Why We Can’t Spend More and More

This is not about why government can’t spend more and more, which it can’t. It’s about how capitalists can’t spend more and more.

The Market didn’t deliver. Conservatives promised there would be plenty for everyone, but all it did was shift a lot of money upward, to people who didn’t need it at all. And they didn’t behave like the “job creators” they were theorized to be. That, in fact, they still say they are. Instead, their money became museum stuff, an accumulation to look at, but only for private viewing. Meantime, everyone else is worse off.

One of the commandments of the capitalist system is that money must “work”. It must always increase. When money doesn’t work, it’s like stuffing it into your mattress. When you eventually take it out, it will be worth less.

This is the reason that the giant international banking funds want to loan big money to poor countries. By taking on debt, poor countries are supposed to reap benefits. Actually, the benefits all go to the big bank lenders. The poor borrower gets things like multi-million dollar dams, which somehow never seem to supply water and electricity to anyone but the lenders’ big industries, and everyone else is worse off. That’s why literally all of the Latin American countries have withdrawn from such schemes, and formed their own organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which is just getting organized.

This is the reason that the
giant international banking funds
want to loan big money to poor countries.

And so, we find that there are real limits to what capital can do in a finite world with its finite limitations. You and I know that, but corporate hot shots and conservative politicians don’t want to believe it. Capital can’t simply grow forever, any more than we can continue pumping the atmosphere full of coal smoke forever. Therefore, we have to find a way to live that respects these limits.

Capitalism will not simply go away, particularly since there’s nothing realistic to replace it yet. But capitalism must change, and how it must change is not clear at this moment in history.


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