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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:29 PM

The 'free market' manifesto that broke America and led to Trumpism

On Sept. 13, 1970, the New York Times published the "essay heard round the world." In his manifesto, economist Milton Friedman argued that corporations have one - and only one - obligation: maximizing profits for shareholders.

Five decades after the "Friedman Doctrine" emerged, the American middle class is in tatters. Long before the coronavirus, millions of Americans were poor, sick and angry; perfect prey for Donald Trump's resentful demagoguery and racial scapegoating.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-free-market-manifesto-that-broke-america-and-led-to-trumpism/ar-BB196Z5S?li=BBnb7Kz

Very readable article on how we got here and why wand whodunit, starting with that fraud Friedman. I'm just glad somebody besides me and a few people buried in left wing niche journals are writing about this. It was a long con and the biggest heist in history.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:32 PM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:34 PM

2. Trump is a christofascist, corporate greed predates Friedman's essay.

the racism, scapegoating, militarism, jingoism, fear mongering are fascist, put the evangelical fundamentalist cherry on the top and you have christofascism.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:41 PM

3. A corollary to this is detailed in Nancy McLean's book, "Democracy in Chains."

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:53 PM

4. K&R Share the hell out of this.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:01 PM

5. Uncle Milty was like the

Sen. McCarthy of economics... only worse.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:08 PM

6. In 1980 I was thinking about gong back to school and getting an MBA

I took an introductory class to decide if I would pursue the MBA. I took classes in Economics and finance in college so I knew enough to explore pursuing an MBA. The professor said the most important thing In business is to maximize shareholder value, maximize profits and pay employees as a little as possible. I asked him then if you pay employees less won’t they have less money to buy and use the goods and services? He said workers were indispensable and easy replaced. Profits over labor are more important. After that I never went back to the class. I was out $150 but knew I never wanted that MBA.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:32 PM

7. I always thought Friedman won that Nobel for the density of his prose

It certainly wasn't for his originality of thought or brilliance of mind.

I remember wondering how anyone could possibly take that horse shit seriously.

The demand side of the equation has been in a depression for the past 30 years, at least, assuming massive debt just to survive.

Friedman saw nothing wrong with that. He seemingly had no clue about just how toxic debt is to an economy.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:32 PM

8. Friedman, may have overlooked physics and more

For Capitalism to produce more profits it has to consume more at a higher rate as wealth production in Corporatism of Capitalism is actually based on increased consumption. (There are some examples where increases to profit while still slowing the effects of consumption: windmill energy maybe).

Capitalism needs more of a limited resource (Earth). It may also need more workers (robotics can defer this maybe) which is not possible if this spiral upward goes to reaching the human carrying capacity of Earth.

So, maximization of corporate profits theory can not occur with out a breakdown. "Friedman's Theory" as an on-going business system is not possible as I see it. Therefore by extension, it goes to-->rejected

According to the theory rejection theorem, a theory becomes rejected only when other theories that are incompatible with the theory become accepted. By the First Law for theories, an accepted theory will remain accepted until it is replaced by other theories. And, there are other competing theories to test.

Further "Friedman's Theory" could be refined to "corporations obligation is extraction of wealth and externalizing costs for the benefits of shareholders." And by another measure, it is detrimental to what supports its very existence-society. Since, wealth is relative:NOT ALL CAN BE WEALTHY (though many equitable societies wealth per capita can be nearer to the mode). Here again "Friedman's Theory" benefits stockholders as individuals rather than society members occurs-as high wealth inequity is proven to be detrimental to a society.

And lastly is a Billionaire, worth 1,000,000,000 X more than you regardless anything you have done in your life without crime?

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Response to StClone (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:43 PM

9. Excellent post and thank you for it.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 09:03 PM

10. Kick

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:10 PM

11. One thing that's often overlooked, is that corporations have to be incorporated

In other words, they must have a charter granting them existence.

The charter is granted by the states, and the states can decide what conditions to impose on such a grant.

The assumption is that the charter is granted for the good of the state and the people it represents.

If the corporation serves no useful purpose to the state, then there's no reason for it to exist.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:30 PM

15. I can't think of any corporation that has had its charter revoked by the state

no matter how predatory that corporation's business practices have been

Case in point: the "non profit" NRA has been caught laundering Russian mob money into GOP campaign contributions. While there is some lawsuit action going on in NY, where it was chartered, I haven't heard a peep about revoking its charter.

If corporations are legal persons, they need to be subject to the death penalty since there is no ass to kick or to jail.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:13 PM

12. Friedman economics are utter BS.

When ai was in business school (admittedly many years ago now), the prevailing theory was that corporations were obligated to three constituencies: shareholders, workers, and customers. Friedman turned that notion upside down and made the selfishness of shareholders the only reason for business to exist. His free market, no hold barred doctrine is why we have such enormous wage equality i this country, which is exactly why Republicans embraced it.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:19 PM

13. Milton Friedman Was A Paid Shill

Milton Friedman and other advocates of neoliberal, corporatist capitalist policies were paid shills by big business. They gave intellectual cover for their mendacious masters who were afraid of the popularity of Socialism and the possiblility of it catching on in the U.S. Thats why they funded Friedman, Von Mises and Hayek through think tanks and academia so that they could disseminate their toxic fringe ideas on an unsuspecting public and unquestioning media. Read this article from Pando in 2012:

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/milton-friedman/?fbclid=IwAR35gx4yYySF4a5Q4l1BwyROf-9YJmUnKt4qwJyPSBiuKxXu5NEu9ECqRek

And this article from Evonomics about Friedrich Hayek: https://evonomics.com/the-road-to-ideology-how-friedrich-hayek-became-a-monster/

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:26 PM

14. Its good to see others recognize what a PIG Friedman was...

His thoughts and ideas tapped into the greed and hunger of the ruling class and contributed to what what Martin Buber referred to as a "I-It" relationship-a mindset that objectives others and positions them as "things" to be used and abused. I think he should have been tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.

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Response to Warpy (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 11:00 PM

16. I hate capitalism

And I dispise neo liberalism and republicans.

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Response to I_UndergroundPanther (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 17, 2020, 11:08 AM

17. Capitalism can be a good servant but it's a rotten master.

What we have is Friedman's end game, well described by Marx, of an overstuffed supply side, capital concentrated into too few hands to keep iit moving, and working class that is exploited or redundant and unable to access anything in the supply chain.

Capitalism, kept under strict control, can work. What it appears to need most of all is confiscatory taxes at the top so that a class of plutocrats can be prevented from pushing us back int laissez faire capitalism, the worst economic system ever devised since even Adam Smith had to use magic (the invisible hand) to make it work and admitted some regulation was necessary.

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