Against denunciation of the welfare state
by Rudolf Walther
[This article published on 9/4/2020 is translated from the German on the Internet.]
No economist is so misunderstood and misinterpreted as Adam Smith. Many consider him to be an advocate of the “free market” and narrow-minded egoism. What a mistake! Smith saw an important and strong role for the state. Cooperation and mutual help are inscribed in the division of labor. Others irrationally denounce the welfare state as “comfortable stable feeding.”
Beware of hypocrites, con men, chronic liars, xenophobes, homophobes, and misanthropes who clean the outside of the cup and leave the inside filthy, who wear long robes and race for the front seats, who see the speck in others’ eyes and not the log in their own eyes, and threaten critics with jail time and mercilessly slander opponents!
40 million citizens were made unemployed from the COVID pandemic. With two tax heists of $8 trillion enriching corporations and millionaire-families, Trump doubled the national deficit to over a trillion! Trump has no jobs policy, no immigration policy, no tax policy, no education policy, no health care policy, no housing policy, no environmental or climate change policy. He pocketed nearly a billion from his three bankrupt Atlantic City casinos in 1995! How long can we endure this greed, narcissism, incompetence, criminality, and demagoguery?
Trump is a one-man constitutional crisis and a clear and present danger to the nation and the world!
Economic recovery happens through redistribution and public investment.
The rulers and the elites are often immobilized by neoliberal myths, e.g. the self-healing market, CEOs as job creators and workers as cost factors, financial markets returning to equilibrium, and the benign quality of speculation. Cities and communities are overtaken by revenue shortfalls. Ghost towns arise with socialism for the rich and the merciless market for everyone else!
Market distortions include tax havens, micro-second betting, stock buybacks, and insider trading and show that neoliberalism benefits the few and not the many. The neoliberal model leads to exploding profits and stagnating investments. When a foul-mouthed president decries taxes as for fools, the future becomes blurry. Can schools and roads be rebuilt with magic thinking? What happens to the beautiful words about equality and equal opportunities when only the propertied have enforceable rights?
With 23 million papers, academia.edu could be the people’s publisher. Without even subscribing, you are told whether you have a reader in Ghana, Bolivia or NYC! DeepL.com is a machine neural translator in Cologne, Germany that helps with 11 languages including German, Spanish French, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese! Thanks to DeepL, I can accomplish more in one hour than in 3 or 4 weeks and more in 17 hours than in a whole year! I use much of my new free time to expose the vicious, incompetent, and authoritarian chaos President Trump who is a clear and present danger to our country and the world! Lastly, you can become a free member of Grammarly so your translations, poems or research can sparkle!
Because of fear of COVID-19 pandemic, the US-Canada border has been closed by Canada for months. The US must flatten the curve, end the rise of new infections, and become more human and social so O Canada will reopen the border. Long a source of hope, the US has become a “source of vulnerability” and must change its ways to be welcomed by other countries than Mongolia!
The Good News is that the DHHS (the US Dept of Health and Human Services) has prohibited evictions from Sept 1 to Jan 1. The Democrats under Sen. Sherrod Brown urge a more robust $100 billion Rent Assistance Act.
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Enjoy the feast! Happy reading and happy research!
Kierkegaard encourages us: we are infinite and finite, temporal and eternal. Without humility, there is no sense of wonder (Kierkegaard).
The future could be open and dynamic rather than closed and static! Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people. The old gives way to the new as the snow gives way to the spring (Rilke).
The swan that floats and doesn’t sink represents the intransitory in the transitory (Heidegger).
Send me your comments. Life should be full of surprise, awe, paradox, scandal, and abundance!
I am when you are! We must be wounded to be healed (Dorothee Soelle). A leap of faith over 70,000 fathoms of water is necessary, Kierkegaard said, to realize our full identity!
The shutdown economy is the result of profit worship, of a contradictory economic system that thinks the market is self-healing and creates living wage jobs, that pretends all problems are exogenous and not endogenous, that normalizes speculation and financial products, and calls all other countries “cheaters.”
