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Tag: Capitalism

AP / Mark Lennihan

Steve Fraser on the Crisis of Capitalism

Does the prospect of deepening economic meltdown and political disarray raise the specter of a social upheaval and, perhaps, the collapse of capitalism, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression?

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 READ MORE


Ayn Rand Revisited

Two new biographies about the irascible and idiosyncratic Ayn Rand, objectivist philosopher and ham-fisted mistress of the capitalist morality tale, show how her rocky Russian childhood and her subsequent self-reinvention campaign in America (partly conducted in Hollywood, of course) influenced her work, and how her ideas led to her own undoing.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons /

Marx Gets a Boost from the Vatican

Although Pope Benedict XVI made a point of denouncing institutionalized Marxism two years ago, the Vatican’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, last week cast a more redemptive light on Karl Marx’s ideas by going to the primary source and validating the German economist’s critiques of capitalism.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE

Obama Orders Salary Cuts

In a move to quell public outrage, President Obama has ordered the government’s “pay czar” to cut by 90 percent the multimillion-dollar salaries that executives of seven bank and auto companies are receiving, citing the fact that these firms are entirely dependent on U.S. taxpayer money for financial survival.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE

Wall Street Bonuses ‘Offensive’

The Obama administration, perhaps getting wise to public opinion, is lashing out at Wall Street firms. White House senior adviser David Axelrod called the huge bonuses executives received this year “offensive” in light of the fact that the rest of us are struggling through an economic crisis.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009 READ MORE

health care signs
AP / Lynne Sladky

Real Talk on Health Reform

President Barack Obama has finally put into words what everyone already knows: that insurance companies are “deceptive and dishonest” in their efforts to kill any semblance of health care reform, no matter the cost. Now let’s see if he does anything with this knowledge.

Posted on Oct 17, 2009 READ MORE

Billionaire Arrested for Alleged Insider Trading

Billionaire hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was arrested Friday and charged  with running the largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme in history. Charged with Rajaratnam, founder of Galleon Group, were executives of several prestigious U.S. companies.

Posted on Oct 17, 2009 READ MORE

The Dark Side of Cause-Marketing

Cause-related marketing, such as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, may just be a way to move products at higher prices. A new report details the difficulty well-intentioned consumers may encounter in getting a tiny portion of their purchases to go to the intended charities.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 READ MORE

When They Call, Geithner Answers

It’s unsurprising to say the least: A Freedom of Information Act request has discovered that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in daily two-way communication with a small group of Wall Street CEOs—at Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs—while lawmakers like Rep. Xavier Becerra are forced to leave messages for him.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Unemployment Edges Toward Double Digits

Economic news and pessimistic views: U.S. unemployment increased slightly to 9.8 percent and, moreover, this figure shows the crisis is far from over, experts say. Joblessness is at a 26-year high.

Posted on Oct 2, 2009 READ MORE

Capitalism Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Michael Moore’s latest look at what’s wrong (and right) with America is a lot better—and a lot more radical—than some of the brie-eaters reviewing it think. It’s a cry from the soul of a man who sees the whole country turning into his hometown hell of Flint, Mich.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE

Wash Me

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE    

EPA / Win McNamee

G-20 Muscles G-7 Aside

It looks like the G-20 is set to permanently replace the G-7 as the world’s dominant economic forum, an indirect admission that there was something unfair about the world’s seven wealthiest countries deciding economic policy for the entire globe.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE

Bear Ice Cap

Investors Against Climate Change

We normally think of capitalists as ravaging the Earth with profit in their eyes. While that still might be true, 181 of the world’s largest investors have issued a united call for action against climate change, most importantly a binding treaty to cut pollution and boost funding for low-carbon technologies.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE

Yale Harvard

Ivy League Endowments Smacked Down

These tough economic times have ganged up on the poor, homeowners, investors, students and immigrants. And now comes word that even Harvard and Yale, among the wealthiest schools in the world, have suffered dramatic losses in their endowments over the past year.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Poverty Level Leaps to 11-Year High

It’s a vicious circle: Millions of job cuts and shrinking household incomes combined to push more Americans below the poverty line last year. Nearly 40 million Americans now officially live in poverty.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


