[lbo-talk] Lionizing Wealthy Americans, Rather Than Taxing

shag carpet bomb shag at cleandraws.com
Wed Dec 7 09:32:04 PST 2011

i didn't say anything because it came out of the blue, floating in mid-air. I didn't know what the fuck he was talking about. the claim that OWS is being strangled by Identity Politics is news to me. I've seen no evidence for it. There was the issue that I raised awhile back, of radical women of color rejecting OWS, but since they are sitting on the sidelines carping, I haven't actually noticed that folks with that POV are mucking up the works, not here at any rate. In other words, for the most part, these are people who never had any intention of getting involved anyway and are just looking for reasons not to get or stay involved.

The lesson I took from the online WOC kerfuffle is the same I've gathered in other online lefty spaces. In the end, there are people who will just piss and moan about all of it because nothing will get them off their asses. They will always speak of activism as something that someone else does, which never lives up to their expectations. Life, history, whatever is something they prefer to observe. *shrug*

The sentiment was something I uncovered doing research for the SAQ article last year. I wasn't sure what to make of it. I wasn't sure if was an oddball artifact. I think, given recent events, it was unfortunately accurate of a small minority of folks on the left - who probably gravitate toward online venues where pissing and moaning is de riguer.

<> Chris's points seem crucial. Leftists waste a lot of time trying to <> prove <> that capitalists are "bad" people, thus making opposition to <> capitalism a <> matter of individualist self-expression rather than a political <> activity. <> And no one yet has said a word about Carl's Sunday post about OWS & <> Identity <> politics. It's more fun to roll around in moral superiority to faculty <> or <> rich capitalists than to do the political thinking that might <> contribute to <> wiping capitalism out. I don't think it too much of an exaggeration to <> say <> "Capitalists are not the enemy; capitalism is." <> <> Carrol <> <> -----Original Message----- <> From: lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org <> [mailto:lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org] <> On Behalf Of Chris Sturr <> Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 9:15 AM <> To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org <> Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] Lionizing Wealthy Americans, Rather Than <> Taxing <> <> ------------------------------ <> <> Message: 8 <> Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2011 14:49:10 -0500 <> From: c b <cb31450 at gmail.com> <> Subject: [lbo-talk] Lionizing Wealthy Americans, Rather Than Taxing <> Them <> To: pen-l <pen-l at lists.csuchico.edu>, lbo-talk <lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org> <> Message-ID: <> <CAF490LZwN5=XATe+AmYn6vSdiLr2QAdFW8tRGw_Rwad0s-QRgQ at mail.gmail.com> <> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 <> <> I understand your criticism of Krugman here. But the problem is that <> determining who "earns" what they get (i.e., who *deserves* what) is <> not an <> economic question but an ethical question. I think our approach <> should be <> political vs. ethical/moral, because the ethical/moral discourse of <> the <> day (rights, etc.) is liberal and idealist. (That's how I interpret <> the <> fact that Obama was able to give a speech in Kansas yesterday that was <> about "fairness," and people interpreted it as picking up on the <> language <> of Occupy--minus the anti-capitalist parts, of course!) <> <> Here's a pretty good attempt by an economist to argue, in economic <> terms, <> that the super-rich haven't earned what they get, but have in fact <> stolen <> it from workers: "The Purloined Trillions, by Jim Cypher ( <> http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2011/0711cypher.html). He <> even <> takes a neoclassical economist as his starting point: "Neoclassical <> economist John Bates Clark (1847-1938) first formulated what he termed <> the <> 'natural law' of income distribution which 'assigns to everyone what <> he has <> specifically created.' That is, if markets are not 'obstructed,' pay <> levels <> should be 'equal [to] that part of the product of industry which is <> traceable to labor itself.' As productivity increased, Clark argued, <> wages <> would rise *at an equal rate*." Cypher's point is that that happened <> for a <> while, but stopped happening (as we all know) in the 70s. If you look <> at <> what would have gone to workers if Clark's "law" were true, it amounts <> to <> trillions per year essentially stolen. <> <> I like the argument, but it only works with some moral claim about <> what <> people are owed, what they deserve, etc. Better to have a political <> account <> of the balance of class power (which I'm sure Cypher would agree with <> anyhow). <> <> CB's post: <> <> http://www.truth-out.org/lionizing-wealthy-americans-rather-taxing-them/1323 <> 181144 <> <> <> "Even if you believe that the top 1 percent, or better yet the top <> 0.1 percent, are actually earning the money they make, what they <> contribute is what they get, and they deserve no special solicitude." <> <> <> CB: We need economists who will develop the theory that the top 1% and <> .01% are not actually earning the money they make. <> <> <> <> -- <> -- <> Chris Sturr <> Co-editor, Dollars & Sense <> 29 Winter St. <> Boston, Mass. 02108 <> phone: 617-447-2177, ext. 205 <> fax: 617-447-2179 <> email: sturr at dollarsandsense.org <> ___________________________________ <> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk <> <> ___________________________________ <> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk <>

-- http://cleandraws.com Wear Clean Draws ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list