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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/24/18

Mammon on Verge of Total Victory

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Trump is like a stalking horse. Behind his insults are "respectable" Republicans. Too far back for many to see, there is a pinched, money-worshiping version of Libertarianism, "Free-Market Fundamentalism" (FMF). FMF exalts voluntary exchange by self-utility-maximizing individuals in a market above all other relationships. The practice of FMF by Republicans, principally, restrains millions of Americans from leading maximally pursuing happiness. It is grossly maldestributive, stingy to all but the wealthiest! Yet now it dominates both houses of Congress, the presidency, and courts, majorities in state legislatures, and governorships. Its agents mint impoverishing tax cuts, job flight, automation, starveling welfare laws, busting unions, environmental laws, etc. Now they clearly threaten to cut and privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid! Despite Trump's personality, with this dominance, Putin, and boogery billionaires' bucks, Trump will be a formidable challenge in 2020.

From the 1930s to 1945 Americans had favorable attitudes to government. It helped them to recover from the Great Market Crash and win WW2. But by 1947 already a very small group of rich Americans and Austrian economists met at Mont Perlerin in Switzerland (see Democracy in Chains.) They were intent on changing American's attitudes toward distrust of government and favor toward "the Market." Markets had failed over 40 times since 1636! But they established professorships, foundations, institutes, conferences, and awards. And it worked! In the '80s they got Reagan and Thatcher as shills. People think as they speak! Americans were propagandized into negative attitudes toward government and into fiscal conservatism. We are not inherently a "right of center" people.

Now this pernicious FMF doctrine has widely infected opinionator journalists and politicians, even Obama and Clinton, during the budget-control fight about the deficit, 2009 - 2010, bowed to "National Debt Terrorism" and our government "overspending." Democrats need a new, non-neoliberal theory of government budget control and spending. They can find it in Modern Monetary Theory, in the works of people like Stephanie Kelton of the Sanders Institute, Randall Wray, Warren Mosler, etc. Look at the viral pictures of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin at the Bureau of Engraving for the proof that the federal government creates all money. It absolutely can create, even just with keystrokes, all the money needed to deposit to keep Social Security and Medicare, etc., solvent for decades. Depositing it can't cause hyperinflation. But if Democrats don't pick up this MMT theory and rhetoric, if they don't say this publicly, and start contradicting Republicans on the deficit, they are likely to lose again!

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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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