American Defects: Inventory of Crony-Capitalism

Go Lean Commentary

The American Dream: You have to be asleep to believe it!

Thus the conclusion of famed comedian and society commentator, the late George Carlin*; see VIDEO in the Appendix below; (excuse the graphic profanity).

This conclusion also aligns with the familiar consideration of the planners for a new Caribbean society, the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean and accompanying blogs.

CU Blog - American Defects - Inventory of Crony-Capitalism - Photo 1

The American Dream tends to be a nightmare for Caribbean citizens of Black and Brown ethnic persuasions that emigrate there. And yet, the Go Lean book relates that these people of the Caribbean have “beat down their doors” to get out of their beautiful homelands to live, work and play in America.

The book relates the reason for this societal abandonment as “push-and-pull”:

“pull factors” – alluring economic opportunities awaiting a life in America
“push factors” – lack of economic prospects in the Caribbean homeland.

The mission of the Go Lean movement is to minimize these “push and “pull” factors. This commentary today is one of two considerations on the folly of leaving the Caribbean for American shores.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap seeks to reboot the region’s economic, security and governing engines; employing better strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

Previous blog/commentaries have asserted that the American Dream is a nightmare for Americans as well. That this “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” is often a sandbox for the rich and the powerful. This is qualified in the manifested threat of Crony-Capitalism.

This commentary therefore is a running inventory list of all the Crony-Capitalism models that proliferate in the Unites States of America:

 Models of American Crony-Capitalism detailed in Go Lean…Caribbean blog/commentaries:

Big Defense Many theorists indicate that the “follow the money” approach reveals the Military Industrial Complex work to undermine peace, so as to increase   defense spending for military equipment, systems and weapons.
Big Media Cable companies conspire to keep rates high; kill net neutrality; textbook publishers practice price gouging; Hollywood insists on big tax breaks/ subsidies for on-location shooting.
Big Doubters There are professionals who work to undermine the Greater Good by spewing doubt on scientifically-established causes; consider Climate Change, Tobacco and Concussions.
Big Oil While lobbying for continuous tax subsidies, the industry have colluded to artificially keep prices high and garner record profits ($38+ Billion every quarter).
Big Box Retail chains impoverish small merchants on Main Street with Antitrust-like tactics, thusly impacting community jobs. e-Commerce, an area of many   future prospects, is the best hope of countering these bad business tactics.
Big Pharma Chemo-therapy cost $20,000+/month; and the War against Cancer is imperiled due to industry profit insistence.
Big Tobacco Cigarettes are not natural tobacco but rather latent with chemicals to spruce addiction.
Big Agra Agribusiness concerns exacerbate greenhouse gases, bully family farmers and crowd out the market. Plus they fight common sense food labeling efforts and engage in abusive labor practices with migrant workers.
Big Data Brokers for internet and demographic data clearly have no regards to privacy concerns.
Big Banks Wall Street’s damage to housing and student loans are incontrovertible.
Big Weather Overblown hype of “Weather Forecasts” to dictate commercial transactions, while ignoring the responsibilities and realities of Climate Change.
Big Real Estate Preserving MLS for Real Estate brokers only, forcing 6% commission rates, when the buyers and sellers can meet without them.
Big Salt Despite the corrosiveness of salt on roads and the environment, it is the only tactic used to de-ice roads. Immediately after the weather warms, the roads must be re-constructed, thus ensuring a continuous economic cycle.
Big Energy The For-Profit utility companies always lobby against regulations to “clean-up” fossil-fuel (coal) power plants or block small “Green” start-ups from sending excess power to the National Grid. Their motive is to preserve their century-long monopoly and their profits.
Big Legal Even though it is evident that the promotion of Intellectual Property can help grow economies, the emergence of Patent Trolling parties (mostly   lawyers) is squashing innovation. These ones are not focused on future innovations, rather just litigation. They go out and buy patents, then look for anyone that may consume any concepts close to those patents, then sue for settlements, quick gains.
Big Cruise Cruise ships are the last bastion of segregation with descriptors   like “modern-day-slavery” and “sweat-ships”. Working conditions are poor and wages are far below anyone’s standards of minimum. Many   ship-domestic staff are “tip earners”, paid only about US$50 a month and expected to survive on the generosity of the passengers’ gratuity. The industry staff with personnel from Third World countries, exploiting those with desperate demands. Nowhere else in the modern world is this kind of job discrimination encouraged, accepted or tolerated.
Big Jails The private prison industry seem motivated more by profit than by public safety. They attempt to sue state governments when their occupancy levels go too low; a reduction in crime is bad for business.
Big Auto Automakers, like General Motors (GM), conspired with oil and tire companies to eliminate streetcars in cities all across America. The conspiracy was to create an inferior urban transportation (bus) system that would drive the demand for automobiles. The end result was a guarantee of sales of tires, gasoline for these industry stakeholders
Big Housing The American legacy is one of the institutional segregation in American cities. The practice was administered by real estate agents and housing   officials executing policies to elevate property values and generational wealth for White families at the expense of a life of squalor for Non-Whites.
Big Charities Big Not-For-Profit organizations that fleece the public under the guise of charities but retain vast majorities of the funding as administrative costs, thusly benefiting mostly the charities’ executives and staff rather than the intended benefactors.
Big Education For-Profit schools make a lot of profit while providing very little education to its customers: students. They charge tuition amounts higher than public colleges, while providing educational programs of little value and repute. The issue underpinning this dilemma is the easy availability of guaranteed student loans from the US federal government. The Crony in this case is a direct consequence of a rich pool of federal monies.
Big Music The music business is a bad business. Many in the industry exploit artists for their genius but fail to pay for their talent via legal loopholes. The latest case is that of Apple Music launching a new streaming service, where they choose to not bill the end-customer during the 3-month trial period so they also choose not to pay the artists. This is a clear disrespect of intellectual property, as if the music creation has no value.
Big Interchange The Mastercard/Visa interchange is a monopolistic collusion that ensures transaction fees remain high with no competitive downward pressure. They get a slice of every Mastercard/Visa debit and credit transaction.
Big Sports Public financing of sports stadiums to benefit private owners of sport teams many times abuses the finances of communities, who may then struggle or shortchange vital services in order to service the debt/bond obligations for the stadiums.
Big Hair The media has dictated what is beautiful in America and is making women comply…at all cost. Systematic messaging that Black Hair is less than preferred has resulted in a US$9 Billion industry for Black Women and their fake hair, weaves and chemical products.
Big Lobby Big Business lobby with their money to dictate their priorities, despite conflicts-of-interest for elected officials, at the expense of the Greater Good.
Big Labor The H-1B program allows for foreign workers to be imported only if no local resources are available. This process is so corrupted! American corporations bring in STEM resources from countries like India and pay them less, after having American workers train them. Both the American and foreign workers are abused in the process.
Big Shipping Jones Act mandates that for a ship to go from one US port to another US port it must be American-made and American flagged. This protectionism guarantees excessive shipbuilding profits and a small number of shipping options for US Territories, so high consumer prices.

