Our Economy Has Failed -- It's the Reaganomics, Stupid!
Continued from previous page
Of course the stimulus is better than none. We need unemployment benefits and infrastructure investment. And investment has a longer-term payoff.
But what happens after the stimulus? What do they think will drive our economy back to what they think of as normal? Will it be renewed manufacturing of cars? If we don't bring back the good-paying jobs, who will buy them? Same for houses. Same for TVs and appliances and furniture and jewelery and expensive shoes and all the rest.
In a June interview on the Lehrer News Hour, Treasury Secretary Geithner said that they are doing what they need to do to "get growth back on track."
Back on track? Does he mean we will fish out the remaining fish? Cut the rest of the trees? Drain the rest of the aquifers? Take the tops off the rest of the mountains? Does he mean that we will run up the rest of the credit cards? Will we cover the rest of the land with even bigger houses and subdivisions and strip malls? Will we export all the rest of the jobs? Will we hand the rest of the nation's income and wealth over to an elite few?
I don't think they are going to get things back "on track" by applying more of the same "solutions" that got us to where we are today. Will they bail out more companies, making them even too bigger to fail? None of the fixes will work if the problem is that we have reached the limits of sustainability of the economic model we have been following for decades.
So what can we do to change the system itself? How do we restructure the model - the economic paradigm - in ways that let We, The People enjoy and share the benefits of our economy? There are a number of clues that I will be writing about in my work with Campaign for America's Future. Maybe we can follow the clues and find answers.
One obvious part of problem is that we have an economic system in which we tolerate a few people controlling –- and thereby getting most of the benefits from –- things that should belong to and be controlled by all of us. Aren't We, The People supposed to be making the decisions here? And shouldn't we make decisions that benefit all of us instead of just a wealthy few?
At the center of this problem is the role of the corporation in our society. Corporations have amassed immense power and that power is used to control the country's decision-making processes, always to the benefit of the wealthy few. Getting a grip on this problem requires us to regain understanding of why we have corporations in the first place. We, The People enacted the laws that allow corporations to exist because we felt that it would be to our benefit to do so . And to the extent that they are now benefiting a few at the expense of the rest of us, we can change the laws. Let that sink in.
Another thing we have to get control over is the concept of externalization. Why do we allow companies to externalize their costs while internalizing the profits? In other words, companies are allowed to push costs onto the rest of us, but are not asked to share the resulting profits with the rest of us. We even let them see and treat people (us) as "costs" -- a layoff pushes the responsibility to support a worker onto the community while the company keeps the wages they were paid.