Did Cameron Diaz go under the knife? Will the stars of Hangover 3 score big pay increases? These are the questions that try journalists’ souls.
Meanwhile, in another world, in a piece called “Is Market Capitalism Dead?,” Columbia Prof. Thomas B. Edsall focuses on questions of far less import to brain-dead Americans:
Are large segments of the American workforce — millions of people — at a structural disadvantage in the face of global competition, technological advance and ever more sophisticated forms of automation? Is this situation permanent?
Will the share of profits from improving corporate productivity flowing to capital and to high-earning C.E.O.s continue to grow, while the income of wage earners stagnates and their share of profits declines?
Has the surging wealth and income of the top one percent and of the top 0.1 percent reached a tipping point at which the political leverage of the very affluent decisively outweighs the influence of the electorate at large?
Is it possible that in the United States and Europe, democratic free market capitalism is no longer capable of providing broadly shared benefits to a solid majority of workers?
Read the piece and you’ll see Edsall is reluctantly answering “yes” to all of his questions, although he notes the situation isn’t nearly as bleak in northern Europe. Barring some act of God, or social upheaval that results in something akin to revolution, the numbers indicate that the 99 percent in the USA are screwed.
Edsall makes a bleak but polite-sounding statement in the last paragraph:
The debate over the workings of democracy, the market, technology and globalization remains unresolved. The political system instinctively avoids this debate, despite its salience and centrality, because the political costs of engagement are likely to substantially outweigh any potential gains.
In other words, expect only doubletalk from politicians, because they know honesty would cost them ties to their sugar daddies, and their jobs. Expect pious lies and outright lunacy from Republican presidential candidates, and pretty words masking brutal realities from Obama.
Perhaps more so than at any time in our history, the situation cries out for a third-party candidate who will speak the truths that the corporate media and almost all politicians ignore. How do I campaign for this candidate? Did I miss something?