Chuck Spinney: William Pfaff on USA Gone Awry

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Chuck Spinney

Good summary of the American sickness.

One Nation, Gone Awry

William Pfaff – truthdig – 02/11/11

The theme of most political and social commentary is that things are more complicated than you think. For once, I wish to write that things are simpler than you think. This concerns two matters at the core of the present American political crisis.

The first is that control over the government has passed all but completely into the hands of business corporations. The country has become a plutocracy. This has occurred because corporations are the principal supplier of funds essential to the election of federal officials—the president and the members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and through them, the members of the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary, all of whom are nominated and confirmed by the elected officials of the executive and legislative branches of the government.

. . . . . . .

I spoke of a second source of American crisis to which there is a simple solution, an intellectual solution, which to impose would require conversion of the hard hearts and biased minds of a sizable part of the international economic community (at least that part of it educated at the University of Chicago since the Second World War), as well as a near-revolutionary change in how the American government presently functions (see above). The crisis is easily described as the 1 percent problem. One percent of the American population receives income equivalent to the other 99 percent put together.

This is caused by the consensus decision of the economists and business schools to define profit as the sole criterion of corporation efficiency and public (and civic) worth. The automatic consequence of this has been the de-industrialization of the United States, the export of its manufacturing capacity, unemployment in the U.S. comparable to that of the Great Depression, poverty levels with no modern American precedent, and the moral corruption of American politics.

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