“No. It’s Capitalism, Stupid.”

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    • #318363
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 8,492

      Owing in part to lessons supposedly learned from the Great Crash, many Americans reflexively assume that if “the markets” are doing better or at least okay, the “economy” will eventually pick up and at least the middle class will experience better days. Perhaps unbeknownst to many, the “markets” are up 25 percent since March 23rd…. One consequence is that not everyone is suffering. April’s data showed, that the wealth of our 630 billionaires increased by $406 billion to a total of $3.4 trillion. In part, this is the direct result of government tax breaks and Federal Reserve bailouts of $734.79 billion to Wall Street…

      The major indices for stocks include the Dow Jones Industrials (30 blue-chip, well established companies representing their respective industries); the S&P 500 (large companies deriving 40 percent of their revenues from abroad.)… Finally, we have the tech-heavy Nasdaq…The FAANG —Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet (formerly Google) are all on the Nasdaq and are market weighted giving them a larger sway on the index’s day-to-day fluctuations. Further, in addition to multiple other advantages accruing to size, the FAANG sits on enormous piles of cash…The five largest companies in the S&P 500 — Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Facebook — are up 10 percent this year while the other 495 are down 13 percent.

      We know that all millionaires and billionaires within the ruling class agree on the imperative of preserving the capitalist system.. But, within that overriding consensus, serious disagreements…occur and one occurring now is the issue of “Reopening America.” For example, CEOs of companies involved in fracking and drilling and economic entities like NASCAR, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Amway, Hobby Lobby and others… are doing all they can to end the lockdown and force people back to work. “Re-opening America,” cloaked in a smokescreen about patriotism…is their means of ramping up enraged protesters. In the words of political analyst and activist Caleb Maupin,

      The people responsible for the right wing mobilizations are a coalition of millionaires and billionaires who feel like they are locked out by the ultra-rich. This is the coalition that took Trump to the White House in 2016. Amidst the pandemic, these lower levels of American capital are watching the blood rush from their financial wounds.

      The second and even richer faction of the ruling class includes the Big Four major oil companies (eager to see the small frackers and drillers driven out of business by low gas prices), CEOs of the aforementioned tech giants (Amazon is at an all-time high)… and of course “old money” elites are all immune from being forced out of business. Except for vanquishing competitors they are as indifferent to pandemic suffering and death as their less wealthy rivals. They will emerge more powerful and dominant in the post pandemic era and high tech firms are poised to reap huge profits from public-private ventures in tele-health services and in what author Naomi Klein called “disaster capitalism,” they envision dismantling and privatizing public education…  Whereas crushing austerity continues while the empire gorges itself on monies that could easily satisfy basic human needs. And, Whereas the future will only get worse, only one question remains: Why should we concede a scintilla of legitimacy to a system owned by psychopaths and administered by their willing executioners?


    • #318397
      • Total Posts: 1,435

      We have had two economies for a long time now – Wall Street and the 1% – the rest of the country. Since 1980 and raygun’s trickle down economy we have been dividing the economy between the rich and what they call the have nots. And today that is what it is all about. The Wall Street economy has had its ups and downs since then but most of it survives. But the rest of us have not had raises in wages – only cost of living increases. When they tell us it is all working great they are talking only about the top economy and do not even include the problems of the rest of us.

      And now when we have a bunch of crises happening (virus, closed economy, climate change health care failures, etc) the leaders of this country are still only interested in holding up the rich end of their economy. They care less if we die in the pandemic, have enough to eat, have a president and congress who legislate mostly to keep the status quo, etc,

      No now as your article states the top economy is beginning to shake up the millionaires and their corporate interests. They are starting to worry about their wealth share – I do not feel sorry for them. They helped build this two sided economic system without a thought to the rest of us.

      Until we have a government that does something about the problems we are having down here on the bottom this two economy system will remain. The top guys took away the safety net so they could steel the money for themselves. They made this mess and they are going to have to give up their greed if they want it back. Until then nothing is going to change, as Joe says.


    • #318416
      • Total Posts: 693

      We are in the middle of the 2nd RepubliCON Great Depression. We have had 3 crashes in my lifetime and this one is going to end democracy. The filthy rich who own 80% of the stock market are doing just fine…..not just fine, but living in luxury that you and I could never imagine.

      And what pittance do you and I have? I’m just happy to have food, a roof over my head, medicine when I need itl. This is far and away so little that the filthy rich think I’m a failure. And yet, I paid 20% (I’m retired) of the little I had to federal taxes. Did the filthy rich do the same?

      That silly little stingy token of $1,200 doesn’t come close to how much I had to pay in taxes this year. And the filthy hoarding rich got to take away billions.

      And what do I get for the $1,000s I pay? Bad roads, falling bridges, annual flooding, a new tornado season, bad information and propaganda, stupid lazy leaders, no public health direction (TN is back to doing exactly what they did before the pandemic and the infection rates are showing it….but it doesn’t matter), constant scammers ignored by the Justice system, a police force more interested in shooting people of color than in keeping the peace, constant Christian propaganda, lies and stupidity and an out of control pandemic.

      When/if the viral rampage dies down, I’m going to do everything I can to leave the US and take my children with me.  I suggest you do the same. It’s not going to turn into violence or a civil war like the reich wing has a hard on for. But it is going to be bread crumbs and constant grinding work, with the risk of serious illness, and never ending poverty for everyone except about 10% of Americans like the serfs and lords of feudalism. It will be the lap of luxury for the lazy filthy rich and their front men and constant hardship for the rest of us. Leave while you can. This country is going to turn into hell.


    • #318491
      • Total Posts: 2,621

      Unfortunately, in America, “success” is usually measured in money.   We glorify the rich, admire their cleverness in making a lot of money, praise them for their “accomplishments” and even elect them to office because they’re “successful”.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

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