Today, I’m going to describe what is perhaps the largest single lie of modern-day Societal Programming. So successful is this lie that I would guess that a billion people, yes, a billion people believe in it.
This lie has been building slowly since around the early 1990s. It reached critical mass around the mid 2000s and crescendoed just after the collapse of 2008. Today, it’s simply accepted “wisdom” and not even questioned. The lie is complete, entrenched into not just Western culture but world culture, and is here to stay, perhaps for the next 100 years.
The lie is this: Capitalism means big government assisting big banks and corporations in ripping off their customers, then bailing out said banks and corporations when they fail.
You’ve probably heard this statement a thousand times: “The 2008 crash was caused by too much capitalism.”
When government throws corporate welfare at big companies or bails out big banks, what do you see people screaming about? Capitalism.
The problem is none of this is capitalism. It’s corporatism, which is completely different.
The United States isn’t a capitalist country or economy. It hasn’t been since at least 1913, which by my math was over 100 years ago. If something horrible happens to the US economy, you can’t blame capitalism. You have to blame what it really is. Corporatism.
Yet how many people do you see bashing corporatism? Virtually none. How many people do you see bashing capitalism? Tons.
In the last few years, they have cleverly started calling corporatism “crony capitalism,” but that’s still a lie, because what they’re calling crony capitalism has nothing to do with capitalism. What we have in the United States is nothing like capitalism.
I shall explain.
What Capitalism Means
Capitalism, or free market capitalism, is based on a (mostly or completely) unregulated free market, voluntarily exchange, entrepreneurship (including the risk that implies) and private property.
In capitalism, you can start your own business and the government has nothing to do with it. You can run that business any way you like. The government doesn’t tell you how to operate the business, how to service your customers, how to manage your money, how much to charge for your products or services, how much to pay your employees, or anything else. You can run that business literally any way you want as long as you don’t murder anyone or steal anyone’s stuff (including things like patents).
Does that sound like the United States?
But let’s keep going.
If your run your business well, you make a lot of money and keep the vast majority of it, since under capitalism, taxes are really low. This is because the government is very tiny and doesn’t do much. Tiny government equals super low taxes.
Does that sound like the United States?
But let’s keep going.
The government also doesn’t pass any laws that make it more advantageous for people to do business with you. It also doesn’t arrange its tax code so that purchasing your product or service is more advantageous to, or detrimental to, people’s tax positions. If you’re a bank, the government doesn’t provide programs where people can get lower-interest loans from you. If you’re a home builder, the government doesn’t provide people extra tax write-offs to buy one of your houses. Once again, government stays the hell out of these things, and it’s completely up to you as the business owner to sell a quality product or service, or not.
Does that sound like the United States?
But I’m still not done. Let’s keep going.
Under capitalism, the only time government gets involved in your business is if you’re caught defrauding your customers. If you lie to a lot of your customers about a product or service, and cause people to lose money or suffer damages because of it, then, and only then, the government steps in. From here, they will then throw your ass in jail where it belongs, and either shut down your business or force you to sell it for pennies on the dollar to someone more honest. The government does not allow you to defraud your customers in any way, at least not on a mass scale.
Does that sound like the United States? Do you see a lot of corporate CEOs or bankers go to jail for defrauding their customers?
But let’s keep going.
Under capitalism, if you run your business incorrectly or incompetently, you go out of business and lose all of your money. This happens even if your business is very large, employs thousands of people, and makes billions of dollars a year. Doesn’t matter. If the people running that large corporation screw it up, those people who lose their jobs are treated as pariahs in the business community, and the corporation either goes under or is purchased for pennies on the dollar by more effective business owners. At no point does anyone from, or even affiliated with the government come in and save you. You lose your job as a shitty business manager and your business goes out of business (or is bought by someone else), which is what’s supposed to happen.
Does that sound like the United States?
But I’ve still got more. Let’s keep going.
