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Believe the actions, not the words of the political class.  We need to reassert the democratic will in our societies.


“The idea that trade is always and everywhere beneficial has been the ‘American’ position, left, right and center, since the reemergence of neoliberalism in the mid-1970s. This is why having labor representatives ‘at the table’ during trade negotiations slowed the evisceration of labor’s power not one whit. To follow the logic, trade is so beneficial that labor benefits from it even though labor’s power has been eviscerated through trade agreements. As even Clintonite supporters of ‘free trade’ like Paul Krugman argued early on, trade creates winners and losers— there is no universal benefit.

Through neoliberal ideology, the prior distribution of political and economic power should have had no impact on the distribution of the benefits of trade agreements. Otherwise, the argument over ‘free trade’ turns into rococo apologetics to benefit the already rich and powerful. As it turned out, oligarchs and corporations got cheap labor in subsidized factories and freedom from environmental regulations and effective taxation. The laboring classes got gradually debased paychecks and benefits followed by exciting new career opportunities as Uber entrepreneurs and greeters at Walmart.

What this means is that understanding power is more important to predicting the winners and losers of neoliberal economic policies than knowing the economics. This is more likely than not the reason why power is assumed out of capitalist economic theory. But what else are establishment politicians referring to when they claim that wildly popular policies in the public interest can’t be gotten through congress? If the people elect representatives to do the people’s bidding, but the representatives do the bidding of business interests, then where does the power lie? It lies with the oligarchs, and that isn’t democracy.

The concept of power at work is as part of an iterative social-political-economic process that neoliberal ideology can’t accommodate. The theorized point of capitalism is to tie economic distribution to economic production. The equal distribution of political power implied by democracy comes from membership in a democratic society, not from a system for meritoriously allocating it. Without perpetual redistribution to place people in equal starting positions, neither capitalism nor democracy operate as the theories that support them claim.”

The populace of the US wants Universal Health Care.  Why don’t they have it?  The important people in society would lose money, thus healthcare for all is ‘too far-fetched’ and idea to work in the US.


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