Thursday, June 9, 2011

If no jobs, who needs Wall Street?

The whole social purpose of money, finance, financial institutions, private property, and so on, is to make a functioning economy that produces stuff to meet human needs.  That is what "the wealth of nations" means.

If those institutions are not doing that, they are a dangerous gambling house which ought to be condemned for the public safety.

When times go bad, the first hit should not be in jobs for the masses, but the pockets of the financial classes.  And they should keep getting those hits until either everyone who wants a productive job can get one, or those pockets are completely empty.

But what actually happens is those pockets buy lawmakers, buy the support of the chattering media, and so on, so that they never lose as badly as everyone else.

The wealthy only deserve wealth to the extent that it makes others better off also.  This is usually the claim in good times (a wealthy man might say "I built the railroads") but when times go bad it is quickly forgotten, and replaced by "I got mine."

The focus on keeping government deficits down, keeping inflation down, and so on, show the protection that is extended toward the wealthy in hard times at the expense of the jobless.  (As a poster on Krugman's blog noted, it's a question of whose ox gets gored.)  Deficits and inflation should increase until there are no jobless.  The fundamental reason for the existence of money is to create a productive economy, not to preserve the privileges of the privileged.

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