Capitalism is made of booms and busts, recessions and prosperity. Sometimes things are great, which is called prosperity. Over time, a few incompetent or corrupt business owners start screwing things up. Then the economy goes into a recession. Recessions are good. They act as a cleanse, just like a juice fast cleanses your body. Recessions clean out all the corrupt and incompetent businesses and business owners. Because of this, under capitalism, recessions are very short. They’re almost always very mild. Soon, you’re right back to prosperity and growth again.
Under capitalism, the government never manipulates the currency, tax rates, or interest rates to make sure there’s “never” a recession, or at least to “put off” recessions. The government has nothing to do with that. It lets the free market correct the problem, which it always does after a brief recession.
Does any of this sound like the United States?
The United States is not capitalist. It’s not even close. It’s corporatist.
What Is Corporatism?
Corporatism is the exact opposite of everything I just said, because it’s the exact opposite of capitalism. According to false Societal Programming, communism is the opposite of capitalism. Incorrect. Communism (and its baby brother, socialism) is a completely different system based on completely different models and goals.
Corporatism isn’t a “type” of capitalism, like the misleading term “crony capitalism” implies. Rather corporatism, which is what the United States embraces, is capitalism’s mirror opposite.
Here’s what I mean.
Under corporatism, you start your own business, and immediately the government gets involved. It tells you where and where not to do business, whether your allowed to put up signs or other advertising, and what you’re allowed or not allowed to say in your advertising, even if it’s 100% honest and you can prove it. In many industries, it tells you exactly how to price your products and how you bill your customers. When you hire employees, it tells you how much to pay them (wage controls, otherwise known as “minimum wage”), what benefits to give them, how much they’re allowed to work, when or when not to fire them, and even the racial makeup of your company.
I could fill the next several pages with ways in which the government is involved in your business, but I don’t have all day. Hopefully you get the idea.
Under corporatism, taxes on you and the business are sky-high. Since the government is so huge and does so much, it requires a massive amount of taxes. However, if your business is really huge, the government allows you to pay very little in taxes, sometimes zero and sometimes even negative taxes, where the government actually writes your giant corporation a check every year!
This ensures the big, fat, giant, incompetent, well-connected companies stay in business while the smaller, more innovative, and often more well-run companies have near-impossible hurdles to overcome in order to be successful. In the United States (and much of Europe) the huge companies pay very little taxes, but the smaller companies pay massive taxes, getting hammered by the tax burdens the giant corporations don’t pay.
Every time these small business owners complain these corporate taxes are too high, left-wingers scream “fatcats” and “rich people” and about how they “don’t pay their fair share.” Left-wingers, hearing the word “corporation” immediately envision a huge company like Goldman Sachs or Hewlett Packard, not the small bakery with six employees trying to make ends meet. Thus, the system perpetuates; the small Main Street bakery gets hammered, big giant Wall Street corporations sail down Easy Street without a care in the world.
Under corporatism, the politicians who run the government pick and choose the industries they want to progress based on what will make them look good and get re-elected. For example, they may see that the more people who buy a house, the better the economy is for the short term, so the politicians will get more votes. So these politicians pass laws to make it easier to buy a house, via huge tax incentives or whatever. Millions of people take advantage, and everyone in the real estate industry artificially makes a lot of money. Not because of a free market, but because of a highly manipulated market. Capitalism is a free market. Corporatism is a manipulated market, which means it benefits the elites.
Under corporatism, if a bigwig in a large corporation is found guilty of ripping of his customers, the government lets him do it. He is not fired and he does not go to jail. The absolute worst thing that might happen is the government fines the giant corporation a few million dollars after it’s made billions ripping off its customers. The corporation just laughs, pays the puny fine, and revels in its billions.
This is because big government likes big corporations. The myth is that big government and big business are enemies. Completely untrue, and another successful element of this capitalism lie. Big government and big business are so cozy that they often work in the same offices. Under corporatism, big government always protects and goes to bat for its big business friends.
It gets worse. Under corporatism, if a big corporation or bank is corrupt or incompetent, instead of going out of business like its supposed to, big government steps in and uses taxpayer dollars to bail out the corporation. The big corporations know this, so they just keep on ripping off customers and behaving incompetently. Big government plays along and keeps bailing all these businesses out, declaring they’re “too big to fail.”
