind of like saying ‘This guy can’t cure cancer. I’m gonna vote for cancer.”

You can register for any political party you want, but vote for Obama so we can get on with the business of fixing our country.

_____

If you liked this message, please feel free to email it to your friends, or post it to Facebook or other social media. Alex Forbes Sept 2012.

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