Stone Goes ‘South of the Border’

A new documentary by Oliver Stone called “South of the Border” follows his earlier trajectory of “Salvador” (1984), “Comandante” (2003), and “Looking for Fidel” (2004) as he talks to several Latin American leaders to understand what is happening on the continent and how U.S. perceptions of our own backyard are skewed.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Klein Disowns ‘Shock’ Film

A recent squabble between “The Shock Doctrine” author Naomi Klein and the director who is adapting her book into a documentary film has led Klein to ask that her name be taken off the credits. Conflict reportedly arose over the form of the documentary, and the director’s use of narration rather than interviews as the key story-telling device.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / showbizsuperstar

Here’s Hoping Obama Really Is a Socialist

In this topsy-turvy world it seems one’s proximity to full-blown communism is directly proportional to one’s success in capitalism. Take Red China’s explosive economic growth, or the unexpected success of semi-socialist Germany and France, which just bid auf Wiedersehen and adieu to the recession.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE

AIG sign

AIG Logs a Profit

For almost two years, insurance giant AIG has experienced quarterly losses—until now. The infamous company is reporting its first profitable quarter since 2007, a turnabout that will give the U.S. government a whopping $1.5 billion gain as a shareholder, while individual shareholders get to split $311 million among themselves.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Mark Lennihan

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression

Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness, is a quack science that justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE Over Media Reform

The ruling party in South Korea passed a bill that allows print media companies to own up to a 20% share in the broadcast medium. The opposition believes this benefits only a handful of conservative media giants. So they started fighting ... in parliament. Watch the protest and the “Seoul” demonstrated by politicians for just media policies.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE

Health Care: Change the Debate

In mid-May, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5 percent of their costs each year for 10 years, saving a total of $2 trillion. Just two days after the announcement at the White House, the insurance companies reneged on the deal that was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35 percent.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE

Obama Africa

Obama to Seek to End Africa’s Conflicts

It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously—and in a way that doesn’t look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE

Benedict XVI

Pope Says Capitalism Is Failing

In the spirit of the poignant critiques of capitalism made popular by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has written a scathing letter just in time for the capitalist G-8 economic summit in Italy that demands we find a “profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Publicity With Health Care?

SEIU President Andrew Stern and Wal-Mart have joined forces, breaking with most other companies to support President Obama’s plan requiring employers to provide health insurance to workers. The thing often forgotten is Wal-Mart’s horrible record on health care and its current move to make about 40 percent of its employees part-time and thus ineligible for benefits.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE

Dream Center

Privatizing Health Care in the Third World

For only $5 a month, you too can undermine a developing country’s health infrastructure. Since 1990, foreign funding for “development assistance” has quadrupled, offering medical resources to the poor but also luring local health care workers away from government hospitals and toward more lucrative private companies.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


Peru’s War on the Indigenous

In clashes between native groups armed with spears and development interests packing guns, Peru has seen at least 50 people die and hundreds go missing after President Alan Garcia initiated a campaign to open the rain forest to foreign investors.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

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

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.

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE

AIG sign

AIG Still Ridin’ Dirty

AIG CEO Edward Liddy defended his enfeebled company on Capitol Hill Wednesday, yet claimed that even $180 billion in taxpayer money has only “reduced, but not eliminated the systemic risk [toxic assets] that AIG presents to the global financial system.”

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE

Painting on May Day

Dare We Use the S-Word?

The current global economic crisis is not just another roller-coaster ride. Many sane and sober observers fear that the international locomotive of corporatism is going off the rails. Is this a necessary crisis of the capitalist system, determined by the self-destruction and self-renovation of a perpetual motion machine?

