Tag Archives: capitalism

Sounds Of The Sixties In Modern France?

The Sixties in France was a scene of protesting young people who were angry at war in Vietnam and the uncertainties of dealing with the Cold War in Europe. They demanded creation of a new society in which there was equity. At this moment, hundreds of thousands of French people are protesting in the streets in demonstrations that are expected to attract at least a million people. They are angry at closing of factories and extensive job cuts which have followed the financial crisis that began in America. Jean-Claude Maillyu, head of the large Force Ouvriere Union, believes the protestors “have a profound sense of social injustice, and that, I think, is something that neither the government nor the employers have understood.”

Perhaps, we are witnessing the birth of a reaction against unbridled capitalism which has run wild over the past three decades and left in its wake societies characterized by economic gaps in which a small number of people have amassed a large segment of the fruits of labor. The end result might be emergence of a hybrid economic system in which capitalism fuses with basic socialist ideals of equity. Is something new being born?

What Comes After Reagan Capitalism?

America is drawing to a close with its love affair for Reagan style capitalism and its contemporary manifestation in the personna of Ron Paul. The disaster which has impacted this nation is a direct result of policies predicated on the assumption capitalists should be allowed complete freedom to accumulate wealth in any manner they so desired. Ron Paul advocates simply rewrote American history to present a myth that historically this nation did not want “big government” to interfere with the economy. This dream interpretation of the country’s history has no basis in fact. From day one of the new nation, Alexander Hamilton created the Bank of the United States to organize the monetary system and instituted tariffs to protect businessmen. The Federal government took leadership in constructing major roads and canals. Railroads emerged due to large Federal financial aid, but to Reagan, America’s development was all due to “rugged individualism.,”

The fantasy continues when describing modern examples such as the aircraft industry which was heavily subsidized by Federal money and the Internet which was a direct result of Federal aid. So, what is in the future for capitalism?

1. We will witness a national health insurance system to finally end the disastrous free enterprise model which has left 50 million without health care. This will enable our automobile manufacturers to finally compete on the global market instead of spending $1,500 on health benefits for each car produced.
2. We will witness heavy Federal investment in new industries as was done with the computer industry.
3. We will witness a massive Federal rebuilding of the infrastructure which can only be accomplished with Federal money. Perhaps, the Ron Paul supporters can explain how this could be accomplished by “rugged individualism.”
4. We will witness strong controls over the financial industry to end the manipulation by corporations which has proved disastrous to the economy.
5. We will witness partial Federal control of banks to help straighten out the mess and then they will become joint government and privately owned.

President Franklin Roosevelt used to tell the story of the wealthy man who went for a walk on a windy day and his hat fell off. A boy retrieved his hat which had fallen into a puddle and the man berated the boy for getting his hat wet. FDR told the story to illustrate how his New Deal program was trying to save capitalists from their own greed, but all they could do was gripe and moan and complain. The Federal government is the only mechanism that can save capitalism from its own follies.

Sarkozy Wants Eurozone Government

The economic crisis continues to compel nations to reconsider relations between governments in time of dislocation of banks and industries. French President Sarkozy has been urging greater cohesion of European Union efforts to deal with the current banking crisis. He is now calling for creation of an “economic government” for countries which use the euro in order to have more effective response mechanisms when the world confronts banking and business failures that threaten the very security of economies.”It’s funny,” he said, “we can have the same bank(ECB), the same currency, the same market and that speaking of a(common) economic policy is not good. Honestly, it’s a curious idea.”

It appears the French leader initially is considering regular meetings of government leaders to focus on joint of cooperation and responses to an economic situation. He fears that other nations will now work more closely with their banks and major industries in order to jump start economies and create new industries. Sarkozy most probably believes the old ideas of a free market that is unsupervised by anyone are a relic of the economic world that is disappearing.

Perhaps, we are living through the birth of a new conception of capitalism that incorporates socialist ideas.

Is This The End Of Laissez-Faire Capitalism?

The American financial crisis is raising issues about the future of capitalism, at least the version currently on display in the United States under the anti-regulation regime of George Bush. French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated bluntly the under-regulated system we once knew is now “finished” and the world must explore other versions of capitalism. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said the crisis also marks the end of America as the world’s economic superpower. Sarkozy told a crowd of supporters, “the idea of the all-powerful market that must not be constrained by any rules, by any political intervention, was mad. the idea that markets were always right was mad.” He raise the issue as to whether capitalism must now be reconstituted so that ethics and government have important roles in modern economics.

The French president said we need a “market economy (that ) is a regulated market… in the service of all. It is not the law of the jungle, it is not exorbitant profits for a few, and sacrifices for all others.” Hopefully, the future will look back at 2008 as the time when those who believed in free enterprise began the process of creating a new version of capitalism.