The following piece is about amending capitalism and constitutes chapter 18 of the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom (itself based on an Internet-based talk radio show of the same name I did in times past). My erudite and ingenious partner in dialogue is Gar Alperovitz, Ph.D., professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, a former fellow of King’s College – Cambridge, a former fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, and guest scholar at The Brookings Institution. Gar’s words are indicated by the initials GA, and mine are JM. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type. Enjoy this look at amending capitalism, worker-owned businesses, progressive economics, corporate social responsibility, and economic justice.
JM: Let this quotation be our guide, our aspiration, and our North Star:
“I believe capitalism will eventually be replaced by a communitarian ethic where the rights and care of all beings will be taken into consideration, not just the greed of a corporate few.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams
Hello and welcome to the show. I’m Jason Merchey, coming to you from the World Talk Radio studio in San Diego, CA. I’m interviewing a humane and erudite man today – Gar Alperovitz. He is professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, a former fellow of King’s College – Cambridge, a former fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, and guest scholar at The Brookings Institution.
Professor Alperovitz has a book entitled Rebuilding America, and another: Making a Place for Community. He has no shame in calling his ideas “radical,” but considering his stellar and very mainstream qualifications, it is plain to see that his contentions are not coming “out of left field” (forgive the pun!). He has also written The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb as well as Atomic Diplomacy. Dr. Alperovitz has testified before Congress and has written articles in all kinds of high-quality publications. However, it is the book America Beyond Capitalism that I have read and highly respect. Professor, hello and welcome to the show Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom on World Talk Radio.
GA: Hi. Good to hear you.
JM: Would it be okay if I called you Gar?
GA: Absolutely. Let me say two things in addition to your introduction. One, I’m from Racine, Wisconsin – that turns out to be important, I’m a Midwesterner, and some of the ideas in this book come basically from experience in the real world. On the other hand, just to mention, I’ve had a lot of political experience; I consider myself a “realist” – I’ve directed staffs in both the House and the Senate and at the policy level of the State Department. Even though the book is called America Beyond Capitalism, and takes us beyond the current moment, I’m interested in how we move the ball practically and realistically, and some of my experience informs many ideas in the book.
“The division between an ethical and a selfish approach to life is far more fundamental than the difference between the politics of the political Right and the political Left.” ~ Peter Singer
JM: Let me understand you correctly: you’re talking about the fact that certain ideas have to receive a kind of critical mass of support from various folks in order to actually get any airtime? That amending capitalism doesn’t happen without grassroots support?
GA: That’s part of it. It is true you’ve got to build up over time and then things begin to move in a different way. But the other part of it is: Can we actually look at practical things going on right now in the real world (in communities around the country) that might be not just ideas, but real-world efforts that can be built upon? And the third piece obviously is longer-term political change. That all has to work together – the ideas and the vision and value, practical things on the ground, and longer-term political possibilities – or essentially, you’re talking theory. I’m not interested in just “pure utopias.”
JM: Is that because you’ve found the utopian ideas/things that are more visionary to be lacking in some sort of substance and practicality, or is it that you were never interested in such things?
GA: Actually, let me clarify: I think that utopian thinking in one sense (giving us a vision of what it really will take to do real democracy, equality, liberty, a sense of community) is absolutely important, and in that sense I want to affirm utopian thinking. What I really was trying to say is that unless you can then say: How do we get there?; Is there a realistic path, or is it just pie in the sky?; it doesn’t give us a way forward in the real world.
“If the person without the goods is starving, and the person with them has plenty, then morality demands a split: the money is needed more by the starving. The starvation of the poor demands redistribution from the rich.” ~ Simon Blackburn
JM: That’s fair. As I understand science, moving forward is usually a combination of theorizing on the one hand, followed by testing on the other. If you try to study without a theory, (if you just let the data guide you), you might not see the big picture. Conversely, if you look at the big picture disconnected from testing and data gathering, you may experience the chasm between what may work and what will likely work. I think even someone like Noam Chomsky is not particularly radical in the speed at which he wants to see change; I think he sees how things should change, but he’s not a big proponent of risk-taking in regard to implementing social programs and such. My point is, you’re interested in pragmatism; something that has a real chance of working. You are trying to be cautious and not ideologically-driven.
