U.S., UA Suffer from Economic Elitism

What do globalization, President Bush and Chancellor John A. White have in common? They are all causes or symptoms of America’s fundamental problem with economic elites.

In “The Threat of Globalization,” Edward Herman states that globalization is a dangerous ideology that threatens democracy. Globalization was engineered by economic elites to serve their interests and create the false impression of inevitability and success.

These elites ignore, along with politically aligned corporate media, that globalization decreases output, productivity and investment growth. Additionally, global interest rates have increased dramatically in recent decades, because of increased financial market volatility from increased financial mobility .

Global inequality and American inequality is also sharply increasing because of globalization. The income gap for the richest and poorest 20 percent of the world has grown from 30-to-1 in 1960 to 82-to-1 in 1995, and massive poverty is growing.

America is also witnessing outsourcing of technical industries and jobs, as well, weakening our long-term economic viability. Economic experts Ralph Gomory and William Baumol call this “divergence of interests” between America and its corporations. It requires systematic elite propaganda to make these results of globalization smell successful.

A primary objective of globalization is to obtain the cheapest labor possible for corporations. To obtain the cheapest labor, corporations inherently desire situations where cheap labor is stably ensured, which is best achieved in authoritarian states that strongly suppress labor power, such as China. This process penalizes countries that have more democracy and political rights; therefore, globalization encourages authoritarian regimes.

The globalization propaganda includes market superiority to threatening governments, and that deregulation and privatization mean market freedom. This extreme corporate individualism is very profitable for the economic elite. In addition to opposition toward labor rights, globalization also entails strong opposition for protection of the environment, which also limits corporate freedom.

The success of globalization propaganda largely comes from the vast sums of money economic business elite pour into think tanks and management of corporate media, creating moral legitimacy. A leader in one such think tank, the Heritage Foundation, describes its methodology as “analogous to Proctor & Gamble’s selling soap – saturate the market with messages that overwhelm any that are less well-funded.”

The same economic elite also pours tons of money into campaigns of both American political parties, encouraging quasi-bribed politicians to tow the lockstep propaganda line. All of this is killing democracy and the free market of ideas.

Globalization organizations are designed with interests of big business and the economic elite as dominant in importance. Anything that hurts profits for these groups is opposed as a restraint to market freedom, primarily human rights and environmental protections.

The motto of the elite seems to be “Profit over people” or “Corporate freedom over human freedom.”

We are taught that socialism creates totalitarianism, as in the cases of Stalin or Hitler, but modern capitalism is certainly headed in the same direction. The difference is instead of one dictator we have a cabal of economic elites.

We too easily disregard President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial-congressional complex taking over. His warning is reality. We are all obliviously under complex control because of systematic propaganda from our media, politicians, think tanks and educational institutions. We also are censored from the most ugly effects of the complex in Iraq or from results of globalization in brutal suppression of human rights and massive environmental damage.

Few corporate journalists, corporate politicians, corporate approved intellectuals or educators speak critically of the complex. Likewise, few of them justly criticize everything oilman Bush does that benefits the complex. This includes Bush’s tax cuts, environmental deregulation, corporate welfare, oil subsidies, social program cuts, assault on our Constitution and systems of executive accountability, as well as his war for profit.

At the UA, we are witnessing a symptom of an economic elite problem as well. Living in economic elite la-la land, the rich Chancellor White has unnecessarily wasted $4 million on the resignation of his rich buddy, former head football coach Houson Nutt.

With many UA students going deep into debt to earn degrees and future jobs that will never pay $4 million in their lifetimes, White is not in touch with reality. We talk about not having enough money for recruitment and retainment of superior academic faculty, yet we can throw this money away?

People argue it was athletic department money, but so what? If there are excessive millions in athletics, let’s change the rules to benefit the primary purpose of our academic institution. Some also say White did this as a face-saving cover for unofficially firing Nutt, but wouldn’t lying to the public be an even worse offense?

I am hearing bipartisan criticism about this situation from the student body. So, just as Bush and Cheney should be impeached for high crimes and complex corruption, White should resign or be removed for elite negligence.

Link to The Arkansas Traveler, University of Arkansas Newspaper

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