Facts of life in the corporate dictatorship

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:58 pm by George Smith

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration, has been deservedly glum most of this year. And he should be. Reich knows the country he lives is in nothing more than the world’s foremost corporate dictatorship.

Reich can’t call it that. So he writes columns like “Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless” in which he annotates the comments from people he’s met and adds: “[I’m] struck by how utterly powerless most people feel.”


A large part of the reason is we have fewer choices than we used to have. In almost every area of our lives, it’s now take it or leave it.

Companies are treating workers as disposable cogs because most working people have no choice. They need work and must take what they can get.

Although jobs are coming back from the depths of the Great Recession, the portion of the labor force actually working remains lower than it’s been in over thirty years – before vast numbers of middle-class wives and mothers entered paid work.

Which is why corporations can get away with firing workers without warning, replacing full-time jobs with part-time and contract work, and cutting wages. Most working people have no alternative.

Consumers, meanwhile, are feeling mistreated and taken for granted because they, too, have less choice.

The word rigged is perfect. The giga-company country is rigged for the wealthy. Everyone else be damned. All against all. Root, hog or die.

And despite his great success Reich would have to concede the country doesn’t really work for him, either. While he doesn’t appear powerless, he does have a public voice from the left, he has been. And it started the day he left the Clinton administration because he realized it didn’t care about any of things he did and wasn’t listening to him.

Which brings us again to one of his close friends and someone he still advises, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is the best presidential candidate for the corporate dictatorship. Paradoxically, if Reich sincerely believes everything he’s written over the last year or so, and I believe he does, he knows it, too.

Hillary Clinton is not the collection of of white supremacy predators and madmen from America’s tribe of fear. Clinton is someone you’re already thinking you’ll hold your nose and vote for solely to prevent an immediate Biblical catastrophe from taking over the government.

And despite today’s speech centering on the systemic problems of racism, lack of opportunity, policing and the incarceration state, I’m betting Clinton will phone it in as she always does. She’ll get by on the overwhelming power of odious, but not as odious as Republican, things: gargantuan sums of money, the political machine and being super-famous for being super-famous.

There is substantial evidence accumulated that the only thing she and her husband recognize implicitly are galaxy-sized sums of cash.

With Bernie Sanders now in the running, he’ll only make this fact that she is someone who fakes it after consultation with multi-million dollar advisers more glaring.

It’s simple reasoning.

Bernie Sanders is a person who speaks in a blunt and populist way. He’s not cut from the cloth of the corporate dictatorship. Hillary Clinton is. She’s entire warehouses of it.

Clinton was a name nobody among name nobodies as a Secretary of of State. In could not have been otherwise. In our lifetimes, the position has always been nothing more that a rubber stamp for war and America’s foreign policy of the hammer.

She was not as horrid as Colin Powell but, surprisingly, even John Kerry has been better in the role.

And then there’s this today, in the news, summed up by a columnist from the Tampa Bay Times: “Spiro Agnew would be proud of the Clintons.”

“Hillary Clinton has not had one word to say addressing the optics of a secretary of state who [has created an impression of foreign contributions in exchange for policy], if she wasn’t on the take, was more willfully oblivious as to what was going on around her than Sgt. Schultz,” Daniel Ruth. Since she’s very smart, there will be no firm traces in the records, he continues.

For a moment of thoughtfulness, let’s dismiss this one as another instance of the shabby way the Clintons are treated in the media.

Instead, turn to another Clinton analysis by Rolling Stone’s politics and economics writes, Matt Taibbi.

Taibbi has contempt for Hillary Clinton but it’s detailed in its flavor.

He leads off:

Hillary Clinton ran onto the playing field this week, Rock and Roll Part 2 blaring in the background, and started lying within minutes of announcing her entry into the presidential election campaign.

“There’s something wrong,” she told a crowd of Iowans, “when hedge fund managers pay lower taxes than nurses or the truckers I saw on I-80 when I was driving here over the last two days.”

Oh, right, that. The infamous carried interest tax break, the one that allows private equity vampires like Mitt Romney and Stephen Schwartzman to pay a top tax rate of 15 percent while all of the rest of us (including the truckers Hillary “saw” – note she didn’t say “hung out with Bill and me over chilled shrimp at the Water Club”) pay income taxes …

Raise your hand if you really think that Hillary Clinton is going to repeal the carried interest tax break.

At launch she talked a streak of anti-elitist rhetoric that was taken seriously for a few days, until the punditry took the temperature of her populism and declared to it be the right kind: the fake kind, the purely strategic kind.

The [cognoscenti] even seemed to applaud Clinton for sounding enough like Elizabeth Warren to preclude the necessity of the actual Elizabeth Warren running for president, Warren being the wrong kind of populist, the real kind.

I didn’t include the finer parts of his reasoning. Go read it, they’re sound.

As for Hillary Clinton’s recognition that something ought to be done about the profound inequities of mass incarceration in America?

Jerry Brown and the people of California have been way ahead of
her. We passed law that downgraded drug possession for personal use to misdemeanor crime. It’s already released a lot of people from jail, reduced sentences and stopped mass police arrests, disproportionately on the poor and non-white, for the smoking of methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

Nationally, though, who was responsible for the national shift to getting tough on crimes, escalating the war on drugs, building prisons and locking more people up forever? The Clinton administration.

Many will have already noticed that Hillary Clinton, regardless of her speech recognizing the national stain as a significant problem, made no concrete suggestions on how to stop the war on drugs and mass incarceration of poor non-white people nationwide.

Sounds like the same formula used in talk of repealing the carried interest tax break for the rich.

“Pundits say her idealist porridge is not too hot, not too cold, but just fake enough,” reads the subhed at Rolling Stone.

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