Friday, June 12, 2015


Alan Greenspan and G.W. Bush celebrating themselves.

Reagan capitalism is the legacy of Ronal Reagan, Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand. Yes, the darling of the Libertarian movement, Ms. Rand, was a formative influence on the life of the designer of the global financial collapse of 2008. The repercussions of that collapse are still rumbling around the world. Greenspan did more than anyone else to create the 1% who now dominate politics and the rest of us.
Ronald Reagan, frankly, was the puppet of Dick Cheney and those who aligned with Alan Greenspan in their vision of dismantling socialism in the U.S.. Rand, a Russian who first suffered from and then exploited socialism in Russia, was the ultimate representative of "me first" capitalism. Her rage over the loss of her bourgeois childhood to proletarian revolution in Russia is evident in Rand's writing. Her hatred for the philosophy of the greater good over selfish egoism was intense and something she practiced in her own personal life. Let us just say she would not have been confused with beneficent Mother Russia.
Now a generation of maturing adults who were indoctrinated with Reagan economics are populating our business communities around the U.S.. This is the "all boats rise" crowd. The worst among them are the children of wealth and privilege who see themselves as social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs are those who exploit nonprofit status (tax dodge) for personal wealth by becoming CEOs of "do-good" corporations. Tony Robbins teaches people how to be slick con men. He has been an inspiration to today's so-called entrepreneurial class. His gets himself a lot of money. He produces nothing concrete, except hot air. 
Some Reagan capitalists absolve themselves from any humility about their privileged origins. These folks stick their trust fund in your face and then rummage your pockets for contributions. P.T. Barnum would approve: "There's a sucker born ever minute." Other Reagan capitalists from bourgeois backgrounds actually imply that they came from humble beginnings. These humble beginnings often include prep schools and minor Ivy League colleges in bucolic settings. However, you are given the impression they had grown up on mean streets and have student loans.
The most pitiable Reagan capitalists are those people who actually do come from mean streets and get conned into believing they will get a hand up from the tip of the Reagan capitalist pyramid. These folks get suckered into working like slaves for wealthy people under the pretense of interning. They are encouraged to mortgage their entire lives for projects based in no market research and less social value. A rare person from this group manages to swim upstream. That person is then exploited by the wealthy as a poster child for Reagan capitalism. The 90% who end up living lives of big bills and long hours with minimal reward are told they just haven't tried hard enough.
Reagan capitalism has won the political and social landscape of middle class America. Is that landscape any better for it? I don't think so. I suppose you must judge for yourself. In any case, time will tell.

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