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Special Project | Capitalism Unmasked, Week Ending April 20, 2018

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Is Capitalism in Crisis? Latest Trends of a System Run Amok * Does Capitalism Work? (2002) * Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Week Ending April 20, 2018 |

Story 1: Is Capitalism in Crisis? Latest Trends of a System Run Amok, C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout

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Capitalism has always been a highly irrational socioeconomic system, but the constant drive for accumulation has especially run amok in the age of high finance, privatization and globalization. (Image: Pixabay; Edited: JR / TO)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | Political polarization is to be expected after a long-lasting structural crisis of capitalism, says David Kotz, author of The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism. What remains to be seen is whether the polarization of the current moment will lead to a right-wing nationalist statist regime, a progressive reform of capitalism, or a transition beyond capitalism to socialism.



Story 2: Does Capitalism Work? (2002), Michael Parenti <>, Dandelion Salad <>

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6054/6247620053_a79c7a9062_z.jpgSeptember 7, 2017 | The myth that capitalism works conveniently ignores reality. In this video, political scientist and activist Michael Parenti debunks this popular myth.
 





Story 3 Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out,  Yanis Varoufakis, the Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/d8d42a321000836c35a65452b3c8fd8cd691cd8b/0_0_2560_1536/master/2560.jpg?w=1300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=c7cb1f05b152238cf5d163cff5314b98Friday, 20 April, 2018 | The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world. 



 



 


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Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story

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Photo by Coco Curranski | CC BY 2.0

  • Not only the Republican Party, but also the Democratic Party support, serve and reinforce the capitalism that stands as a basic obstacle to economic equality and democracy.
  • Related: 35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality
  • Related: 'There's an Alternative to the Top-Down Capitalist Corporation.'

Richard D. Wolff, CounterPunch

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Richard%20Wolff%20%7C%20Capitalism%27s%20Crisis%20Deepens%20cover%20illus.jpgFebruary 23, 2018 | The Cold War displaced the legacies of the New Deal. Time and Trump are now displacing Cold War legacies. Where capitalism was questioned and challenged in the 1930s and into the 1940s, doing that became taboo after 1948. Yet in the wake of the 2008 crash, critical thought about capitalism resumed. In particular one argument is gaining traction: capitalism is not the means to realize economic equality and democracy, it is rather the great obstacle to their realization.

The New Deal, forced on the FDR regime from below by a coalition of unionists (CIO) and the political left (two socialist parties and one communist party), reversed the traditional direction (to greater inequality) of income and wealth distributions in the US. They shifted toward greater equality. US history thus illustrates Thomas Piketty’s argument in his 2014 Capital in the 21st Century about long-term deepening of inequality that can be punctuated by interruptions. Indeed, the New Deal reversal was such an interruption and featured just the sorts of taxation of corporations and the rich that Piketty favors now to correct/reverse capitalist inequalities.

Richard D. Wolff is the author of Capitalism Hits the Fan and Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. He is founder of Democracy at Work.

Full story … 

Related:

35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality, Larry Schwartz,  AlterNet  / Salon 

The money given out in Wall Street bonuses last year was twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned combined
 

'There's an Alternative to the Top-Down Capitalist Corporation.' Richard David Wolff, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Janine Jackson interviewed Richard Wolff about questioning economic fundamentals for the February 9, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
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'There's an Alternative to the Top-Down Capitalist Corporation'

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Janine Jackson interviewed Richard Wolff about questioning economic fundamentals for the February 9, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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Richard David Wolff is an American Marxian economist, well known for his work on Marxian economics, economic methodology, and class analysis.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTdfmvY18r4IsigPqhFslumMVAVN51297W2V-RGL3VI-i1Ijejie2eSxA Janine Jackson is the program director of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) and the co-host and co-producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin—a weekly program of media criticism airing on more than 150 stations around the country.

Full story … 

Analysis: Major Corporations Have Spent Just 6% of Tax Cut Windfall on Workers. Guess Where the Other 94% Went.

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn attend an event to celebrate Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with Republican members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Almost everyone— nonpartisan commentators, economists, and even President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser —predicted that corporate shareholders and CEOs, not workers, would be the primary beneficiaries of the Republican tax law, and several recent analyses have shown that prediction to be ...
  • "You mean corporations aren't using the bulk of their tax cuts to create jobs and boost workers’ wages like Trump promised? Weird..."


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Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | Almost everyone—nonpartisan commentators, economists, and even President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser—predicted that corporate shareholders and CEOs, not workers, would be the primary beneficiaries of the Republican tax law, and several recent analyses have shown that prediction to be right on the money.



"Post-tax cut raises, bonuses, and other worker investments announced by 90 of the largest publicly-traded corporations average just six percent of the total windfall these companies have received from the biggest tax cut in U.S. history," the group found.



