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As Smash-and-Grab Capitalism Collapses, the French Economy Shines

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Posted on May 16, 2009

By William Pfaff

Many in Britain and the United States are in mourning for what’s taken as the suicide of the American (or Thatcherite, or Chicago-school) model of capitalism, accompanied by the non-interventionist state that hands the national economy over to business and financial leaders to run.

Not least among the mourners ought to be The Economist magazine in London, a major part of whose charm has always been the insolent certitude with which it expresses its views. It is not a publication used to lunching on its own words. But The Economist too has become a victim of the world crisis, and its current issue’s cover story pays a handsome tribute to the success of the formerly scorned, centralized, interventionist, Colbertist French economic model, and the state practices and values that support it.

“France’s economy,” it writes, “has been less hard hit than many. Its GDP is expected to shrink by 3 percent this year ... against 4 percent in Britain, 4.4 percent in Italy, and 5.6 percent in Germany. It is less dependent on exports than Germany, and consumer spending in the first quarter of 2009 was up on the same period last year. The government ... is set to have a deficit in 2009 (6.2 percent of GDP) well below those in America (13.6 percent) and Britain (9.8 percent).”

French household debt is half that in America, no bank has failed, none has been nationalized, executive pay is reasonable, and “the income gap between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent is far smaller than in Britain or America.” The country is crisscrossed by 230-mph TGV trains, 80 percent of the power is nuclear (and more is exported), its auto producers are in reasonably good shape, Air France is the most profitable airline in the world, and French-dominated Airbus sells more planes than Boeing.

The French are uncertain of what to make of this tribute, since self-denigration is (oddly enough) a national characteristic, and they have only recently elected Nicolas Sarkozy, another font of certitudes, who won the presidency while insisting to the French that the “French model” was obsolete and that France had to learn new ways to live by adopting the “Anglo-Saxon” model of laissez-faire capitalism, market freedom and financial innovation.

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It is, of course, premature to say that what the French call capitalisme sauvage is dead. One doubts that it’s really dead—the cadaver twitches; the Obama administration in the U.S. has yet to drive a stake through its heart. A decade from now, Barack Obama might well be discovered on the board of Goldman Sachs, and Timothy Geithner will almost certainly be there. But the capitalism they serve may not quite be the same.

The United States is certain to learn something from the French success in long-term state planning, infrastructure development and, one would hope, will build a vastly improved health system (the World Health Organization considers France’s the best in the world) and other social protections.

The business model that has dominated the British and American economies since the 1960s, and been propagated worldwide, crashed because it is inherently unstable. It works in only one direction, to take value away from the real economy and give it to stockholders and bankers. It’s an asset-stripping system that benefits company managers and directors, bankers, stock traders and financiers. To workers and their families, who in the past believed that they had a stake in the business economy, and to the communities suffering de-industrialization, it said, “Too bad, but you’ll be better off in the long term—if you are still around.”

To be fair, this was the unintended result of an ideological position of political origin, which claimed that unregulated property ownership is the fundamental right of a free society, and which in its American version subordinated the interests of the labor force and local and national communities to the pursuit of ever-higher returns on investment.

This doctrine concerning property rights historically was a reaction against the 20th century totalitarian communism that intended to destroy private property. While the modern economic system makes a natural appeal to greed, its theoretical origins lie in the work of certain Central European intellectuals—notably Frederick Hayek, Karl Popper and, to an extent, Joseph Schumpeter—who were exiles from the political crisis in Europe and fearful of the abuse of centralized government power.

The business model that Margaret Thatcher, her advisers and conservative Americans constructed from this foundation was condemned to its eventual self-destruction by its disequilibrium.

The classic English and Scottish economists (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, etc.) believed that a business enterprise was an agent of social benefit, in that it created goods and wealth, but also had obligations to its workforce and society as a whole. The same values are responsible for the “French model,” and are now demonstrating that they can succeed in bad times as well as good.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services Inc.


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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, May 25, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

When I post on the internet, it is to raise awareness, not to pander, parce, argue and contend in support of a lower standard of awareness.

There are enough savant pedants already pandering, parcing, arguing and contending over binary issues of rhetorical propaganda; that is, in fact, nothing more than cargo on the Ship of State, that will not and can not change the course of the Ship of State.

It is time for a change in the course of the Ship of State, rather than to pander, parce, argue and contend over the cargo on board the Ship of State.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 25, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

ardee:

You must be a tween or a teen?  What grade are you in? I wonder because you say you lack understanding that comes naturally with age. Or, could it be FEAR?  Control is all that is important to the CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS and the CONSERVATIVE/MODERATE DLC in the United States, therefore the CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS and the CONSERVATIVE/MODERATE DLC push FEAR which undoubtedly causes you to be afraid to have your own understanding, relying totally upon Google for your definition.  It is strange that you are on a political blog when you lack so much understanding.  Are you afraid to understand the real political world? If you are not a child, try desperately to separate yourself from CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST conditioning, so that you will be able to think for yourself and have unconditioned political thoughts of your own, without total reliance on Google.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 25, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

“folks obsessed with proving how clever they are”.

Change clever to right. 

Cryptic, yes; skewed, matter of opinion; obtuse not at all.

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By ardee, May 25, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, May 24 at 11:01 pm #

Ardee,

It is you.
,,,................

Quite probably it is, but I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier you might understand.

I wonder though, if you might consider for a moment, at the logic in posting cryptic commentary quite easily misunderstood? Or, if that isn’t your cup of Hemlock, is there no obligation on our part to be succinct, clear and forthright?

I doubt you fit the description but I see,everywhere on this imperfect and relatively newish form of communication, folks obsessed with proving how clever they are rather than focusing on how best to communicate their opinions. Please, in future communications, keep in mind my own poor failings.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 24, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,

It is you.

PS: Ron Paul, not Roan Paul the Irish.

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By ardee, May 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Hawkeye, May 24 at 5:27 pm #

I am happy that it is clear to you, but it is not to me. I always use a search engine first and, upon finding not a damn thing when entering that phrase I asked that the poster who used it explain it.

I trust this is clear enough for you. Oh , speaking of clarity, what the hell does this mean?

” It is the current demographic estimate.”

Estimate of what? Sometimes minding ones own business when others are addressed, especially when your interjection brings no clarity nor add to the discourse,is the best course to follow.

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By ardee, May 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, May 24 at 10:53 am #

I would love to respond to your last post, but, after reading it five times, I havent a clue as to its meaning or intent, so I will have to pass….and now I need an aspirin too!

ThomasG, May 24 at 4:08 pm #

Perhaps you can explain this love of the caps key to me. I fail to understand why you think an emphasis that internet protocol deems shouting is necessary to the understanding of your intent. Ahhh do I mourn simple clarity and the courage to allow ones ideas to stand on their own.

By the by , I really gotta know, WTF is the meaning of ‘70% common majority’...oh excuse me, I meant 70% COMMON MAJORITY. Further do you really believe that CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS has a different meaning than does conservative right wing extremist republicans?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, May 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Subjectified Law and Order

Subjectified law and order is the law and order of CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS and their (DLC) Democratic Leadership Council’s minions of the Professional Middle Class singularity, that is influenced by political special interest and personal prejudice taking place within the minds and emotions of those that are of the CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN and Professional Middle Class singularity, who advocate, make, and benefit from subjectified law and order that is imposed upon the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a class and culture and who have had no part in promulgating the subjectified law and order, do not benefit from the subjectified law and order that is imposed upon them and are, in fact, class and culturally subjugated, oppressed and tyrannized by subjectified law and order that is imposed upon them by the American aristocracy and Professional Middle Class singularity, as the dominant classes and cultures in the United States.

Subjectified law and order was used by the British against the American colonists, by the American colonists against the Native people of North America and subjectified law and order is now being used by the ruling classes and cultures of the 30% combined minorities of the American aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class singularity against the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a class and culture.

We all know what the result was of subjectified law and order by the British against the American colonists and the Native Nations of the North American continent by American colonists and their descendants.

The result of subjectified law and order was subjugation, oppression and tyranny in the case of the British against the American colonists that resulted in revolution and subjugation, oppression and tyranny by the American colonists and their descendants against the peoples of the Native Nations of North America that led to genocide and internment in concentration camps that exist to the present day.

The result of class and culturally subjectified law and order imposed by the classes and cultures of the 30% combined minorities of the American aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class singularity against the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States will be no different than it was in the case of the British and the American colonists, or the American colonists and their descendants against the peoples of the Native Nations of the North American continent; the result will be eventual revolution or continuing subjugation, oppression and tyranny that will lead to genocide and internment of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a class and culture.

At the present time, class and culturally subjectified law and order by the classes and cultures of the American aristocracy and Professional Middle Class singularity has in our nation, the United States, with a population of three hundred million, imprisoned more of the common population than China, a nation with a population of one billion more population than the United States.

It is time for a change; it is time for a multi-party political system to be institutionalized in the United States, so that the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION can have a political party and represent themselves in the government of the United States.

It would be a tragedy for the United States as a nation to put off this much needed reform in our political system and allow the subjugation, oppression, tyranny, imprisonment, genocide and internment that history has shown will eventually result.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 24, 2009 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

ardee

Seems personal bias has provided a one way road road to the vista site and well known landmark of skewedobtuse!

Change the name from Nader to Roan Paul if one likes and the intent is the same. One could argue, obtuseness may really be in seeing only the forest instead of the bear.

Again, expectations (in this case political) are agenda driven, and seldom turn out as anticipated, even if your guy wins!

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By johannes, May 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

In France its the country where I am living, the Medic care is very good, and very expencive, every year we have an big deficit in the budget, well its a shame, but we are very pragmatic with this, bether a good service and well a big deficit, you understand wath I want to say.

