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RollingRock

Robert Reich's plan to fix the Democratic party

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I found this piece interesting. I tend to agree with Reich more often than not.....and I think he's spot on in this article. Until we can address income inequality and the staggering concentration of wealth and power at the top, the working class will never move beyond mediocrity.

 

 

 

One wonders what Bill Clinton thinks of the fact that one of the most relevant political thinkers of the early 21st century is Robert Reich. As secretary of labor, Reich tried to get the Clinton administration to address growing income inequality, but the “new Democrats” would have none of it.

Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, began his career in public service as an attorney in the Ford administration, worked in the Carter administration and served in Clinton’s first term.

Most recently, Reich stepped up to the political plate with a full-throated endorsement of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy and a clarion call for a radical restructuring of the Democratic Party.

 

On Feb. 26, 2016, Reich tweeted that the senator from Vermont was “leading a movement to reclaim America for the many, not the few.” Explaining his endorsement at greater length, he wrote:


"This extraordinary concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top imperils all else. … We have little hope of achieving positive change on any front unless the American people are once again in control."

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19769/robert-reichs-plan-to-fix-the-democratic-party-sanders-populism-wall-street

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thanks for sharing this article Rolling Rock! I have been admiring Reich for awhile now and I'm happy to see him speak out. Great point about the two halves, economics and politics. Interestingly economics in a sad way has been too political and less practical and truthful in the news media.Just the stuff that people feel in their guts, applies. Policy matters!

 

Peace!

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This is an excellent article. Robert Reich is one of our national resources.

 

A passage that struck me as particularly relevant:

http://inthesetimes....ism-wall-street

We must have a system in place that helps people who lose their jobs get new jobs that pay as well as the old jobs—not just unemployment insurance, which goes to a smaller and smaller percentage of jobless Americans, but also wage insurance, relocation insurance and a variety of other measures that provide easy access to good jobs.

Second, we have to get very serious about moving from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism, in which communities and workers have a say in what companies do. There is no reason in logic or law why corporations should exist solely for the purpose of maximizing shareholder returns.

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Well, massive income inequality is standard for capitalism, that's the whole point of being a capitalist.

 

And that's Reich's main problem: he wants to "save capitalism", he wrote a book about just that. You can't get there from here.

 

Only the working class can help the working class. The capitalists are anti-working class. And that's what they call "class war", which you are actively in daily if you live in a capitalist society which is pretty much everywhere.

 

When a worker die of black lung, that is class war. When a guy kills a cop or vice versa, that is class war. When the defund your public schools, that is class war. When they don't pay you enough $ for rent or food and "crack the whip" at work, it is class war, when you have no rights at your corporate job, that is class war. When they make health care too expensive to use, it is class war. When they shut off your heat or electric, it is class war. When they inflate the fine for a suspended license, it is class war.

 

So no, I don't follow Robert Reich, he is a capitalist apologizer. The "liberal/progressives" gotta get their heads straight and stop backing "liberal" capitalist apogist and the pretend like there will ever besocial justice or equality.

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Well, massive income inequality is standard for capitalism, that's the whole point of being a capitalist.

 

And that's Reich's main problem: he wants to "save capitalism", he wrote a book about just that. You can't get there from here.

 

Only the working class can help the working class. The capitalists are anti-working class. And that's what they call "class war", which you are actively in daily if you live in a capitalist society which is pretty much everywhere.

 

When a worker die of black lung, that is class war. When a guy kills a cop or vice versa, that is class war. When the defund your public schools, that is class war. When they don't pay you enough $ for rent or food and "crack the whip" at work, it is class war, when you have no rights at your corporate job, that is class war. When they make health care too expensive to use, it is class war. When they shut off your heat or electric, it is class war. When they inflate the fine for a suspended license, it is class war.

 

So no, I don't follow Robert Reich, he is a capitalist apologizer. The "liberal/progressives" gotta get their heads straight and stop backing "liberal" capitalist apogist and the pretend like there will ever besocial justice or equality.

 

How do you explain the FDR administration and it's income equalizing effect which lasted until the 1990s?

