Sure, I’d say yes to a progressive tax code, a rollback on all the tax breaks and loopholes that allow the MEGA to beat out all competition and a yes to tax breaks for small and medium businesses. But, our democracy can’t count on the rich even though we have been.
Because we believed that our economy is best run by the technocrats and the wealthy, we have a situation where the rich players and the financial elite are able to uphold their dignity more than they should after helping to crash the economy through ballooned financing. The traction they get in blaming the buyers, the people who took out the loans when they know almost nothing about finance, is not grounded in reality. The bankers who know everything about finance, which is exactly the point that they understand the loans they are giving out and understand best how to transfer debt, make money off of interest, package up bad loans, sell securities and collaterized debt obligations, are still the ones making decisions about where our shared resources should go. Why we don’t have more objective, more research-heavy academics, is a product of the human race for the top. We, the people, are attracted to the rich and the powerful and have let them run the country for too long. This is the dilemma of the middle class, those who have some but are closer to almost having more, look to the rich as the older bigger brother/sister.
Yet, these big brothers are less wise, our academic output or innovation level is more focused on profit-making. Our corporate-controlled academia is working against the public, money does not solve all issues so not everything can be run according to the law of money. Democracy in America is being gauged on how much money a few individuals can make
If you look at banking, the economy, finance, corporations, power, etc. for too long, you start to become an unbeliever in what a world run by the rich can really give you and the poor. Sure, they can donate to charity, but they spend hundreds of millions every year on lobbying against reason. How is this efficient? Sure, they have enough capital to incubate important social projects, but they don’t and that’s not their focus anyway. The rich foundations are few and far in between. Taibbi says in his most recent article, “There’s even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn’t call the cops is known as the “Cool Off.”"
With the corporate rich running the country, our money has less and less to do with our reality, the real economy. As detailed in a long article on VISA in the NYTimes, we learn that the idea of a dollar is becoming untethered to value of the things they are supposed to buy: “A dollar is no longer a dollar in this country,” said Mallory Duncan, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation, a trade association. “It’s a Visa dollar. It’s only worth 99 cents because they take a piece of every one.”
As the Fed increased the interest rate for emergency loans to the big banks, which help to keep the current banking system going, the stock market has reactions because it bets on the banking system. The way finance works hardly has much to do with the way the real economy works — it’s not grounded in jobs and production but rather phantom numbers on projections about jobs and production among other things. Paul Krugman has this to say about this happening a few months ago; he writes, “Still, what about the possibility of a squeeze, in which rising rates for whatever reason produce a vicious circle of collapsing balance sheets among the carry traders, higher rates, and so on? Well, we’ve seen enough of that sort of thing not to dismiss the possibility. But if it does happen, it’s a financial system problem — not a deficit problem. It would basically be saying not that the government is borrowing too much, but that the people conveying funds from savers, who want short-term assets, to the government, which borrows long, are undercapitalized. And one last point: I just don’t think the inner circle gets how much danger we’re in from another vicious circle, one that’s real, not hypothetical. The longer high unemployment drags on, the greater the odds that crazy people will win big in the midterm elections — dooming us to economic policy failure on a truly grand scale.” Again, the model of the rich, can’t save us, but the rich should pay higher taxes because they exact a lot of wear and tear on society.
The boom-bust-bailout cycle is the doom loop. Many highly profitable companies cut jobs in 2009 and are shuffling the untethered poor in ways that make them less qualified for new jobs. The research group, Cambridge WInter remarks in their report,
“Perhaps even more troubling than the auto dealer exemption [in the financial reform bill] itself, given the large, bi-partisan majority of the House Financial Services Committee that supported it, is what it implies more broadly: The bipartisan zeal for, and growing comfort with, special interest subsidies that distort free markets in favor of the largest and most politically entrenched participants.” The rich won’t save us.
The Rich are Too good to be true
The transfer of wealth to the rich from the poor is unsustainable, even if the rich or the corporate are the ones that are offering the products and solutions the poor want to buy now. Contrary to popular economic belief, the products on the market now are not what are best for people or what people actually want; they are overwhelmingly determined by a society controlled by big media, big advertising, the big players on the internet, existing and emerging memes of the elite and the rich, big finance, the big in education, the big in food, car, home, the big in government. Thorstein Veblen knows this himself. Contrary to their economic well-being, the poor and the middle class get poorer buying all the stuff they don’t need and paying for all the interest that the giants demand.
Looking at the big picture market, more people lose and a few win in the free market that the big banks want, even if the rhetoric is that the poor have every opportunity to win and compete. But, starting a business or a bank is harder than it should be, the poor and middle class put more and more of their capital and flattened wages into the blackholes of the rich by buying their goods and buying on credit and taking out loan after loan, which makes it harder to start up their own businesses. The poor and the middle class think they need to be more and more like the rich, look and dress and smell like them, do business like them. Subconsciously there is a belief that by contributing to the extremists’ free market system, they are giving themselves a chance to compete and win too. This extremist form of a free market seems like it is open to anyone and anyone can join, but it really just exists for the super rich. Competition is dwindling, markets are becoming more over-concentrated, the banking industry already is. The idea to deregulate, give tax breaks and loopholes to the super rich as a way to create competition is more of a propping up of a free market in the realm of the elitist regime through tax payer dollars and is a short term fix for an addiction to growth and money that is also untenable. We need microeconomies which tend to have better pricing, and can be based on real value. An economy that nurtures the new, spontaneous, ingenious, decentralized can actually allow the poor to benefit from the spread of goods because the production of these goods are more directly related to the work, well-being and existence of the person.
The big, the rich are too good to be true. For some of the efficiencies they introduce in the world, they have created many more inefficiencies in order to stay on the top. We can’t have a sustainable system that is about a stay on the top and the feeding of a giant that stopped innovating for the public good long ago.