GA: I like that. Yes, I think you’re quite correct that we do need a theory, otherwise you’re just poking around in a haystack with experiments. But it also has to have certain principles that can be not only tested, but built upon.
Let me give you an example. This is from the heart of this book, and one of the reasons I named it what I did. “Changing the system” – everybody says “It’s the system” when discussing things going wrong. Changing the system usually means (the heart of most systems is): who owns property. That’s where the power in most political systems is based (in one way or another).
There are many variations associated with who really owns the property. In the feudal era it was the lords owning property; they controlled the politics, if you like. In the 19th century, who owned capital in the United States were largely (though not totally) small business people – usually farmers and craftsmen. That’s where we get the Jeffersonian vision of the independent “yeoman farmer,” kind of standing on his own two feet.
JM: Yes, Thomas Piketty also sees that amending capitalism has much to do with focusing on the “rent-seeking” upper class – what Marx called the bourgeoisie.
GA: Well, who owns property today in America is, on the one hand, the very, very large corporation (world-spanning). Most people are not entrepreneurs— one in ten may be, at best. Thus, 90% of the people are employees. So, it’s a very different animal. Then if you look more closely at who has power and who owns capital – this statistic is mind-blowing, but it’s at the heart of this book and why I use the term beyond capitalism – 1% own over 50% of all the business investment capital in the United States. The Waltons, of Walmart, own more wealth than 42% of American families combined.
“…our apathy about inequality is due to rose-colored misperceptions. To be fair, though, we do know that something is up. After all, President Obama called economic inequality ‘the defining challenge of our time.’ But while Americans acknowledge that the gap between the rich and poor has widened over the last decade, very few see it as a serious issue. Just five percent of Americans think that inequality is a major problem in need of attention.” ~ Nicholas Fitz
…Let me give it to you another way. The last time they ran the data on this— and it’s probably pretty much the same by now— a mere two-tenths of 1% made more money on the sale of stocks and bonds than everybody else in our entire society taken together. We don’t really focus on what that means, but that’s the system we’re living in.
JM: That is absolutely rife with inequity and a dearth of economic justice. Crony capitalism more the progressive economics.
GA: Jason, partly I’m a historian and partly I’m a political economist. One argument is: that’s just not going to last. It’s not possible to sustain a system like that. You know, systems come and go in history; we just can’t imagine that our system would change or be replaced, just as every other has. And the question beyond sustainability is, Is there any other way to organize the ownership of property and wealth that is supportive of the population at large, but also democratic and egalitarian and liberty-enhancing? That’s one of the key questions in any system.
So, to get it down to the practical level, the Socialists invented a system in which all the capital was owned by the government (the State). There is another problem there because it becomes a concentration of power that really is not sustainable of democracy and liberty.
However, there is a whole tradition in which capital and wealth can be owned to benefit communities and individuals that is neither a giant corporation (and the tiny percent that owns the lion’s share of the stock) nor the Socialist state. Much of this book is about that other alternative. For instance, one of the standard ones that a lot of people know about is “the co-op;” co-ops don’t play a big role in this book, but that is a model of who owns productive wealth in a cooperative sense. By the way, there are 115 million Americans who are members of co-ops; people don’t realize that.
“The concentration of economic power in a few giant corporate structures has been the stimulus for many populist and progressive revolts in our nation’s history. Republicans authored the first federal antitrust law, the Sherman Act, in 1890. Teddy Roosevelt thundered against the ‘giant trusts.’ Franklin D. Roosevelt assailed the ‘malefactors of great wealth.’ The trustbusters of yesteryear would be shocked at the past thirty years.” ~ Ralph Nader
JM: I’m sure many will be relieved to hear that your view of amending capitalism doesn’t involve a massive State – Hobbes’ “Leviathan” in modern incarnation.
GA: Yet another model where property and wealth can be owned in a way that is decentralized – that benefits large numbers and not just the elite or the corporations – is the employee-owned/worker-owned company. The press doesn’t cover this, but there are about 11,000 companies in the United States today that are substantially or wholly owned by the employees. And note that employee-owned companies don’t get up and leave the United States for cheap labor abroad; they stay in their own communities and help build them because that’s where folks live.
