The Economy, Capitalism and the Candidates

There’s been a lot of speculation on who Senator John McCain then Senator Barack Obama would choose as their running mates. Almost everyone with a computer has speculated on who could be a possible running mate. Thomas Friedman, from the New York Times, has thrown his hat into the ring. Friedman presents some good evidence to show that our economy is in significant trouble. I think anyone with a couple brain cells that are firing should be able to see the decline of the American economy. We manufacture almost nothing in this country anymore. Our banking industry is in shambles. The auto industry is hanging on by a thread. Heck, a German company has offered to buy Anheuser-Busch.

Somehow over the last 20 years, money and not value has become the goal. For example, we see these nebulous corporations buy up nursing homes. At first, you scratch your head. Then you see them operate. Like a spider who wraps his victim in silk before sucking out all of the nutrients, these human vampires remove all the value out of the nursing home. They sell off CT scanners and x-ray machines. They outsource x-rays. Residents who used to be able to get an x-ray within minutes now have to wait hours or days. All experienced nurses are either fired or pushed out. They’re replaced by a new registered nurses or even nurses aides. Telephones which used to be answered by a real person are now answered by a machine. (Press one if you want resident directory.) I’m sure there are some that look at this is change. I would argue that this is not change for the better. With this type of change only the moneymakers are happy. Everyone else loses out. This is what has been happening in our country with almost every industry.

This gives me an opportunity to insert a clip from the Bill Moyers Journal. This clip is from about six or eight months ago. Bill Moyers chats with Benjamin Barber. He is the author of a new book called Consumed. They discussed the problems with capitalism.

Back to my original subject, vice presidential candidates. Thomas Friedman has been wrong more times on the Iraq war that I’m sure either he or I want to count. I think he is correct about the economy but incorrect about the choice of running mates. He suspects that each candidate will choose an economic guru as his running mate. Although, the economy will continue to be an important subject in the selection I do not believe that the candidates will choose someone because of their economic expertise. (If they were to choose someone with economic expertise, Barack Obama would likely choose someone like Senator Chris Dodd. John McCain would probably to someone like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.) I still think that John McCain will try to someone who will excite the Republican base and who will appear more youthful. I believe that Barack Obama will choose someone who has foreign-policy and military expertise.