Bether give the money to the service for the citizen, as for the army, I never have understood that in a country with so much proud and dignety, you don’t have a good health service for every body, its something
obligatory to do by your governement, even if its a little bit late.

Salutations

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By Hawkeye, May 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

REF: Seven years of famine.

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By ardee, May 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, May 22 at 8:07 pm #

I wonder at the tone and inferences you make in this effort. If you will excuse a “Whiny Nader Voter” who criticizes Obama sans the whining I think your post a bit skewed.

One might draw an inference that you are suggesting fatalism, that you support inaction and acquiescence rather than appear to be a ‘whiner’.

Perhaps I misread this post that appears a bit obtuse, perhaps the failing is my own and not yours but I will continue to work for the nation I wish in any way that I can. If that appears whining to you, so be it.

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By KDelphi, May 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

johannes—No, it is not Gestapo…yet, but democracy in the us is fading fsat, let me tell you.

The allowance of indefinite detention , without charges, should alarm true liberals and libertarians alike. It should alarm the world, considering our far-reaching military tentacles.

“Absolutist” to defend the law?” (On Pres. Obama’s speech on Thursday, vs Cheney) (Michael Ratner from The Center for Constitutional Rights)

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=3758

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By johannes, May 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

They feed us the news they want us to know, and don’t
think its differend with Obama as with Bush.

You cannot compare the Gestapo with the American investigations method, the circumstance are completely differend, and America is still an Democratic country, we hope.

I think its the media, in the U.S. who is working for a group who are paying them, but not for the,  people in generaly, and they don’t shun to misinform you, and thats very bad, who can you still belief.

Salutations.

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By KDelphi, May 23, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

Leefeller—If you are talking about heatlh care, it works all over the “free” world. There is no reason it cant work here, except MONEY! I never had expectations that Pres. Obama would do anything to help the little guy—he’s corporate. But, I refuse to believe it HAS to be that way.

If it doesnt work, I died trying.

Hawkeye—As Drs Wolfe and Himmlestein said on Bill Moyers last night, all it would take is leadership from Pres. Obama. He is wildly popular right now. He could probably decree Sasha the Queen of the Nile right now. He is NOT using his political capital in ways that help the people that need it most.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html

The tape:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/watch2.html

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By Paracelsus, May 22, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

@Leefeller

Our last vice president said it well! When told the people were in disagreement with his handling of the war, he answered so profoundly with “SO”!

How long could Cheney endure enhanced interrogation techniques? ^ German term verschärfte Vernehmung is translated as “enhanced interrogation”. This was the type of technique used by the Gestapo. These psychopaths don’t forget a thing.


^ Mitchell, Allan (2008). Nazi Paris: The History of an Occupation, 1940-1944. Berghahn Books. p. 159. ISBN 1845454510.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

When one professes to believe in tall tails that someone or something else will take care of them, like being taken care of in childhood by ones parents, they are doomed to receive what they get in the end.  Along the way should be an indicator, Santa Claus may not be real, the tooth fairy needs a bail out, the sand man is closes as one gets to reality. 

Fond expectations which are really nothing nothing but hopeful fantasies of grand expectations, which always will be in the beginning seem a great happening, but in the end they are doomed to be land grabs for opportunists.

We have seen this from Hitler, to the corporations and what happened in Iran.  Even the USA should know expectations never work out even with their wasted money blood expenditures, attemptes to use manipulations from Viet Nam to Iraq and Iran.  Track records of expectations usually start out one way and end in another way. Viet Nam may be an exception possibly, from the original intent of the Viet Cong.

So as one whines and cry’s about Obama, the fascist or the socialist, whether crying Republicans or Whiny Nader supporters, remember expectations never work out as anticipated, even if your guy wins!

Our last vice president said it well! When told the people were in disagreement with his handling of the war, he answered so profoundly with “SO”!

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By MarthaA, May 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi,

So, do you understand who the 70% COMMON POPULATION is?  I did my best to explain as requested who the 70% COMMON POPULATION is, since you said you didn’t know; and I didn’t just give a dictionary definition. I had a lot more, but I had to reduce it down, but this is plain as to who the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION is that is not being represented in the legislative, executive or judicial branches of the United States.

You changed the subject, we were talking about the NEW CLASS and you say you have read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, “The Fear of Falling”, then you already know about the NEW CLASS, because that is what the whole book is about.  You already know that only well paid academics are welcome in the NEW CLASS and all other professions are out in the cold.  Teachers are academics, but were too low in pay to be a part of the NEW CLASS, although I believe now teacher pay is going to be raised high enough that teachers will be able to be a part of the NEW CLASS, so that teachers will not be a problem in any way to their NEW CLASS plans; the beginnings of the haves and have not system.

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By KDelphi, May 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA- I think I wanted to know what YOU meant by it, not a dictionary definition.

I have read Eherenrich—almost anyone paying attention to her would conclude that she is a Socialist.
Here is some of her writing:
by Barbara Ehrenreich

“..I hate hope. It was hammered into me constantly a few years ago when I was being treated for breast cancer: Think positively! Don’t lose hope! Wear your pink ribbon with pride! A couple of years later, I was alarmed to discover that the facility where I received my follow-up care was called the Hope Center. Hope? What about a cure? At antiwar and labor rallies over the years, I have dutifully joined Jesse Jackson in chanting “Keep hope alive!”—all the while crossing my fingers and thinking, “Fuck hope. Keep us alive.”


I think that she would call the Democrats game,. “bait and switch”.

Ehrenreich on The Dem Party in 2000:
“...Not only do Nader supporters represent an extremely small proportion of the politically alienated, but among Naderites only about a quarter are normally Democratic voters, according to a recent Reuters/MSNBC poll; the rest are independents and Republicans. Among those of us who have voted Democratic for most of our lives, the mood is less of spiteful defiance than of sorrow. We didn’t choose to abandon the Democratic Party in its hour of need; the party chose to abandon us.”

On the “aaccomplishemtns”, I’ll give you SCHIP—thats it.

The rest are watered down , by lobbyists, bills of “good intentions”...foreclosures have gone UP , not down. All Obama did was bail out the banks.

AND the credit card bill he just signed will make things worse…the banks are already working their way around it.

They just switched my rate to “adjustable” and I’ve had the card for 25 yrs. ( you cannot convince me that the two are unrelated)It doesnt even go into effect for 9 mos!@! They do not have the balls to stand up to the banks.

The problem with the Dems (including Kennedy et al) is that they are bought and paid for. Everything they do caves to GOP and the elites. I used to think, that if they just had a majority, they would do all these things that they claim to believe in…I dont think it any more.

They are useless. They can win without my vote. I cant live with voting FOR them anymore.

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By MarthaA, May 22, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi,

COMMON CULTURE - All human activity of the majority population of the body politic of a state or nation, of the common people, including education and achievements that pass from one generation to the next.

COMMON POPULATION:  The majority population from which the aristocracy and the middle class originate in any state or nation .

The COMMON POPULATION is the MAJORITY population of ALL the entire body politic starting from the bottom most rung and going up to equal 70% of the entire population in the United States.

In the United States originally the common population was 99% of the population, until the upper 20% of the common population separated out of the common population to form the Professional DLC corporate NEW CLASS; and fascism’s wealthy CEO’s and their prodigy took another 9% out of the common population as an extension of the Elites 1% to become the Elite Capitalists Class.

When the 20% NEW CLASS of academics and professionals separated from the common population to form their NEW CLASS represented in Congress by the right-wing corporate funded DLC, Democratic Leadership Council; their common population NEW CLASS became the only population on the political left represented in Congress, leaving the remainder of the common population, an entire 70% of the population without any kind of representation in the legislative, the executive or the judicial branches of government, which caused the political problems we are having today, because the 20% NEW CLASS, the DLC corporate right-wing funded Professional Middle Academic Class only represent themselves and joined in cooperation with the REPUBLICANS to form “THE PARTY”, the union of the NEW CLASS and the REPUBLICANS, leaving the 70% remainder of the common population unrepresented, and our nation with 2 aristocracies and no nation should have 2 aristocracies.

NOW, the United States has 3 Classes & Cultures:  The 70% Common Population, the 20% DLC NEW CLASS of Academics and Professionals aristocracy, and the 10% Elite Capitalist Class of the Elite and Corporate CEO’s and their prodigy’s aristocracy.

THE PARTY, is the union of the NEW CLASS with the REPUBLICAN PARTY; NOT the Democratic Party—the NEW CLASS is within the Democratic Party, the corporate DLC NEW CLASS has infested the Democratic Party to use the Democratic Party like parasites, and parasites can be picked off when you realize there are parasites eating on you.  There are still some in the Democratic Party who are not NEW CLASS DLC Conservative/Moderates, and it is our job to continue VOTING OUT ALL DLC NEW CLASS—VOTE OUT ALL NEW DEMOCRATS.

If you want to know more about the NEW CLASS, get Barbara Ehrenreich academic book, “The Fear of Falling” from http://www.alibris.com  and check out her website and forum at http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/

Here is a list of Obama’s SIGNED LEGISLATION as requested:

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act
Signed: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
Signed: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
Signed: Wednesday, April 21, 2009

Omnibus Public Lands Management Act
Signed: Monday, March 30, 2009

Small Business Act Temporary Extension
Signed: Thursday, March 19, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Signed: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DTV Delay Act
Signed: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
Signed: Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Signed: Thursday, January 29, 2009

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By KDelphi, May 22, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Hawkeye—I’ve read and re-read your post, trying to figure out if you are being facetious.

It is the words to the MASH song, no?

