America in Crisis, Parts I and II

Both the Democratic and Republican Parties are committed to victory in Iraq. To counter widespread anti-war sentiment, Washington has repackaged the war as military support for the Iraqi government, with Iraqi incompetence being blamed for “delaying” troop withdrawal. Regular announcements of “signs of progress” imply that the war is winding down when it is actually escalating. This stalling tactic seems to be working, for now.

Reducing class inequality presents a greater challenge. The New York Times concludes, “What are needed are policies to help spread benefits broadly — be it more progressive taxation, or policies to strengthen public education and increase access to affordable health care.”

The elite immediately cry “socialism!” at the suggestion that any portion of the social pie should be returned to the working class. Capitalists want a State that enacts policies just for them and rescues only them. And that’s what they get. In countless ways, capitalism functions as a kind of socialism for the rich.

America’s tax laws free the largest corporations from paying any tax whatsoever. Federal judges have allowed ailing industries to abandon billions of dollars in “burdensome” pension obligations. The multi-billion-dollar federal bailout of mortgage lenders has not been matched by any money for working-class home owners facing foreclosure. And while the Bush administration has allowed Medicare-funded insurance companies to keep millions of dollars that should have been returned to beneficiaries, it vigorously pursues beneficiaries to recover money that it says is owed to insurance companies.

The New York Times doesn’t actually want socialism. It wants a lesser-evil capitalism directed by the Democratic Party.

Liberals and liberal institutions condemn the worst aspects of capitalism in order to preserve the system as a whole.

Most Americans want more investment in the nation’s infrastructure. They want universal healthcare and more funding for schools. read article


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