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September 10, 2015


The Washington Spectator in its current edition quotes numbers compiled by which tell us what we need to know about how those in the rich and corporate class are complementing the effects of Citizens United in the accelerating pace of the corporate takeover of America. It is not just the Kochs with their Georgia Pacific and other such controlled corporations whose profits now openly provide billions to buy elections and the votes of those elected and the political neutering of those who lost. It is corporations and their trade and other such industry associations which spend billions routinely to influence legislation and the election of those who vote for or against the bills they are for or against, as the case may be. As we will see, none others need apply. Pandering must be total to garner support from the greedy rich; an occasional pandering vote on specific legislation will not do.

Thus the Kochs are openly supportive of the labor-hating Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or were, before Walker (in a bid to outdo Trump’s promise to build a Mexican wall and “make the Mexicans pay for it”) announced the desirability of building one along the Canadian border as well, presumably to keep Canadian drug gangs and Canadians bent on taking our jobs from entering our space, though he has yet to announce just how he proposes to “make the Canadians pay for it” or what he will do if they refuse. Perhaps some of our neocons and Cheney devotees will recommend occupation of our fenced in northern neighbor in order to keep the imported oil flowing to Exxon’s refineries and pulp from Canada’s forests flowing to Georgia Pacific’s paper mills in the Kochs’ manufacture of paper napkins, toilet paper etc.  Business first! It’s the American way.

I am surprised that Walker might profess concern for American jobs since he has recently said that all our panics, recessions and depressions were brought about by labor and their “bosses” and their greedy antics in the market place. With such a long term hatred of American labor and their unions, one would think that he would welcome those who come into America to take our jobs and work for slave wages in order to further enrich such as the Kochs and his other labor-hating and deep-pocketed backers.

However, since one of the ultimate aims of Walker and the Kochs is to destroy American labor, then I would recommend that he import Third World rather than Canadian laborers to America to further enrich his clients since Canadian laborers are accustomed to decent wages, single-payer health care and all those other socialist goodies we in the richest country in the world cannot afford due to such a large chunk of our economy’s income and wealth that is siphoned off by the rich and corporate class while the rest of us have been savaged by wage inequality for the last some 40 years. Indian and Chinese plumbers are cheaper than home-grown, too, and a pandering Congress can arrange for larger quotas of such workers to come into this country via greatly expanded visa programs, and that should help destroy skilled as well as unskilled labor in our country and greatly expand corporate bottom lines.

Mission Accomplished? Hardly. What happens to demand in our domestic marketplace when labor is successfully destroyed? How many new cars and houses will aliens working for slave wages buy? Those who would destroy labor are also destroying demand, without which capitalism itself will necessarily implode. What are these people thinking beyond the ends of their noses and the next quarterly analysts’ reports on the plight of their stock? They should read what such eminent economists as Piketty and Stiglitz have written on the necessity for lively if not robust aggregate demand, without which all suffer.

Parenthetically, Walker’s view that The Great Depression was caused by labor is, of course, utterly asinine. It was caused by a Wall Street bubble crash that Herbert Hoover was clueless (and without statutory or regulatory authority) to do anything about and his failure (in typical Republican laissez faire fashion) to ask for any such authority from the Congress, since it was only a paper panic that would soon pass. It was not just a paper panic and it did not soon pass. The only way panics and recessions and even depressions “pass” (or whose effects are even ameliorated in a market economy) is for the application of Keynesian tactics which, since it involves government intervention, is anathema to dyed-in-the-wool capitalists. It is a life ring which they refuse to throw to an economy going down for the third time on ideological grounds, and a failure to employ it is, in my view, irrational.

When (literally) the death of an economy is at stake, then much as we would save a person’s life with penicillin without any ideological considerations, we should save our economy’s life as well. We know Keynesianism works in rejuvenating an economy just as penicillin and its derivatives work in saving human lives; whoever administers the life-giving Keynesian stimulus to a dying economy is immaterial. It is an economy’s life saver. Penicillin and its derivatives work whether you believe it or not – and so do Keynesian stimulations of economies in freefall. To be blunt, Walker doesn’t know what he is talking about either as to cause and cure of sick economies.

In Part II I will provide numbers from which will give the reader a sense of just how much money is being spent by the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AMA, the pharmaceuticals and even such as Google, Boeing, ExxonMobil et al. Such huge numbers (and some reported prior even to Citizens United!) are scary, and since Citizens United, are terrifying (considering the purposes for which they are spent or to be spent).

I have a heightened feeling when reading of such numbers that we the people are mere spectators in how our government and economy operates in the real world, that our democracy is hanging by an unraveling thread and that systemic reform is essential if we are to avoid Third World status, a reform that will never come on its own in today’s cozy political atmosphere overflowing with money, an atmosphere that must be removed if we and our democracy are to survive and/or avert Third World (aka banana republic) status. Public financing for all federal elective offices would be a start. Congress would then have only one special interest, to wit: that of the people.

In short, we need different rules and politicians to guide us over this rough stretch of the rapids in the global economic stream, and we need them as soon as possible.  Stay tuned.   GERALD     E


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