10. Reclaiming Public Values in the Age of Casino Capitalism
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Reclaiming Public Values in the Age of Casino Capitalism
This is a difficult time in American history. Economic meltdowns, massive unemployment, corporate-induced ecological disasters in the Gulf of Mexico, and a growing disdain for liberal and progressive politics that has gained enormous currency since the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. The American people have every right to demand to live in peace, enjoy the comforts of economic security, have access to decent health care, be able to send their children to quality schools, and live with a measure of security. Yet at a time when public values are subordinated to the rationality of profits, exchange values, and unbridled self-interest, politics becomes corrupt, devoid of critical agents, and reduced to empty rituals largely orchestrated by those who control the wealth, income, media, and commanding institutions of American society. As we have just witnessed in the debate on health care reform, the interests of the vast majority of American people in a public option and the extension of Medicare have been totally lost on a Congress that has been corrupted by power and its comfortable and shameful relations with those who control the military-industrial-academic complex. The Republican Party minority in the Senate did everything they could to prevent the further lengthening of a six-month extension of emergency jobless benefits for the millions of long-term unemployed Americans, many of whom are barely able to survive ← 106 | 107 → and have given up all...
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