 

While many corporations immediately launched aggressive PR campaigns crediting the tax plan Trump signed in December with new "investments" in employees, a study by the nonprofit group JUST Capital published on Wednesday found that the sensational headlines touting worker bonuses obscured the fact that the vast majority of the law's benefits have gone straight to the pockets of wealthy shareholders.


https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/authors/johnson.jpg?itok=Xrr2HegA Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams <https://www.commondreams.org>

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Trashing the Planet For Profit by William Bowles

 

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  • We refuse to accept responsibility for the state of the planet. Yes, ultimately, it’s the economic system, capitalism,  that’s doing the damage but surely it’s time we also accept responsibility for our role in maintaining an unsustainable economic system, a system that in the short term we all benefit from.
  • Related: Climate Denial Will Kill Us

William Bowles, Investigating Imperialism / Dandelion Salad

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08 Jan 2018 | Before I began this essay I read through some of my past forays that mentioned climate change and capitalism, the first I think, being in 2006 where I opined in a piece on the ‘War on Terror’:

"Perhaps the impending climate catastrophe as well as the genocidal actions of the US will force us to finally start thinking and acting ‘outside of the box’ but without a clear idea of where we are heading or how to get there, currently the situation looks dire. — WOT is to be done?" 2 November, 2006

William Bowles, Writer, Dandelion Salad https://www.truthdig.com

 

Full story … 

Related:

Climate Denial Will Kill Us, Paul Street, Truthdig 

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  • It’s not too late to avert environmental catastrophe, but we must act fast or risk human extinction.
  • Related: 'All These Changes Do Affect Jobs and Affect People'
     

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Help expand your impact by forwarding this story to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.

Let's Think Big: The Tax Reform We Need

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  • Here's how we could raise more money from those who have the most and invest it social insurance, public investments, and safety nets that would make the vast majority of Americans richer.
  • Related: Series | The Facts on Tax Reform, Parts 1-3

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg Democracy Editor's Note: In the wake of the Republicans’ passage of their tax plan in both houses of Congress, we decided to ask a number of progressive policy experts and thinkers a simple question: When the day comes that the Democrats have control of the White House and Congress, what kind of major tax reform should they pass and why?

We started this project in early December and will post a series of such pieces in the coming weeks. Click here to read the rest of the essays from our series on “The Tax Reform of Our Dreams.” Today, Thea Lee, the incoming president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and Hunter Blair, EPI’s budget analyst, weigh in.

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Thea Lee and Hunter Blair, Democracy / Portside 

December 15, 2017 | Progressive tax reform needs to raise enough revenue to honor our current commitments to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social insurance programs, as well as to finance expanded public investments and income supports that ensure opportunityfor all. Rising inequality and the threat of “secular stagnation” make a solid foundation for the case that this revenue should be raised progressively, as taxing wealthy households with large savings does not drag heavily on growth of aggregate demand. Net tax cuts for high-income households and corporations won’t help our demand problem.

A number of specific progressive measures are available that can raise revenue, many of them included in recent years’ editions of the budget proposalsforwarded by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), with some technical assistance from the Economic Policy Institute. They can largely be grouped into four (often overlapping) buckets: broadening the tax base, enacting more and higher top marginal rates, taxing capital and wealth, and taxing economic “bads.”

Thea Lee is the incoming president of the Economic Policy InstituteHunter Blair is the Economic Policy Institute’s budget analyst.

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I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929.

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People gather on the subtreasury building steps across from the New York Stock Exchange in New York on “Black Thursday” on Oct. 24, 1929. The Great Depression followed thereafter. (AP)

  • Republicans are again sprinting toward an economic cliff.
  • The plain fact that the trickle-down approach has never worked leaves Republicans unfazed.
  • Related: Revolution Ahead for U.S. if GOP Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich Is Not Defeated.

Robert S. McElvaine, Washington (DC) Post

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November 30, 2017 | “There are two ideas of government,” William Jennings Bryan declared in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. “There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”

That was more than three decades before the collapse of the economy in 1929. The crash followed a decade of Republican control of the federal government during which trickle-down policies, including massive tax cuts for the rich, produced the greatest concentration of income in the accounts of the richest 0.01 percent at any time between World War I and 2007 (when trickle-down economics, tax cuts for the hyper-rich, and deregulation again resulted in another economic collapse).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/washpost/8535294b-0c76-44f2-9f6b-a046ff957ffc.png&w=80&h=80&t=20170517a Historian Robert S. McElvaine teaches at Millsaps College. He is the author of "The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941" and currently at work on a novel.

 

Full story … 

Related:

Revolution Ahead for U.S. if GOP Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich Is Not Defeated, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Huge Human Inequality Study Hints Revolution is in Store for U.S.
  • Every society has a tipping point.
  • Part 2: How to Stop a Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich
  • Average Americans today face political elites hellbent on a tax ‘reform’ that funnels new fortunes to the already fortunate.

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