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I am in favor of FDR's Second Bill of Rights:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

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The further question might be what form of economic policy do we want?

 

In my opinion, capitalism is designed to reward being wealthy at the expense of those who work. It concentrates the wealth and control to those at the top.

 

Socialism has a similar problem. While the ownership is the people, the people at the top control the means of production and can give themselves more and those who work get less.

 

Neither seems workable, but a combination might be good. Capitalism with good regulation preventing the concentration of power to those at the top, with enough social programs in place to support and give negotiation ability to those at the bottom. It should include FDR's Second bill of rights as outlined above.

 

On the other hand I am open to other suggestions.

 

This would include

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The further question might be what form of economic policy do we want?

 

In my opinion, capitalism is designed to reward being wealthy at the expense of those who work. It concentrates the wealth and control to those at the top.

 

Socialism has a similar problem. While the ownership is the people, the people at the top control the means of production and can give themselves more and those who work get less.

 

You are correct on both counts. Neither works well for anyone but those at the top.

 

 

a combination might be good. Capitalism with good regulation preventing the concentration of power to those at the top, with enough social programs in place to support and give negotiation ability to those at the bottom. It should include FDR's Second bill of rights as outlined above.

 

Directly above is a brief description of Democratic Socialism as advocated by Bernie Sanders and originated by FDR. It is the economic/political system I favor. It is the system that brought unparalleled prosperity to the American Middle Class through the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s and into the 90s. It made us the envy of the World for nearly half a century.

 

 

I highly recommend this article, in its entirety, from the latest issue of The Nation. It is rich with information and sources.

https://www.thenation.com/article/socialisms-return/

- snip -

The Cold War had helped to entrench the idea of socialism as antithetical to the American political tradition, and Sanders had gone a long way toward smashing that ideological consensus. By identifying himself explicitly as a democratic socialist from the outset of his campaign, he helped give renewed meaning and salience to it as a political identity firmly rooted in the American tradition.

- snip -

So what remains of 2016’s hoped-for “political revolution”? Two books by Sanders, Outsider in the White House and Our Revolution, and two volumes of essays by some of this new left’s leading voices, The ABCs of Socialism and The Future We Want, offer us some clues. While written with different conditions in mind, these books still serve as important references for thinking through how to move forward.

- snip -

If many on the left had reconciled themselves to the task of trying to reform the Democratic Party from within in the 1970s, Sanders had decided to carry on the tradition of electoral socialism inherited from his idol, Eugene Debs.

- snip -

Sanders defines democratic socialism in an idiosyncratic way: It is, above all else, fundamentally Rooseveltian—especially the Roosevelt of the never-implemented Second Bill of Rights in 1944.

- snip -

as Sanders writes in Our Revolution, “today’s tyrannical aristocracy is no longer a foreign power. It’s an American billionaire class that has unprecedented economic and political influence over all of our lives.”

- snip -

https://www.thenation.com/article/socialisms-return/

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How do you explain the FDR administration and it's income equalizing effect which lasted until the 1990s?

Keynesian tax redistribution. But incomes weren't equal, still yooge gaps. The bottom got a bit more of the pie, some social benes. Das it. Still an upper middle class and millionaire owning class.

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I am in favor of FDR's Second Bill of Rights:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

Yeah, those are good rights. And I would add that I want the right to Natalie Portman's azz.

 

The Capitalist owners don't care bout no stinking rights. In fact, they hate and activley oppose rights for everybody except themselves. Its a class war--antagonistic material interests. So, this whole goofy idea they keep saying, "we, as a society, gotta come together and UNIFY", is not possible in the capitalistic system. I am not, nor will I ever be, in unity with a billionaire, or even somebody making a coupls hundred grand per. The classes are literally separated by quite visible lines. The upper classes don't hang out at biker bars, carpenters don't go to opera, etc etc. Different use of the language, diff food, music, etc.

The further question might be what form of economic policy do we want?

 

In my opinion, capitalism is designed to reward being wealthy at the expense of those who work. It concentrates the wealth and control to those at the top.

 

Socialism has a similar problem. While the ownership is the people, the people at the top control the means of production and can give themselves more and those who work get less.

 

Neither seems workable, but a combination might be good. Capitalism with good regulation preventing the concentration of power to those at the top, with enough social programs in place to support and give negotiation ability to those at the bottom. It should include FDR's Second bill of rights as outlined above.

 

On the other hand I am open to other suggestions.

 

This would include

if the working class isn't the only class and controllng evrything, then it isn't socialism. There hasn't been a truly socialist industrial society on the planet yet. Though the Maoists came close here and there.

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How do you explain the FDR administration and it's income equalizing effect which lasted until the 1990s?

 

Keynesian tax redistribution. But incomes weren't equal, still yooge gaps. The bottom got a bit more of the pie, some social benes. Das it. Still an upper middle class and millionaire owning class.

 

It was enough to create a level of prosperity that made us the envy of the world for almost half a century. The American middle class thrived throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and into the 90s.

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It was enough to create a level of prosperity that made us the envy of the world for almost half a century. The American middle class thrived throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and into the 90s.

Yes, it creates lots of good. There are lots of reasons to like it. My understanding of it is that it has worked in the US 3 times. First with Jefferson, second with Lincoln, and third with FDR. One of the benefits is that it moves wealth to those who work. It takes time for this to happen. The problem is the rich three times have subverted it to move the wealth to themselves. I would like to see some mechanism to prevent this from being perverted so that only the rich benefit.

 

People know how this works. It is not a surprise. When it is subverted, it is also not a surprise. Our nation is being intentionally pillaged. We need to fix this so it can't happen again.

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Without a doubt, the first step to prevent the Plutocracy from reversing gains by everyone else is to get money out of politics.

 

Start by repealing the deliberately misnamed Citizen's United decision. After that, institute Campaign Finance Reform, followed by Lobby Reform. Making it more difficult to buy legislation and moving politicians' loyalty back to their constituents, where it belongs.

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It was enough to create a level of prosperity that made us the envy of the world for almost half a century. The American middle class thrived throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and into the 90s.

More like thru the 70s, for white folk. Blacks, Latinos, 1st Peoples NEVER got the memo--most of 'em.

Yes, it creates lots of good. There are lots of reasons to like it. My understanding of it is that it has worked in the US 3 times. First with Jefferson, second with Lincoln, and third with FDR. One of the benefits is that it moves wealth to those who work. It takes time for this to happen. The problem is the rich three times have subverted it to move the wealth to themselves. I would like to see some mechanism to prevent this from being perverted so that only the rich benefit.

 

People know how this works. It is not a surprise. When it is subverted, it is also not a surprise. Our nation is being intentionally pillaged. We need to fix this so it can't happen again.

You guys just can't accept the idea of a socialist revolution, can ya? Keep dancin' around with modified capitalism. Well, give it time. Ya aint hungry enough.

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More like thru the 70s, for white folk. Blacks, Latinos, 1st Peoples NEVER got the memo--most of 'em.

 

Nevertheless, FDR's policies worked for Black, and Latinos also. But those policies did not end discrimination, which, started to be addressed in 1957 with the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In the 1960s and 70s, Affirmative Action brought more people into the Middle Class. In my own workplace, many Blacks came in and got good Union salaries and benefits for the first time. Much more work still needs to be done.

 

But do you really think a Socialist revolution would result in racial equality in the US? Think harder maybe.

 

 

You guys just can't accept the idea of a socialist revolution, can ya? Keep dancin' around with modified capitalism. Well, give it time. Ya aint hungry enough.

 

Screw a Socialist revolution and more Kleptocracy from the top. What we need is a return of well-regulated Capitalism with highly progressive tax tables to pay for cradle-to-grave social programs including single payer medical, that provide ALL citizens with lifelong security. It's been done in other countries and we can too.

 

Pure Socialism is just a pipe dream.

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The most successful Socialist experiments keep elected government, and strongly regulated capitalism. But they redistribute the wealth through cradle-to-grave social programs, providing prosperity and security to all. Including those who may fall through the cracks, economically.

