Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

Why Europe Should Reject U.S. Market Capitalism -- William Pfaff

This tour-de-force by William Pfaff appeared in the International Herald
Tribune on April 29th 2006. It is a penetrating analysis of how the
United States, and Americans, are being manipulated by our own political
and economic oligarchs.

Given the sketchiness of my own economics background I deferred to my
mentor in such matters, Terry Arnold. Hereunder is what he sent back to
me. You must read the Pfaff article first

QUOTE: John: In developmental and humanitarian terms, the basic
problems with
American market capitalism are that it has become centered on its
principal beneficiaries, pursues a model that is resource concentrating
rather than distributing, and weds the political and economic elites
into a singular decision making cabal.

The cabal cannot lose. Everybody else will lose in some manner, some
more than others, the weak far more than anyone else. That has been
evident for some time in the growing gap between rich and poor--the most
egregious example being executive compensation when compared with worker

But there are other signs such as the growing distance between the
public and the governing class. There probably is not a more used word
in the vocabulary of the beneficiaries of this system than
"democratic". But it is democratic only in the sense that people have
the right to vote for candidates they have very little if any role in
choosing; those candidates, when elected, serve those who financed them.

As our society has grown more diverse, it has become less democratic in
real political and economic terms. The power and the wealth are
increasingly concentrated.

In short, ours is a model the Europeans or anyone else should copy only
if they devoutly wish to be ruled and exploited by a new oligarchy.
That is happening to us. The movers and shakers are ever more
concentrated and consolidated--skip republican and democrat.

Some argue that if we do not find ways to take the country back from
these oligarchs we are headed for defacto fascism. I don't see enough
signs to the contrary to disagree. Torture, domestic spying, ignoring
and violating established laws, treaties and international agreements, a
leadership that declares itself above the law, are all evidences of the
growing self-centeredness and self-confidence of our oligarchs. They
simply do not believe anyone will challenge them.

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