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Posts by goNDdan

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  • LBJ's Great Society: 40 Years Later

    12/04/2006 4:17:40 AM PST · 57 of 57
    goNDdan to StoneGiant

    I came across your comments regarding Liberal Socialism and felt inclined to respond, even though it was posted over a year ago.

    The author does a poor job documenting his allegation that 40 years of Liberal Socialism is responsible for the plight of the poor.

    First, from 1965 to 2005, Republicans were in the White House 24 years, Democrats only 16. Hardly a forty year run without interference and serious reversals, especially during the Reagan years.

    Second, Europe and the Far East were busy rebuilding after the world wide massive destruction brought about by World War II. The potential to sell the production of a quickly growing US economy throughout the world had and has never been greater. Those were times when a breadwinner could find, keep and expect to retire from a good union job with pay that was increasing faster than inflation and a complete package of benefits.

    Since the gap in pay between the CEO and the entry worker was no where near as obscene as it is today, the wealth from this production was more broadly spread, not only creating a higher standard of living, but even greater market demand. After all, if you or I earn an extra $2000, we are going to buy something, increasing demand. If Bill Gates earns an extra $2000, he probably will not spend one more dime than usual. So no additional demand will grow to offset the growth in supply, production will be reduced, and workers laid off. With so much idle productive capacity, no new investment was needed and the owners of the capital had additional market was under US control, as Europe had abided by the Monroe Doctrine’s declaration that the US would not share ‘its” hemisphere.

    Latin America had swung to more popular elected governments, which tried to increase employment and ownership of productive assets for its citizens, the workers and small farmers. They increased employment by increasing local production. And this required increased local demand. Local demand could be increased by substituting locally-made products – this is called import substitution – an economic policy that would reduce US access to their markets.

    And retaining local control of the productive assets and national resources required government control of the flow of capital in and out of the country. This interfered with the ability for US shareholders to invest their excess income in new productive assets. With the limited need for investment in the US, increasingly more idle investment dollars were chasing a fixed or decreasing amount of productive capacity. Inflation of stock prices resulted, ironically making idle investors even richer.

    In the late 1960s, early 1970s Nixon and Kissinger collaborated with the Latin American military which US “advisors” had been training in several countries to implement coup d’etats, install dictators and impose the Washington Consensus or economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, which reversed the policy of import substitution in order to allow free trade “competition.” It also called for the unrestricted flow of capital across borders on order to attract “needed” foreign investors, but leaving the host countries exposed to several risks.

    So, as one eighth grade girl from the inner city said at a diversity workshop I attended with my son in October, George Bush doesn’t care about me. The government has forgotten us.

    How ridiculous to blame the victims for the policies of the US government. The US was
    de-industrialized in the late 1970s, early 1980s in order to serve the interests of the very wealthy.

    The third point has to do with the two million people in US prisons for drug related crimes. Most of these people are not criminals, but conservative drug laws have made them criminals. If drugs were legal, and sold through pharmacies, first addicts would not be in jail. They would be getting encouragement every time they went to the Pharmacy to get treatment, rather than being pushed to buy more. Drugs would be cheap, so addicts would not be tempted to commit violent crimes in order to get enough money for their next fix. Since cheap legal drugs would eliminate the disproportional profits that attract illegal drug dealers, those related crimes would decrease as well. Who knows, perhaps even a low income man might just get a job and raise his children for a better world.