America’s Great Recession – Part 3 Making ChangePosted: September 8, 2012
By Jim Amory
Certainly our Great Recession has got the world’s attention! In Europe and Egypt, in Japan, Ireland and Britain, in New York and Madison, Wisconsin people are shouting “Stop”! What should stop, and who’s going to make it stop?
I’ve talked about our economy in the last two articles, and why it isn’t working for our country – and the world, which has also been devastated by the reckless actions of the U.S. financial system. It’s time for a change, and in times like these change becomes possible. What needs to change?
Capitalism may be able to work under the following conditions – in theory, anyway: jobs must be available for every one that needs them; profits from industry must be set high enough to encourage investment in the production of NEEDED food, housing, medical care, energy and raw materials, – but not so high as to steal from wages – or from farmers and small suppliers of inputs to industry, so THEY can purchase THEIR needed products and service.
And, finally, the planet Earth MUST be able to SUSTAINABLY provide the raw materials, and process the resulting wastes by recycling or disposal.
But not one of these conditions is being met by 21st Century capitalism, and as some realist once pointed out “If it can’t go on, it’ll stop”.
The fact is that the present leadership of our country can no longer make it work:
We keep losing the same wars, repeated over and over, with frightful weapons against peasant populations, supporting puppet rulers that will sell their country’s raw materials to us. These wars have become our jobs program for unemployed American youth.
Our education system abuses teachers, and trains students to become obedient soldiers and workers instead of critics of injustice. As a result, Our education system ranks 26th among the world’s nations. Kids don’t like studying for a dead-end future!
Our health system, the most expensive in the world, delivers third-rate medical care to only a fraction of our population.
The inefficiencies of these (for the most part) government programs is a result of the domination of that government by wealthy private interests, who in many cases actually write the legislation. This supposedly “democratic” system has the deliberate effect of making citizens hate their government for its inefficiency and waste.
In fact, our Federal and State governments are supremely efficient in their main job: delivering wealth and power to the rich – the folks that have bought our election system, lock. stock, and barrel. And we pay them to do it by the tax breaks they enjoy, and the lousy services that result from their political power!
Our economy must be made to produce useful, needed products and services, not just “profits”.
Nobody knows what will replace or reform capitalism, but it can be shown that the current population can be fed, housed and live a decent life with the resources we now have, if only they could be distributed more fairly. Some will call such a system “Socialism”, I’d prefer to call it a system of efficient justice.
Global warming, the population crisis, the wars over raw materials and energy supplies, all these are symptoms of a coming collapse of world civilization. This collapse doesn’t need to happen, but it will take an enormous, intelligent political effort to overcome the wasteful profit system and the power of money over our government, our media, and our education system.
Who can make the changes that we need? I can’t do it; you can’t do it. WE may be able to do it, together with the growing millions who are fed up. The issues we have discussed in these pages will not let us alone. And we are greatly blessed with our enemies, who are themselves blissfully unaware of their own arrogance and isolation: It’s hard to get a grip on reality from a 45th floor penthouse apartment.
But we have to find each other: the process is simple: ask.