“The greatest corrosive of traditional values is not liberal judges, but features of the modern economy that conservatives ignore. These include the unrestrained mobility of capital with its disruptive effects on neighborhoods, cities, and towns; the concentration of power in large corporations unaccountable to the communities they serve; and an inflexible workplace that forces working men and women to choose between advancing their careers and caring for their children.” ~ Michael J. Sandel
…The principal and the theory, as you put it, needs to be addressed: Where does power come from, who owns wealth, and how is it organized? The other question is, If you can think of another way to do it that isn’t so centralized and so elitist and so overwhelmingly concentrated, are there real models that begin to suggest some of the outlines of something that would work in a different way (and are democratic and community-building)?
JM: I’m speaking with Professor Gar Alperovitz about amending capitalism.
That is very interesting summary. We have to go to break, but first let’s play a little game! I’d like you to guess who said the following: “This American system of ours—call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will – gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.” Who do you imagine said that?
GA: Any number of great Americans… Who said it?
Well, in this case, you’re wrong – because it’s Al Capone!
JM: I suppose from an amoral perspective, he was great in that he was a skilled consolidator of power; but from a moral perspective he left a little something to be desired…! I guess lots of folks think that capitalism is a good way to go (the only way?), but we need to examine who they are, what their meaning is, and what lies behind it. So, when we get back from commercial, let’s do so.
“I’ve always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, and corporate executives who talked of how in America if you worked hard, you would become rich. The meaning of that was: If you were poor, it was because you hadn’t worked hard enough. I knew that was a lie – about my father, and about millions of others; men and women who worked harder than anyone.”~ Howard Zinn
…Hello, and welcome back. Today, I’m discussing economics, morality, and amending capitalism with Gar Alperovitz, who posits that America would do well to move beyond capitalism. In questioning what we could adopt as our economic system if not laissez-faire or crony capitalism (two distinct strains), I am curious whether he believes capitalism is moral, amoral, or immoral. And, like many concepts that get application in the real world, a more apt question might be: In what ways and in what contexts is the American economic system fair or unfair, just or unjust, good or bad?
We are talking about the book entitled America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy. It is dedicated to his first grandson Noah, and his generation. His generation does need a lot of help, and I’m not sure that the generation currently at the wheel (whom I guess would be considered baby boomers) is providing it. Gar, would you say that the stewards of our economy are doing a good job or a bad job in recent decades?
GA: I think the current stewards of the economy are doing a terrible job. They are producing extreme inequality; they are producing ecological destruction; jobs are moving out from our communities; massive debt is accumulating; the extremely wealthy groups are becoming wealthier; the “military-industrial complex” is growing.
I think we are in a very difficult time. Indeed, part of the argument of this book – the important point I think – is that times are going to get worse. But I am a historian, and I think that something’s underneath the surface; people are beginning to develop new ideas and new projects. Some people can only see the darkness; as a historian, I’ve seen many periods when things were declining, but the pain and difficulty often create enormous positive movement underneath the surface that explodes. That’s what a lot of this book is written about— what’s going on in communities that is not covered in the press – that is really beginning to build.
“Long before the civil rights movement, there were many years of hard, quiet, dangerous work by those who came before. Long before the feminist explosion, there were those who labored to establish new principles in earlier decades. It is within the possibilities of our time in history that, working together and openly charting a new course, this generation can establish necessary foundations for an extraordinary future and the release of new energies. It may even be that far-reaching change will come much earlier and much faster than many now imagine.” ~ Gar Alperovitz
JM: Yes, I see what you’re saying and I think it’s apropos of this statement (above) that you made.
GA: Yes, those are the final lines of the book. As we discussed, I tried to give some philosophy and history, but also some practical things. Let me give you some examples. As I mentioned earlier, I’m from Wisconsin and at the very end of my college career, the famous Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy was around. If you read the tea leaves of the time, it was even darker than it is now for many people who care about progressive ideals. If you predicted what was going to happen, you’d say nothing would ever change; it was really, really dark. Of course, the next thing that happened was the 1960s. So, I’m not a “utopian” but I also don’t think it makes sense to read what you find in the newspapers as the inevitable future.
