Saturday, October 11, 2008
Chomsky links economics and politics in current essay
by Larry Geller
Noam Chomsky has published an article on the economic crisis and the election in the Irish Times, Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed. (10/10/2008).
I’ve snipped this little bit out of the middle. It’s not at all representative of this wide-ranging article, but I think it is important by itself. Since it’s unlikely that Chomsky’s writing will appear very often in our daily paper I hope you’ll check it out via the above link.
The United States effectively has a one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats. There are differences between them. In his study Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, Larry Bartels shows that during the past six decades "real incomes of middle-class families have grown twice as fast under Democrats as they have under Republicans, while the real incomes of working-poor families have grown six times as fast under Democrats as they have under Republicans".
Differences can be detected in the current election as well. Voters should consider them, but without illusions about the political parties, and with the recognition that consistently over the centuries, progressive legislation and social welfare have been won by popular struggles, not gifts from above.
The “gifts” we have received from the Bush administration should be returned as soon as we can, but obviously, whether we’ll have a chance to do that or not will also depend on the outcome of the current election.