Capitalism And ‘The Private Sector’ Aren’t What We Think They Are

I hear a lot of “capitalism can work if it is regulated.” This misunderstands what capitalism -IS-.

Govt everywhere makes society’s decisions. In OUR system govt decided to “contract out” to the “private sector” to do lots of things. THAT is what “capitalism” is. We HIRED the private sector. We LET private capital invest, and pay them a bit of the profits as a management fee. We are the boss of them.

We are the boss of them.

We all have a misunderstanding of the relationship between government and “private” capital. We (government) ALLOW private capital to exist at all. “Regulation” is too mild a term for the relationship between government and the “private sector.” The “private sector” -IS- govt, just contracted out. The RULEs for that contract aren’t strong enough. We are the boss of them. Period.

This is about our OWN understanding of the relationship between government (us) and “private” businesses. We have lost sight of this.

See Understanding What a Corporation Actually Is Can Help Restore Democracy

Also The “Private Sector” Is Government “Contracting Out” Its Functions

A Place Called England

So I have relocated to the UK. I live in a village near Cambridge.

We have an allotment, which we are setting up with a rabbit fence and a shed. The roof of the shed will drain into water tanks. Mostly that is for next year and later years. For now we have started growing potatoes. When the fence is in we will plant a bit more, but it is late in the season.

I feel more at home here than I felt in California. This song seems to describe for me why that is. Trains, gardens, allotments, regular people looking at rich people with no souls…

From the site Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music

Maggie Holland sang her own song A Place Called England on her 1999 album Getting There. She re-recorded it in 2007 for her anthology Bones. She noted on the first album:

It took me a long time to finish this song—and I probably would never even have started it if I hadn’t emigrated to Scotland about six years ago. I tussled with it on long train journeys and hummed it to myself whilst grubbing about in the allotment. I could not have written it without the inspiration of Christopher Hill’s book The World Turned Upside Down, Leon Rosselson’s song of the same name, Naomi Mitchison’s Sea-Green Ribbons, William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy, Hamish Henderson’s Freedom Come-All-Ye, Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees, animated discussions with (rightly) proud and passionate Scots like Dick Gaughan (“The first place to be colonised in the British Empire was England”), and many a quiet and gentle gardener; Mr Harding, my aunt Amy Rawling, and my godfather Alan Wells, to name but three.

This YouTube video shows Maggie Holland in Antwerp, Belgium, at Folk in ’t Stad on 30 March 2012.

Click through for the lyrics.

Biden Needs A Primary Opponent

There’s a lot of indication/speculation that Biden is negotiating over the debt ceiling after all. Biden wouldn’t do this if he had a primary opponent.

By talking AT ALL he’s validating Republicans threatening the world. Validating this long-term strategy to cut taxes to force democracy to yield.

The correct “negotiating” position is to say we need to restore the pre-Reagan tax rates on the rich and corporations! That was the beginning of this Republican game of ratcheting taxes down and then demanding austerity because “deficits.”

They SAID SO over and over again. Reagan’s budget director named it “strategic deficits.” Reagan said it was “cutting the government’s allowance.”

W Bush said it was “extremely positive news” when the budget went into deficit after Clinton’s surpluses (which caused recession) because it meant they could force more budget cuts.

The ONLY :negotiating’ position on deficits and debt is restoring the top tax rates from before Republicans started this game.

From 2012, Deficits Were On Purpose To Cause This “Crisis”

It was the plan. They forced these deficits on us on purpose. Reagan called it “strategic deficits.” It was a “shock doctrine” tactic, to get us to panic, and then move in with their “solutions.” So we are arguing about how much to cut out of the things We, the People do for our benefit, which the wealthy and their corporations get vastly wealthier and more powerful.

It was the plan.

Commercial for BIG MONEY (Video)

Big Money: It’s unregulated, gathers by the billions, causes inaction on the climate crisis, bank collapses, and an unaffordable life for billions of people. It sells itself, but now it has its own commercial.

Raise a toast to what made it all possible.

Don’t Be Stupid, Be A Smarty

In just over a week I am moving out of the country for good. The events of the last week have me wondering if I’m getting out “in time.”

“We did not leave because we thought Hitler would fail; we thought we would be able to endure the threats; it’s difficult to tear one away from ones home, culture and friends. Nobody could possibly see the “final solution;” it was considered immoral to leave, it was a feeling of duty to stay; where would you go and where would you stay. Opportunities decreased rapidly; in many situations one could not leave; an international conference convened by President Roosevelt did not permit the immigration of any more Jews. Finally, the borders were closed.”

There’s no greater dictator in the land!

From 2005, “THEY MEAN IT”

I feel like I spent my “blogging” career tryig to warn America what they were letting happen. I mostly stopped writing when all I could think to say way, “I told you so.” (For more click here.)

From 2005, They Mean It:

These people mean it. America is an experiment. Democracy is an experiment. American democracy has not been around very long, and we have never been so perilously close to losing it. All the checks and balances have been removed by allies of these people. They mean it. The leader of the Senate is saying that Democrats hate “people of faith.” They mean it. Time magazine puts on their cover a person who calls for murdering us.