The senator I use to work for, who recently passed away, was Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. In one, ten-year period, I saw McCarthy give way to the environmental movement. The people whom I admire most are those who worked for civil rights organizations in states like Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s. Now, I have a really high regard for the civil rights activists of the 1960s, but without the really hard work that went into laying the foundations for what came next, the 1960s would not have occurred in the way that they did. People who think we’re in difficulty now should imagine what it was like in the Deep South during those years — you try to change things and you could easily end up hanging from a tree.
So, I think we’re in a period now where the work is to begin to develop new ideas. Simple idea: I think that reading clubs – where people read books and then get together and talk about what could be done to take political action – is a great idea. It was impactful in the ‘60s, as the women’s movement used it with some success.
“…Justice is primary in that the demands of justice outweigh other moral and political interests, however pressing those others may be. On this view, justice is not merely one value among others, to be weighed and considered as the occasion arises, but the highest of all social virtues; the one that must be met before others can make their claims.” ~ Michael J. Sandel
…But I also think that people just need to be informed about the many things that are going on at the neighborhood and community level, the state level. Let me give you some examples. As I mentioned, there are 11,000 worker-owned companies at present; there are 4,000-6,000 neighborhood-owned corporations in the United States today. If you look at the state level, California passed a law recently requiring people making over $1 million to be taxed for improved mental health services. Over in New Jersey, they passed legislation taxing people over $500,000 and used it to help offset the reactionary, regressive real estate taxes. There is something pending in Connecticut right now – taxing people who make over $1 million. It was passed by the majority, including 67% of people who identify as Republicans.
So, the message is that when you get away from the national headlines and look at what’s actually possible, state by state, and you begin to think, historically: What would it take, currently, to lay the groundwork for change beyond this dark period? And if you don’t like capitalism and you don’t like socialism, then how do you begin to get real about what the next system could be? As I said, systems come and go.
“Hey look, the general consensus is that what moves man the most is the quest for money. But I happen to believe that man is also moved by a deep sense of honor and an even deeper sense of doing good.” ~ Dennis Miller
JM: Mm-hmm. I think we can learn a lot from other countries, especially the democratic socialist ones, the social democracies. I think it’s not for want of good examples that we remain a crony capitalist system, an oligarchy. Speaking of amending capitalism, Michael Moore’s Who to Invade Next is incisive and compelling along the lines of determining what works in other developed countries. Some of the ideas he identifies are actually American concepts that have fallen into disuse. Or, should I say, “have been buried by commercialism and by plutocracy.”
Robert J. Samuelson wrote: “It can be said of capitalism what Winston Churchill once said of democracy: it’s the worst possible system, except for all the others.” Would you say to Mr. Samuelson, “Hey, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees, because there are other ways, some currently in operation, but which are not dominant”?
GA: It is fair for him to say that the system may be the worst except for all of the others, because the truth is we are now in an era where the other system has not yet been developed. We are not going to build a new society in the 21st century with the capitalism or Socialism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Those of us who care about equality and democracy and liberty have the responsibility to say: “Yes, there could be a better system, and here’s what it begins to look like; here are the things that are going on now that can be moved forward in a new way with likely success.”
JM: “Under capitalism man exploits man, and under Communism it’s just the reverse.” Any thoughts on what John Kenneth Galbraith means?
“It is the large enterprises that pose obstructions to political democracy. Through their spending and relations with government officials, they exercise much more power than do citizens… [This is] a mammoth violation of the political equality deemed necessary for genuine democracy.” ~ Charles Lindblom
GA: That’s him at his best! He also wrote an essay in the late 1960s saying that the Democrats who use the word socialism are describing what is needed. But he’s a great figure; he’s in his late 90s now and is still going strong. Yes, we need to get beyond Communism – at least as we understand that term, and we need to develop a new vision. The book I’ve written suggests some of the outlines of a new vision that are beginning to develop among serious academic theorists. Let me give you some of the features of it because values is the starting point – and of course, the point of your program as well.
How do you get democracy? Well, the argument is, unless you can build where people actually live, community by community, it won’t work. You can’t have Democracy unless you’ve got democracy (with a “d”). How do you make the economies of local communities healthy so that you can have democratic practice? If companies get up and leave (pull the rug out from under the local economy), people don’t really have the security they need for democratic rebuilding. So, one element of a new vision starts with local communities.
