Problems w/ Capitalism
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Posted on August 24, 2010 in Images Originally from Recombinant Records: Amusing Ourselves to Death , adapted from Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. When I read this comic, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Brave New World: “It’s curious,” he went on after a little pause, “to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress. They seemed to have imagined that it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everything else. Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate.
June 17, 2011 The war on drugs has helped make the U.S. the world's largest incarcerator. America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit to public safety.
I n May 1968, the Situationist-inspired Paris riots set off a chain reaction of refusal against consumer capitalism. First students, then workers, then professors, nurses, doctors, bus drivers and a piecemeal league of artists and anarchists took to the streets. They erected barricades, fought with police, occupied offices, factories, railway depots, theaters and university campuses, sang songs, issued manifestoes, sprayed slogans like “Live Without Dead Time” and “Down with the Spectacular-Commodity Culture” all over Paris.
O ver the past 30 or so years, most people have chosen to pursue the rewards of conformity instead of the fruits of revolt. What they have been left with are ugly and stupid lives, ugly and stupid places and a planet pushed to the very edge of destruction by capitalism’s efforts to keep feeding them new promises of consumable happiness. But the thought that one is wasting one’s life is not a cheerful one, and respectable citizens everywhere have gone to considerable lengths to avoid it.
From the Scorched Earth Files: Andrew Lahde, manager of a small California hedge fund, Lahde Capital, burst into the spotlight last year after his one-year-old fund returned 866 percent betting against the subprime collapse. Last month, he did the unthinkable -- he shut things down, claiming dealing with his bank counterparties had become too risky. Today, Lahde passed along his "goodbye" letter , a rollicking missive on everything from greed to economic philosophy.
Often when the government tries to suppress information about its surveillance programs, it cites national-security concerns. But not always. In 2008, a few years after the Bush administration's warrantless-wiretapping program was revealed for the first time by the New York Times , Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act. That act authorizes the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications without meaningful oversight.
Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Soviet foreign spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov warned the United States, "We have done the most terrible thing to you that we could possibly have done. We have deprived you of an enemy." For nearly half a century, the elusive threat posed by the Soviet Union formed the basis of American foreign and domestic policy. Much of the United States' political and economic development was in fact a product of the government's exploitation of a supposed Soviet menace.
Money and Politics By far the most secret and least accountable operation of the federal government is not, as one might expect, the CIA, DIA, or some other super-secret intelligence agency. The CIA and other intelligence operations are under control of the Congress. They are accountable: a Congressional committee supervises these operations, controls their budgets, and is informed of their covert activities. It is true that the committee hearings and activities are closed to the public; but at least the people's representatives in Congress insure some accountability for these secret agencies.
"A growing economy consists of prices falling, not rising." The stock market does not work the way most people think. A commonly held belief — on Main Street as well as on Wall Street — is that a stock-market boom is the reflection of a progressing economy: as the economy improves, companies make more money, and their stock value rises in accordance with the increase in their intrinsic value.
Americans have a really distorted view of how wealth is distributed in this country. This chart is from a paper called "Building a Better America One Wealth Quintile at a Time" by Dan Ariely and Michael I.