Capitalism Sucks for Everyone Except Capitalists

koch brothersCapitalism is an economic, social and political system where private individuals control a country’s trade and business.   Capitalism flourishes because it celebrates the worst of the human condition: greed, self-interest and ego.  It also recognizes the advantages of competition and market forces.   This leads to a great tension between what is good for the capitalist and what is good for everyone else and the country.

In the United States this tension has resolved in favor of the capitalist time and again.  Money talks.  As a result of the capitalist wanting to maximize profits for themselves, we get poor wages and often are forced to work in unsafe conditions; all while they plunder the land and resources of our country and pollute our air, land and water.

Average-American-Family-InfographicOf late, when workers try to organize or ask for a wage increase, the capitalist threatens to move their operations to another country.   In fact, hundreds of U.S. companies have moved, simply to maximize profit for themselves, all the while putting Americans out of work.   Clearly, what is good for the capitalist is not good for the country or its workforce.

So how is this resolved?

Socialism is not the answer, because giving the government control of business is a losing proposition.  Instead, we need to examine what socialism is trying to accomplish for workers, and find a way to protect our country and its workers within our democratic values.

This is where the tenets of the Pro American Party shine. They create stability and security in a system that currently has neither.   They also create an economic floor for workers that allow them the dignity of working and paying their own way in our society.   In so doing it creates the forces required to make business work in a way that is in the best interests of our country.    Importantly in this regard, it also protects businesses from unfair competition from abroad.  In short, the PAP protects workers, increases economic security, protects U.S. business and serves to unite the country.

I encourage you to read all 12 tenets that have been discussed to date, but in the meantime, here are some highlights of how the Pro American Party resolves the tension between the capitalist and the country.

employ Americans.jpgTenet #1 – Requires businesses who sell their products or services to Americans to employ Americans.  It also provides for a very low tax rate for those companies that comply, while punishing companies that do not.

Tenet #2 – Abolishes welfare, but creates guaranteed jobs at a fair wage. Abolishes corporate welfare, but reduces corporate taxes.  By guaranteeing a minimum wage of $12 an hour, it forces business to match that rate or be unable to attract workers.

Tenet #3 – Endorses the scientific method as a fair way to determine facts.   As per our constitution, does not endorse religion, but allows our citizens to believe in whatever God they choose.

Tenet #4 – Creates in-country production requirements for all products deemed to have a connection to national security.  This will bring manufacturing back to our country.

scalesTenet #5 – Establishes a requirement for a balanced budget and revises the tax system.  Changes the way budgets are established.

Tenet #6 – Ensures our military will remain the best in the world.

service to countryTenet #7 – Creates a requirement for all Americans to give 2 years of service to their country after graduating high school or reaching the age of 18.  There are many ways to complete this service requirement.  Once this service requirement is complete the recipient will be eligible for up to 2 years of free college or trade school education.  Those who complete their 2 years of education with at least a C average are then eligible for an additional two years of college without cost.

Tenet #8 – Requires the title of all laws passed by Congress to truly reflect their impact.   Creates a non-partisan group to evaluate all laws and to publish their findings prior to a law being enacted.

Tenet #9 – Creates a yearly survey of all businesses and determines the educational, vocational and other skill requirements of businesses and broadcasts that information to all school districts in the country.

Tenet #10 – Punishes businesses that pollute our environment.  Creates a fund, paid by business, to correct pollution problems.

Soldiers w RiflesTenet #11 – Protects our military veterans and their physical and emotional health.  Provides a higher hourly wage for all veterans…for the rest of their lives.  Provides additional death payments for the spouses/families of veterans who die in the line of duty.

Tenet #12 – Eliminates high crime/high unemployment areas by bringing together business and government resources.

 

 

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Guest Column – Dr. Steve Rose

The article connects the politics of racism with the social issue of Veterans in transition by looking at how “social justice” can serve as a perverted virtue to justify racist ideology as well as provide sense of purpose and belonging.

Steve Rose is a PhD graduate of the Department of Sociology at Queens University. His doctoral research focused on the social barriers facing Canadian Veterans in transition to civilian life, as related to suicidal ideation. He has also worked with the office of the Veterans ombudsman on research aimed at defining a “successful transition” for medically released Veterans, and is currently a lecturer in the sociology department at Eastern Michigan University.

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) might sound like a cultural relic, hardly taken seriously in the 21st century, but it is actively recruiting American Veterans. A recent VICE documentary takes an inside journey into this divisive hate group, uncovering why Veterans are joining their ranks.

Founded shortly after the civil war, the KKK originally served as a support-group for disenfranchised and disgruntled confederate Veterans. Their mandate read:

“To protect the weak, innocent and defenseless from the indignities, wrongs, and outrage of the lawless, the violent, and the brutal; to relieve the injured and oppressed especially the widows and orphans of ex-Confederate soldiers”

Taking out the last line, one might mistake this for a contemporary social justice initiative or a counter-terrorist mandate. How could this be the mandate of one of the most infamous hate groups? The answer to this question gives us insight into why Veterans have joined the KKK.

What do Veterans, the KKK, and the rest of us have in common? The need for a sense of justice and belonging. The most extreme acts of violence are often committed due to one’s sense that it is for a just cause. Even murder-suicides are shown to result from a perversion of virtue, as argued by psychologist Thomas Joiner.

The KKK always had close recruitment ties to periods with a large influx of Veterans in transition. This occurred after each of the world wars, continuing to the most recent influx of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Veterans are a prime target for the KKK because of their training as well as their vulnerability during transition. In addition to dealing with anger and psychological traumas, Veterans in transition are often seeking a sense of belonging. Regarding the Klan, as a well-decorated Purple Heart Veteran in the documentary states at 4:15:

“…you get to know these guys and it’s like a sense of belonging. It’s like you found brothers and sisters you never knew you had.”

Upon hearing that line, it sounded strangely familiar. In my own research a Veteran expressed a similar sentiment when discussing the sense of belonging he found at Treble Victor – an entrepreneurial support-group for Canadian Veterans. He stated: “it’s like meeting family you never met.”

When struggling with transition, Veterans need a group to come home to. Although biological and conjugal families often assist, they are not enough. Veterans require meaningful occupational groups that can guide their new mission in a search for justice. This way, we can combat the influence of predatory hate-groups like the KKK and their perverted sense of virtue, while also utilizing the elite skills and training of our nation’s Veterans.

Our thanks to Dr. Rose.   We will have additional discussions about the needs of veterans in the future.

Tenet#6

The Pro American Party believes our military needs to be the best in the world. In a world that does not respect anything but power,  we cannot afford to have anything less. However our foreign policy should be weighted in favor of providing non-military assistance as a primary component of our policy. The use of our military should be a last resort and only for clear and limited purpose that is the best interests of the vast majority of citizens and not of the elite or special interests. Educational and cultural exchange opportunities should be encouraged for citizens and at all levels of government. The Pro American Party believes that cartons of food that say “USA” show more good will than military options and should be pursued when advantageous. When American goods are sent to a foreign country it is incumbent upon the State Department to devise a method for ensuring those goods are actually delivered to the people of the country and not simply to those in power.

Should it be necessary for the military to engage in war the Congress is authorized to collect an additional tax to pay for this expense.  The immediate negative view of an extra tax will, by itself, ensure that all Americans are involved in the decision to go to war.   Politicians will have to be able to explain why a war is in our best interests.

If I Had The Power is comprised largely of veterans who have great respect for our military.  We want our military reserved as a last resort, not a first option.    Future tenets will further enhance the status of our veterans, to create a better path for them once they return home from their military duty.