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Capitalism Is Dead. Now What Do We Do?

By       Message Steve Brant       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   31 comments

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And I'm not surprised.

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I'll explain why in a minute, but first here's Capitalism's obituary. It's the New York Times' lead story on the bailout of A.I.G....

WASHINGTON -- Fearing a financial crisis worldwide, the Federal Reserve reversed course on Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the government control of the troubled insurance giant American International Group.

The decision, only two weeks after the Treasury took over the federally chartered mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history.

With time running out after A.I.G. failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, convened a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan. They emerged just after 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke looking grim, but with top lawmakers initially expressing support for the plan. But the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with.

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Hmm... "...the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with."

Controversial? No. Not to me. Confirmational. That's what it is.

It confirms that our nation is not willing to let Capitalism be Capitalism, except for us little guys of course. But here's the thing. If Capitalism isn't Capitalism for the Big Guys, then it isn't Capitalism for the little guys either.

Just like there's no such thing as being a little bit pregnant, there's no such thing as having a little Capitalism over here and a little Socialism over there. You can't have two economic systems operating in one country at the same time, at least not if "all men are created equal" is written in that country's founding documents.

Sorry, my friends. You either have Capitalism or you don't.

And here in the USA, we no longer have it. It's dead.

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Think about this. Our government has just decided -- without asking any of us, including our Congressional representatives -- that $85 billion more of our money should be used to cover the actions of (and pardon the unsophisticated language here) stupid, greedy, criminal people. Stupid, because they didn't have a clue that what they were doing would have such negative consequences. Greedy, because all they could see were short term dollar signs in front of their eyes. Criminal, because they just robbed you and me of $85 billion dollars by holding a "we're too big to fail" gun to the head of the US government.

They should have let A.I.G. fail, because -- if that had brought about the collapse of the global economic system -- that would have just sped up our journey to a point of systemic collapse we are destined to reach anyway. I say destined to reach not because it's God's will but because no system can continue to function when its fundamental design is flawed. You see, the current global economic system is based on a fundamental assumption that -- while it was true when the system was first set up -- is no longer true today.

Let me give you another way of thinking about this. If a car that is designed to handle any road condition at any speed suddenly finds itself traveling across the water, it will quickly sink below the surface even as its wheels keep spinning. And, if the driver remains oblivious to the fact that there's no longer a road under his or her car, that driver will die.

We are no longer on land, my friends. We are in a car when we should be in a boat (or maybe an airplane). The global reality has shifted, but our political leaders are largely blind to this reality. They think we're still on dry land.

More about all this in a minute. But first, back to the US economy...

The funny thing is, I've known that a significant portion of the US economy is Socialistic for years. "What are you talking about?", you ask? "The Military Industrial Complex," I answer.

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Steve Brant is an independent researcher, theorist, and Corporate Social Responsibility brand-building consultant. His mission is to help the Corporate Social Responsibility movement transform the global sociopolitical economic system so that (more...)

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