It is not a good idea—a good idea is to use your anger to fight.

http://www.fifthinternational.org/


http://www.wsws.org/

http://www.socialism.com/

http://www.marxist.com/

On Ghandi and Marx:

“...comparative austerity in living, an ethical code of behaviour which gives proper respect to all the vulnerable sections of society and which refuses to consider woman as a commodity will have to adopted. Nor can centralisation of political and economic power or any system of exploitation or domination would constitute an alternative, which is what they are looking for. This vision is nearer to Gandhi than Marx although in the final picture, both are alike. Moreover, the most modern weapons of violence can be defeated only by non-violence. For this not only those who are the actual victims but everybody who feels that the system is anti-human and unjust will have to volunteer himself. That would require a cultural revolution so as to create a moral force. Not the hegemony of a party or a class, but an acutely conscious citizenry. Nor a charismatic individual.’ but self-awareness by hundred million individuals. Personal example, localised passive resistance and incessant education can only trigger it. Does this vacuum of ideological systems provide humankind an opportunity for effective innovation to realise our core values of humanism, equality, fraternity and freedom, in our time? Human ingenuity could take it as a challenge and formulate appropriate answers”

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

MarthA—I am not going to that website again…it is full of pics and loads up cookies on my browser. I have a 15 yr old pc, and, finally got all of Obama’s fans cookies off the other day.
Why wait to dislodge Baucus??

Cant you just list some, and please, tell me what the “70% COMMON POPULATION” is????

The Democrats, I will repeat, have the House…the Senate..the persidency. If the want to do something, the time would be now. They are doing NOTHING. It is just Bush-lite, except , more attractive and smile vs smirk.

Af-Pak, corporate health care, a “climate change bill” that not even Greenpeace supports, a credit card bill that is a scam and just gives warning to the credit cos to “switch people to variable rates now”, increased war funding, continuation of Bush wiretapping, etc., building a new GITMO, using DynaCorp (so much better than Blackwater, eh?) appointing McChrystal, other Bush appointtees, Geithner, Summers, Gates, blah, blah, blah ...it is almost worse than doing nothing.

I never expected anything but shit out of Bush.

As I have said, I am NOT a Democrat and I never will be again. It is a waste of effort.

I would say that it is more than 70% of the population who is not represented at all…the Democrats do NOT rep me.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi,

Here is where all that Obama has done is recorded, it may not seem like much, but the Clinton and Bush administration didn’t do anything but take away from the 70% MAJORITY common population.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

I know he hasn’t performed any miracles, but his Congress consists mostly of Republicans and Republicans-Lite, real liberals in his Congress on the Democrat side are very few; which must be changed.  I am a liberal and I wish liberals would stand up and not be ashamed to be a liberal, because liberal means democracy.  Neo-liberals are not liberals at all, but conservatives.

I truly do wish our nation had a Democratic Socialist Party and if the country wants it, the people will have to press in for it, otherwise people like Baucus will get their greedy way.  Baucus should be relieved of his position after 2010, because in no way does he represent the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION, and if he doesn’t want to represent the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION he should go, unless Congress wants to legislate and institutionalize a political party to represent the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION.

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By radson, May 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

To Paracelsus

Your analysis is correct with regards to what I had written.The disproportionate influx of Arabs and persons of Muslim background into the EU has been occurring for many decades now.Some of the reasons are economic ,with relation to my last post ,while others are educational and still others are part of the oil trade boom.This is not a novelty when one considers the mass migration of Eastern Europeans into the Western parts of the continent ,although the wealth of the former does not compare to the latter.The educational facilities in Europe surpass what is available in the Arab world ,although many of the newcomers will not criticize their homeland ,deep inside they do not rank Wahhabism very high on the list of freedom of the individual.You mentioned that these migrants should perhaps stay home in order to press for a more relaxed social atmosphere ,that will come with time ,but first they must learn the alternate ,which is being made available to them in other countries.Not all of these migrants are bent on a so called assimilation some are inclined to maintain the Status Quo ,i.e. protect the superior class back home.The Arabs have been playing the geopolitical game since their oil wealth and it is not all for the good of other countries especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan with reference to the ISI.But the bottom line is money and they have a lot of it.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

MarthA—WTF is the “70% COMMON POPULATION”?? Yes, I’ve read Orwell, and, he speaks of things that both parties now inflict on us.

WHAT is it that Obama has done, martha?? Tell me. I’ll wait.

” Obama has already did more for the nation as a whole, with partial help, than the REPUBLICANS did with full power in the whole 8 years Bush was in office, and imagine what he could do if he had a full liberal Democratic Party; if he did, the United States would have health care for all the people of the USA, along with Canada, England, France, Sweden, Norway, and Cuba.”

The Dems took over Congres in 2006 and kissed Bush’s ass.

There is NO “liberal” Democratic party. They are neo-liberals.

Obama does NOT want single payer health care and never said that he did.(well, before he dropped off his briefcase at the Senate and decided to run for president) The plan that he is advocating is a huge gift to the insurance industry. We’d be better off if he did nothing.

Be a Dem. Make sure that the monied interests stay the same. You wont get my help. But, the Dems will love you for it.

Just tell me—what do you consider a “liberal” to be? Which rep stands up for the “70% COMMON POPULATION”? Pres. Obama has barely mentioned poverty, except for the “drag yourself up by your bootstraps” variety. What, should we be happy that he is giving more money to the banks, ala Geithner? Or that he is drumming up further war in “Af Pak”—or it that an “overseas contingency opertaion”?

If you want an EU type economy, you want a Democratic Socialist Party, something the Democrats will never allow.

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By Paracelsus, May 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

@ radison

In short these Moslem emigres are economic refugees, and Europe is a steam valve for the Arab political economies who want preserve the status quo. Sometimes a slap is kinder than a handout. If these migrants stayed within their own countries they could pressure their governments to change.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi,

Have you read 1984 by George Orwell, because it is exactly what is going on politically today.

The Democratic Party is the only institutionalized political party on the political left that even abstractly claims to represent the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION. The Republican Party is the political right and represents ONLY CAPITAL REVENUE STREAMS, which the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION do not have, therefore are not constituents of the Republican Party in any way.

30% of the population do go along with the duopoly and that 30% is the Conservative/Moderate 20% Professional Academic DLC NEW CLASS and the Conservative 10% Elite Capitalist Class.  I have watched these percentages and no matter what they stay the same, Bush didn’t lose his 10% Elite Capitalists BASE and kept most of the 20% Professional Academic Conservative DLC NEW CLASS Republicrat toadies throughout his whole sordid administration.

The reason the Democrats are always conceding power to the GOP is because they ARE the GOP in Democrat suits.  Why do you think I keep saying that we have to VOTE THEM OUT IN THE PRIMARIES.  We have to get the right-wing out of the left-wing, otherwise the plane of state will continue to be disabled.  You talk as if the Democrats are the real left, and some of them are, but most are NOT.

The Republican Party getting back into full power is not a choice for the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION.  Obama has already did more for the nation as a whole, with partial help, than the REPUBLICANS did with full power in the whole 8 years Bush was in office, and imagine what he could do if he had a full liberal Democratic Party; if he did, the United States would have health care for all the people of the USA, along with Canada, England, France, Sweden, Norway, and Cuba.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

MathaA—It is sad for everyone on the planet that you feel you must go with the “lesser of two evils”.

What other “civilized” country has a duopoly, as we do? YOu can put up with it if you like, (FOR everyone, you know) but, at least 30% of the country is not falling for it anymore. The Dem Party dosent need defenders…it has all the power, even thoughg they constnaztly concede power to the GOP, probably because they agree with alot of it. There can be no other reason. They could do as they like now. If they are “progressive” let them show it. Otherwise, they wil lose the Left, and should.

I dont even know what party Greenwald belongs to, (and dont much care) but, I will listen to his opinions, especially if they are not mainstream. The mainstream has rather let us down, dont you think?

HOw can anyone be happy with the lack of “change”?

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By radson, May 21, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Bon Jour Johannes

Vous avez mentionne qui’l ya trop de mosque en Europe particulairment au Pays Bas .Et puis un influx
trop elever des etrangers qui parviens des payes du Proche Oriente,c’est comme meme evidident mais il faut pensee a la realite que ces gens vivres dans leur payes natales. Oui c,est vrai l’inbalance n’est pas tout a fait eqiulibrez entre les deux peuples,point de vu de l’emmigration ,mais pensee plutot dans le context que les riches dans les pays Arabique ont trop de largent et puis si il le depense pas,il vont le perdre.Donc l’emmigration fait en sort un promotion du peuple Musulman a travers du monde.

Beau Dodo

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know anything about Karl Rove’s playbook, but what Glenn Greenwald has to say appears to be destructive without constructive purpose toward President Obama, as well as the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION.  Greenwald’s major interests seem to be in putting down President Obama’s efforts, which I do not see as being of benefit to the President or the country as a whole.

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By ardee, May 21, 2009 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

“Glen Greenwald appears to be a Republican propagandist.”

If we label any who disagree with our own vision as “the enemy” we label ourselves as absurd and diminish our position enormously. This tactic is straight out of the Karl Rove playbook and is, in the main, intellectually dishonest.

Greenwald, a former Civil Rights litigator, has a history of efforts, books and blogs, that make this charge absurd.

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By johannes, May 21, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You also could asked your self, how it comes an human system go’s for Facisme or any other exstreem way of living, is it natural or is it created by the zeitgeist.

The thinking in Europe is hardening all the time, its feeded bij the behavior of the incoming people, they don’t respect our way’s of livenot our values,
they find us softys for the taking, and thats what they do, for exemple, the churches are empty in Holland, but they have all ready 4000 Moskee’s.

I think if you have a hart for your own country and people, if you say so, you are not discriminating others, but thats how they attack you, well we have to live with that, but I hope not for so long.

Salutations

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama changed the operations in Afghanistan to being an “Overseas Contingency Operation”, instead of a WAR, but apparently no one wants whats happening in Afghanistan be be less than a war, but with whom? Afghanistan?

