Monday, August 10, 2015


A few years ago I wrote about how the U.S. transfers wealth on a regular basis. Through our federal system of government we tax and redistribute wealth on a massive scale, and have done so since the founding of our nation. The big beneficiaries in this tax game today are the poorer, southern Red States in America.

I updated that post last year, and showed how the same redistribution of wealth patterns occur within states, and used California and Washington as examples. The wealthier more politically liberal counties help subsidize the poorer more conservative counties in both states.

Understanding these realities is important because it helps us see that our nation - contrary to popular folklore and myths - redistributes wealth and resources within our nation on a regular basis. And we've done it for at least two hundred years.

Initially it was the confiscation of land from the indigenous populations. This allowed the nation to hand land over to early pioneer settlers. We also have the more recent parade of market bailouts that culminated with the trillion dollar Mother of All Bailouts for Wall Street after 2008.

Whatever period we look at, one thing is clear: the United States was not built around the rugged individualist free market mythology that many like to believe surrounds America's history.

In America the state creates the conditions under which wealth is created, and this has been achieved through a regular redistribution of wealth. In fact, it happens so much that no one really notices any longer.

This is unfortunate because while the emergence of America's corporate welfare state is real, it's not what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

I'm bringing all of this up because the YouTube clip below - "5 ways America is a socialist country" - helps hammer home the point that if America is heading towards socialism, it's not because of President Obama or our much maligned social programs for the poor ...

If we're heading for socialism it's because we've already embraced many of the ideas pushed by socialists, or we wink and nod at many corporate sponsored policies that most people would identify with socialism - were it not for the corporate strings attached. Soviet style trickle down economics for Wall Street is not what market capitalism is supposed to be about.

Creeping socialism, however, is not America's biggest challenge. It's a convenient Red Herring that distracts from the real challenge of our time: the on-going merger of corporate and government power.

The worst part is this is not the first time we've had to confront the issue of creeping fascism either. The story of Major General Smedley Butler makes this crystal clear.

- Mark

1 comment:

ray gonzales said...

Good ol' Smedly Butler, the Commandant of the Marine Corps in the early 20th century who concluded in his memoirs, that after a lifetime of service, he realized he was nothing but a policeman for Wall Street.