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Rajiv
02-21-09, 02:01 AM
A Bailout for the People:
Dividend Economics and the Basic Income Guarantee (http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/bailout-for-the-people-the-cook-plan-by-richard-c-cook-2/) -- pdf here (http://www.richardccook.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/cook-bailoutforthepeoplepublished-feb31.pdf)


The existing monetary system is not free enterprise, and it is not capitalism. It is cancer.

The lack of individual and family income security in the midst of a highly-developed economy is a travesty under any circumstances. But the contradiction of “poverty in the midst of plenty” that has plagued the world since the start of the Industrial Revolution is becoming much more grave in the U.S. and abroad as the recession of 2008-9 worsens.

The problem does not lie with the production of goods and services which technology can accomplish abundantly. The problem lies with the distribution side of the equation. What people increasingly lack today is the money to purchase the necessities of life. Both the workplace and capital are idled because employees and consumers lack the purchasing power to buy the products and services our economy is capable of producing. The basic problem is excess capacity relative to available income.

Winston Churchill gave eloquent testimony to this conundrum of the modern age when delivering the Romanes Lecture at Oxford University on June 19, 1930. This was a few months after the crash of the U.S. stock market marked the start of the Great Depression. Churchill said:

“Who would have thought that it would be easier to produce by toil and skill all the most necessary or desirable commodities than it is to find consumers for them? Who would have thought that cheap and abundant supplies of all the basic commodities would find the science and civilization of the world unable to utilize them? Have all our triumphs of research and organization bequeathed us only a new punishment: the Curse of Plenty? Are we really to believe that no better adjustment can be made between supply and demand? Yet the fact remains that every attempt has failed. Many various attempts have been made, from the extremes of Communism in Russia to the extremes of Capitalism in the United States. They include every form of fiscal policy and currency policy. But all have failed, and we have advanced little further in this quest than in barbaric times. Surely it is this mysterious crack and fissure at the basis of all our arrangements and apparatus upon which the keenest minds throughout the world should be concentrated."
Evidently we’ve learned little since Churchill spoke. Isn’t it shameful—or just surprising—that since the proponents of “post-modern” economics restructured the U.S. economy around the concept of a deregulated financial sector over the past 30 years, income and wealth disparities between rich and poor have become much worse? Thus the ability of even middle-class people to pay for such basic needs as housing, food, medical care, and transportation falls ever further behind.

Perhaps we are finally ready to reopen the question of whether human beings have the right to an income sufficient to keep body and soul together even during difficult times. Within the U.S., this question has been mostly lost since President Ronald Reagan declared in his 1981 inaugural address that, “Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.”

For it is only government that can authorize and implement what is called a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). But if government is trapped in the ideological straightjacket Reagan and his fellow conservatives put it in, then the only possible outcome is Social Darwinism—i.e., survival of the fittest. We shouldn’t sugar-coat the pill. Social Darwinism is a death sentence for those unable or unwilling to claw their way to the top. Obviously voters repudiated this philosophy by the election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. last November. Therefore the debate over implementation of a BIG that was abandoned over a generation ago should now also be reopened.

BIG Reconsidered
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vanvaley1
02-21-09, 07:28 AM
Tis hard to quench the thirst of ambitious traditions and aspirations when whispered bout the family tree of the 'golden ages' after "Wilson's War" and "The War of Secession".

Rajiv
03-02-09, 11:29 AM
Richard Cook talking about below -- in 4 parts


Part 1 11 min



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Part -2 11 min




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Part -3 10 min




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Part - 4 11 min




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