Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Socialist Memorandum

Date:               21 September 2011

From:              People for Polity

To:                  Public Sphere

Subject:           Decline of Capitalism

The following memo is issued in response to the recent decline in job growth and economic development in the United States.  The ideas here within will offer alternatives to the problem as well as address the need for reeducation of our nation’s public and youth.

·         Issues facing our nation

o   Misinformation permeating our education system

o   The struggle of capitalism

§  Rapid decline in GDP

§  Stagnating Job growth

§  Failed concept of Supply-side Economics

§  Wage growth slowest since Great Depression

§  Revenues lowest since Eisenhower Administration

·         Exigency of issue

o   Is the United States the new Rome?

§  Huge corporations limit competition

·         Prices increase

·         Makes it hard for new firms to enter market

§  Worker’s wages stagnant

·         Productivity at record levels

·         CEO salary and bonuses at record levels

§  Rome’s dependence on slave labor caused demise

·         Showed in high disparity between rich and poor

·         Crowded slums made it difficult to escape conditions due to lack of skills and jobs for uneducated citizens

·         Rome held games much like pop culture does for the U.S. to distract citizens from more important worries  

o   What happened?

§  Capitalism in the 1960s

·         Capitalism thrived without confusing tax code

·         Top tax rate was 90 percent

·         Used revenue for dams, bridges, schools, hospitals, and science

·         Low unemployment

·         Union families had free health and dental for families

·         Young adults could apply to institutions of higher learning without loans

§  Regan and the advent of Supply-side Economics

·         Regan Administration and Supply-side Economics

·         Failed for Regan, Bush I, and Bush II

·         Every time we cut taxes, revenues plummet and are forced to raise taxes again

·         Former Merrill Lynch chair Donald Regan convinces Regan to cut taxes for rich and becomes the president’s Chief of Staff

·         Industrial infrastructure dismantled

·         Productivity increased 45 percent while wages increased 1 percent

·         Top income tax rate cut in half

·         Americans encouraged to live on borrowed money

·         Household debt became almost 100 percent of GDP

·         Healthcare costs increase 78%

·         CEO pay was 649 percent more than workers      

o   Alternatives

§  Socialism and Democratic Socialism

§  Issues

·         American still suffering from McCarthyism and containment policies

·         Average Americans relate Socialism with fascism and dictators like Hitler and Stalin

·         Lack of education on Socialism distorts public view                    

§  Arguments for significant change in public policy

·         Socializing more things would make products cheaper where market is failing

·         Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office

§  Affordable Care Act (ACA) will decrease deficits

§  ACA provides health care to millions more Americans

·         Investing in the people puts more money in Americans’ pockets

§  Money in pockets creates a demand

§  Demand increases production

§  Increased production forces job creation

§  Job creation broadens tax base and strengthens economy and increases  disposable income

§  Repeat

·         Constitution has Socialist agenda

§  Preamble

 “Provide for the common defense”

 “Promote general welfare”

“Secure the blessings of liberty”

·         Socialism has a history with the United States

§  FDR, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower  borrowed ideas from Socialism

·         Borrowed ideas from Marxist tracts

·         Borrowed ideas from Socialist platform

·         New York Time 1954 profile of Norman Thomas

§  Wrote article in response to former presidents’ use of Socialist ideals      

He “had made a great contribution in pioneering ideas that have now won the support of both major parties” —ideas like “Social Security, public housing, public power developments, legal protection for collective bargaining, and other attributes of the welfare state."

·         Harry Truman

§  Didn’t run from Socialism in McCarthy Era

“Out of the great progress of this country, out of our great advances in achieving a better life for all, out of our rise to world leadership, the Republican leaders have learned nothing. Confronted by the great record of this country, and the tremendous promise of its future, all they do is croak, ‘socialism.’” 

·         John Nichols

“If there’s one constant in the elite national discourse of the moment, it is the claim that America was founded as a capitalist country and that socialism is a dangerous foreign import that, despite our unwarranted faith in free trade, must be barred at the border. This most conventional 'wisdom'—increasingly accepted at least until the recent grassroots mobilizations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Maine—has held that everything public is inferior to everything private, that corporations are always good and unions always bad, that progressive taxation is inherently evil, and that the best economic model is the one that allows the wealthy to gobble up as much of the Republic as they choose before anything trickles down to the great mass of Americans.”

“If universal building codes and health protections for children can be successfully depicted by our debased media as assaults on American values and the rule of law, then the right has already won, no matter what the result is on election day. And a nation founded in revolt against empire, a nation that nurtured the radical Republican response to the sin of slavery, a nation that confronted economic collapse and injustice with a New Deal and a War on Poverty, a nation that spawned a civil rights movement and that still recites a Pledge of Allegiance (penned in 1892 by Christian socialist Francis Bellamy) to the ideal of an America ‘with liberty and justice for all’ is bereft of what has so often in our history been the essential element of progress.”

·         Parties concerned

o   American public

o   GOP

o   Democratic Party

o   Democratic Socialists and Socialist Party USA