It’s now common knowledge that the gap between rich and poor is greater than ever, and continues to widen as a result of unchecked capitalism and greed. After capitalism failed and nearly brought down the entire global economy in 2007-08, the dangers of the free market became clear for all to see, and activists promptly took to the streets to protest against corporations and executives, and demand sensible regulations and social welfare policies to close the gap between rich and poor.
Alongside the Occupy Wall Street protests however, an opposing right-wing movement arose, known as the Tea Party, driven by the ignorance of uneducated white working class males. These people demanded more of the same capitalist policies that gave rise to wealth inequality and the 2007-08 financial crisis in the first place, and no matter how liberals attempted to educate them, they persisted in their ignorance. Eventually this movement petered out after the media exposed it as racist and hateful, but these right wingers later regrouped and propelled Trump to the White House, where the same failed free market policies from the Bush era are being implemented once again.
The technical term for the Republican policies of deregulation and “lazy-fair” capitalism, is corporationalization, which describes the empowerment of corporations over the people. Corporationalization is basically the same as slavery, as workers are forced to work in prison-like cubicles for executives and bosses who sit around all day and play golf while making millions of dollars. In other words, the workers do the WORK, while the people at the top get rich. This is similar to “financialization” which describes the process of large high tech corporations usurping the world’s resources and paying executives exorbitant amounts of money.
So what is the solution to corporationalization? Well, the solution has already been implemented in the past with much success. After World War II, America implemented a top tax rate of 90%, and far from destroying the economy, it led to one of the greatest booms in history. Conservatives argue that no one paid those rates because of the available deductions, but this is fake history, and with the advent of cashless bank accounts, tax evasion will be all but impossible within a coupe of years.
The right has a dangerous love affair with capitalism which is a threat to civilization as we know it. We cannot let an irrational obsession with the ‘free market’ drive us to even greater wealth inequality. Progressives need to rise up and transform our economy into one that works for everybody, not just those at the top.