In capitalism, these corrupt and incompetent managers would be replaced by most honest and competent ones. But under corporatism, these corrupt and incompetent managers stay in power forever and ever.
Lastly, under corporatism, big government uses massive power to put off recessions as long as humanly possible. They provide tax loopholes to big corporations. They artificially drop interest rates as low as possible, even to zero, and keep them there. They print trillions of dollars and flood the economy with it, which enriches rich people and damages the poor and middle class. Yet this stuff does actually keep recessions at bay, at least for a while.
Remember, recessions are good. You cannot have sustained growth without the occasional recession. So, when government manipulates its corporatist economy to stave off a recession it desperately needs, the economy stays in a weird, no-growth, limbo-like state. It’s not a recession, but it’s not prosperity either. It’s just this strange dead zone where things suck, but not too horribly. The United States has been like this since 2009. Japan, another corporatist country, has been like this for 20 years.
Of course, you can’t hold off a recession forever. Eventually, you’re going to have one. Under capitalism, recessions are frequent, brief and comparatively light. Under corporatism, they’re less frequent, but when they do happen, they’re huge, terrible, sweeping, and last a long time. Millions lose their jobs. Millions lose their homes. Millions lose their businesses. It’s absolutely horrible, and it’s like that for years. Remember 2008. If you’re old enough, remember 1981. Study history, and look at the Great Depression.
THAT’S the United States. It’s not capitalism. It’s the opposite. If you ever see something in the US economy you don’t like and then complain about “capitalism,” you’re either a complete idiot, or you’re purposely lying in order to play a more sinister game. Let’s discuss that.
The Big Lie
Most people who have succumbed to the big lie that America’s problem is capitalism are simply idiots who don’t understand economics or low-information ignorant folks who are just parroting political pundits on their side without doing any real research.
However, there’s another category. These are people who know damn well that the US is corporatist but purposely call the US “capitalist” anyway. There are many left-wing folks, many of whom are among the elites, who do know the difference, and they hate corporatism just as much as I do. The twist is they hate capitalism too. They hate both corporatism and capitalism. They would rather the US chuck corporatism and go more socialist, which as I said is a completely different system.
They don’t need to worry about capitalism, since the elites in America destroyed capitalism many decades before you or I were born. So they need to instead focus on destroying corporatism. However, they know that the word “corporatism” doesn’t mean anything to most people, whereas even morons have heard the world “capitalism.” Thus, they call corporatism, “capitalism.” (Or at best, “crony capitalism.”)
Thus, the lie is complete. Look at all these banks ripping you off! Capitalism! Look at all these Wall Street billionaires! Capitalism! Look at all these guys getting a bailout! Capitalism! Capitalism! Capitalism!
Never mind that the United States hasn’t had capitalism in over 100 years. Doesn’t matter. A lie repeated often enough will eventually be considered the truth. The Nazis figured that out, and left-wingers are only too happy to follow through on that maxim.
I could give you many examples of this, but my favorite one is Michael Moore. In interviews with him, historically anyway, he has been really good at demonstrating that big business is not capitalism, but corporatism. He doesn’t use the word “corporatism” of course, but he clearly says things about how the airline CEOs are not capitalists (relying on big government corporate welfare) and how Obamacare insurance CEOs are not capitalists (relying on big government to force people to buy their products or get fined; Obamacare is a classic corporatist healthcare system).
He is, of course, absolutely correct. This isn’t capitalism.
Yet he turns right around and makes a move called “Capitalism, A Love Story” about all the bank bailouts and how horrible capitalism is. He knows damn well it’s not capitalism, yet that’s what he calls it.
He’s lying. Period. It’s not just him. Robert Reich, Joseph Stiglitz, Bill Maher, and hundreds of other left-wing pundits also call something they know is corporatism “capitalism.” They’re lying to you because they want you to think what America has is capitalism, which is the opposite of what it really has.
And based on the most recent polls, they’ve succeeded.
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