The Market: A Paragon of Virtue + Naked Capitalism
Myths die hard. Just as there are no unicorns, there is no free market. The myth is propagandized by its beneficiaries, i.e., the rich and powerful, the 1%. The oft-repeated line is the market is some neutral entity which fosters competition and people benefit as prices come down. Reality is slightly different. We don’t have a really free market because there is massive government intervention to prop it up through bailouts and subsidies, tax breaks and loopholes. The system generates more and more monopoly and concentration. Attempts at regulation are non-existent or are so watered down as to be virtually meaningless. The market as a paragon of virtue? Heard of secret deals and insider trading? The crucial question: how do we create an economy which is responsive to people’s needs, meets social goals of equality and protects the environment?
Through its myriad booms and busts, capitalism manages to roll with the punches and emerge standing. We are constantly told: it's the only show in town. Do you want the old Soviet Union? No way. But can't we imagine an economic system that is responsive to the needs of people and our precious planet rather than Wall Street and the investor class? Idealistic, you say? Maybe. But the fiscal ship is headed for a huge crash and no amount of moving the deck chairs around will avert it. Capitalism's tattered and moth-eaten clothes have fallen off, revealing a naked body that serves only the privileged few. Ninety-five percent of the economic gains, since the so-called recovery began are going to the top 1 percent. Meanwhile, median household income, adjusted for inflation, keeps dropping. The system is rigged to favor the rich.
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