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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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