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE

IMF Recession

IMF Sees an Even Deeper Recession

A shrinking global economy has many at the International Monetary Fund worried, as economists project that 2009 will see a decline of 1.3 percent in world economic output—the first global recession since World War II.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE

Generic Unemployment

National Unemployment Hits 8.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put March’s unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, the highest in a quarter-century. After 15 consecutive months of job loss, more than one in 12 people (who are looking for work) are unemployed.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 READ MORE


G-20 vs. 6 Billion

No matter how trite it has become for the media to focus on the “clashes” and “violence” that have “erupted” at the G-20 demonstrations in London, stories on the economic summit seem to overlook the legitimate concerns that protesters have against the world’s 20 largest economies orchestrating macroeconomic policy for the rest of the world.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE

Global Capitalism: The Suicide Version

The globalization of the international economy launched as an accidental policy of the Clinton administration has proved to be a destroyer of people, governments and wealth.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE

Our Justified Populist Rage

We are at the beginning of a great popular rebellion against those who showed no self-restraint when it came to lining their own pockets.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE

Money Bags
U.S. Department of Justice

Madoff Accountant Arrested

David Friehling, the accountant of Bernard Madoff (pictured above), was arrested Wednesday on charges of securities fraud. Friehling is the first alleged accomplice to be named by authorities in connection with Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scam, though the accountant was charged with auditing failures, not direct participation in the scheme itself.

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 READ MORE

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The False Idol of Unfettered Capitalism

The Ten Commandments were for the ancients, and are for us, the core rules that, when honored, hold us together, and when dishonored lead to alienation, discord and violence. The worship of the free market has turned out to be an idol, and like all idols it has now demanded its human sacrifice.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE

The Point of Pointing Fingers

Obama speaks disdainfully of “ideology,” but there comes a time when first principles need to be articulated. Conservatives have entered this fight with guns blazing while progressives have hidden behind a Maginot Line armed only with the word pragmatism.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE


Privacy Intrusion With a Twist

Google on Wednesday officially announced its entry into the fray of contextualized advertising—serving up advertisements in accordance with a user’s prior Web-surfing habits. The move, which has raised alarm in the privacy community, carries an unprecedented privacy twist: Google users will now be able to see and edit the information the company collects about them.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE

George Costanza

U.S. Economic Shrinkage Worst in 25 Years

Either the U.S. economy was in the pool during the last three months of 2008 or the economic crisis is worse than expected. The nation’s GDP shrank 6.25 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, almost doubling the preceding quarter’s contraction rate of 3.8 percent.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE

Environment Probs
DFID / Hassan Bipul

Rich Nations Truant on Climate Pledges

Analysis is finding that, amid the historic neglect that rich nations show toward the poor, developing countries have received less than 10 percent of the funds promised to them by the developed world. This comes as countries in the global south struggle to respond to the myriad concerns about global warming.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE

book cover

Zachary Karabell on ‘The Case for Big Government’

Jeff Madrick’s new book insists that the anti-government ethos that is a treasured American prejudice is not grounded in the new economic reality. But is he fighting the last war?

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE

Robber Barons

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE

General Chrysler

More Aid, Please

General Motors, recipient of the 2009 “Nation’s Most Resistant-to-Change Company That Still Gets Federal Assistance” award, wants more. The auto giant on Wednesday asked for $16.6 billion in loans, on top of the $13.4 billion already granted. All this amid GM plans to shed 47,000 jobs worldwide.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE

Bank Owned

$75 Billion to Fight Foreclosures

While $700 billion was given to the banks and credit institutions that haphazardly pushed forward our current economic fiasco, millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure may now be given only about one-tenth of that figure—$75 billion—in an effort to slow the deterioration of the housing market.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE

Gaza Flowers
European Pressphoto Agency / Abed Rahim Khatib

Israel Opens Gaza Border ... for Flowers

In probably the least appropriate metaphor for relations between Israel and Palestine, Israel has allowed, for the first time in a year, Gazan flower companies to export 25,000 carnations to Europe in time for Valentine’s Day, though the volume pales in comparison to previous annual exports of 60 million flowers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE

Club Gitmo

Limbaugh Selling ‘Club Gitmo’ Gear

Leave it to the proto-fascists to find a way to make money off torture, human rights abuses and the degradation of America’s image abroad. Rush Limbaugh has found it acceptable to sell “Club Gitmo” shirts on his Web site, complete with the image of a diving board and swimming pool (water + board, get it?).

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE

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