Don’t get too excited about Jeff Sessions getting rid of a bunch of old attorneys. It is Standard Operating Procedure and has been for decades.
Rajani Kanth [wrote a book about how economics sucks]
The Eurocentric modernist program, according to Kanth, has four planks: a blind faith in science; a self-serving belief in progress; rampant materialism; and a penchant for using state violence to achieve its ends. In a nutshell, it’s a habit of placing individual self-interest above the welfare of community and society.
Income inequality is not killing capitalism in the United States, but rent-seekers like the banking and the health-care sectors just might, said Nobel-winning economist Angus Deaton on Monday.
If an entrepreneur invents something on the order of another Facebook, Deaton said he has no problem with that person becoming wealthy.
“What is not OK is for rent-seekers to get rich,” Deaton said in a luncheon speech to the National Association for Business Economics.
Rent seekers lobby and persuade governments to give them special favors.
Bankers during the financial crisis, and much of the health-care system, are two prime examples, Deaton said.
Rent-seeking is not only does not generate new product, it actually slows down economic growth, Deaton said.
“All that talent is devoted to stealing things, instead of making things,” he said.
Another prime example of rent-seeking is that the Medicaid is funding opioid prescriptions for low-income workers, Deaton said. The results are workers who are becoming addicted and overdosing while profits are going to the Sacker family which owns Purdue Pharma that makes OxyContin.
Deaton said he favors a single-payer health system only because our current part-private and part-public system is exquisitely designed to give opportunities for rent-seeking.
“So I, who do not believe in socialized health-care, would advocate a single-payment system…because it will get this monster that we’ve created out of the economy and allow the rest of capitalism to flourish without the awful things that healthcare is doing to us,” he said.
Raising taxes on the wealthy is not a good way to combat rent-seeking because it taxes the legitimate profits of entrepreneurs along with rent-seekers.
“The key is to somehow find a way of tackling rent-seeking, crony capitalism, and corruption legal and illegal and build fairer, more equal society without compromising innovation or entrepreneurship,” he said.
But today, 600,000 American manufacturing workers make less than $9.60 per hour – barely more than they could earn at a fast food joint. And their real wages dropped nearly 4.5 percent from 2003 to 2013. They are barely hanging on.
We marched in Canton because Nissan isn’t giving its workers the dignity and respect they earn every single day along that assembly line. They are furloughed for the equivalent of months throughout the year, killing plans for homeownership. They don’t have a predictable schedule, putting college tuition for their kids out of reach. They’ve even had their pensions frozen, making dreams of retirement seem more like a cruel joke than an attainable goal.
And that’s just the full-time workers. Nissan uses a temp company, Kelly Services, to fill almost half the jobs at the plant. Temp workers there receive $12 an hour plus the promise that after a certain time, they’ll become full Nissan employees. But many of them languish for years.
To make matters worse, this poverty-wage business model is paid for by our tax dollars. In fact, Nissan and Kelly Services have scooped up more than $3 billion in federal contracts and loans. That means our government is helping keep American factory workers in poverty jobs while corporate executives get to pocket billions in profits.