I hope you didn't come here thinking I was going to be a Foxish cheerleader for greed and wealth because you're going to be sorely disappointed if you did. That said, I very much do believe in Capitalism, just not necessarily as it is practiced today. The uber-money has succeeded magnificently in getting the working classes jealous of each other and fighting over the scraps they piss down on our impoverished heads while they continue to plunder the country.
I'm sure many of you already know the statistics but here is a quick recap; In 1970 an average CEO made 40 times what the lowest employee made. Now that number has risen to over 300 times. The income disparity in this country has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. Currently, the richest 400 people in this country make more money than the lowest 50%.
Capitalism is still the best economic system anyone has devised as yet but it needs to be tempered with social responsibility. That's where unions and the government come into play as a leveling force to keep fairness in the equation. It's no accident that, as the powers of each has diminished, so has the wealth and well-being of the poor and the middle class.
Unions are very much a part of capitalism as it should be practiced. The Foxites would have us believe that there is no room for social responsibility in the practice of capitalism and want to portray anyone who calls for social responsibility as a 'socialist' or a 'communist'. It's simply ludicrous to think that adding an 'ist' suddenly proves that correct principles like social responsibility and providing for the common good are really some sort of code phrases for evil personified, as Glenn Beck has suggested.
Bank of America took $45 billion in taxpayer bailouts while stashing money in 115 offshore accounts in order to evade US taxes. Yet, for some reason, a certain segment of our population still believes that budget shortfalls should come out of the pockets of the poor and middle class, when we could more than make up for the shortfalls if the B of A's of the world simply paid what they rightfully owe.
I think this facebook commenter personifies these misinformed: “the government is NOT a for profit entity. The purpose of the unions was to fight Big Business, not our own selves. I do not support collective bargaining over my few tax dollars. I do not support public workers on strike stranding helpless children and patients. I do not support garbage men going on strike endangering millions of lives with plague and pestilence. Without our public servants (myself included until recently) freedom in America would vanish.”
Many members of my family are school teachers or administrators. I have seen the long hours of grading and extra curricular activities that my sister, a 5th grade teacher, puts in. She literally goes from sunup until late at night, has been a teacher for close to 20 years and makes less than $50,000 per year. To imply that she is taking advantage of this poor taxpayer's 'few tax dollars' is beyond ludicrous.
What's more, the public employees affected in Wisconsin are not asking for more money. They are willing to work, through their union, to help the state through it's budgetary crisis. Consider this quote from a Washington Post article.
"Budget cuts are negotiable, but collective -bargaining rights are not."
"We can meet in the middle. We're willing to give. . . . He's acting like we've never given anything. We've given," said Mikkelson, a airfield maintenance worker who said he has endured furloughs and pay cuts in his county job. "We just want a voice."
We just want a voice! Even the most ardent Foxite should recognize that there is no principle more American than having a voice.
Of course, most of us see clearly through the disingenuousness of the Faux tax-cutting deficit reductionists who are behind this latest attack on the poor and working class.
We're blowing a major fortune on immoral foreign wars while our education systems and infrastructure crumble all around us. That is money that could easily be redirected to priorities that American people actually need and want: infrastructure, education, environmental protections, green energy development, economic stimulus and yes, deficit reduction.
So yes, I believe in Capitalism AND I believe in social responsibility. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts but rather mutually necessary concepts. I do not begrudge tax evading corporations and the uber-rich their wealth. I just expect them to pay their fair share instead of shifting the burden to those of us who can least afford it and/or who have historically always carried the load.
I believe in Socially-responsible Capitalism.