Follow the money …

The Caribbean must do better! And we must dissuade our citizens from emigrating to this broken American eco-system.

The Go Lean roadmap provides turn-by-turn directions on rebooting Caribbean society, the economic, security, and governing engines for each member-state and the region as a whole. (America is out-of-scope for our efforts). The roadmap features mitigations and remediation to lower the “push” factors so that Caribbean citizens do not feel the need to flee their homelands.

This is easier said than done. As a planning tool, the roadmap commences with a Declaration of Interdependence, pronouncing the dread of threats of the Caribbean Brain Drain (Page 13):

xix.    Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores.

The book also acknowledges that all the reasons for societal flight may not be economic; sometimes there are security concerns as well. So this consideration, plus an aversion to local Crony-Capitalistic practices, is front-and-center in the same Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

xvi.    Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

Even a benign reason like education is factored in the Go Lean roadmap, recognizing that educational engagements may send good students/citizens to a “land of no return”. The opening Declaration of Interdependence therefore pronounces this requirement on Page 13:

xxi.    Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

The Caribbean is urged to do better. We can reboot and reform our society. We can succeed in elevating our communities and dissuading our most precious resources – our people – from abandoning our beautiful homeland.

The “grass is not greener on the other side”; America should not be the destination of our hopes and dreams. We can work on our Caribbean Dreams right here at home.

The people and governing institutions in the region are all urged to lean-in for the empowerments described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. Let us all work to make our homeland better places to live, work, and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix * – George Denis Patrick Carlin[1] (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)

He was an American comedian, social critic, actor, and author. Carlin was noted for his “black comedy” and his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Carlin and his “Seven dirty words” comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government’s power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.

He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians: One newspaper called Carlin “the dean of counterculture comedians.”[2] In 2004, Carlin was placed second on the Comedy Central [Cable Network] list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, ahead of Lenny Bruce and behind Richard Pryor.[3] The first of his 14 stand-up comedy specials for [cable channel] HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, Carlin’s routines focused on sociocultural criticism of modern American society. He often commented on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture. He was a frequent performer and guest host on [TV show] The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and hosted the first episode of [sketch-comedy show] Saturday Night Live for broadcast network NBC]. His final HBO special, “It’s Bad for Ya”, was filmed less than four months before his death. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.



Appendix VIDEO – George Carlin ~ The American Dream-

Excuse the profanity!

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