Rising Tides Float

As a child, I received some of the first publicly available penicillin to combat an infection. As a senior in High School, I witnessed the Soviet ‘Sputnik’ put into orbit. In Mr. Chappelear’s science class we learned to be a fact that there were about 100 substances in the periodic table of elements.

About a decade ago, a pathologist said that my rare lymphoma had a ‘complete response to treatment’ by way of infusion of a monoclonal antibody. I no longer even think of myself as a cancer survivor. Neither am I aware of my titanium left hip joint except when I get screened at an airport or courthouse. To my surprise, I recently read that in fact there are some 118 elements in that atomic table.

We view such medical and scientific change as commonplace. Such improvements are taken for granted and we know that such will continue to occur. We have experienced similar change in any variety of customs and assurances in my 77+ years, except for one dimension of our lives, our economic system.

For some four centuries, Capitalism has promised to provide a rising tide that will float all boats. Well, not that long in our fair land, since we haven’t had that many years to watch the tide. So, not counting the Tulip Mania in Holland and other 18th Century European incidents, the economic crises of the years 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907, 1929, 1987, 1989-91, 2007-08 have indicated to us in these United States that something is awry with the system. Yes, from the 1940s until the 1980s the tide was up and boats floated but not without Trade Unions, a World War and Federal Government intervention.

Over the years a few large boats have risen to float at unheard-of heights. The majority of vessels, though, have been so anchored that the rising tide over-ran their gunwales and sunk them. When the length of anchor chain is under the control of the big boat captains who even limit lengths for the little guys, buoyancy is not a universal phenomenon.

Capitalism isn’t really working. No, I am not an economist, but one need not be to see so obvious a reality. DJT was elected by the boat owners who see their sterns a bit above the waterline and their bows taking on water. They have watched and are watching the sinking of their hopes. Yet the Trump administration continues to assume that dependence upon the private sector is the answer. Soon the recent Tax Scam will be trotted out again with apparent unawareness that a 40% reduction on tax on the wealthy merely lengthens their anchor chains.

The result is that we continue to do the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. Somewhere I’ve read that such behavior is one description of insanity.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Rising Tides Float

  1. Powerful insights and delightfully presented, Ron, although given my background, I prefer to travel by canoe. There’s no anchor but it’s far more dangerous in turbulent waters.:-)

  2. Rollin

    Far more broad publication is needed and deserved for this post, my Man.

    • About 80 individual’s get notices about this blog, Rollin, while I really appreciate your opinion on this and other posts, I really don’t know how to get any broader coverage. Some of the email subscribers may well be bots so I dodn’t really know just who sees this stuff. A very few comment with any regularity. The ideas in this particular piece are widely known through the writings of economist Richard Wolff, U.Mass. Prof Emeritus.

    • Goebbels perfected the practice of propaganda for the Third Reich and the kool-ade we seeing being gulped by the masses today demonstrates that Josef was correct, ‘tell a lie often enough and it will be believed.’

  3. It never fails to confound me that people will believe what they are told by leaders or pundits they deem “anointed” because they are skilled manipulators of their fears or rigid religious fundamentalism.

  4. Walter, you have indeed caught the wind into your job and are sailing a course to true north.

  5. CJ, so delighted to see you continue the metaphor. Be sure to put some citrus in that ‘rum’ as a prophylaxis against scurvy and be careful to tack carefully into harbor.

  6. C. Joseph

    Powerful analogy brought home with, I must say, with a “shot across the bow.”

    _____

    • So delighted to see you continue the metaphor. Be sure to put some citrus in that ‘rum’ as a prophylaxis against scurvy and be careful to tack carefully into harbor.

  7. However, the DJT strategy is not born of the hope that the same remedy will produce a different result, but that it will produce the same result ot always has, and does.

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