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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/29/20

Requiem for the American Dream

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In a (free) Youtube documentary, Chomsky narrates the changes in the American economy from the 1950s, when the people were proud of America and hopeful for their personal futures, to the present, when many are ashamed of America's role on the world stage, and see no opportunities for them to thrive personally.

  • Since Aristotle and Adam Smith and James Madison, philosophy of government has been a tug-of-war between democratization and a fear that the masses would raid the stockpiles of the wealthy, privileged class

  • In earlier times, the privileged class was also the literate intelligentsia and patrons of the arts; today they are warlords and oligarchs.

  • Concentration of wealth leads to influence over government policies leads to concentration of wealth leads to".

  • Financialization of the economy, from a country that made its money by creating manufactured goods to an economy centered on finance, marketing, insurance, information technology, and entertainment

  • Off-shoring of manufacturing jobs

  • A Fed Chariman who speaks openly of insecurity of the worker as a goal, keeping labor costs down to keep American companies "competitive"

  • Union-busting, from 30% of the labor force in the 1950s to less than 7% today

  • Tax policy has gradually shifted from taxing the wealthy to taxing the working class

  • Deregulation creates instability, which leads to failures of some of our biggest companies

  • These companies take ridiculous risks knowing they will profit when they win the bet, and that Congress will bail them outwhen they lose. They are "too big to fail"

  • Corporate personhood, legalizing unlimited monied influence over elections

  • Mass media used to goose consumer behavior and suppress worker solidarity

  • Political manipulation through the media is even worse than economic manipulation. Reagan was the first president elected on the basis of a pure image management. Obama took that game even further.

  • Chomsky closes with a challenge: We still have enough freedoms and we have the power, if we organize.

"This is a call to focus our attention on the countless small actions of unknown people that are the foundation for those great moments that ultimately enter the historical record." --Howard Zinn

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from wikipedia: Noam Chomsky (official website)  is an American  linguist ,   philosopher , [4][5]   cognitive scientist , and   activist . He is an   Institute Professor   and Professor ( Emeritus ) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at   MIT , where he has worked for over 50 years. [6]   Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" [7][8][9]   and a major figure of   analytic philosophy . [4]   His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics, and psychology. [10][11]

Chomsky is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy, the universal grammar theory, and the Chomsky--Sch├â ╝tzenberger theorem.

Ideologically identifying with anarchism and libertarian socialism, Chomsky is known for his critiques of U.S. foreign policy[12] and contemporary capitalism,[13] and he has been described as a prominent cultural figure.[14] His media (more...)

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