Let’s get ideology out of the way first. The mariner doesn’t care if the reader is republican, democrat, libertarian, socialist, Zen Buddhist, tea party, neo-Nazi, racist, or Black Power. It doesn’t matter. Everyone has the same problem: It is the nature of capitalism to accrue profit and wealth. The affect of this objective is that money makes money, meaning that the more money you have, the more money you will make until, theoretically, there is no more money for anyone else. (Used to be called the feudal system)
This characteristic of capitalism is fine when it is managed properly. One cannot fault an individual for pursuing profit. Accruing profit is not the objective of the United States and its citizens. Nowhere in the founding documents is language that says accruing wealth is mandated for every citizen. It allows the freedom to accrue wealth but not every citizen will have that opportunity despite the Iconic phrase “America is a free country.” In fact, 98% of all Americans will not have the opportunity to accrue wealth.
In American politics, it is no longer one man, one vote. It is one dollar, one vote. The wealthy run the country to fit their convenience and enhance the opportunity to make better profit with their money.
It was a sad day in American culture when the President of the Senate offered a bill that will reduce Social Security payments rather than increase taxes on the wealthy. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have only the Social Security check to keep them alive. Something is wrong in the United States.
The mariner still thinks it might be best to start at the State level. Vote for candidates who are committed to the following:
Remove right to work laws. Unions aren’t perfect, and they’ll never be equal to Richard Wolff’s utopia of democratic business. Still, they are a facet of the financial world that at least makes the wealthy give up a little more money for a worker’s retirement plan, 401k, and a COLA raise each year. With only this one change, the middle class will begin to grow.
Make it illegal for a business to move its primary operation across a State boundary. State governments give huge tax relief to bring business to the State. The least the business can do is stay in the State. When voting for Federal candidates, the candidate should be in favor of making it illegal to take a business overseas or have corporate ties that permit business to stop in the U.S. while its partner organization ramps up business. If a profit can’t be made with the current product, make another product.
Raise taxes on the wealthy. This has nothing to do with the size of the Federal Government. It is an attempt to reduce the rapidity by which money makes money.
These suggestions alone will revitalize the middle class of America. Capitalism will never be reined in fully but it must play a role in the health of the economy that makes money for the capitalists.
The wealthy already have their own grassroots campaign – it’s called the shareholder’s reaction. The people at the top of corporations, like the people at the top of government, are heavily invested in keeping their lofty perches. Should they decide to act like responsible corporate citizens, their shareholders will cry foul and vote for their removal from the board. The shareholder’s return on their stock is their only concern, driven by their greed. It is in the sole best interest of CEO’s to pursue profit at all cost just to remain in power.
I work for a large corporation, United Technologies. They own among other companies, Carrier Air Conditioning, Otis Elevator, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Sikorsky Helicopter, Kidde Fire Suppression, Etc, etc.
When I bring attention to a policy which is detrimental to our employees or even our customers I am told to trust upper management because they have the shareholders’ best interest at heart.
The mariner agrees with your analysis. Taking on the stockholders on their turf is not a winable war. It must be divide and conquer; take one industry at a time (reference Ralph Nader and the auto safety issue). Further, the Federal government is the only entity with enough clout to attack directly the abuses of corporations. The mariner also believes there need to be smaller victories like unionizing Walmart and other discount giants.
The whole reason why the Occupy movements were quashed was due to the issues presented. The amount of financial corruption in even our federal congress and politics plays a large role as well. However, those in power will come to pass down their crowns to those younger, born of a technology driven world where adolescence has been pushed well into the adult years just due to the concentration of wealth and power…. And those that are of this generation are disenfranchised and are not satisfied so who knows where it will all lead us…..
The mariner agrees wholeheartedly with your position. Reference a reply to Marc on this subject. The mariner has no confidence that further techological advance will help the average citizen. Life will be faster and cheaper for those who already have enough. The “haves” may not ever have to be pushed to be an adult.