Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?
by MIKE WHITNEY
“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.”
– Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana
Americans are committed to capitalism and prefer free market solutions whenever possible.
Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:
“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)
“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?
While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:
“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..
Read more: here