The capitalist economic system has major failures. It generates extreme, socially divisive inequalities of wealth and income. It consistently fails to achieve full employment. Many of its jobs are boring, dangerous and/or mind-numbing.
Every four to seven years, it suffers a mysterious downdraft in which millions of people lose jobs and incomes, businesses collapse, falling tax revenues undermine public services, and so on.
If these failures were widely perceived as the inherent failures of the capitalist system, the desirability and thus sustainability of capitalism itself might vanish.
How, then, has capitalism survived?
Its persistence can best be explained in terms of ideology. The system produces and disseminates interpretations of its failures that blame these problems not on capitalism itself, but on other altogether different "causes."
Institutions have developed mechanisms to anchor such interpretations widely and deeply in the popular consciousness. read more
Unpaid hospital bills are a leading cause of personal debt and bankruptcy across the nation, with hospitals from Memphis to Baltimore criticized for their role in pushing families over the financial edge. But UVA stands out for the scope of its collection efforts and how persistently it seeks payment, pursuing poor as well as middle-class patients for almost all they're worth. read more
The little-known back story of the hotel where Republican's gathered in Baltimore last week is how it embodies all the unjust policies that have created record wealth inequality in the US read more
For affluent, white-collar Americans, higher learning is something close to sacred. We bask in the sunshine of enlightenment that prestige universities radiate and we speak of them in the language of dreams, of religious veneration.
But now comes Daniel Markovits, a professor at Yale Law School, to tell us that far from solving economic inequality, higher education is one of the central forces driving our yawning class divide.
Top universities are the central but not only element of what Markovits calls "The Meritocracy Trap."
On the surface, meritocracy seems fair, but in reality, Markovits writes, what we call merit is "a pretense, constructed to rationalize an unjust distribution of advantage." ... It is "a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth, privilege and caste across generations."
The results are ugly but undeniable. read more
The Hill | Published on Sep 13, 2019
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