Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Bailouts, markets, and socialism
by Larry Geller
The USA is not collapsing despite the current Wall Street crisis. When the Soviet Union actually did collapse, people could still buy bread, and when they went to work they still were paid. This is because a directed (“socialist”) economy was good at structure. Farms and factories just kept grinding away, according to plan. So at the bottom levels of society safety nets and in fact normal life could continue, even as the upper levels of government were disintegrating. This is a generality, but I think it fairly describes the situation for a time after the end of the empire.
Without even coming near collapse, here in America, homes, jobs, savings, retirements, everything to do with the average person, is at risk of stopping due to corporate greed.
Food prices are up, gasoline is soaring, life is getting tough. People are losing their health insurance, adding to the numbers of those already uninsured. And no, we’re not collapsing, the stock market, despite its ups and downs, is alive and well. CEOs are making fabulous incomes. Politicians have no problem collecting obscene campaign contributions. It may be that the banks will be bailed out, even as ordinary people lose their homes and livelihoods.
Some, particularly Republican congresspeople, have blasted the proposed bailout bill as “socialism,” implying that it’s a bad thing. To the extent that jobs on Wall Street may be preserved, it’s socialism, but for everyone else, it’s capitalism as usual.
We couldn’t be doing something more opposite to socialism. We’re extending welfare to corporations while people starve.
Just my two cents worth. Can’t do anything else with two cents these days.