One of America’s most powerful mass media institutions, 60 minutes, did a major story on the rigging of the stock market. A new book by Michael Lewis called Flash Boys explains how traders spend tons of money to be able to trade more quickly–and if you play more quickly in front of the up or down trading trends you win. Of course, other traders are the defeated prey. Two of my closest friends could have told you this years ago. They tried day trading–both always the smartest guys around. They both got disastrously behind. One ended up doing three years in prison for his efforts to get out from under. The other killed himself.
The market is rigged, yet the radical right-wing continues to try to eliminate Social Security in favor of private investment–in a rigged market. They also keep trying to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid in favor of similar and rigged Health Savings Accounts. The stock market is rigged, yet they buy and sell our jobs and sell productive capacity and outsource and offshore wealth producing capacity based on that rigged stock market.
According to Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, Goldman Sachs CEO Jamie Dimon is now leading other generals of the economy in believing and saying that much of American unemployment is to be blamed on stupid Americans without the skills necessary to get jobs. While anecdotal evidence shows some of that is true–I will never get a job as a brain surgeon or any surgeon, multiple studies have shown that our unemployment is due to a lack of demand and the offshoring of our manufacturing sector.
The French economist Thomas Piketty has put forward a way he believes we could save capitalism from itself. In this space we have often said that capitalism is always ultimately destructive, consuming everything including itself. Piketty has put forward the idea of a global progressive tax on individual wealth, “This would keep inequality under control and make it easier to climb the ladder. And it would put global wealth dynamics under public scrutiny. The lack of financial transparency and reliable wealth statistics is one of the main challenges for modern democracies.”
There you go–and we blame the economy on the President. The stock market is rigged, CEO’s lie about why they aren’t hiring and all the money in the world is hoarded at the top. Business as usual won’t fix this mess.