The minute Obama was sworn into office all the Conservatives in the Democratic Party, Blue Dogs included, change from being called Conservatives and became left-wing centrist moderates, except they all still vote right-wing conservative in a pack.

Cheney rants so much because he is guilty as sin of torture and ignoring all national and international laws and thinks Obama is going to get him, so he keeps trying to cover his ass, which is uncoverable.

Glen Greenwald appears to be a Republican propagandist.

Obama seems to be following the DLC-NEW CLASS.  I hate it, but no matter what, Obama and the Democrats were the lesser of the two evils, as we only have the two political parties institutionally recognized by the Constitution of the United States. All we can do now is hope to reduce the DLC NEW CLASS moderates/conservatives out of the Democratic Party next year.

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

MarthA—On how it is “only a few Blue Dogs” who are “ruining the Democeratic Party”. Here is an interesting view by Glenn Greenwald, and, I think that he is right…Tuesday May 19, 2009
“Obama’s embrace of Bush terrorism policies is celebrated as “Centrism”

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/19/obama/index.html?source=newsletter

“....Now, much of the other half of the country, the one that once opposed those policies—Democrats, Obama supporters—are now reciting the same lines, adopting the same mentality, because doing so is necessary to justify what Obama is doing.  It’s hard to dispute the Right’s claim that Bush’s Terrorism approach is being vindicated by Obama’s embrace of its “essential elements.”  That’s what Goldsmith means when he says that Obama is making these policies stronger and more palatable, and it’s what media stars mean when they describe Bush/Cheney policies as Centrist:  now that it’s not just an unpopular Republican President but also a highly charismatic and popular Democratic President advocating and defending these core Bush/Cheney policies, they do become the political consensus of the United States…”


On economic policies, samo/samo. (same people).

What is it that Pres. Obama embraces that is different? He talks about “closing GITMO”, about “regulating the mkt”, about “ending the war”, but, none of it ever happens, and there appears to be plans to the contrary.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

capol27,

The Republicans ARE the Fascist Party; of course the DLC NEW CLASS in the Democratic Party is fascist as well.

We can vote all the DLC NEW CLASS fascists out of the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party is different, the Republican Party represents extremist right-wing capitalists.  REPUBLICAN Corporate capitalists even write the laws of the nation, which is fascism gone to seed.  The people are just going to have to rise in mass, there is no other alternative, if the vote doesn’t do it. 

We as a people must all together concentrate on one party and VOTE all fascist DLC NEW CLASS out of the Democratic Party and when the Democratic Party finally represents the left, then we can concentrate on getting fascism out of the right, but without the left clean, it will do no good to try to clean up the right.

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By radson, May 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

To the beer drinking TDers ,Sepharad ,Inherit the Wind and of course Folktruther.The beer drinkability equation is based on . A   The thirst coefficient of the individual and B The quenchability factor of the product.There exist a thousand million types of beer out there and everyone has a particular taste ,which is only natural .The consumption rates vary rather considerably between one country and another ,with
due respect to culture ,life style and quality of the product.If one was to calculate the distance walked by a certain class of beer drinkers ,regardless of nationality and compared the figures in vehicular terms ,we could easily conclude that certain cultures have a very low miles to the gallon coefficient,yet at the same time it could be argued that the quality of the product is very high (unlike some north american vehicles).Now having said that ,I just popped a top for good measure ,because all this talk about beer has just enticed my quenchability senses.American beer ,the popular types in general are of a generally low quality and are often used on fishing and hunting trips as a mouth wash ,after one has brushed their teeth (so the joke goes),actually it,s true.When in France stick to the wine ,you can’t go wrong.Here’s a French drinking song to boot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVUhNxC-skE

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

capol27,

Fascism is corporations running the government, which is in no uncertain terms what is happening in the United States today.  Now that corporations have so much control, it is going to be difficult to make them release control, without a mass movement in that regard, but a mass movement can be done, the people managed to handle fascism by themselves in Italy. The people hung both Benito Mussolini and his wife upside down and shot them full of holes for betraying the MAJORITY common population, not Italy’s military, the people, and before the United States military even got there in World War II.  It looks like big fascist capitalists would know history and what should happen to them, and not push the people that far, but greed is apparently all they can think about right up to the end.

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

jenne—good to know..

johhanes—good to know also, while the Congress is arguing about whether nuclear power should be considered a “biofuel”!!

I am sure the Democrats will cave on this one, too…

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By capol27, May 20, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO: MarthaA, May 20 at 2:33 pm

Fascism comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology[1][2][3][4] and a corporatist economic ideology.[5] Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state.[6] Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in combat against the weak.[7] Fascist governments forbid and suppress criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.[8] Fascism opposes class conflict and blames capitalist liberal democracies for creating class conflict and in turn blames communists for exploiting class conflict.[9] No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition.[10]
From: Wikipedia
=============
Doesn’t this sound a little like your definition of the Republican Party?

Since they are “Rebranding” the Democratic Party, why don’t we do the same with them?  How about the United States FASCIST Party?
Let’s call the duck a duck.  <capol27>

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION in the U.S. SOCIALIST-CAPITALIST GOVERNMENT

The United States supposed capitalist government is using SOCIALISM to recapitalize FAILED CAPITAL with taxpayer money, so that the TOO BIG TO FAIL capitalists can maintain their revenue streams for “OVERVALUED assets” FROM the very taxpayers that through government SOCIALISM provided the money to recapitalize the Big Capitalists FAILED CAPITAL. Is that ironic or what?  What a supposed capitalist country?  SOCIALISM is said to not be good for the people of the United States, but SOCIALISM is good for big capitalists, as SOCIALISM was used by the United States government to protect the Big Capitalist REPUBLICANS at the expense of the majority population; therefore, SOCIALISM would be beneficial for all as well.

NOW, that the peoples money through SOCIALISM has been taken from the people, and the people of the common population will have to pay it back with their lives for multi-generations; the REPUBLICANS are condemning SOCIALISM.  SOCIALISM saved their big asses so that they will be able to further rip off the common population, but still REPUBLICANS condemn SOCIALISM.  Could it be that SOCIALISM IS ONLY GOOD FOR CAPITALISTS REPUBLICANS?  Bush began the SOCIALIST CAMPAIGN to use taxpayer money to save the Big Capitalists from their prodigal greed; and no REPUBLICAN capitalists refused the SOCIALIST money given by the United States government to save them. Obama continued the use of SOCIALISM to save the REPUBLICAN capitalists, but now REPUBLICANS are condemning Obama for being a SOCIALIST.  What kind of a story is that?  REPUBLICANS want government both ways, for them, just not for the people.  SOCIALISM is not only good for capitalists, SOCIALISM is good for the people of the common population, as well.

When will the 70% common population realize the extent SOCIALISM is being used to shore up greedy prodigal big capitalists?  And, when will the 70% common population realize they ARE the common population?  First, the common population must realize they are the common population and need the use of SOCIALISM the same as the big capitalists use SOCIALISM. What is good for Peter is also good for Paul.

Legislation for representation of the entire 70% common population will be difficult to get passed through Congress for support of the 70% common population, if the people of the 70% common population do not realize they are the 70% common population in need of representation. It is time for the 70% MAJORITY common population to wake up and request representation in the United States Congress and the Congresses of the states for the unrepresented 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States in the Congresses of the nation, because the 70% MAJORITY common population have NO ONE to speak on their behalf as a unit and the majority population.

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By jenne, May 20, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ KDelphi


The south of France is not the Riviêra, noyhing is or wash real their, money an lackey and very nice woman.

Go south no glamour but people, you know humans.

And for the best beer you have to go to Belgium.

Salutations.

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By johannes, May 20, 2009 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ rRebecca

The France firm AREVA, wash mining the plutonium in France, and the miners did not have even protected clotching, most are dead now, so they tell nothing.

They put lots of their wast onder small roads and parkings in the country side, they did this with the help of an governemental bureau for roads, it wash and is an big scandal, but the lid is on the kettle, and nothing is heard sinds, but it is heavy radioactiv.

Its as every where they don’t give a dime for the people in the street, or country side.

Salutations

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Carlsberg rules…with a shot of Black Death.

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Unemployment may be higher in the EU, but, as someone said here, they have a social safety net, which keeps them in the streets with expectations, instead of dying in the streets as so many do here.

Why dont we have the same? Because we dont demand it, and, we let the duopoly convince us that we would either “lose freedom”, or, “the other party will win”!! So you have to vote for (fill in the blank)(Tweedledumb or Tweedledumbass)

I was in Paris and also the South—I only had a couple of weeks. But , I liked the city of Paris, once I found a roommate and affordable pensione…..very argumentative, but fun. In the South, I was only on the Riviera, so I expected it to be nouveau riche and it was. Still beautiful and good people to be found…everywhere, I guess…sure sounds pretty where you are Sepharad. (Stella Artois sucks, esp warm and it needs to get its fricking commercials off the INdependent Film Channel and Sundance!!—in places where they served beer warm, if you came in a few times, they would have one ready for you—-cold..lol) I guess that most would not consider it that I had been “in the South”.

This comes to mind—-I got in a huge argument with an Israeli student in a cafe on the Bank (what a cliche’!! i’m not trying to make one..), and I was amazed at how I had been told how angry the French were and how much they hated theuS, but, the Israeli student was the one who wouldnt stop shouting at me.

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By Paracelsus, May 20, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind
@ Folktruther
@ Sepharad

What do you think of FranzisKaner Hefe-Weissebier? Or Fischer La Belle Beer from Alsace? I really like the wheat beers. There’s a Hefe-Weissebier from Austria that is real tasty, Weihenstephaner. Das es un Schatzi!


I am not really into stouts or porters. They are too heavy to my palate. But I suppose if you have insomnia a pint and a half will put you to sleep.