In truth, the poor need a strong state. In truth, the propertied are not the only ones with enforceable rights. An active state would create affordable apartments and living wage jobs for the rising generation. An active state would be committed to public investment and to a future-friendly economy, not to crony capitalism indifferent to the rights of nature.
A reminder from NOAM CHOMSKY: “How you feel about Biden doesn’t matter. We have to get rid of Trump”
Happy Anti-War Day Sept 1, 2020!
Peace is not everything but without peace, everything is nothing (Willy Brandt)
The German Basic Law mentioned in this article is equivalent to our constitution.
Reducing working hours is a socio-economic investment that often brings better long-term health and more time sovereignty. A three-day or four-day workweek is the only way to ensure meaningful work to the rising generation. State or public employment is necessary to supplement private employment. Part-time workers should work more while 38-hour workers should work less.
The chaos president and the hate preacher Pence must be upended in a regime change.
“Biden-danger” is the whole Trump campaign. Sleepy Joe will “destroy American jobs,” “destroy American democracy,” and “destroy American suburbs,” Allegedly Biden didn’t say a word of protest against the violence in US cities, Pence exploded. Goebbels with his “total victory” addresses was like Pence and Trump in many ways. “International Jewry was exterminating Germany” and all power had to be given to the Fuhrer.
This morning Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said the Democrats with their slow reopening caused the severe recession. No word about the $8 trillion tax heists that went to corporations and households with over one million dollars. No word about the bungled COVID-19 response costing thousands of American lives. No word about 40% of small businesses that probably won’t return. No word about the 40 million on unemployment and the 20 million who lost their health insurance with their jobs. No word about market failure and state failure. No word about Trump cutting everything except the military.
State investment and state job creation are vital in the real world. State investment can stimulate private investment.
Rethinking should be the order of the day. Reducing working hours is a socio-economic investment bringing better long-term health and more time sovereignty. 38-hour workers should work four days and be paid for 38 hours; part-time workers should be able to increase their hours.
American taxpayers paid $107 billion more for the police than for public housing. Time for new priorities and new economic policies that de-carbonize the economy, de-privilege the car and serve the interest of the many and not the few! System change, not climate change! Job guarantees for the young! Redistribution from the top to the bottom and economic survivalism could replace corporate welfare, the tax avoidance industry, tax havens, micro-second betting, corporate stock buybacks, and insider trading. Market distortions must not be promoted.
Today the Dept of Health and Human Services passed an eviction reprieve until Jan 1, 2021. Democrats under Sherwood Brown urge a $100 billion Renters Relief.
The library should be hiring additional staff to redress the unemployment and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus! Here is a letter I sent to http://savelibrarystaff.org:
Public investment often seems to be the elephant in the room. The state should intervene to remedy market failure and to help those under the wheel. Unfortunately, we are witnesses to the misanthropic effects of neoliberalism, privatization, and the denigrated state. The poor need a strong state.
In the 1960s, the economist John Kenneth Galbraith proclaimed “Education is the great transformer.”
As a freelance translator, I am always overwhelmed by the wonder of knowledge and intercultural learning. Around four months ago, a German psychology professor Rainer Mausfeld recommended an incredible website to me www.DeepL.com. DeepL is a neural translation machine or robot that can help with 11 languages including German, Spanish, French, Polish, Danish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. I can accomplish more in one hour than in three or four weeks and can translate more in 17 hours than in a whole year! Now I have oceans of free time so I can focus on the myriad homemade problems of the self-healing market!
Reducing working hours is very sensible for 100 reasons. The coming generation can only have meaningful work if we reduce working hours in a three- or four day work week. With encouragement and humility, we could all be cloud workers, translators, editors, writers, poets, and aggregators.
The financial markets made themselves independent and have taken vital resources from the real economy. People do much of their work at home. The stressful part is that cities – like NYC – become ghost-towns.
