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Oligarchs, Billionaires, Uber Wealthy are Killing Capitalism-- They Are Dangerous

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Capitalism has many faces. That's the message of Thomas Piketty, whose book, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, is making right wingers crazy, and clearing the inventory shelves of Amazon. The big message people are taking from his book is that capitalism as it now exists will produce income inequality. 

Piketty has put a scientific face on what we've pretty much known already. 

The detour capitalism has take that has led to the development of ultra-wealthy individuals could be a dead end-- a dangerous detour that could disrupt capitalism as the world has known it. 

This may be a message we, the ninety-nine percent can use against the billionaires, ultra-wealthy and the transnational corporations mutating capitalism to something that threatens the planet. 

Reading Naomi Klein's book Disaster Capitalism opened my eyes to the idea that there are different kinds of capitalism, and that some of them can be malignantly evil and toxic. I asked Naomi to describe the basic concept of Disaster Capitalism. She replied, in an interview on my radio show,

"the thesis of the book is that if we want to understand how this radical "market fundamentalism" has swept the globe, the system that has imploded before our eyes, the de-regulated system that has been so profitable for the people at the top but something of a disaster for everyone else. 

If we want to understand how this system has swept the globe from Latin America to Russia to this country, we need to understand the incredible "utility of crisis" to this project, because the great leaps forward for this project have taken place in the midst, during the immediate aftermath of some kind of a shock.  

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The extreme cases that I discuss in the book are wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, but overwhelmingly, the most common shocks that have created the context for pushing through these very unpopular policies in a way that economists often call "economic shock therapy," the first shock is the economic crisis, the second shock is the economic shock therapy; overwhelmingly the shocks have been economic crises, whether it's the Asian financial crisis in 1987 or the economic crisis in the former Soviet Union that created this sort of panic atmosphere where they could impose economic shock therapy, so we are in one of those moments of shock.  

In the book, I quote a Polish human rights activist in 1989 describing what it was like in that country when they were living through a very profound economic crisis. They became the first Eastern Bloc country to be prescribed shock therapy, and as she said, "We're living in 'dog years' (laughs) not human years, which is to say it's this fast forward intense period where you can barely keep up and I think we are living in dog years at the moment."

A conversation I had with Thomas Frank a few years after Klein's Disaster Capitalism came out got me thinking further about how there are different kinds of capitalism-- some that really helped the middle class. Frank had just written a book, Pity the Billionaire, and he described how, after the crash of the 1930's people got together and demanded economic cleanups. Capitalism, for the next forty years started to serve the middle class. 

Yes capitalism is not some sacrosanct, one version, monolithic economic model. 

The question is, who steers the ship of capitalism? Who decides what model of capitalism dominates? 

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What we know today is that capitalism is not working for more than 99% of the people on this planet. When capitalism is not working it increases the problems that make a more dangerous, less stable world-- hunger, poverty, inequality, police states, corrupt judicial systems with different laws for elites. 

When capitalism is warped and abused by a small group, it ruins capitalism for the rest of us. 

It's not just about the oligarchs and billionaires and the politicians they buy being greedy. These people are endangering the planet and ruining capitalism. Ruin of capitalism will also mean ruination for big corporations too. 