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By Rebecca, May 20, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nuclear power.  I wonder if any of the radioactive waste dumped off the cost of government-less Somalia came from France originally.  If 80 percent of their power is nuclear, and the problem of where to put the waste has not been ‘solved’, where are they putting it, at what cost, and to whom?

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By capol27, May 20, 2009 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Huzza, huzza Purple Girl:
“....Heres a lil’ Clue for all those chicken littles ...‘Gov’t Of the people, for the people and by the people’ and the Preamble ‘WE the People’ are Socialistic statements.
‘Of,For & By’ the Corps is no different than ‘Of,For and By’ the Family Crest- we just call them Logos Now….”

Seems I’ve seen you elsewhere.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 20, 2009 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

I’ve never drunk St.Louis Stella, but I’ve drunk the Belgian kind and, while drinkable, it’s the lowest of the low of Belgian beers, but still better than any swill coming from the mis-named “breweries” in France or Italy, not to mention Buttwiper and Mauler Low Life.

Then there’s the king of Panther Piss—Genessee Beer from upstate New York.  When people who like Genny recommend a restaurant or movie, I make sure to avoid it!

At a 90th birthday party for my now late uncle (FT would have liked him—he was even more Marxist than FT), my cousin said “Hey, you want a beer?” I said “sure!” without thinking.  He gave me an ice-cold Mauler Lite.  I got a third of the way through it when I simply couldn’t drink anymore of the crud, even ice-cold.

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By johannes, May 20, 2009 at 2:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ Sepharad


The real France is to be found, under the Loire river, the most interesting and with the deepest culture.

The south wash and is still the most thinking part of France, in early times it wash also the richest
part of the country, but the France king started to plume them, with diverend excuses, mostley religious.

Paris have chopped of all the time, the inteligentia, you know the cader the leaders, till they wend underground as they partley are to day.

We are reading all the time that in realety the Chinees own the U.S., they have an hugh amound of
confession of guilt from the U.S. governement, so to say they pay the U.S. citizen to buy, and than it comes back to the Chinees, wath is your vision on this.

Salutation.

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By Sepharad, May 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther - correction: “...in the aftermath of the ‘48 war” (not the ‘67 war, in re Yemeni Jews coming to Israel.

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By Sepharad, May 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Inherit & Folktruther, I’m not sure how Stella Artois came to be in St. Louis—most likely Anheuser-Busch bought it. I’ve not tasted it: only thing I have against Stella Artois is the corny pseudo-hip commercials they routinely show in an arthouse chain of movie theaters here. Am not much of a beer drinker—have probably had maybe 20 glasses of it my entire life, most of those downed celebrating St. Pat’s with my cousins. Like the darker beers better.

FT—maybe coming from such a large family quieted down your young Yemeni-Jewish guest. I don’t know any Yemeni-Jew Israelis, though there were quite a large number of them coming in to Palestine during and in the aftermath of the 67’ war, in which they were driven out along with other Jews in Arab countries.

I loved St. Louis and sometimes miss it, mainly the Mississippi and the music and the jazz clubs and the Muni Opera and Do not miss the weather; not even a little bit.

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By Sepharad, May 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

johannes, you’re probably right that most French history was made outside of Paris, in the countryside. The only reason we spent most of our time in Paris was that we only had seven days. My husband’s business, which he runs out of our house, requires him to be reachable all five weekdays. So we only get to travel abroad when there are holidays and most universities and research centers, like everyone else, are closed down. IF we are lucky enough to go again, we’ll try to get into the countryside more. I want to visit the Camargue, where it is rumored there are wild horses, some of which have smooth gaits, and some old-style horsemen to learn from. Re the South of France per se, sometimes I feel as if I’ve already been there. Where we live, in vineyard country north of San Francisco, the country French lifesyle is much coveted and imitated by people with more money than good sense. (One family nearby has a huge vineyard and winery, based on the cashflow of a very wealthy lawyer and political groupie—Democratic fund-raiser. They treat the people who work for them abominably, expect their neighbors to tug their forelocks or caps when they swan by, cheat local craftsmen, and grovel all over the politicians who come to call. The wife likes to imitate Marie Antoinette in Versailles, inviting people to lunch, greeting them wearing a frilly apron then trips out to the kitchen garden to delicately pick out picture-book vegetables and herbs, brings them in to show her guests then hands them to their personal chef to prepare and serve al fresco. Ah, the simple (imitation of) life. After the last seasonal lunch, the vegetables are left to rot in the garden. Once a couple of their underpaid grape pickers brought some of the wasting produce home to feed their families. The family found out, and prosecuted them for theft.
These faux aristocrats are but an exaggerated version of the hundreds around here who try hard to imitate their idea of the south of France. Provencal fabrics, cookware, cookery are rampant, more every year. But the climate is great and it’s not too far to a big city, which is why we are here. Used to be more comfortable and diverse, but most of the orchardists and farmers have since been bought out. Thank goodness the Santa Rosa and Atascadero creeks flood an enormous area every year—keeps at least some land open.

Anyway, I’m sure the real south-of-France is much less pretentious as our local version (though the family I mentioned have a “chateau” in the South of France, where they spend the winter, as well as several other houses around the world).The countryside around Rouen was beautiful, and the people we encountered very friendly.

As you say, decent people who think independently and respect others represent the best that any culture anywhere produces.

That French bureaucrat who said the government knew as much about their citizens as Breszhnev did about his was no doubt right—given how the Net and other modern technologies have enabled more thorough and accessible surveillance than existed in Breszhnev’s day.

Ruling classes nearly everywhere come from the same schools—over here, it’s the Ivy Leagues and the U. of Chicago and Stanford. The Brits have Oxford. But have never heard of the LENA; any connection to Sorbonne?

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By DIOGENES REDEUX, May 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just hope people wise up to the trillion dollar pharma, ama, equipment and medical supply gouging and ripoff in the name of private business. In the first place, the money to pay is nonexistant.

Hoveraround chairs, incompetent home service “techs” and other “private” home care crooks.

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By Folktruther, May 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, although it is true that Israeli’s tend to be impolite and assertive like residents of big cities, it is not invariably true.  An Israeli boy stayed with us for ten months years ago and he was polite, reserved, comely and boring.  His family came to Israel from Yemen and he had eight siblings.  When he brought a girl home once he apoligized profusely afterward.

Forgive my vulgarity but drinking Stella Artois is like making love in a canue.  It’s fucking close to water.  In St Louis it has found its natural home.

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By DIOGENES REDEUX, May 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

REF: Pflaff Nailed It!

Privatization of everything is impractical due to the animal nature of mankind. Left to his primal instincts, the big dog eats his fill, then comes the others.

That is one important reason behind the current Crash, as was the Great Crash in Oct. 29, 1929. Without regulations and vigilent enforcement, that is what so-called private business will do, almost everytime.

Runaway exubrance, is what Alan Greenspan called it. Wow, another pathetic euphormism like, taking a “haircut,” and “toxic assets.”

So trillions were needed in taxpayer “bailouts” have been needed to fill “holes.” Next up is about $50 trillion in “toxic assets” being held by AIG, BOA and others.

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By Paracelsus, May 19, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

We do have very regulated money market in interest rates. In very little else do we have a monopoly that so obviously sets the price for a good or service. I am not saying we don’t have monopolies in other goods, it’s just that the Federal Reserve Bank Inc doesn’t feel the same anxiety as say a Microsoft or Exxon. I would speculate that a free market in interest rates would be more likely to give an accurate interest rate that would not cause malinvestment.

As to the French system, it is closely tied to the Bundesbank, which has a policy that tends toward an economy that performs under potential under a deflationary model. Being that there is good safety net, an economy that underperforms is not as likely to cause dangerous social unrest.

The French system is also more nationalistic than the American system, a legacy, I believe, of Charles De Gaulle, and even further back Napoleon. The American system is very friendly toward the investor class in regard to capital flows. The government even subsidizes the outsourcing of American industry. Sarkozy will have to fight economic and national instincts that are rather hidebound. I find it interesting that 98% of the money that France sends to the EU in Brussels comes back to France. The British are lucky to see 1/3 of their tax receipts to Brussels come back to them. The Anglo-American system is excellent at wealth extraction.

I would expect the United States to have a more elastic and inflationary monetary policy as this nation has to be able arm itself as a global constabulary. The United States has early on in the ashes of WWII been established as a “global constabulary” for the lessor powers European and Asian economic powers. Military engagements by the US have been termed as patriotic engagements for American interests in the profane media, but they only benefit most directly the global investor classes. So if we have expansionary money policy in comparison to Europe it is only bankroll a host nation as the US to the benefit of foreign or traitorous interests, who serve as parasites against the purchasing power of American citizens. Without the Federal Reserve’s powers it would have been harder to implement the world order of the last 60 years.

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By Dyspeptic Teleologist, May 19, 2009 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

@RdV

“Hm, how come they have riots over there if everything is so wonderful? How come we don’t here where it is not?”

1. Because their employers cannot illegally fire them for political assembly, so they’re not afraid of losing their jobs.  And even if they did, they would not lose their health insurance.

2. Because they are less inclined to passively and politely let corporations run *everything*

I don’t mean to say that all “riots” as you say are motivated by political and egalitarian ends.  Some are expressions of frustration with perceived disrespect from the state or the mainstream society But one has the distinct impression that the French political classes, including Sarkozy, are much more responsive to the citizenry than our own.

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By RdV, May 19, 2009 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

“Hm, how come they have riots over there if everything is so wonderful?


  How come we don’t here where it is not?

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By RdV, May 19, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Ha!

  Interesting…they don’t tell us how much better France is faring when they tell us how much worse it is in Europe…

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By Inherit The Wind, May 19, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

Stella Artois is now made in St. Louis??????????????
I’ve never had anything but Belgian Stella.  When I went to school in Belgium back in the 70’s, Stella was the cheapest and lowest of the Belgian beers, but still very drinkable.

