Daily Archives: July 18, 2011

Unregulated Capitalism and the destruction of the Middle Class… and what we can do about it.

This is likely to draw all kinds of negative comments from the right (or even from the center) but the fact that Capitalism, which requires consistent growth… therefore always using more (and making more) income… has done two obvious things: it has made gigantic corporations which create a government all their own which does not often comply with our nationally passed laws; and Capitalism has also put all other economic concepts into a state of public damnation… even by those members of the public whose lives are destroyed by capitalistic growth.

To start with the major energy companies, builders of much of the Capitalist base, rewards those who plunder the natural environment by giving them an unsustainable material prosperity while removing natural benefits and beauty from the land we live on. This is justified by establishing the concept of the ‘free market’  which eliminates all but the most efficient enterprises. In fact, the efficiency is only financial – meaning that the ‘free market’ eliminates any that pursue goals other than maximizing

Al Gore's Hearing on Global Warming

Al Gore

their profits. Nice guys finish last.

“We are operating the Earth like it’s a business in liquidation.”

Al Gore

Even the Information Based Economy has been plundered by the capitalist system. By rewarding competition rather than cooperation, capitalism wastes an increasing amount of time, effort and resources, primarily because economic thought and institutions stem from an era of locally distributed goods that were laboriously handmade, usually with minimal set-up costs and large costs per unit. However, as the economy becomes increasingly virtual, capitalism is showing itself increasingly unsatisfactory… the traditional pricing system is still based on unit costs, which are a very poor reflection of the cost structure of information goods. In such circumstances, tremendous inefficiency is inevitable, yet the major software companies (Microsoft, Oracle, etc.) remain tied to the capitalist system.

So what are the alternatives that could replace unregulated Capitalism and give us a transition to an ongoing, non-growth system which would support all of us without destroying the environment… indeed, by an ongoing replacement of the environmental elements that have been lost?

If you start looking through the internet for competing economic theories you will find such titles as Altruism (A System to Reward Generosity, not Selfishness), Sustainability ( strategic management of economic, social, environmental and ethical performance), and the Transition Movement (one of the most promising ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis.) These solutions all have significant common denominators; they all seek to get out from under the energy structure which is causing global warming, they all define economics as a social program and work against problems such as greed and huge gaps between the wealthy and the lower classes, and they are all opposed to capitalism as a process.

You’ll notice I didn’t use terms like Socialism or Communism, which none of these theories subscribe to (although it will probably not be seen that way by the corporate right which will use such accusations to turn the middle class in on itself). None of them attack individual creativity… in fact they rely on it.

If this gives you something to think about, remember that there will be no opposition to the control by an aging Capitalist Economy unless the larger portion of our population… a good 90%… joins together for our own benefit. Read the sources, pass the information on to friends and family and urge them to do the same. Keep up a steady stream of communication with all elected representatives who are now bought and sold by capitalistic lobbyist… in a sense become lobbyists of the people.

Your comments are encouraged.