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Dec 8, 2023·edited Dec 8, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I totally agree. The framers of the Constitution 236 years ago could not have envisioned the complexities of a "Free Market Economy.” If Trump wins, he and his cronies will transform our democracy into “Demonocracy" with no regard to the original intent of the Constitution nor its amendments. The so-called “Free Market” is not free, it is us paying a heavy price in loss of freedom and an unfair burden of taxes.

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Dec 8, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

It would be amusing to me if it were not so serious, that it is the "free market" when one corporation or group of corporations can make a bunch of money, get a lot of power in their area of practice, or are not held accountable for their bad behavior. It is government interference when they are held to account, are expected to follow rules, or have to pay their fair share of taxes. That "free market" let a small bunch of mostly white guys acquire a whole lot of money at the expense of everyone else, yet those super rich still whine that they are being treated unfairly. They are right, actually. They are being treated unfairly because the "free market" has become heavily weighted in their favor. I suspect they know it, but if they admit it, they would have to acknowledge the gifts they have been given and that luck also helped put them where they are, definitely more than their talent, skill, or anything else. Those are important, but not enough. I think that explains the need of the very rich and the wannabees to keep the myth alive even in the face of reality. Perhaps if we just acknowledge there is no truly "free" market, we could start building a much fairer economy. Alas, the very rich and the wannabees will do everything they can to stop that from happening, even forcing an ignorant fool into the White House again, knowing they can manipulate him to get them whatever they want, and who cares about the rest of us.

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Dec 8, 2023·edited Dec 8, 2023

The concept of the 'Free market' is one that obscures what is really going on. It is a rationalization to confuse the public, who mostly do not understand economics , because those who worship the 'Free market" are the ones benefitting from this con game.

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Dec 8, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Thank you so much. IMHO this is the most important issue of our time. Please continue your teaching.

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The implications are dark. The rich and powerful people preaching the wisdom of the free market are con men. They are not mistaken; they are self-serving liars.

"Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still picking cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows."

-Leonard Cohen

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What ever happened to the idea of a transaction tax. Back in the day when the talk was whether the Dow would ever break the $1000 barrier, the trades were almost manual and the volume was in the thousands, not computer trades in the multi-million shares. The answer to the greed market should be in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has its 75th anniversary this Sunday, December 10th. What would Eleanor Roosevelt say about the world today, when we thought we had defeated fascism in 1945.

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Your photo of FREE MARKET CAPITALISM is a perfect representation of America today with (homeless people and people less homes)

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One of THE biggest disservices foisted upon an uninformed public has been the RUSE

that unfettered capitalism = Democracy! This has been THE false premise from which the

moneyed elites have hijacked BOTH the economic AND political machinery. All the math based on this FALSE EQUATION becomes not only skewed but, creates outcomes that are totally untenable

for the vast majority of society.

The NEW EQUATION should read: Unfettered capitalism = OLIGARCHY!!!!!

(now there's "math" EVERYONE can understand)

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After the debacle of 2008, the US government bailed out and protected the banks. They did nothing against the CEOs and Chairmen who had caused the problem in the first place. In Iceland, senior bankers were sent to prison. The same should have happened in the US.

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Robert, the problem isn't the system, in my opinion. The problem is that there are people who have no capacity to care about others. They have no compassion for others and no conscience about using others to feather their own nest.

They exist in our society, which by now is world-wide, because there is much cruelty in childhood leaving many people without the experience of being cared about, themselves. Deep in unconscious regions of their minds they have a need to feel important, powerful over others, because they felt so powerless and bereft of agency in their earliest years. Powerlessness, helplessness, is an unbearable experience so it's covered over later on in life by the unconscious determination to never feel that way again.

You can see this with the robber barons historically and today. The quality of all of their relationships, both personal and in the business world, is structured on what Martin Buber called an "I - It" basis. They see others only as objects to be manipulated so as to benefit themselves. They've not experienced an "I - Thou" relationship in infancy and early childhood so they don't re-create these in adulthood. Then if they're white and male, they unconsciously absorb the culture of cruelty passed along by fathers, older boys, and other role models. They compete with one another in business the way men compete in warfare...they dominate whomever they can...their workers, each other, etc.

I'm in business for myself and my colleagues charge twice as much as I do. I have license to charge more, under the rules of the "free market," but I don't because I care about the people who wouldn't be able to avail themselves of my services if I did that. It's not just what's missing in the system, it's what's missing in the hearts of the people who use the system to aggrandize themselves. And that's why the public needs government regulations to protect them, because without those protections, the robber barons of the world are exploiting and abusing the rest of us.

Thank you so much for your wisdom and your determination to share your knowledge. We love you!

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There's nothing "free" about it. Caveat emptor.

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TANSTAAFM

There ain't no such thing as a free market.

Government (We the People) creates and manages the environment within which the economy operates according to arbitrary rules that have evolved over time to give a few who are wealthy more power to gain more wealth, and they have gotten away with this because We the People have not been engaged in our government.

The rich have gotten "less government" restriction on them being able to do as they please without regard for the consequences of their actions on others or on the environment.

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Bob, America is built on many dangerous delusions and illusions. And then there are sales pitches that most people do not buy-today. Most people do not believe that the market is anything but rigged. That it is rigged is indeed the most common description you can find. The problem is What Ralph Nader has been fighting against his whole life-most people do not care enough to be engaged citizens activists. Democracy requires civic engagement beyond just voting. There has always been space for that to happen-for people to organize and there still is. But that space has become smaller and smaller. Empty civics space gets filled. Empty civics space gets filled by corporate commodification. Here is the dirty truth. Americans care more about comfort-instant gratification-materialism-making it- success-money to buy things than anything else. American's pay lip service to freedom-being citizens, but the fact is they are CONSUMERS who want to consume more and more. And those huge corporations produce those good cheaply so they can afford them. The role-the value of being able to be successful consumers is a higher value with more skill development there than the Value-the skills required to be engaged citizens critical thinkers. We are a Consumer society not a Civics Society. Finally, endless consumption is necessary for economic growth as we know it and want it-more and more material things. We are consuming ourselves to death. As we should and must as The Consumer Civilization. The real question is, will the forces of nature that Galbraith often turned to over politics-will climate change us before we consume ourselves to death.

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Money is speech and power ; We have rules that allow the Supreme court to give the wealthy Citizens United, and bank bailouts that leave people homeless, and give undeserving CEO's 'golden parachutes'.

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Excellent discussion, very enlightening. Please continue. Thanks!

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The Babylonians had a bureau of weights and measures to keep cuneiform thumbs off the scales. The half of Leviticus that isn't about priestly bling and blood. . is about taxes Every Evangelical free marketeer should know that.

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