Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 6 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Threat To Capitalism

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched yesterday "a sweeping national advocacy campaign ... to defend and advance America's free enterprise values in the face of rapid government growth and attacks by anti-business activists."

The Chamber of Commerce doesn't get it. They aren't defending capitalism and free enterprise. They are all but destroying it. Free-market fundamentalists don't understand that capitalism is a system. It has rules, boundaries and obligations. When those rules are broken, the system falters. - It's not football without lines to mark touchdowns and out of bounds. - It's not basketball without a referee to call the fouls. This is more than just a sports metaphor. Capitalism won't work unless a negotiated price and promise to pay $100 is followed by payment of $100. And someone needs to enforce those rules. Otherwise it's not capitalism. It's robbery.

These rules operate at every level. - My AAA bond valued at $100 million actually needs to be worth $100 million, and it needs AAA assurance of quality - not conflicts of interest where companies issuing securities pay the agencies for their ratings. - My "mortgage-backed security" needs to be backed by an actual buyer with an actual stake in real property - not bankers whose interest is in transaction fees from bundling, re-bundling and sales. - My tomato should be free of salmonella, my toys should not have illegal levels of lead-based paint, and my pet food should not be infused with toxic melamine.

If nobody enforces those rules, the system starts to break down. That's what's happening now. A generation ago, free-market ideologues decided that markets could police themselves and regulate themselves. They said history had finally invented something that was truly-self correcting. So they took the police off the beat and slandered as socialism every effort to enforce rules or enforce the reliability of promises. Look at the result.

Now we need to save capitalism from itself. "We're launching this campaign," declared Thomas Donahue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "because those who make or influence economic policy must understand that a productive, competitive private sector is not something they can take for granted."

That's precisely the point. A productive, efficient private sector is not something we can "take for granted." It is something we need to fight for. We need to fight against anti-competitive monopolies, fight against regulatory agencies captured by the industry they are supposed to regulate, and fight against industry groups that break the rules in the name of freedom.

Freedom isn't free. The crisis interventions of recent months were needed to save capitalism from itself. The Chamber of Commerce got exactly what it wanted these last few years. We need to stop them before they kill again.

 

Eric Lotke is Senior Research Analyst at SEIU and author of 2044, an update of George Orwell's 1984. In 2044, the problem isn't Big Brother, it's Big Brother, Inc. In years past, Mr. Lotke was Research Director at the Campaign for America's (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Chinese Currency Manipulation Looks Like

Steel City: Forgotten But Not Gone

2044: Big Brother Inc.

Obama's Home And The Report Is Out: China Takes Us To School

The Private Prison Industry: Resistance isn't Futile

The 2010 Elections: Bring "em on!

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I say this because the U.S. chamber of commerce is... by Simple Truth on Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 10:00:09 AM
Capital is drowning in their own de-regulation dog... by Kent Welton on Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 11:56:22 AM