I was in Flanders, where the language is Flemish.  Most people understood French but hated it (long, bad history between the Vlaams and Walloons).  But if you spoke French with an American accent, then it was OK!

Last time we were in France, at CDG, we were constantly directed to the wrong place when trying to find Avis by bus drivers.  One guy directed us to Ibis, a hotel. By this time my wife was nearly in tears.  However, the hotel staff was VERY helpful and embarrassed and got us back to Avis.  The Avis staff was the same way.  There’s the “French” attitude, and then there are the decent people who are embarrassed by it.  It was the first time I every REALLY was inconvenienced by it. 

So a store clerk or waitress is a little snotty. So what? They can be shut up easily and PLENTY Of clerks and wait help here can be nasty too.

Again, most people I found in France were very nice.  As a college kid traveling on a shoe string, people would put me up, cabbies would turn off the meter at some point and I had a lot of fun.  Even the people running the youth hostels in France were great, whereas in Britain the hostellers were all bastards (this was back in 1976) and hostile!

But French foreign relations from 1871 (or earlier) have been generally an unmitigated disaster, with a few high points, such as founding the fore-runner to the EU.  They are as unprincipled seller of arms with just as little concern for who gets them as we, the Russians, the Brits or the Chinese are.

Their nuke power system is far, FAR safer and cleaner than most.  Current designs in the West are far different than they were when TMI or Indian Point were built, which should be closed down and sealed in earthquake-proof concrete!

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By johannes, May 19, 2009 at 2:37 am Link to this comment
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If Americans are visiting France, they go to Paris.
Where they should go is the real south of France, L’Aude, L’Ariège, most of all Le Corbière, the windy
province, their wash it where the real historie, well part of it had its playground. The Cathare thinking, le war of le Maddemoiselles, the oprising of the Viticulteurs.

People their are still thinking as their forfathers, they hate central governements, they want to cut out their own lives, and their thinking.

When Napoleon landed in Egypt, he destructed the rulers of that time with his 1000 pieces of artillery
he blowd them to ?

The same happened in Algeria, that war had 400 000 dead, practely all Algerians, its an public secret so to say.

One’s in a time their wash an France high bureaucrate who said, that France did know more about his citizen
as Bretsnev did about the Russians.

Their is one universety and from this place come all the France politic rulers, its the LENA, they are sitting in the same classe, and lather on they make their money by carving out their places and prey on the citizen.

La douce France still exist, but you find it in the country, and specially in the southern provinces, you know no real big eye blinding culture, but a decent respect for other people and their thinking, and thats also culture.

Well have a good day

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By okcsteve11, May 18, 2009 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

4 or 5 years ago I saw this fat slob lady waddling out of a Waffle House, and got into a big SUV with the bumper-snicker “Liberate Iraq..THEN FRANCE!!!!”

lawl.

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By Sepharad, May 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Ellen, France has been very much engaged in the Middle East ... from the days of Napoleon in Egypt to the Foreign Legion and their colonial enterprises, the disastrous Sykes/Picot agreement that messed up the Middle East just after WWI, and the bitter war waged against the Algerian rebels until they finally ceded Algeria to the Algerians in 1967. (They didn’t confine their colonial adventures to the Middle East: Africa, the Caribbean, anywhere there were profits to be made and natives to be exploited.) However, before we stupidly leaped into Iraq, where the French had considerable financial interests they wanted to protect, they naturally advised us to not do it. As Molly Ivins gently suggested—not in her exact words; just as I recall her quote—our French friends had learned hard lessons in the Middle East and were trying to keep us from making the same mistake and we should listen to the voice of experience. (Unfortunately we didn’t.)

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By Sepharad, May 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind, as you probably know, Stella Artois is made in St. Louis (my hometown), which is known for its beer, The River (Mississippi), gateway to the West ever since Lewis & Clark took off, the Arch, huge Forest Park with its open-air Municipal Opera, and its French founders (Jesuit Pere Marquette, the Papins, the Choteaus)and their influence on the cuisine.

I like southern Spain and Italy better (never been to Germany), but the people we met in Paris were great, with one exception. One day we were waiting in a miserable cold rain, lined up with other people, for a taxi. When it was our turn, my husband (whose French is excellent, unlike mine) asked two French women in line behind us if they wanted to share the taxi as they had been talking about going to the Louvre, our destination. They said no thanks (in English), then as we were getting into the cab we heard one say to the other how awful it was to hear French spoken almost, but not quite, perfectly by an American. Husband said “Let ‘em drown.”

But that was the only French stereotypical rudeness we encountered. Were staying on the Left Bank in the very inexpensive Hotel California, and talked a lot with the staff and people plying their various businesses in the area—news vendor, Palestinian grocer who kept us supplied with great tangerines and gave us advice on where to eat good food cheaply, etc. My French is barely adequate, but when I sometimes accidentally used a Spanish word by mistake people were patient and encouraging. (I guess mangling the language is not as frowned on as adding a non-French word to the Academie’s codex.) The only snobs we met were at an Equestrienne Festival. The only street fight we saw was in the St. Marais district (old Jewish quarter, now also full of Arabs and a few Turks). A Moroccan emigre selling espresso cups and tea glasses invited us to sit and talk with him inside his shop, explaining who was fighting who and why.

The thing that struck me most about France was how Catholic it is. Cathedrals all over the place, of all sizes and all sorts of histories, including in one in Rouen where St. Jean d’Arc was burned.

Israeli Jews of every ethnic background are intense, direct, impolitic (except for the Ethiopians, who are invariably kind and civil). But Israeli Jews can also be quite warm and are easy to engage in conversation that, if you want, can become quite personal. (Sitting down to rest, once got the entire military and personal history of a museum guard in Acre, after he point out the hole in a prison building through which the Irgun liberated a dozen of their comrades and dozens of Arabs waiting to be hung by the British. Engaging, happy fellow.) Israelis feel free to comment on anything they might observe about you, and if you ask for their opinion you’d better expect to get it. They aren’t easily offended, but God forbid you should say something inane or time-wasting. Arab Israelis are usually more polite than other Israeli ethnic groups. Israeli TRAFFIC is something apart: aggression is taken for granted, and if you make the mistake of slowing down to let someone in front of you the whole street or intersection comes to a stop—they are confused by “you first” behavior.

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By Ellen, May 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
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Some of the key advantages France has benefited from over the past few years include the intelligence and integrity NOT to get involved in poorly justified, ineptly waged, and radically expensive Wars in the Middle East!....

From the beginning, France exercised skillful, intelligent diplomacy, yet stood their ground. I even remember them WARNING the United States not to waste their resources….Well, being high-minded and true to what they knew has paid off for them!!!  The Iraq fiasco is bankrupting the U.S.

Freedom Fries, my foot! Not only is France not being broken in such a quagmire, they also don’t have blood on their hands.  Plus, they were clever enough about it only to suffer just a little PR damage and Bush scorn…

Touche, France!!  If only wiser minds had prevailed and listened to you at U.N.!!  I did and I applauded your correct viewpoint! (too bad I was in a mere echo chamber that has lost its way… :’(

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By terry freeman, May 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
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If we actually had something approaching laissez faire, I’d be glad to hear criticism of it. However, on what planet can a federal budget exceeding $3-something trillion, a central bank which creates trillions of dollars out of thin air, and an alphabet soup of regulatory commissars be described as a “free market?” What we are seeing is the failure of the managed market, of, by, and for big corporations. The boom years were created by the Federal Reserve, for the benefit of its member banks and the federal government. That same agency is now charged with bailing out member banks, other financial institutions, and saving the federal government from righteous condemnation. This is a lot like setting a fox to guard a henhouse.

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By johannes, May 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
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France is shining, France is hiding, the Frence governement is never giving the real figers, half of our yearly budget is to pay the people who work for the governement, our yearly deficit is growing and growing, their is no money left to invest in highschools and universities, no la France is broke, but shining, yes if you don’t look to the realy poor, every thing is O.K. Carla Bruni and Nicolaas
Sarkosy have no problems, but this kind has never problems, no where in the world.

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By Leefeller, May 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

I happen to know someone who knows a one legged kick boxer Frenchman!

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By Spiritgirl, May 18, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

“...what the French call capitalisme sauvage is dead.”  Americans need to understand that “we as a nation” are going to have to move away from the ‘free-market savage-ness” to caring about “we the society”!  There are no longer 2 different parties - for they both continue to knuckle under and do the bidding of the special interests that they are supposed to regulate!  I hate to call it a conspiracy, but what else do you call it when businesses have contributed massive amounts of money to political coffers and rules/regulations have been relaxed or repealed?  When the very people that are put in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect the public interest - these people have been in charge of those very industries?  They are not there to help us, they are there to cover the butt of the industry they are supposed to “regulate”! 

It is time to go to a new “economic model” one that puts the people before the profiteers, one that works for the many not just the few!  It’s time that all Americans stand up for the ideal that is America - you know the one - where hard work will pay off, and schooling will get you ahead!

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By Anarcissie, May 18, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment


“The United States is certain to learn something from the French success in long-term state planning, infrastructure development and, one would hope, will build a vastly improved health system (the World Health Organization considers France’s the best in the world) and other social protections.”

Ah, yes, just what we need, a better, more arrogant bourgeoisie and a bit of dirigisme.

Hm, how come they have riots over there if everything is so wonderful?

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By Inherit The Wind, May 18, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

IMHO, if you want to get a good beer in France, buy Belgian or German beer.  Even Stella Artois is better than French beer (it’s ALL from Alsace-Lorraine).  And don’t even THINK of poisoning yourself with Italian beer.  French and Italians make good wine, and great ice cream, but not good beer.

