Saturday, November 22, 2008


Lame duck President Bush speaking recently about the economic depression we now face said: “We must save capitalism,” “Government is not the total solution,” “Capitalism is the only way,” and “The key is sustained economic growth with free trade within the US and with other nations.”

Most of us realize at long last that unregulated capitalism is in fact a total disaster for the human race. We have given capitalism all possible monetary support and freedom to display its worth. President Carter deregulated the airlines. President Reagan broke the union movement. The two Bush Presidents and Clinton gave capitalism full military support for its imperialistic expansion abroad. President Clinton, advised by Robert Rubin, gave Wall Street everything it wanted: The safety net was abolished, so as to drive more desperate people into the work force who would take whatever wage was offered. Capitalists were given full legal and military protection to invest abroad. President Bush installed capitalists who should be regulated to do the regulating, and abolished or weakened regulations that in any way inhibited capitalist investment. For more than 50 years, we have primed the capitalist pump with “military Keynesianism.” We have tried capitalist ideas and ideologies of “trickle down economics,” and “neo-liberalism.” Despite all of this, capitalism has failed us.

The truth is that capitalism has destroyed itself and imposed extreme risk and danger of planet wide economic depression and actual starvation on all of us. The truth is that further “economic growth” and “growing the economy” following the failed capitalistic way will destroy the planet.

So far President-elect Obama and the Democratic leadership seem to be doing a bit of quacking of their own as capitalism implodes. President-elect Obama wants the government to bail out the big three auto makers in Detroit, and seems to want to get things going again the way they were before August 2007. Do we really want to finance Detroit to build more locomotive sized SUVs and Humvees? Do we really want to stimulate the construction industry to build more over-priced housing subdivisions that require 50 to 60% of a buyer’s income to finance on long term loans? Do we really want to restore the real estate bubble? The Silicon Valley bubble? Do we really want to give public money to Wall Street’s investment banks to encourage them again to loan money? Loan money to do what? Use the money to do what? Do we want to give Wall Street public money with no conditions, no oversight, and no real controls whatever? President-elect Obama and the Democratic leadership have done exactly that. The fact is that capitalism was obviously in deep trouble prior to August 2007.

There are no constructive creative ideas for dealing with the current crisis coming from the left either. For example the editors of the respected socialist journal, Monthly Review, write in a November editorial: “It is not our job to fix their (capitalistic) system.” So, Monthly Review editors, whose job is it? Who will come up with the ideas that will get us from where we are to where we need to be for a sustainable civilized existence?

We still have the necessary building blocks to maintain a sustainable civilization:

In President Obama we have a towering intellect with inner security, calm pragmatic judgment and a compassionate heart as the new leader of the free world.

This President has the enthusiastic support of voters in the US and people everywhere on the planet.

Although the implosion of capitalism has eliminated many of our jobs and will eliminate many more, we are all anxious and willing to work.

We all have human needs for health care, housing, clothing, a stable food supply, energy, safe bridges and levees, truthful sources of information, and leisure time.

We care about each other. We are willing to work cooperatively together, and to care for each other, to meet our needs.

We are willing to petition, march, rally, and organize between elections to support true leaders and to make sure that our needs are met.

Given that capitalism has imploded, what ideas can we rally around? What can we demand of President Obama?

We can demand a permanent public planning agency something like the War Production Board of World War II staffed with pragmatic, non-ideological, public spirited, bright persons who are willing to direct lending and production to those sustainable human needs that we share. If Detroit should not make SUVs, what should it make?

We can demand that our government provide us with security that we will all have nutritious food no matter what. Many citizens do not now have that peace of mind and some are buying guns to protect themselves from hungry mobs. Although we hope and pray that farmers will continue to grow food at a profit, and truckers will distribute the food at a profit, there may be a total collapse of the profit system, as some economists predict. Hence, we demand that our government have an alternate plan to hire farmers to grow food and to hire truckers to deliver it if necessary. We must terminate our unthinking worship of capitalism. We must not make the mistake of Franklin Roosevelt who ordered the killing of pigs when thousands were hungry in order to restore profit making for farmers.

We can demand that the government stop relating to us as if we were only consumers, and meet our deep need to be producers and creators with a decent share of the income from our production.

We can demand that our government become our bank, our lending agency of last resort, to finance small businesses and cooperatives that produce products and services that meet our needs. We can demand that the Federal Reserve Bank, controlled by private bankers, be abolished.

We can demand that our government become our employer of last resort. If, for example there are no doctors willing to meet our health needs at a price we can afford, let our government subsidize medical schools and hire doctors and physician’s assistants to serve us.

We can demand that our government make available to us radio and TV frequencies so that we can discuss our needs and solutions with each other and with our elected representatives, and so that our President has a means free of the dead hand of capitalist ownership to report to us about how he is implementing our demands and our needs. We can reinstate the “fairness doctrine” and implement the true purposes of the Federal Communications Act to foster public enlightenment, and to provide the complete and accurate information that we need to govern ourselves.

We can and should tax the extreme wealth and income at the very top of our society. It is the only source of funding available to do what needs to be done. It is not only because “it is unjust for some people to have more than they need when others are needy,” but because the wealthy have hugely profited at our expense because of recent policies. We should studiously avoid bailing out the wealthy and their failed institutions and ideas. David Chandler, a California Quaker and businessman has calculated the wealth now held by the top 1%: It is as much wealth as all that we at the bottom 95% own. Most of us do not know about the immense total wealth held by the wealthiest 1%. It is a well kept secret. It is at least $13 Trillion, and that estimate is conservative and does not count secreted wealth. This $13 Trillion is held by 30 thousand people. These 30 thousand hold as much wealth as 300 million of us. If we stack up $100 bills, $1,000 stack would be a stack between ¼ inch and ½ inch high. A million dollar stack would be 39 inches high. A billion dollar stack would be 3280 feet high or 6/10 of a mile. A trillion Dollar stack would be 621 miles high. $13 Trillion would be a stack over 8000 miles high. See

Free of the propaganda coming from the top 1%, we can evaluate the power and numbers of “terrorists,” and make a determination as to whether there are less expensive and more effective ways such as effective police work and negotiation, to deal with them rather than a permanent planet-wide war.

We must halt all public financial support of capitalism and capitalists. Let capitalists stand or fall on the true principles of capitalism without public subsidy, and without “socialism for the rich” or “military Keynesianism.” We need not let capitalism take us humans and civilization down with it.

November 20, 2008

Douglas R. Page, Tucson, AZ

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