The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David A. Stockman (2013)
Yes, that David Stockman, the man who was:
elected as a Michigan congressman in 1976 and the the Reagan White House in 1981. Serving as budget director, he was one of the key architects of the Reagan Revolution plan to reduce taxes, cut spending, and shrink the role of government. He joined the Salomon Brothers in 1985 [and we all know what happened to them] and later became one of the early partners of the Blackstone Group. During nearly two decades at Blackstone and a firm he founded, Stockman was a private equity investor.
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Listen Liberal or Whatever happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank, (2016) [apologies in advance for such length without breaking out headers and subheads]
AWESOME BOOK! Nails it! Perfectly captures why Bernie Sanders supporters are baffled by the non-democracy of the Democratic Party. It USED TO BE the Party of the People, but it turned it’s back years ago, and did so deliberately, as one of my now favorite authors describes in this book.
I thought I had posted about his books before but cannot find now; he is most famous for “What’s the matter with Kansas” and I will post later. (It is also a good video – I especially was horrified at the power of too much money in the hands of some people, like the guy who built a “museum” on Creationism; especially the part with the dinosaur grazing peacefully next to a small boy.)
I have been saying similar things about WTF has happened to the democratic party I have voted for all my life. Yes sometimes the lesser of two evils, but I always thought fundamentally the commitment to workers and social justice were the values of the party. So I was truly shocked, but kind of not surprised to learn that Hillary had been a Goldwater supporter back in the day. Yeah, yeah, don’t get in my face, people can change. But I’m not sure she did or if she just calculated the odds of achieving her ambition to become the first woman president was absolutely more likely in a democratic party, never the republicans. It has never been more obvious than this 2016 election that the process of presidential nominees has been a queue of people who tow the line of the real power behind the politicians, financial and corporate donors.
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Pity the Billionaire: The hard-times swindle and the unlikely comeback of the right, by Thomas Frank, (2012). Author of several great books including new release MUST READ “Listen Liberals“ and most famously his “What’s the Matter with Kansas.“ [also on video]
Once again it is fun to see the title of the concluding chapter, in this case:
Trample the Weak. We who are living in this fake “free market” know that there can never be a free market because free markets are ruthless killers of all things, people, land, water, animals, and more, all for PROFIT. In fact, the religion of capitalism has now even shucked any pretense of their original charters with the obligation to serve the people by claiming “fiduciary” responsibility to their shareholders. How they can do that while taking $53 million a year in salary plus bonuses and stock options that cause them to waste capital on stock buybacks to jack the price up and contribute literally nothing in terms of goods and services, just shuffling paper money around, is beyond me. The shareholders aren’t even allowed a vote on the pay of the CEO but just their boards that are well-compensated people with next to no responsibilities except to rubber stamp whatever grand scheme the current CEO has to rape and pillage the people.
Continue reading Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank