Every so often we watch someone say something profound on Sunday any of the morning news shows. Today that went to Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. who spoke to the reality of the type of economy, the form of capitalism we practice in the United States.
Sometimes one can get the point over using keywords that when analyzed, tells the story. Eddie Glaude Jr. was a master on slamming capitalism today -- and he was so kind.
Here is the actual video clip.
He first pointed out the disconnect between what is happening on the ground and what folks are talking about every day.
"I think part of what's happening is that the traditional spectrum of our politics has changed," Professor Glaude said. "Often times the categories, Progressive, Conservative, Centrist might not actually map on to what's happening on the ground. It's much more complicated, much more fluid."
"I think the idea of expanding the pie and dividing the pie," the Professor continued. "... Most Progressives are thinking that the expansion of the pie involves the top one percent, the top one-tenth percent, taking all of the expansion. We have to address fundamentally that the economy is not working for everyday ordinary folk in a way that it should."
Finally, Professor Glaude nails the issue. He did not even have to mention the word capitalism in a negative manner that I would, especially given that earlier many were maligning Progressives as if they were wrong for criticizing it.
"Markets don't determine what we value," Dr. Glaude said. "The markets reflect what we value. And it is not about rejecting capitalism as such. It's about building a society that reflects the value of every everyday ordinary people in our society. And I think that argument has to be had."
I have made similar statements before likely not as artful. Capitalism has no heart or humanity. By definition its goal is to maximize shareholder profits, nothing else. Those who want to stifle government and increase the role of the private sector, read corporations, seldom understand that while every American has input to direct government, they don't have it with corporations.
Executives have a fiduciary responsibility only to the shareholders and with that, themselves. Many say that ultimately the average American have their say with their pocketbooks. That is only true under a free enterprise system, not a capitalist market.
Without government, we the people, corporations converge into monopolies where people lose any leverage to force their hands (you must eat, heat your home, drive, etc.) so one will be required to purchase at any price. When we add the environment and other externalities, we see the expansion of the capitalist model is entirely unsustainable.
Interestingly, while during the Reagan Revolution, which continues to pilfer Americans even today, it was difficult to make the case for lack of personalized examples. It is easier now because Americans are living the scourge brought on by an economic model that raids most of the possibility of wealth accumulation, a decent retirement, and just basic happiness. The angst of the masses is manifested as plutocracy induced hatefest lead by President Trump intent on keeping American eyes off of those and a system at fault
First, Progressives must stay focused on being plain spoken and personalizing the message to reach everyone. They must not squander that carnal understanding of who is at fault by attempting to get to some mythical center to placate the capitalist political funding overlords.
Professor Glaude ends with the most prescient statement. And Progressives, Democrats, Republicans, and Conservatives alike better heed it.
"The age of Reagan is collapsing," Glaude said. "What will take its place? That is the question we are grappling with."
Progressives know based on policies Americans say they want, we form the coalition that has the people's back. We cannot allow false narratives, misinformation, and lies to confuse the real issues.