I’ve met lots of nice people from and in France over the years and a few DHs.  But the DH factor is everywhere—equal opportunity annoyance!

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By Folktruther, May 18, 2009 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

the french talk too fast.  but they are much friendly in Paris lately.  A professional offered to get off the metro at a stop earlier to show us the way, and I asked him why.  instead of spitting in us in the usual Parisian manner.  he thought about and said he though everyone speaking english as a second language made people realize that americans were no worse pigs than anyone else.  we appreciated the compliment.

try Kronenberg beer, Inherit, from Assac-Loaraine.  But the best beer is Chech.

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By Jim Yell, May 18, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
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A comment seems in order to separate the truely good features of the French Model, to the hard realities of relying on atomic energy, one of the dirtest and expensive forms of energy production and yes one of the most dangerous.

Basing their properity on atomic energy is a short term solution, with a long term toxic result. For now the French get away with shipping the horrible and dangerous by products of this industry to weak nations controlled by France, but the world is one eco-system and once the containment of these 10’s of thousands of year life span of radiation waste gets into the environment as it will, everyone will be sorry after the fact.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 18, 2009 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, May 18 at 1:29 am #

Inherit the Wind, to answer your question, “lock, stock and barrel” describe the entirety of a gun. Re France’s economy, you’ve summarized it most accurately. If it’s better now, I’m glad: I like France and most things French—that is, the people, the movies, the literature, the food, the language, Paris and the Louvre.
****************************************

And the lady wins a cigar!

I, too, like most things French, other than their beer and their predilection for a commission to “control” the French language, something that is impossible to do and fails to understand that language evolves almost as if it was governed by Darwin, and you cannot stop the evolution.

Phrases that are slang become part of the culture, then become part of general usage, and then are fully integrated, and, eventually pass out of usage…“Forsooth, Sirrah!”  So the French never could stop “sandwich” and “weekend” from reaching their lexicon.

I’ve very rarely run into the so-called “French” rudeness, having run into its equivalent more often in the UK and Italy.  I’ve run into it in Germany, but not often.  It’s not that it’s not there—it just seems to depend on who and where you are.  I’ve met some amazingly kind and nice people in France, even in Paris, and some royal @$$#0les…but they are all over New York and New Jersey too so it’s not much different—lots of super-nice people here as well.

Realizing this may be construed as political, and it’s not meant that way, I gather that Israel is one of the rudest places on earth, combining the worst of New York, Russia and Paris all in one!  Having never been there, I don’t know if it’s true, but I imagine it’s like dealing with the sleazier cheapo electronics shops in NYC.

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By foggyjones, May 18, 2009 at 12:46 am Link to this comment
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I found the Canadian one-payer system superior to that in the USA. My late father-in-law travel to Canada to have his hip operation. His knee operation in the USA really was bad.

So, it seems France and Norway has much better health care, one-payer health care. If only the Orcs of Mordor on the Potomic can we presuaded to yield to the majority of the people.

Many in each party seem determined to crush on-payer, their primary donors. Damn Max Baucus and cronies.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, May 17, 2009 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
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French household debt is half that in America, no bank has failed, none has been nationalized, executive pay is reasonable, and “the income gap between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent is far smaller than in Britain or America.”

This will not, under any circumstances, take place in the United States.  This nation is not capable of it.  We are a house of cards waiting for the scammers, the totally corrupt, cowardly politicians, the corporate media, the religious fanatics, the cancer of the empire and the insatiable military who serve its strictly private and money grubbing ends and our own lazy and uniformed citizenry to inexorably finish us off.  The inertia of corruption, decadence and knuckle dragging arrogance can have no other outcome.

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By Sepharad, May 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind, to answer your question, “lock, stock and barrel” describe the entirety of a gun. Re France’s economy, you’ve summarized it most accurately. If it’s better now, I’m glad: I like France and most things French—that is, the people, the movies, the literature, the food, the language, Paris and the Louvre.

But the French have had some pretty screwed-up governments, mainly because aristocrats/upper-upper-classes generally seem to run the place—guess they forgot to chop off some heads. (Sarkozy is the exception, if a little wacky. Dominique de la Villepin, now indicted for serial corruption, came from a fine old family, but had little to offer but the name of his excellent tailor. Socialists have trouble winning elections there these days because they pretty much abandoned their Marxist unionists, the very proletariat they are supposed to represent, and present socialites as candidates. Perhaps this is because they are deeply conflicted: the desire to be seen as the cutting edge culturally combined with nostalgia for the glory days of Sorbonne students at the barricades is an image dear to their hearts, but it collides constantly and irreconcilably with the equally strong yearning for the prestige of the good old days when the sun never set on the French empire (right along with the British), and the French Foreign Legion romantics have been less public since the embarrassment of the Battle of Algiers. (Don’t know if it is on DVD, but there is on VHS a wonderful French film “Overseas” that explores the angst of the proud colonials.) 

For the conspiracy theorists on this website, France’s “Shining Economy” may perhaps be attributable in large part to the membership of one of their major bankers, Jean-Claude Trichet, now president of the European Central Bank, in the Bilderberg group. He was present at the group’s most recent meeting, in the coastal Greek town of Vouliagmeni. Also invited there this year were our own Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, Obama’s special rep to Afghanistan-Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

The Associated Press coyly reported that the Bilderberg Group has no widely-know headquarters, meets secretly at luxury hotels and resorts, and generally makes no public statements. I see that Bilderberg has take a page from our politicians. Should Americans be flattered or scared?

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By bg1, May 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment
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“The United States is certain to learn something from the French success in long-term state planning, infrastructure development and, one would hope, will build a vastly improved health system (the World Health Organization considers France’s the best in the world) and other social protections.”

NOT.  The scum who run our economy couldn’t care less; they’re just gangsters with Ivy League degrees, and Obama is their spokesman for the moment (a far more capable spokesperson than Bush, with imagery more appropriate for the current situation).  He shills for Wall Street and they let him be president.

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By hippie4ever, May 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

There’s a larger issue in all this: is an economy based upon growth environmentally sustainable? The premise, that there are adequate resources for continued growth, is now false.

I could argue that the greedy brought down the economy; or that the economy—slouching towards the precipice—attracted parasites prior to its demise. Much like mange multiples upon a dying dog.

To some native americans, social status is based upon how much you give, not what you own. A person with many possessions is considered of defective character, and is criticised.

We need to rethink our collective priorities & its going to be a long conversation.

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By ocjim, May 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Smash and grab capitalism is a good metaphor and perhaps it covers the Machiavellian flavor that American businesses and certainly the Bush administration gave it under the auspices of people like Rove and Cheney.

Maybe laissez-faire capitalism could have worked if it had a heart but where the heart was supposed to be was narcissism and where the conscience was supposed to be
resided unbridled greed.

The real problem is that we could let the forces of power continue their ride which inevitably will make us a hasbeen nation.

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By hippie4ever, May 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

When I lived in France I thought the life was brilliant. Nobody was worked to death & there was enough delicious food & wine for everyone. The single-payer health care was far superior to the mess we have here in the United States of Capitalism. Unlike Americans, the French developed their land intelligently.

Sarkozy wasn’t elected so much as Royale was rejected as part of the status quo. The French want to keep their social net intack but realise the high cost of doing so. Now that the West has fallen, maybe in opportunity costs they are in a relatively better position. Sarko was more of a protest than a change in government. Once he began initiating reforms he was slapped down, as only the French know how.

I hear the Reich clammering about how Obama is turning the country into something like France.

We should be so lucky.

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By ardee, May 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

JimBob, May 17 at 1:42 pm #

Not so long ago the Japanese economy was lionized as the New Model, the Right Way, the Economy That’s Going to Run the World, etc.
.............................

I would point out that Japan in the nineties encountered similar difficulties to our own today. They took the same approach that we ourselves are taking and their economy tanked exactly like ours is doing.

You are certainly free to continue to support unregulated capitalism but I believe that you should broaden your studies and take great note of what successes those that strongly regulate said capitalism are having in opposition to our own failures.

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By rockinrobin, May 17, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
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Exploitation is a CRIME: it is the TARGETING and HARMING for PERSONAL PROFIT and GAIN. This is NOT a democracy at all, nor the INTENT of our FOREFATHERS! Capitolism per say is NOT BAD but is IS with the PREDETERMINED maliciously cold blooded CRIMINAL socialpath MINDSET: since WHEN was PURPOSELY POISONING PEOPLE (do a SEARCH folks: on rumsfeld & monsanto; rumsfeld & asparteme; FORMALDEHYDE, BROMINE, just a TOUCH of the CHEMICALS) used in EVERYDAY THINGS to PURPOSELY HARM the PEOPLE of the USA; and then on to GLOBALLY. READ of WHY our SHIFTY lawless leaders (changing laws whenever they choose) backed up by JUDGES more CRIMINAL than any appearing BEFORE THEM) baby killers is the “nicest” term & they explain WHY. SEARCH Yahoo news for SUCIDES by FARMERS in INDIA due to US CRIMINALIZED CORPS; same with TEENS in that country. It is THIS or COMMUNISM??? Carpetbaggers, and scalaways! NOW busy dumping BILLIONS of DRUGS into the water supply HERE, in India & every nation! Claiming “they” own it; Billions of $ to spend; THEY manipulate the MEDIA, the MARKETS, deliberately OVERBILLING the PUBLIC: and cleverly stating with sneering contempt: YOU wrote the laws: Antonin Scalia; THIS nation is FULL of toxic wastes: your HOMES and REFRIGS: THANK them folks! for those who don’t want ANYTHING BAD said against YOUR Gov;

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By JimBob, May 17, 2009 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Not so long ago the Japanese economy was lionized as the New Model, the Right Way, the Economy That’s Going to Run the World, etc.  Not that I don’t wish the French lotsa luck—but I’m far from ready to give up on American capitalism.  We just need a few New Rules to keep our baser instincts (greed, selfishness, shortsightedness) from polluting the process.