How do we get liberty? You can’t have the liberty unless people have time to choose; most people have a job or a job and a half or two jobs. Real freedom begins when there is enough time such that you can actually choose what to do with your day. But that requires changing who gets the income flows if not the elite minority. Wealth inequality saps our freedom in many ways.
So, you need to begin with the values, and part of America Beyond Capitalism shows how these kinds of ideas are beginning to be developed. If you put them together you get a vision that’s highly decentralized and changes who owns wealth, but is also built on practical models…
“What Communism could not do, the big business bosses are doing to the market system and the financial industry. We are witnessing the corporate destruction of capitalism in favor of a corporate state. The law can’t save it because the laws are controlled by politicians, many of whom are controlled in turn by these same business interests and campaign cash.” ~ Ralph Nader
…Let me bring in the moral component, which, arguably, is one of the strongest ways to motivate people. I say this because I think we have a desire within us that’s very deep and very strong to do the right thing, and I think that is why movements gain traction. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr. did not neglect to use that moral element when he was imploring the white majority and the people in power to do what it is that their Christian upbringing should have taught them to do: stop torturing and being cruel to their fellow human beings who happen to be black.
JM: I think that’s compelling vision of amending capitalism, which is obviously so sorely needed. In support of that, here is a quote by Charlie Kernaghan that I think has a moral component:
“This is the true face of the global economy: …Walmart is larger than the economy of 161 countries. It was 104° in the factory and the people were housed in rat-infested dormitories; the real face of Walmart is this 11-year-old girl in Bangladesh— she only had two days off in the last four months; she has never ridden a bicycle; 7 cents an hour.”
Say something about the moral elements of capitalism…
GA: Yes, as that quotation suggests, capitalism is a ruthless system that is becoming more ruthless in the United States, particularly as labor unions decline. For all their difficulties, at least they held back the pressure. It’s also a very productive system; Karl Marx was a great admirer of capitalism, but at the same time it was an extremely harsh and immoral system.
What is interesting about the time we live in is that capitalism has made this an incredibly productive economy! It could be an extraordinarily wealthy and wonderful life for everyone; if we divided the economic value up today it would come to around $140,000 for every family of four. It’s a very rich system— there’s never been anything like it. It could permit real community, real democracy, real liberty. Instead, the way we’ve got it organized, it’s producing inequality, instability, destruction of democracy, and loss of liberty. History reminds us that the faltering of one form of change is rarely the end of all forms of change. It is commonly observed that when reform is blocked, a radicalization of politics often occurs. It’s our possibility – and it’s an extraordinary one – to begin to think about the positive aspects of capitalism.
“The two most important things in politics #1 is money; #2 – I can’t really remember. It has reached that point.” ~ Harold Ford
JM: I see what you’re saying. Let me offer a quote by Christopher Hitchens: “Capitalism does have a tendency to create enormous polarities of income, to over-reward those who don’t need it and to under-reward those who do.”
That reminds me of a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed, where she became a worker in Walmart, as a waitress, and so on. She put herself out there to research the economic situation “on the ground” for the book, through the eyes of a low-wage worker. The upshot is, she just wasn’t really able to make it work on that amount of pay. It was a real “muckraking” piece of journalism, and I think that people like her show that our system is broken – at least for those Americans who don’t own stock in Walmart.
I’ve got another Christopher Hitchens quotation:
“If we’re all to be members of the same economy, should we not think of ourselves as the same society? If we did think like that, it would be immediately obvious to us that we couldn’t live in a society with such discrepancies; in fact, discrepancy is a weak word for such glaring gaps in the standard of not just living, but justice and expectation.”
As you pointed out, take all of the wealth divided by all of the 4-person homes in the country, equaling $140,000 – though I suppose you have to subtract the amount of debt that each of us shares (thanks in large part to wars and recent tax cuts and the mismanagement of the economy). What this means to me is that if each family had what I would consider to (arguably) be a “fair share,” then we would really see major improvements in social problems such as crime, childhood poverty, infant mortality, and educational quality. Make no mistake: I would want to stop short of some kind of collectivism that saps creativity, industriousness, and innovation, and is not based on merit, but desert. That is not consistent with our present ethos. What are your thoughts?
