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Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

Subsidies to landlowners are unfair

Here is the real problem: not one of your acclaimed and highly educated “experts” even mentioned the elephant in the parlor: the 20 percent and more of GDP that is given away to landowners as a welfare subsidy in return for nothing. Until they start thinking about land, and how landowners are privileged to pocket everything government spends on services and infrastructure, nothing they have to say is even relevant. Land value is precisely equal to the minimum value of what the landowner expects to take from society and not repay in taxes. Capitalism therefore cannot be reformed as long as private landowning includes the privilege of pocketing publicly created land value. It’s that simple.

Roy Langston

Vancouver, CANADA

Jun 15 2011 - 9:25pm

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

NYRB article

Amartya Sen addressed this elegantly in 2008, in “Capitalism Beyond the Crisis,” in The New York Review of Books. His article still stands tall.

Dick Swartley

Jacksonville, FL

Jun 14 2011 - 3:23pm

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

About planned economies and cultures

“When we talk about perestroika, we see it in the following way: the former model of socialism was no good, so let’s work out a new model and put it into life. Again, we have it backward. We must give up this idea of a conscious construction of a more perfect society, the whole culture of belief in the limitless capabilities and opportunities of the human mind, and the ability to construct a model of socially engineered society and then realize it all.” 

“Educators and utopian thinkers used to think that the opportunities were endless. That the idea of a just society could be formed by the human mind, that it could be discovered on a theoretical basis; and it seemed to them that those theories could be realized in practice. In other words, a society of universal justice and prosperity could be built by thinking things out. We are now living through the final stages of that culture. Marx and Lenin are vanishing. They are being swept away in the same way that the ‘truth’ of Newtonian mechanics was swept away by Einstein and relativity.”

Lenin’s Tomb, pp115 & 116, quoted from Yuri Afanasyev, former member of the editorial board of Kommunist

Gilbert A. Zimmerman Jr.

Morristown, NJ

Jun 11 2011 - 5:46pm

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

Doesn't add up

And then there's the much-vaunted stimulus package that was supposed to keep unemployment from going above 8 percent—but didn’t. And then there was the much-vaunted automaker bailout that is costing taxpayers $14 billion. How about this math: ABO in 2012 = Anyone But Obama in 2012.

Jack Davis

Phoenix, AZ

Jun 11 2011 - 11:55am

Reimagining Capitalism

“The solution to the corporate problem”

Every family should be incorporated as an estate. But few “common” people today understand the nature of the out-of-control anti-democracy present-day corporation!

The solution to the corporate problem today is several-fold.

1) All corporations are local national entities, there is no such thing as an “international corporation.” However, corporations are permitted—note “permitted”—to do business in other nations. The corporation of any country should not be able to conduct trade internationally, only to conduct agreements. Corporations should need to work symbiotically with corporations of other countries as trade partners, only, wherein the actual commerce within a country is only handled by businesses (incorporated or not) of that country.

2) All corporations need to be mandated to operate as a democracy of shareholders with specific requirements that all shares may only be purchased (not provided as part of a salary or gifted by the corporation to anybody) by the purchaser’s own funds, which would also apply to charitable donations as well as to inheritance. Now this aspect of my suggestion is complicated, because literally, there never can be a democracy of shareholders unless voting is by each shareholder only and not by the numbers of shares any shareholder owns! This would cut a lot of the anti-democracy crap out of corporatism!

3) All corporations need to be mandated to universally be non-persons and only be universally mandated to be organizations (commercial as well as non-commercial), which are neither “citizens” nor eligible to be political participants and would be specifically forbidden to make political contributions (monatary or support) to any person or cause.

4) In relation to suggestion Nr. 3 above, all corporations need to be mandated to be forbidden, including their representatives, agents, directors, trustees, executives and officers, from directly contacting any elected or appointed government official for any reason relating to the corporation, but, there should be a special department within government for commercial and non-commercial organizations to contact government officials indirectly, such as through a department of commerce or a department of nonprofit organizations.

Libris Fidelis

Iowa City, IO

Jun 11 2011 - 7:01am

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Frankly, I have about had it with economic and political theories. Looking at the current crop of economic experts with Harvard PhDs destroying the world’s economy, I am having second thoughts about the value of higher education. Alexander Hamilton didn’t graduate from what would become Columbia University, because of the American Revolution. Henry Ford left school at 17 without a diploma. Hamilton created a wall of tariffs behind which America became a major industrial nation, which gave Henry Ford the opportunity to create the modern assembly line, along with promoting our consumer-driven economy by advocating paying the highest wages possible to support the American economy.

You do not need to invent anything new! You just need to get back to the way we were before NAFTA and subsequent “free trade” agreements, and the American economy will take off like a rocket. Jobs support 70 percent of the American economy, and the wealthy 1 percent cannot support the American economy.

(I am exaggerating slightly about Harvard! The University of Chicago, and even UC Berkeley have produced neoliberal idiots! I once thought Berkeley would be nice place to study.)

Pervis James Casey

Riverside,CA

Jun 10 2011 - 4:37pm

Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

Real capitalism

“Capitalism is the creation of jobs and products and services,” which you will notice has not recently been the American economic system. Ayn Rand said fifty years ago that America was never truly capitalist, and that we should try it sometime.

G.E. Nordell

Belen, NM

Jun 9 2011 - 5:01pm

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