Ruining capitalism? Yes, Capitalism the way Roosevelt sculpted it, capitalism with 92% top earner tax rates under Dwight Eisenhower-- those were capitalist models that worked to raise the middle class and strengthen industry. Capitalism in the 1960s included publicly owned utilities, water companies, public transportation-- it was a hybrid of capitalism with socialism-- as we now have with medicare and road construction and public schools. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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What do you think? Is this a meme that could get s... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:13:01 PM
Lawrence Lessig testifies and encourages governors... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 8:45:06 AM
Basically, you are advocating the redistribution o... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:58:16 AM
Taxes do it. Every other first world nation does i... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 7:33:14 AM
By: Caleb Jacobo Theme of article:  justi... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:42:56 AM
The link does not work ... by Rob Kall on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:56:28 PM
Well try this link and if you get to Nation of Cha... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 4:20:13 PM
HOW CAN ANYONE BE A NOT-SEE ON THIS IDEA BELOW!!!I... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 5:25:09 AM
Doc. When there is so much room for useful di... by Jack Flanders on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:34:57 PM
Somehow you haven't noticed that the wealth has al... by Lindsay Smith on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 1:52:51 PM
Billionaires are the biggest welfare cheats on the... by intotheabyss on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:43:28 PM
Damn right redistribution of wealth!Especially the... by David Vicks on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:29:53 PM
What's your point?Liberty for WHO!? ... by David Vicks on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:04:49 AM
The revolutionists who had the slogan "Don't tread... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:40:39 AM
Rob, You are asking, so I'll give you my answ... by Mark Whittington on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 2:02:08 AM
Market efficiency? In order for there to be market... by Jack Flanders on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:44:27 PM
There you go. Market efficiency is a complete illu... by Stefan Thiesen on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 5:03:16 AM
" if wealth of the top 1% stays above 35% for sust... by Derryl Hermanutz on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 1:43:47 PM
 Derryl I assume nothing of the sort. I... by Mark Whittington on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 6:15:16 PM
Patch in the short term while simultaneously redes... by David Vicks on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:51:12 PM
Thanks David,I can definitely agree to that. ... by Mark Whittington on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:22:58 PM
Capitalism needs regulation.And, unfortunately, th... by BFalcon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:16:57 AM
You say, (and I understand you have some credentia... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:49:16 AM
Great article rob.Capitalism has never worked for ... by liberalsrock on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 9:02:05 AM
" Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff"  will s... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:55:46 AM
I am convinced that there is no system of governme... by Mark A. Goldman on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 9:14:38 AM
Well said, Mark.Another way to put it, as I see it... by Tom Huckin on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 9:59:30 AM
I believe you could find some indigenous cultures ... by intotheabyss on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:57:32 PM
I really like the values you spoke of.I'm not sure... by David Vicks on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 5:05:00 PM
I occasionally think mass propaganda to the 1% cou... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:59:53 AM
I'd say Multi Billionaires and oligarchic networks... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:22:58 AM
This is confirmation of my own concerns. US citiz... by Greg Greg on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:23:10 AM
The road forward is so narrow and difficult and st... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:57:45 AM
As Arthur C. Clarke suggested: those who want powe... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:31:27 AM
Those of us at the bottom try to get out the meme,... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:23:34 AM
Somehow you haven't noticed that the wealth has al... by Lindsay Smith on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 1:44:19 PM
An Alternative to Capitalism (since we can... by John Steinsvold on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:07:21 PM
Your link doesn't seem to be working for me. ... by David Vicks on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 5:21:29 PM
David, Am sorry for the bad link:. Try ... by John Steinsvold on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:57:18 PM
It worked this time. cool. ... by David Vicks on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:02:43 AM
Part of the problem is there are many young people... by intotheabyss on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:07:30 PM
Universities used to be only for intellectuals. No... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 3:10:03 AM
Amen Rob, Amen!Let it be written. Let it be d... by David Vicks on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:18:56 PM
So, how do we get viral the meme that wealth inequ... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:00:18 PM
Good Question.I wonder if the "Hunger Games" maybe... by David Vicks on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:37:43 AM
The meme is out there.  There are three books... by Shirley Braverman on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 6:11:58 AM
Begin by linking the meme to the evidence of what ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:24:26 PM
The ideas  as follows in this article fall in... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:34:24 AM
A democracy is a system of government in which not... by Ethan Hollow on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 9:19:32 AM
Capitalism is based on a power hierarchy in which ... by Ethan Hollow on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 9:22:20 AM
The ugly truth is that capitalism-in-practice hate... by Ethan Hollow on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 9:36:31 AM
Sorry to interject a different thought...  Ha... by x_Warrior on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:43:19 AM
I use mac mail, and have no issues... is big broth... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 8:40:36 PM
I believe that OpEdNews is being blocked or has so... by x_Warrior on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 12:07:23 AM
I don't think others can look at this blog unless ... by David Vicks on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 9:56:39 PM
Please see my reply to Susan Lee Schwartz above...... by x_Warrior on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 12:08:56 AM
Well I didn't know you could email the blog. That ... by David Vicks on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 12:41:36 AM
FYI:Verizon.net and zoho.com are okay too. As I sa... by x_Warrior on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 1:33:16 AM
Join the discussion at Nation of Change.http://bit... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 4:00:51 AM
Here is a working link to that URL: click hereThan... by Caleb Jacobo on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 4:25:50 AM
Welcome here Caleb. I liked some of your ideas. S... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 4:55:52 AM