Sunday, December 18, 2016

2017: Capitalism's End Game?



It looks like we are on the verge of the largest country in the world taking a sharp turn right, and I can't help but wonder: is this the last gasp of capitalism?

I'm not a communist persay, I'm a social democracy guy, but I, like many, am surprised that we have gotten to this point, where people openly die in the street while a small group of families control and hoard the wealth of the world. 
It seems the right wing has managed to enlist the help of struggling farmers and workers in the southern part of the US.  I have often thought that the biggest failing of the Democratic party in the US is the failure to reach out to the rural population, which has been drowning in economic woes for decades.  The Dems tend to hang around the cities, where they feel their liberal agendas will find more support.  Its all too easy to stay in the liberal bubble and get re-elected, rather than listen to the angry rural voices.
A political science prof once told me that right wing governments get into power by implying that those who vote for them will "get a piece of the pie," and you can certainly see that strategy at work in Trump's "make America great again" slogan.  Its not hard to see why a farmer who has been beaten down by regulations and bank policies would want change.
So here we are, the mandate has been given to the people who already control us.  Perhaps this will take capitalism to its final stage: collapse under the weight of itself.
I liken the world to a monopoly game in the last few turns, where we are all going around the board, landing on properties, slowly being drained of cash while one player collects it all.  The game goes very quickly at that point, there is only so much you can do with the $200 you get for passing go. 
It makes me wonder if we can simply say to the richest people: "OK, you won, good job! Can we play again?" Of course it's more complicated in real life, nobody is going to give up paradise to struggle with the rest of us.  Many believe that the rich will only give up their wealth when forced.
I hold out hope that billionaires can be civilized and realize that it's an unworkable situation for too many families.  I see some indications that there are wealthy people who want to redestribute wealth, but it's simply not happening fast enough.
To avoid a violent revolution, I would suggest the wealthy move quickly, and intervene in the gravest cases--homeless families and children.  If they show a willingness to cooperate, we can all move into a peaceful era of shared resources.
Here's hoping.  Happy holidays to all, in any case 

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