GA: Economists often look at the Gross National Product (GNP) or the Net National Product (NNP) to find out what the per-capita production is; if you did that in the United States, and you multiply it by a family of four, it does come out to around $140,000, now. The potential of the economy is extraordinary; what isn’t working is the way in which it’s organized. The idea that people should be worried about their health care or their retirement is in some sense ridiculous because we live in such a rich society.
JM: Yes, Americans tend to work very hard. Too hard. We have been working harder for less income for decades, despite efficiency and innovation explosions. Corporations really have the upper hand now, especially with automation and outsourcing looming large. It seems great to me if we were to trade some of that toil for relaxation.
“The word commonly used to describe supporters of the counterrevolution is conservative. But this is a gross misnomer, as these officials, politicians, corporate executives and owners, activists, journalists, and intellectuals are clearly not trying to conserve anything, but instead are in the business of dismantling existing institutions and relationships and replacing them with others, in accord with specific interests and ideologies.” ~ Edward S. Herman
GA: I agree, we could be working 20 hours a week by now. We need to say: “There is a better way to do this!” We have to think it through, talk about it, and get serious. So, I think that developing the kind of system that gave people security and a sense of community and cooperation that would undercut the cheating to keep up or get ahead that you and David Callahan talked about.
JM: There are distinct moral aspects to the analysis of capitalism and its alternatives that we shouldn’t ignore. It may be the least-worst of all economic systems, but it stinks to high heaven in many regards.
GA: I absolutely agree. Political energy comes from moral energies. It is the connecting of the moral energies of those who really care about these things to ideas that count and to projects that count which nothing can stop.
JM: Tell us about the pluralist commonwealth.
GA: I called it a “pluralist commonwealth” until somebody comes up with a better name! I did so because there are many different ways in which wealth can be held in common; a commonwealth is a very old idea that characterizes co-ops, worker-owned companies, neighborhoods in which wealth is owned to benefit the neighborhood, etc. All of these are practical; like I said, there are many examples of what people can do and are doing. Many small cities are going into business – community-owned production/state-owned production which shares dividends with the citizens.
By the way, many of these ideas appeal to traditional conservatives – those individuals who really care about community and liberty, rather than the kind-of radical people who are really only interested in conservative ideas for political gain. So, plural forms of wealth is one principle.
“Profit is made on a grand scale in America, but most of us don’t share in it. We work for dollars that fluctuate in value at workplaces where the managers never really care about us or our hearts. We live within the margin of profit. We are the margin of profit. The money taken from our labor is used to buy political power that does not represent us.” ~ Walter Mosley
…The second is: How do you stabilize and build up local, healthy community democracy from the bottom up, because it’s the only way, step-by-step, to rebuild democracy nationally with people having real experience. The third, as we discussed earlier, is: If the wealth could be properly organized, then less work time would be necessary and people would have real freedom. Free time is the third principle.
Fourth, ultimately this is a very, very large continent – you could put the country of France into Oregon and Washington – we’re probably going to have regional decentralization of some kind where regions make bigger decisions, though it obviates democracy per se.
Those are the four principles of the pluralist commonwealth. The big idea is: Who gets to own the wealth, and is there a way to do it that is both democratic and also benefits large groups rather than the elites?
Good stuff. A play-by-play for amending capitalism. But, I’m afraid we are out of time. I knew this conversation could easily go on for two hours. I invite the listener to visit your website, which is https://democracycollaborative.org/content/gar-alperovitz. I definitely recommend the book. I surely appreciate your participation as well as your erudition, hard work, and your sense of decency.
GA: I appreciate it, thanks for having me.
This interview is also available in podcast format HERE.
 Since this interview on amending capitalism was conducted, the economy indeed crashed in a big way (aptly called “the Great Recession”). The kind of crony capitalism and deregulation that led to that debacle is perhaps not a memory, as Trump was elected president and the GOP holds Congress and probably the Supreme Court. In fact, that whistle I hear way off in the distance is probably a train, fast-approaching… the sound of runaway capitalism. I hope you enjoyed this interview about amending capitalism.