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By MarthaA, May 17, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

geronimo,

I like your short apprisal; people have to make a choice: Either the exclusively “me” or the seriously “we”, which is it to be?

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By jimfromthefoothills, May 17, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I think it is funny how these leaders will pledge their love of “free market” when they have no friggin clue what in the hell it is.

We are no more a free market than the old soviet union or Nazi Germany.

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By Purple Girl, May 17, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

The People as a Collective have been Barred from competing in our own Free market. Nowhere in our founding documents does it state the the gov’t ‘of, for & By’ the people can not be a entity in the Free market model. In fact the opposite is true. Why is it ‘The People’ are only allowed to operate on the Consumer side and not the Producer side? Seem a lil’ lopsided? Seem like the Corps have had the unlawful upper hand- allowed to be the Only game in town, thus negating the true goal of a Free market.
How about ‘We the People’ make the Corps compete against US- not just in healthcare, but energy.
So they want to keep these commodities on WAll Streets ambling boards, we then lets up the ante and see who consumers, thus market forces, reward and destroy. Survival of the fittest -you say capitolists, lets see how you stack up against ‘The People’.
Offering single payer healthcare would force these corps to bring down costs (and premiums) to compete with the Juggernaut of the Public system.In fact if they wanted to maintain their current pricing they had better be offering something above the Public system. We should also as a collective begin using the same business practices they have- do contracts with less costly foreign providers, give tax cuts for them to take over failing hospitals, Pharms. In fact we should join up with Canada to increase our buying power with foregin pharms. Leave the high cost med dealers to survive off those still on Private insurance. Let’s do to these Corps what the Corps ahve done to the ‘Mom & Pop’ industries, Under cut them like Toyota did to the Big 3.
Heres a lil’ Clue for all those chicken littles ...‘Gov’t Of the people, for the people and by the people’ and the Preamble ‘WE the People’ are Socialistic statements.
‘Of,For & By’ the Corps is no different than ‘Of,For and By’ the Family Crest- we just call them Logos Now.

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By BigEasy, May 17, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
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The French invented modern Democracy. And Montesquie said ‘no man shall have to far another man’. Here in America we have so much to fear internally that socialism-if it were to exist-would be a step up. I applaud the French citizenry for being brave, for holding to their freedoms.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 17, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Not to defend or minimize the American/Anglo-Saxon-made mess of the world economy, I think it’s HIGHLY premature to cite France as the “great” model—since its GDP is SHRINKING less fast than ours or most of Europe’s.

A few years ago it was Ireland that was the economic miracle, so much so they thought THEY could veto the European Constitution…Now Ireland’s economy is in trouble again, as it had been for decades.

France, of the big nations in Europe, has been the “Sick Man” for 40 years.  They managed to screw up nearly everything they touched in various way, one of which was resisting following general European ways of doing things (French cars are rather idiosyncratic, for example).  Prior to the Euro, the Franc seemed to live under eternal pressure to devalue.  The first effort at a unified currency failed when, in 1976 France was forced to withdraw from “Le Serpent”, ie, “The Snake”.

I’m happy that France is doing well, or at least better than everyone else.  Perhaps there ARE lessons that can be learned from their experience.  But I think history goes against adopting the French model lock, stock and barrel.

(Trivia question: Where does “Lock, stock and barrel” come from?)

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By Wingnut, May 17, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is France doing ANY monetary discrimination?  If so, they’re running a servitude-infested pyramid scheme, just like the USA.  America uses a columbian freemason pyramid scheme.  Its symbol is on the back of the USA dollar, and its headquarters, of course, are in a “district of columbia” and not part of the USA.  Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a 1911 picture of the columbian freemason pyramid scheme structure.  Darwinian “survival of the fittest” join-or-starve pyramid schemes always collapse from top-heaviness.  They act exactly like the servitude-infested pyramids we failed-at as children in the playgrounds.  While the upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds”, the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET CRUSHED from having the weight of the world’s knees in their backs.  Look at civilian courts in the USA, versus military tribunals.  The civilian court is multiple height, architecturally, with lots of woodgrain and brass, a false deity “on-high” wielding a sceptor… a fear chamber or church simulator.  See ANY of that un-level and church-sim crap in a military tribunal?  No.  Miltary uses a “team” approach where capitalism uses a “every bloodline for itself” approach.  Look carefully at the military’s supply system… its socialist.  So is the USA public library system.  The certificates used in the civilian pyramiding… are “federal reserve notes” and have no entitles of ownership, so there’s no such thing as “your hard-earned money” or “tax-payer dollars”.  All notes (dollars and entitles of ownership gotten therewith)... are owned by the fed and its herd-control pyramid scheme.  They can be recalled on a whim.

Ownership?  Its a man-made-up (fake) thing.  Its a side-affect of “the great squatting festival” that capitalists have been participating-in for what seems like forever now.  But, ownership is illegal, as none of the original owners/creators of the Earth (and its materials) were ever consulted as to ALLOW ownership or not.  Again, no other living things… use economies.  Why do capitalists?

Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
MaStars - Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
(anti-capitalism-ists)
(system fighters, not role-playing-people fighters)
Bessemer MI USA

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By whyzowl1, May 17, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

I shall forward this splendid article from Wise William Pfaff to President Obama tout suite. I’m certain he will begin transforming America along the lines of the superior French economic and social model immediately, all the while exhorting our people to emulate the socialistic French winners of the global economic sweepstakes, not the American “free market” losers.

Oui, we can!

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By Folktruther, May 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

The power difference between France and the US is that France had a strong communist party and union movoment which exerted pressure on the ruling class.
The US has been a highly repressive power system that ideologically repressed marxism during the War on Communism and destroyed the union movement.  that is why the Dem-Gop bloc is so reactionary, class inequality is so great, and the Progressive ideology in the US is liberalism rather than socialism.

But it is not the case that neoliberalism is dead, by no means.  It is safely in the hands of Obama currently who takes his orders from wall street and the ruling class.  It’s a terrible economic and power system, but only from the perspective of the population. 1% of the population make an enormous amount of money and have enough power to control the mass media and both poltiical parties.

meanwhile the American people have been indoctrinated that socialism and communism is the worse thing that can happen to people, and they largely believe it.  Marxism has been caracterized and ideologically repressed in the mainstream truth by cults like Ayn Rand which prevents the formation of new economic and political forms.  The American people actually believe that they are living in Freedom and Democracy the way, say, the Chinese people aren’t.  the Chinee model is not suibable for the US, but the US cannot dispose of neoliberalism without a social revolution that distributes power to the people.  And to do that, they have to be able to think freely about people and power.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, May 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

France is proof that in the long run, you get what you actively work and plan for. In France, what they actively seek to cultivate is the common good. In the US, what we actively cultivate is helping the wealthy elite to become more wealthy, and we assume that the greatest good for the country as a whole will accidentally result as a by-product.

Well, gee whiz; the results are in. France is right, and we are wrong.

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By ardee, May 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

“The United States is certain to learn something from the French success in long-term state planning, infrastructure development and, one would hope, will build a vastly improved health system (the World Health Organization considers France’s the best in the world) and other social protections.”

Naaaaah, not bloody likely.

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By KDelphi, May 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

The gathering storm in France: (anti-Sarkozy and Capitaliam)

http://www.marxist.com/mass-strikes-france-gathering-storm.htm

The Obama Recovery: (ie who will pay)

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/may2009/pers-m06.shtml

It would be very difficult to make such decisions through “normal political channels,” Obama says, adding that the Democratic Congress is currently discussing the setting up of an independent body that would give “guidance” on these questions.

As with every other question, the Obama administration’s approach to health care subordinates social need to the powerful financial interests, including insurance, drug and hospital conglomerates, that have the decisive say in the policies of the government, whether Republican or Democratic.

In the post-recession America Obama envisions, a financial aristocracy will continue to monopolize society’s wealth, while the living standards of working people are permanently lowered. In the entire interview on America after the “Great Recession,” there is not a single reference to social inequality—the issue that dominates all aspects of American life.

The interview, appearing in the midst of a heady rally on Wall Street even as unemployment, homelessness and poverty grow to near-Depression levels, is a stark demonstration of the right-wing character of the Obama administration and the class interests it serves. It shows why the bankers and speculators are celebrating an administration that dutifully serves their interests.

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By radson, May 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Vivre la France libre mais que est ce que nous faisons dans L’Otan.At one time some genius tried to monopolize the production of baguettes in France but that didn’t work ,then some other idiot tried to control the production of” Lait Cru” Brie and Camembert cheese ,namely through the company Lactalis ,but that didn’t follow through either.Is it a coincidence that some despicable corporations are trying to control the agricultural and cultural aspects of a society.The French are notorious for razing hell when they deem it necessary and they do it quite regularly,it just happens that every time I travel to Paris there is a strike or public manifestation.How long President Sarkozy will last is up to the French people ,but generally the French lean towards Socialism as a form of Govt. which is something unthinkable in the US.Perhaps if the
donkey and the elephant thought of spreading the wealth a little bit more instead of blowing tax payers money on weapons of mass destruction it might actually alleviate the situation ,but then again the US has become so paranoid with this war on terror that there terrorizing themselves. C’est la Vie Mes Amis.

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By geronimo, May 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Sort Of World?

“The options?”

“Either the exclusively me, as it is today, or the seriously we, which it’s yet to be.”

“If we stick with the exclusively me?”

“Doomsday.”

“Why?”

“Perpetual war + global warming + economic collapse.”

“And if it’s the seriously we?”

“A peaceful and just world.”

“Based on?”

“Yes we can.”

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