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It's not a Meltdown - It's the Triumph of Capitalism

by rdf Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 08:59:20 AM EST

There are many who are saying that this collapse "proves" that the US capitalist model is obsolete, or based upon false ideas.

I claim that it is just the reverse. What the US has had since the 1870's is syndicalism - a partnership between big business and government. In an earlier time people weren't afraid to call it what it is.

"The business of America is business."   --  Calvin Coolidge  

"...because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa". -- Charles Erwin Wilson, GM president (1953)

So we have the latest in a never ending series of benefits awarded to for-profit companies - tax breaks, subsidies, loans and, now, outright purchases of worthless assets.

After the dust settles what we will have is an environment where the "too big to fail" firms are even bigger and the number in the market has been further reduced. After today there will be only be three big banks left, two "investment" banks, four accounting firms, etc. If firms were too big before, why are we letting them get even bigger?

The goal of capitalism is to get to as close to a monopoly position as can be achieved. In the US system, the government assists in this, rather than trying to control the concentration of power.

The result is always the same: big firms are less efficient, innovate less, stifle competition, wield too much political power and cost consumers money.

What is different this time is that the world is now "globalized" and firms elsewhere are playing by a different set of rules. The innovative firms are now in Asia and within a decade or so will be dominating the sectors the the US government has been trying to protect - finance, intellectual property and knowledge-based industries, and bulk agriculture.

One would have thought that this lesson would have been learned after the invasion of the Japanese auto makers, but apparently not. After the dust settles, the wealthy will still be in control, the middle class will still be wage slaves and the nation will be even more uncompetitive in world markets.

With you on the content, but do you really mean syndicalism?

Syndicalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Syndicalism is a type of movement which aims to degrade capitalist societies through action by the working class on the industrial front. For syndicalists, labor unions are the potential means both of overcoming capitalism and of running society in the interests of the majority. Industry and government in a syndicalist society would be run by labour union federations.

While I at first I figured Corporatism was a better term, it is used with many different meanings.

Corporatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Historically, corporatism (Italian: corporativismo) refers to a political or economic system in which power is held by civic assemblies that represent economic, industrial, agrarian, social, cultural, and/or professional groups. These civic assemblies are known as corporations (not the same as the legally incorporated business entities known as corporations, though some are such). Corporations are unelected bodies with an internal hierarchy; their purpose is to exert control over the social and economic life of their respective areas.

Corporatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

At a popular level in recent years "corporatism" has been used to mean the promotion of the interests of private corporations in government over the interests of the public.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 11:09:59 AM EST
This is the sense I used the word, not the historical movement:

Syndicate - a combination of bankers or capitalists formed for the purpose of carrying out some project requiring large resources of capital, as the underwriting of an issue of stock or bonds.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 11:48:21 AM EST
The result is always the same: big firms are less efficient, innovate less, stifle competition, wield too much political power and cost consumers money.

The reason firms strive to get larger is that that way they are more likely to survive as a firm - efficiency, innovation, competition, even political power, are secondary.

At least according to JK Galbraith in the New Industrial State. I'm still trying to figure out in what ways his book is outdated as it's been 40 years since it was written.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 05:23:11 AM EST

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