Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bernie Vs. Hillary Recalls FDR Vs Republicans and Explains Why for our Union Leaders, Bernie Will Never Be a Real Option

Government regulation of the market economy arose during the New Deal out of a desire to save capitalism rather than destroy it. ... Clinton betrayed the wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms that capitalism needed to be saved from its own excess in order to survive, that the free market would remain free only if it was properly regulated in the public interest. The great and terrible irony of capitalism is that if left unfettered, it inexorably engineers its own demise, through either revolution or economic collapse..... Robert Scheer

As a history major with an (almost) Masters in the subject, I am very aware of the conditions this nation faced in the 1930-1933 years and how FDR, facing a collapse of the capitalist system, took emergency measures to save it.

Hillary is under attack from the left and the right and Randi's actions has so driven so many teachers away from Hillary, it brings into question her ability to win even against Trump. So many teachers are saying they won't hold their noses and vote for her. I still think that when faced with the stark reality of Cruz or Trump they will.

Robert Scheer continues:
The guardians of capitalism’s survival are thus not the self-proclaimed free-marketers, who, in defiance of the pragmatic Adam Smith himself, want to chop away at all government restraints on corporate actions, but rather liberals, at least those in the mode of FDR, who seek to harness its awesome power while keeping its workings palatable to a civilized and progressive society.
(Read the entire article with a link to the preceding excerpt from the book here.)
As a student of the role the UFT/AFT has played I have some thoughts tying some of this together. Since Reagan, the Republican Party has been trying to take down as much of FDRs New Deal as possible. It was the Clintons who helped moved the bulk of the Democratic Party into alignment with many of these goals and away from the New Deal.

The neo-liberal assault on the public schools and teacher unions by both Republicans and Democrats is one of the clearest manifestations of the take-down of the New Deal. From the earliest days of ed deform, the UFT/AFT/NYSUT complex has partnered in this effort. The alliance with Bill and Hillary was cemented by Al Shanker in the mid-80s even before Randi was deeply involved in the union.

And this is where the Hillary vs Bernie battle is being played out - Bernie is not a socialist in the sense of being anti-capitalist but a social democrat not far off from FDR looking to save the capitalist system, one reason why the Marxist left is opposed to Bernie. Forget what Bernie and Hillary are saying about education. Philosophically it is Bernie, not Hillary who will more likely defend our interests.

So where does our union come down in this battle? How can it support the Hillary right of center, unregulated free-market branch of the Democrats? It has been our analysis - the groups and people I have been involved with since 1970 - that the very foundation and nature of the UFT/AFT/NYSUT complex founded by Al Shanker has been rooted in a right of center anti-left philosophy that dovetails very well with the Clintons.

And that makes the Bernie/FDR model verboten.

In other words, it is not Randi's ambition to be Secretary of Education that drives our union policy but an ideology that if we drift too far left the comfortable structure of capitalism as they know it might be shaken. That is why our union, unlike the people in Chicago, never talks about the banks or Wall Street which is around the corner from 52 Broadway. It might as well be around the world.

That is why you never hear a word about the massive and wasteful defense budget as a drain on our society, which Bernie very pointedly mentioned in his debate with Hillary. Those words are taboo in the halls of the UFT/AFT/NYSUT complex and makes Bernie doubly verboten. As George Schmidt pointed out in his 40 year old pamphlet, the AFT has been an instrument of support for US foreign policy through its entire history and my sources tell me that continues to this day.

This piece references the Robert Scheer book: 

The Role That the Clintons Played in Enabling the 2008 Economic Crisis and Financial Coup d'Etat

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises.
If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."

Simon Johnson, The Quiet Coup


The Clintons, along with a large group of Republican Congressmen and compliant Democrats, put a 'for sale' sign not only on the Lincoln bedroom as you may recall, but on the rest of the White House and the Capitol, and indeed, the well being of the people of the United States.
 ...it became the thing to do in Washington and New York, to partner up to take the public for a wild ride, as we have not seen since the beginning of the last century.  Once again capitalism was unfettered, the rawest, the worst kind of short sighted and self-dealing 'capitalism' that is more corrosive looting than asset allocating.  And so the New York - Washington metroplex quickly engaged in a program of fabulous gains for themselves, and longer term pain for the country.
 More from Robert Scheer:
The ‘Clinton Bubble’: How Clinton Democrats Fostered the 2008 Economic Crisis
By Robert Scheer

Since the collapse happened on the watch of President George W. Bush at the end of two full terms in office, many in the Democratic Party were only too eager to blame his administration. Yet while Bush did nothing to remedy the problem, and his response was to simply reward the culprits, the roots of this disaster go back much further, to the free-market propaganda of the Reagan years and, most damagingly, to the bipartisan deregulation of the banking industry undertaken with the full support of “liberal” President Clinton. Yes, Clinton. And if this debacle needs a name, it should most properly be called “the Clinton bubble,” as difficult as it may be to accept for those of us who voted for him.

Clinton, being a smart person and an astute politician, did not use old ideological arguments to do away with New Deal restrictions on the banking system, which had been in place ever since the Great Depression threatened the survival of capitalism. His were the words of technocrats, arguing that modern technology, globalization, and the increased sophistication of traders meant the old concerns and restrictions were outdated. By “modernizing” the economy, so the promise went, we would free powerful creative energies and create new wealth for a broad spectrum of Americans—not to mention boosting the Democratic Party enormously, both politically and financially.

And it worked: Traditional banks freed by the dissolution of New Deal regulations became much more aggressive in investing deposits, snapping up financial services companies in a binge of acquisitions. These giant conglomerates then bet long on a broad and limitless expansion of the economy, making credit easy and driving up the stock and real estate markets to unseen heights. Increasingly complicated yet wildly profitable securities—especially so-called over-the-counter derivatives (OTC), which, as their name suggests, are financial instruments derived from other assets or products—proved irresistible to global investors, even though few really understood what they were buying. Those transactions in suspect derivatives were negotiated in markets that had been freed from the obligations of government regulation and would grow in the year 2009 to more than $600 trillion...

Clinton betrayed the wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms that capitalism needed to be saved from its own excess in order to survive, that the free market would remain free only if it was properly regulated in the public interest. The great and terrible irony of capitalism is that if left unfettered, it inexorably engineers its own demise, through either revolution or economic collapse. The guardians of capitalism’s survival are thus not the self-proclaimed free-marketers, who, in defiance of the pragmatic Adam Smith himself, want to chop away at all government restraints on corporate actions, but rather liberals, at least those in the mode of FDR, who seek to harness its awesome power while keeping its workings palatable to a civilized and progressive society.

Government regulation of the market economy arose during the New Deal out of a desire to save capitalism rather than destroy it. Whether it was child labor in dark coal mines, the exploitation of racially segregated human beings to pick cotton, or the unfathomable devastation of the Great Depression, the brutal creativity of the pure profit motive has always posed a stark challenge to our belief that we are moral creatures. The modern bureaucratic governments of the developed world were built, unconsciously, as a bulwark, something big enough to occasionally stand up to the power of uncontrolled market forces...

1 comment:

  1. An important aspect of the Clintons'legacy (in education) has been their relationship with Eli Broad. http://goo.gl/PMnzFw

    ReplyDelete

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