Sam Smith Reading all the articles these days about the fate of capitalism and socialism brings to mind that Virginia good old boy, Jimmy Jenkins. Jimmy went to college on the GI Bill and bought his first house with a VA loan. When a hurricane struck he got federal disaster aid. When he got sick … Continue reading RECOVERING THE DECENT
Sam Smith, Shadows of Hope, 1994 - Encomiums to the wonders of market forces fill speeches and media reports. One National Public Radio reporter even went so far as to describe a form of government called market democracy, apparently a blend of the Bill of Rights and the Wall Street Journal editorial page. In fact, … Continue reading The myth of corporations in America
Sam Smith Let's say a couple borrows $100,000 on their new house. Let's say one of the pair loses their job and has to take one at a lower wage and the family is no longer able to pay the $7200 annual mortgage cost. Thanks, however, to one homeowner still being employed, the couple can … Continue reading WHO’S ON FIRST? AN EXPLORATORY CALCULATION
Sam Smith In Washington, for officials and media alike, numbers are treated like adjectives - created, inflated or diminished to serve the purpose of the moment. So instead of saying "awesome," one declares "$700 billion," as confirmed by the Treasury official who admitted to Forbes that the figure had been pulled out of the air. … Continue reading WHERE WILL ALL THE MONEY GO?
Brady Wiseman in Bozeman MT writes to note, "Bailing out the banks is not socialism. The government and the Fed are not becoming exactly the creditors of the banks. Because the numbers are so large, they are now partners. It's not a bailout so much as a merger. What do you call the merger of … Continue reading EMENDATION: SOCIALISM IS THE WRONG WORD
One of the important things not being discussed about the financial crisis is that the money that is gone was not real in the first place, something we have mentioned from time to time. . . Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual, 1994 - The total federal state, local and private debt in this … Continue reading LIVE ON IMAGINARY MONEY; DIE BY IMAGINARY MONEY
Sam Smith, Progressive Review - Barely a word of succor or solace, let alone any solutions, have been offered by the experts, media or candidates in either party on behalf of the most important victims of the fiscal crisis: ordinary citizens. The silence has been stunning as those on top grapple with several decades of … Continue reading INVISIBLE & UNAIDED VICTIMS OF THE FISCAL CRISIS
Sam Smith Even before the current mortgage crisis, evidence that rightwing economic policy since Reagan has been a failure was overwhelming. The problem was that nobody seemed to notice. In no small part, this was thanks to a media - heavily comprised of ex-political science, history and English majors - accepting without question propaganda from … Continue reading WHEN WILL THE MEDIA DITCH THE RIGHTWING ECONOMIC CULT?
How business culture dragged America down with it Sam Smith FIFTY YEARS ago, America was just a decade past the last major war it would ever win. The length of the average work week was down significantly from the 1930s but real income had been soaring and would continue do so through the 1970s. We … Continue reading The corporate curse
SAM SMITH, 2007 - In the 1990s, my morning walk would take me past Starbucks, where customers at sidewalk tables enjoyed the final product of the postmodern food chain. As I approached, I would pass a woman in front of the pharmacy just down the street. All her possessions were wrapped in plastic, and she … Continue reading Street Talk
Sam Smith You'd never guess it from the sycophantic obituaries, but Milton Friedman did more damage to American democracy and culture than just about any figure in the 20th century. The sycophancy isn't surprising. Friedman was blessed with it from the start. For example, the supposedly liberal PBS starred him in a ten part series, … Continue reading Milton Friedman: Killing America softly with his song
Sam Smith 2005 WHILE A LOT OF attention is being paid to evangelical Christian extremism, far less is directed towards an equally dangerous religious sect - the practitioners of evangelical economic extremism. Although the latter faith is not often regarded as an actual religion, it has far more in common with evangelism than it does … Continue reading Born again economics
Sam Smith, 2000- The biggest lie in Washington not directly involving President Clinton is that a free market cures all ills. Even the late Governor of Louisiana, Earl Long, understood that the economy was more complicated than that; he once said that he only opposed to three isms: communism, fascism, and snake-oilism. The official economics … Continue reading The counterfeit economy
Sam Smith Progressive Review, August 1990 This article was selected by Utne Reader as one of the ten most under-covered stories of the past decade. In the early days of the savings and loan crisis the joke was that in Texas if you bought a toaster oven they gave you a free S&L. It turns … Continue reading When no fault capitalism meets lemon socialism