... while the neoconservative ideology might be appropriate to some stage of the development of capitalism, it is clearly out of place in the modern economy, where the capacity effects of investment are huge. Further, the neocons would violate Wagner's Law by reducing the relative size of government as the economy develops. This ignores the social desire and need for increased provision of social services as the economy grows. The argument that J.K. Galbraith made in the early 1960s concerning the relative dearth of public services is only very much stronger today—with unmet needs for universal health care, for universal access to higher education to prepare youth for the "knowledge" economy, and for greater public involvement in finally eliminating the remaining inequalities that result from intransigent racism, sexism, and cultural biases. All of these are difficult issues and there is no plausible argument or evidence that they can be resolved through "private initiative." In fact, the neocon ideology has played an important role in reversing progress made since WWII on these and other fronts. Neocon policies reward the privileged and punish the have-nots. The rich get vouchers for well-funded private schools; the poor see funding of their public schools reduced. The rich get tax relief on capital gains and inheritances; the poor get higher local sales taxes and federal payroll taxes. The Katrina victims are evicted from Femaville trailers while the Haliburtons get no-bid contracts to rebuild New Orleans as a playland for well-heeled business conventioneers. Obviously, this reduction of the role played by government moves the U.S. economy in the wrong direction.
As Hyman Minsky used to argue, capitalism was a failed system in 1930. The growth of "Big Government" was singled out by Minsky and by Vatter and Walker as the necessary medicine to build a viable and robust version of capitalism. Minsky always insisted that there are "57 varieties" of capitalism, with different systems appropriate to different historical epochs. Unfortunately, the modern Hooverites are attempting to return to 1929, that is, to a system that was not even appropriate to the pre-war period. — L. Randall Wray
The logical conclusion of laissez-faire capitalism is monopoly. However, is Randy Wray right that some form of the mixed economy is the best solution for what ails humanity and the planet? Ultimately, I don't think so.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)