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How do you keep the socialists at the top from simply taking most everything for themselves, ending up just like unregulated capitalism?

 

There is a lot to be said for socialism; but there are problems as well. Any economic system can be corrupted, I am interested in finding a way to eliminate that corruption, or at least postpone it as long as possible, and when it happens make it easy to reset.

 

I am open to other ideas. Put out the merits as you see them and let the ideas fall where they may.

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How do you keep the socialists at the top from simply taking most everything for themselves, ending up just like unregulated capitalism?

 

There is a lot to be said for socialism; but there are problems as well. Any economic system can be corrupted, I am interested in finding a way to eliminate that corruption, or at least postpone it as long as possible, and when it happens make it easy to reset.

 

I am open to other ideas. Put out the merits as you see them and let the ideas fall where they may.

What you say is true and thats, in part, why the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, DPRK, etc. are/were not truly socialist/communist, where there is only ONE egalitarian class of the proletariat. But, the formula is right there in the Communist Manifesto, it's really essential reading for those interested in the subject. Should read Das Kapital also. In fact, I dont think a person in the current capitalistic world can really get and get behind so-comm w/o reading those, because iots such a different, and inspiring mindset. Che Guevara, Castro, and Mao are also essential reads. You either have capitalism or so-comm, there aren't other options. All the various reformist stuff people dream up is still capitalism. "Liberals" and "progressives" are still capitalists, just "nice" capitalists, they think. You can only attain "Liberte, equalite, fraternite" with so-comm., isnt possible in capitalism. So people gotta decide what they are all about. It's an ethical thing.

 

Of course, various anarchist thinkers are worthwhile reading too. Proudhon, Kropotkin,Bonnani, etc.

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The most successful Socialist experiments keep elected government, and strongly regulated capitalism. But they redistribute the wealth through cradle-to-grave social programs, providing prosperity and security to all. Including those who may fall through the cracks, economically.

Thats not socialism, its reformist capitalism, I dont know how many times I have to say that. If you want reformist capitalism, just say it, but dont call it socialism, thats where all the confusion starts. "Democratic socialism" is a completely confusing term and its not revolutionary socialism. It;s reformist.

 

Nevertheless, FDR's policies worked for Black, and Latinos also. But those policies did not end discrimination, which, started to be addressed in 1957 with the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In the 1960s and 70s, Affirmative Action brought more people into the Middle Class. In my own workplace, many Blacks came in and got good Union salaries and benefits for the first time. Much more work still needs to be done.

 

But do you really think a Socialist revolution would result in racial equality in the US? Think harder maybe.

 

 

 

Screw a Socialist revolution and more Kleptocracy from the top. What we need is a return of well-regulated Capitalism with highly progressive tax tables to pay for cradle-to-grave social programs including single payer medical, that provide ALL citizens with lifelong security. It's been done in other countries and we can too.

 

Pure Socialism is just a pipe dream.

I dont want reformist capitalism and most of the poor people of the world dont either, since they are dying from it and will continue to do so. The only people that want capitalism are the ones who are comfortable in it and skate along w/o doing any of the labor, and thats not the working class--its the 'bourgeoisie class that live off the backs of the working class.

 

Of course the bourgeoisie/petit bourgeoisie think its a "pipe dream", they like capitalism.

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An armed revolution is not going to happen, for the simple hystorical proven fact that it only happens when people are starving, which will not be the case, as current technology levels could easily provide enough food for everyone. The ruling elite would not be so stupid as to get to the point of not feeding the majority of population. The only possibility of such a scenario is if some basic resource (energy, food, water) gets to scarcity levels. Again, not going to happen anytime soon... yes oil can finish, but not in the next 50 years, roughly. Additionaly in this scenario the problem will not be what is the best or worst type of government, but pure and simple survival (it's gonna be REALLY BAD, nobody will care about socialism or capitalism....).

 

Communism or pure socialism could have been nice ideas, in theory, 100 years ago, in a completely different world, but not now, not anymore. And even 100 years ago they've failed badly in practice, inevitably becoming oligarchic or totalitarist societies.