They mean it. A Supreme Court Justice declares that rulers should be chosen by God, not the people. They mean it. The Vice President is the keynote speaker at a conference where other speakers called for “a new McCarthyism” to bring “terror” to intellectuals, saying “let’s oppress them [liberals],” and that “the entire Harvard faculty” are “traitors.” They mean it. They mean it.

Watch your backs. I mean it.

A Way To Understand What Went Wrong With The US

Society wants cars/antibiotics/furniture/houses/etc but doesn’t want to make them ourselves through our government.

In order to accomplish functions like these that government wants accomplished but doesn’t want to do itself, government “contracts out” those functions. Corporations are those contracts. Corporations facilitate aggregation and manage of resources (huge sums, labor, etc) that are beyond the scope of individuals. We “contract out” through corporate charters to get these things done for us.

When You Look At It This Way

When you look at it this way — that government is the way all of society’s functions are managed(of course it is) and that corporations & the “private sector” are just “contracting out” some government functions — it gives people a way to take back the power in their own thinking. Who is the boss of who? How should corporations be regulated? Who should be regulating them? Etc.

Where Things Went Wrong

Here is where we went wrong. Executives at corporations are allowed to use corporate funds to influence society and pay politicians to allow things that enrich those executives personally.

Everything else we see happening flows from that.

The Cost Of Regulations

When government regulates, it does so because the regulations protect the public. So it seems logical the government (us) wants those regulations implemented!

What about when a regulation means there is expensive work to be done? A restaurant needs to be wheelchair accessible. Needs additional smoke alarms and sprinklers?

WE (government) want this done for our protection. Doesn’t it make sense for us to pitch in some $$ to get the job done? (And also to fight resistance to getting it done, and resentment of regulations that protect us…)

It shouldn’t be a hardship to follow the rules.

The “Private Sector” Is Government “Contracting Out” Its Functions

This was originally posted at Imagine Democracy

We live in a society, and getting things done for society is what government is for. Government is society’s way to make decisions about society’s resources, economy and future. Period. Anyone who tells you you don’t need government, or that government shouldn’t do this or that, is actually just trying to BE the government, for their own benefit.

EVERY decision about society’s resources, econony and future is made by government, one way or another. Period. Every. Single. One. Socialism, capitalism, communism, dictatorship, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, etc are just descriptions of how that decision-making is divided up. It’s about who makes the decisions and who gets the benefits. All the “ideological” battles are really just all about keeping the public from understanding that.

In the US, supposedly a democracy where the decisions are ultimately made by “We the People,” we hear about the “public sector” and the “private sector” of our economy. What we call “the private sector” is really just the government “contracting out” the functions of managing society. Corporations are those contracts. From the recent post about corporations, Understanding What a Corporation Actually Is Can Help Restore Democracy,

We the People want to have factories to build cars or toasters. We the People could do this – build the factory, hire the managers, organize supply chains, provide insurance. etc. – ourselves but instead we have come up with corporations as a way to “contract it out” to private investors to accomplish these jobs for us.

Corporations are the contracts government makes when it “contracts out” its functions. Period. Government charters corporations to do things government doesn’t want to do itself. Those charters come with conditions and rules.

Except our currently captured government doesn’t enforce the agreements.

A Currently ‘Hot’ Example

Government contracts out money creation. We charter banking corporations to do that function of government for us. The Post Office could do that as well, but we, for various reasons, choose to let a few “capital” holders – wealthy people – do that and reap the returns.

Corruption And Consequences

This post originally appeared at Government Cheese – “Chronicling the collapse of democracy

Silicon Valley Bank fails…

Corruption allowed the finance industry to operate outside of sensible government oversight, even as the world has experienced the consequences of this over and over again. So here in Silicon Valley and around the world, tech employees are waiting to find out if they’ll get their paychecks or get laid off next week. The world is wondering if contagion will spread that fear. Again. (Last time, because of corruption, not one banker type was held accountable. Not one.)

Also here in Silicon Valley it is raining harder than almost ever – except for a couple weeks ago. Flooding everywhere. I mean, torrential, incredible rain pouring down right now. This is because corruption has caused governments to allow the industry causing this to keep putting more and more carbon into the air even as we all know what the consequences will be.

The news lately has been about train derailments devastating localities. This happens because corruption allows wealthy rail-owners to keep governments from making them operate safely.

Inequality is now completely out-of-control. 60% of Americans now live paycheck-to-paycheck, not even able to raise $500 to cover an emergency like a car breakdown. The government doesn’t raise the minimum wage or otherwise address this because of obvious corruption. Million upon millions are spent convincing these people to blame government for this and vote for those backed by that money, and abolish democracy. “I am your retribution.”

The Supreme Court “rules” that this is all OK. Any amount of secret money is allowed to influence elections. People trying to fix this face millions of dollars spent smearing them in LOCAL elections. This Supreme Court we have is the way it is because of corrupt money spent to put them there.

Is there a common theme here?