Chris Hedges from a speech in 2015 before Trump:
“The true history of the breakdown of capitalism in the 1930’s is not that a beneficent oligarch by the name of Franklin Roosevelt decided to shower us with gifts. It is that there were powerful radical movements, the progressive party, the communist party, which was white-washed from our history, powerful unions, especially around the CIO- that went to Roosevelt and said, look, it’s not working, people are destitute, and either you respond or you get revolution. And Roosevelt went to his fellow oligarchs and said you better give up some of your money, or you are going to lose all of your money. And that’s how we got heavy government intervention, 15 million jobs, social security, public works- which created the parks, the libraries, the schools, the post offices- many of which we use today, which of course, we are now watching them being closed.”
The stock market crashed in 1929 for the same reason it crashed 77 years later in 2008: Bought politicians and absolute greed. Any money system based on gambling on markets, without strict regulation, will destroy itself, over and over again, as history proves. The wealthy become super-wealthy and buy politicians who deregulate so they can become even more wealthy and gamble with vast wealth. And it must crash due to the greed of those who will eventually break any rule and falsify any numbers for a profit. Eventually the wealth inequality of a very few owning almost everything- and economic downturns- drive revolution and governments fall, often to be replaced by something much worse. The French and Russian Revolutions are examples, with the latter happening less than a decade before the crash of 1929. Poverty was so bad that bloody revolution was a possibility and something the U.S. wished to avoid at all costs.
In the 1930’s during the great depression the United States went to a new political-economic system known as Embedded Liberalism. In this mix of capitalism and socialism a strictly regulated capitalist market was allowed to function on the condition it support a social safety net insuring workers were not left homeless and starving when big business schemes, or the entire economy, failed. This was called “The New Deal” and it was hated by the biggest companies and most wealthy individuals because of the high tax rates necessary to pay for the social services safeguarding the citizenry. In the decades to follow the elites worked behind the scenes on a new ideology to replace Embedded Liberalism and this was to become known as Neoliberalism. The turning point came in the 1980’s with the “Reagan Revolution” and from that point on Embedded Liberalism would be quickly replaced with “free market economics.”
In as few words as possible, Neoliberalism makes money the god of this world. The poor become either useless eaters or a commodity depending on if they can generate revenue and the rich become semi-divine. The few live in luxury while the many live in squalor and Neoliberals consider this the natural order.
In the 1990’s politics in America became purely a matter of money as the 1 percent paid hundreds of millions of dollars for influence and politicians realized they either obeyed or lost office.
NAFTA was signed at the end of 1993 and President Clinton’s signing of it is sometimes identified as a milestone in a rightward shift for the Democrats. https://time.com/5468175/nafta-history/
“The Democrats had long championed workers’ rights, and the Republicans had become a free-trade party; that kind of broke down with Clinton,” Cowie says. “The Democrats got walloped in [the presidential elections of] 1980, 1984, 1988, and they had to figure out how to accommodate the power of the new conservatism in America. There was an old wing that wanted to fight to defend the industrial protections and collective bargaining represented by the New Deal, and a new wing that shifted to the right and Clinton became the standard-bearer of that movement, the New Democrats.”
Cameron echoes that Clinton “fundamentally reoriented the Democratic Party from being the party of the working class and middle class to being a party that actually fought to compete with the Republicans for Wall Street’s favor.”
Ross Perot, the 1992 third-party presidential candidate, famously predicted that an agreement like NAFTA would produce a “giant sucking sound” — meaning Mexico sucking jobs out of the U.S.”
I have voted only twice in my life- once for Perot and once for Obama. I thought Obama might possibly bring the troops home. He did not and I did not vote for him again. Biden will make it three times.
“According to historian Walter Scheidel, both major political parties shifted towards promoting free-market capitalism in the 1970s, with Republicans moving further to the political right than Democrats to the political left. He noted that Democrats played a significant role in the financial deregulation of the 1990s. Anthropologist Jason Hickel contended that the neoliberal policies of the Reagan era were carried forward by the Clinton administration, forming a new economic consensus which crossed party lines.
New Democrats have faced criticism from those further to the left. In a 2017 BBC interview, Noam Chomsky said that “the Democrats gave up on the working class forty years ago”. Political analyst Thomas Frank asserted that the Democratic Party began to represent the interests of the professional class rather than the working class.“