Posts Tagged ‘Thorstein Veblen’

Why does the United States wage perpetual war?

1. War generates corporate profits that almost entirely goes to the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. The profit margins are quite high.

2. War generates a perceived need for societal control. Wage war, declare protestors unpatriotic, keep people ignorant via the corporate press, and keep dissent within the narrow confines of what the rulers of the 1 percent want.

“The first duty of an editor,” the economist Thorstein Veblen wrote in 1904, “is to edit and omit all news articles with a few as to what the news ought to be.” He was spot on. “The second duty of an editor,” Veblen wrote, “is to never offend any major advertiser.”

Major corporations are advertisers, (and along with their CEO’s and billionaire shareholders) corrupter’s of government and the press, as well as conduits for redistributing income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent.

And quite naturally, when President Bush lied us into a war in Iraq, the corporate press dutifully kept the debate within the narrow confines of what the administration wanted, more or less. Hardly any of the so-called US news media questioned any of the administration’s justifications for war, and all of these justifications turned out to be lies. The foreign press did a much better job on this issue.


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Fifty years ago General Motors was the biggest employer in the United States. Nowadays, Walmart is the biggest employer. Fifty years ago, the 1 percent stole only 8 percent of all the nation’s income. Nowadays, it’s over thirty percent. That mal-distribution of income difference is why there’s such a big pay differential between what workers earned at GM then and what they earn now at Walmart. What a difference fifty years has made. By the way, the art museum mentioned by Maher above was never intended to be something that benefits people, it was built to serve as a monument to the Walmart lady, and for no other reason. It is, as the economist Thorstein Veblen once said, “conspicuous consumption,” intended to demonstrate ones accumulated wealth and their presumptive place in the human pecking order. Building the monument to herself made a difference to no one except the Walmart lady’s social standing. What a nitwit! She is a crass example of Blind Stupidity and proves that turds rise, or are carried, to the top.

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By now, everybody with the exception of dumb downed Fox News Viewers knows the truth of the headline of this story. But there is something that is probably less well known. Here it is; all of the corporate news media do the same thing, only the difference between them and Fox News is a matter of degree and not of kind. That’s why we need to go to the Internet, to truthout.org, to the Guardian of England, to Al Jezeera, to the BBC, to find the real news.

In 1904, the brilliant economist Thorstein Veblen wrote in Theory of Business Enterprise, “The first duty of an editor is to edit and omit all news stories with a view to what the news ought to be.” The corporate news media, including the New York Times, continues to follow this rule. Veblen also wrote, The second duty of an editor is to not offend advertisers.

Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, Nike, Microsoft, Apple and hundreds of other corporations rely heavily on redistributing income from the 99 percent to the one percent via free trade treaties. The difference between the old wages here and the new lesser wages over there are redistributed to the one percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and increased share prices. The losers of those jobs may get unemployment insurance if they are lucky.

So don’t expect any stories from any corporate media outlets about how free trade treaties have redistributed income, and wiped out much of the tax base that supports our schools and local government services. The same is true of deregulation and other methods of redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the one percent. And you certainly won’t find any stories about how thirty plus years of tax cuts for the one percent have brought about all of the above, but also corrupted our government and courts, especially the corrupt corporate wing of the US supreme court.

Click here for the story about Fox News and the Dumbing Down of Its Audience

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