 

As said the best form of government for present societies is social democracy as well shown in northern european countries.

Pure socialism destroys individual aspirations and in the end impoverish everyone. Social democracies, instead, let individual aspiration run completely free, but put reasonable limits to wealth accumulation and redistribute the excess to weaker societies stata.

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An armed revolution is not going to happen, for the simple hystorical proven fact that it only happens when people are starving, which will not be the case, as current technology levels could easily provide enough food for everyone. The ruling elite would not be so stupid as to get to the point of not feeding the majority of population. The only possibility of such a scenario is if some basic resource (energy, food, water) gets to scarcity levels. Again, not going to happen anytime soon... yes oil can finish, but not in the next 50 years, roughly. Additionaly in this scenario the problem will not be what is the best or worst type of government, but pure and simple survival (it's gonna be REALLY BAD, nobody will care about socialism or capitalism....).

 

Communism or pure socialism could have been nice ideas, in theory, 100 years ago, in a completely different world, but not now, not anymore. And even 100 years ago they've failed badly in practice, inevitably becoming oligarchic or totalitarist societies.

 

As said the best form of government for present societies is social democracy as well shown in northern european countries.

Pure socialism destroys individual aspirations and in the end impoverish everyone. Social democracies, instead, let individual aspiration run completely free, but put reasonable limits to wealth accumulation and redistribute the excess to weaker societies stata.

 

We must be living on different planets, outta sight, outta mind, eh?

 

 

 

Hunger and World Poverty. About 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every four seconds, as you can see on this display. Sadly, it is children who die most often.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwipg5a25qTSAhVKKiYKHTqfBtYQFggeMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poverty.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNGVdxhyBu-42cWA2W8GW7nk5-xE1w&sig2=u29rA-jkaIF-okNoJtXgYw

 

It's ok, I already know the bourgeoisie doesnt want socialism, why should they? I dont expect them too, they never have, they got it too good the way things are.

 

quote-we-brought-ten-thousand-head-of-ca

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How many of those deaths are in Europe or US? We're talking about an armed revolution in US, not in Ghana or Chad. Africa is a total differen story and has nothing to do with capitalism or comunism, they're just struggling to survive.

 

Look for the numbers in US.. i would be extremely surprised if it is something more than .000 something... And remember, you need a signifcant part of the population starving to get to that point, not some 3%...

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How many of those deaths are in Europe or US? We're talking about an armed revolution in US, not in Ghana or Chad. Africa is a total differen story and has nothing to do with capitalism or comunism, they're just struggling to survive.

 

Look for the numbers in US.. i would be extremely surprised if it is something more than .000 something... And remember, you need a signifcant part of the population starving to get to that point, not some 3%...

Ok, try and follow along bud, first of all, there are starving people in the USA, I realize you dont see them. Second, who do you think the USA and Euro live off the backs of for resources and labor? When the 3rd World revolts, the 1st world falls. What do you think has been happening in Africa, Latin America, Mid East? They fighting back, dawg. USA/Europe cant get their resources that easy anymore. S America has by and large kicked out US control of economy in the last 10 yrs. US/Europe cant throw their weight around as much anymore, and that wont return. What do you think ISIS and Boko Harem are?

 

US Poverty, Hunger http://www.worldhunger.org/hunger-in-america-2015-united-states-hunger-and-poverty-facts/ And it can happen in America too, it damn near happened before and that's why FDR had to buy the working class off.

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Ok, try and follow along bud, first of all, there are starving people in the USA, I release you dont see them. Second, who do you think the USA and Euro live off the backs of for resources and labor? When the 3rd World revolts, the 1st world falls.

 

I haven't seen people starving in the US at least at the time i've been there. That was only a few months, so i admit that's not statistically significant. But for what i could see, the situation is rouglhy similar to Europe, and i'm 100% sure that in Europe starvation is, fortunately, limited to an extreme minority of people.

 

Concerning the 1st/3rd world division, what you say could be true, to some extent, but that is not the point of this discussion.

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