Libraries should hire additional staff to mitigate the unemployment. Because of the coronavirus, supply chains break off and sixty-percent of businesses cannot come back. The state should represent the public interest, not special or private interests, and give substantial support to small- and medium-sized businesses. Otherwise, we face exploding inequality, economic power becoming political power, and unaccountable oligarchy. Whoever sleeps in democracy, wakes up in a dictatorship.
Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people. The old gives way to the new as the snow gives way to the spring (Rilke). The swan that floats and doesn’t sink represents the intransitory in the transitory (Heidegger).
Be strong and be of good cheer in these dark depressing times. As Soren Kierkegaard understood, individuals are infinite and finite. Attitudes are the only disability. In the age of knowledge, stupidity is a choice.
I look forward to your email and our conversation.
You can waste 44 years in the Senate in public service and then cry the police are underfunded. That was Biden’s new theme yesterday to grab the police fanatic title from Trump.
In truth, as Robert Reich reported, American taxpayers spent $107 billion more on the police than on public housing! Quite a perverse budgeting!
Public investment is often the elephant in the room. Stupidity is a choice in the knowledge age and is accompanied by fear and contempt of knowledge and the digital world, Narcissism is drowning in your reflection in the pond and refusing all self-correction. Trump thought he knew everything before coming to Wharton, one of his professors said.
Herd insensitivity comes from confusing commercials and police corporate media with conscious historical existence. The crowd is untruth, Kierkegaard said.
Biden must learn and repent for ignoring public housing. The social state, caring, sharing, and subsidizing are light in the privatization darkness. Germans and Americans regret the destruction of public housing. Reagan changed housing assistance to condominium mortgage assistance! Clinton opened the floodgates of speculation and enabled the housing distress to expand on the quiet.
The appointment of Kamala Harris as Biden’s vice candidate is now the result of the Democratic establishment’s pathological fear of anything that could even begin to smell left. The cause of this pathology lies in the historical shift to the right of the US party system described by Chomsky…The consequence of this fear of the left is once again the systematic nipping in the bud of all leftist ideas and thus the next historical mistake that seals Trump’s re-election.
by Johann Bacher, Dennis Tamesberger and the Austrian blog awblog.at
The Youth Guarantee could create an entry-level job market in the public or non-profit sector – in other words, jobs that serve the common good. It is the austerity policy in the wake of the financial and economic crisis that has delayed the socio- and ecological transformation in European countries and opened up gaps in services that now need to be closed.
DeepL.com helps with 11 languages and academia.edu has over 23 million papers. Happy research!
Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next?
by Joseph Stiglitz, 5/30/2019
“Standard economics is wrong. Inequality and unearned income kill the economy. It is time to rewrite the rules of capitalism. This is a flawed, unfair system that socializes economic losses and privatizes the gains.” (Joseph Stiglitz)
The contrast between the EU and the US in COVID financing could hardly be greater. McDonald’s operators, Marathon Oil (over $400 million), Exxon, Chevron and Sea World received relief and will reduce their future tax payments. Tax gifts characterize the US way of corruption and contradict these recommendations.
Translator Marc’s note:
US taxpayers paid $107 billion more to the police than to public housing. What a terrible inversion?
Humans are not clams with built-in housing.The state shouldn’t steal away from feeding and housing its people as corporations shouldn’t steal away from paying fair taxes.
Do Trump, McConnell, Graham, and the rest of the state on probation know that public housing is related to enforcing human rights and democratic/constitutional guarantees?
Do speculation and financial markets ensure unaffordable rents and exploding inequality? Is the state complicit for encouraging speculation and shifting corporate profits to tax havens?
Couldn’t the state create jobs and purchasing power and adjust to the lockdown or free-fall economy?
Time to shift the billions from F-35 bombers to public housing construction!Freezing rents and mortgages until the pandemic fear has passed seems sensible and necessary.
If we don’t accept nonviolent revolution, we will be upended by violent revolution, JFK warned.
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