Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rob Urie — Capitalism and Income Inequality

As put forward in capitalist theories of ‘natural’ distribution redistribution allocates income and wealth away from their most economically ‘productive’ uses, from their ‘natural’ homes. Economic dynamism may produce ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ but so what? Capitalist theory, a/k/a Western economics, is the science of Social Darwinism. If aggregated abundance— the ‘most’ that ‘a society’ can produce, is the goal and redistribution reduces this theoretical abundance through the inefficient allocation of economic resources then it is antithetical to the primary social goal of Western political economy.
However, implied in these redistribution schemes is that there exist social virtues other than producing ‘the most’ regardless of its distribution. The problem again is that once the premise is granted that capitalism produces / has produced Western abundance and that this abundance is the rationale for Western political economy then redistribution simply buggers ‘the system.’
Of course the whole package is nonsense—Western political economy was ‘founded’ by genocidal plutocrats whose fortunes derived from the expropriated labor of slaves and from the expropriated lands of indigenous peoples. Western industry has been wholly dependent on standing armies, on imperial foreign policies to ‘secure’ industrial resources and on the ability to force its costs in terms of social and environmental dysfunction onto others.
As far as theories of ‘natural’ distribution go, the only way any working person in the West ever got a paycheck was through free-riding on the unionists who got their heads kicked in by Pinkertons and through credible threats of socialist / communist revolution as was seen in the 1930s. The ‘pragmatic’ concessions of the New Deal such as social guarantees were to prevent wholesale revolution.
Without New Deal programs capitalist distribution is landing exactly where it is intended to land— in the coffers of the already wealthy. By different measures the capitalist U.S. has much less social mobility than the European nations that have retained social guarantees.
Liberal and progressive politicians and their constituents who support both the corporatist policies of capitalist democracy and programs of economic redistribution are more than simply theoretically muddled, they support the very political economy that creates the need for economic redistribution....
Best line: "The U.S. government has a fiat currency meaning that it can simply ‘create’ the money needed to pay labor a living wage but Mr. Obama, like Mr. Clinton before him, hides behind the contrived lie that budget ‘constraints’ prevent the Federal government from acting in the interests of those made and kept poor by monopoly capitalism."

Capitalism and Income Inequality
Rob Urie

No comments: