Archive for the ‘capitalism’ Category

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Continues to Gloat About End of Godless America, Capitalism

October 15, 2008

Iranian leaders say the world financial crisis indicates the end of capitalism, the failure of liberal democracy and divine punishment — marking the superiority of the Islamic republic’s political model.

“The school of Marxism has collapsed and the sound of the West’s cracking liberal democracy is now being heard,” supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday, recalling the fate of the Soviet Union.

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is backed by Khamenei, said on Tuesday that “it is the end of capitalism.”
Australia has dropped moves to take Iranian President Mahmoud ... 
Ahmadinejad: Everyone knows where he stands…
(AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

Such convictions can be traced back to the ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution, which Ahmadinejad has sought to revive since he rose to power in 2005.

The firebrand president, who has not missed a chance to denounce Western “decadence” since his election, has exploited the scale of the global crisis to play up his argument.

He benefits from the luxury that the Tehran stock market has been unaffected by the losses that bourses in neighbouring Gulf states have suffered. That stability is attributable to the absence of foreign investors and to the government’s firm grip on economic activity.

Several Iranian newspapers, regardless of their reformist or conservative leanings, have also blamed the global economic crisis on excessive liberalism.

And some officials, such as the head of Iran’s electoral watchdog body, have come up with less conventional theories and branded the turmoil as “divine punishment.”

“These people see the outcome of their bad deeds. This problem has spread to Europe now which makes us happy. The unhappier they are the happier we become,” Ayatollah Ali Janati, who heads the Guardians Council, said in last Friday’s prayer sermon.

Ahmadinejad has recently echoed that, saying “the reason of their defeat is that they have forgotten God and piety.”

— From AFP

Read the rest:


Below from Iran’s State media IRNA

Iran Will Cut Off Hands of Aggressors: Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that the Iranian nation will strongly cut off hands of aggressors.

President Ahmadinejad made the remark an his address to a large crowd of enthusiastic people in Gilan province on Wednesday.

The president is visiting the province on the second round of his provincial tours to follow up implementation of the projects that had been approved during the first round of his provincial tours.

Referring to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, he said the enemies did their best to deprive the Iranian people of their legitimate rights but to no avail.

By grace of Almighty God, resistance of Iranian people under wise leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s flag has been hoisted with pride worldwide and the enemies feel ashamed, he said.

They have confessed to their defeat in the face of the Iranian nation as well as all other nations around the globe, he said.

Addressing the arrogant powers, he said, “You have committed so many crimes and now should stop it, it is time to return to God, justice and a decent life which will be to your benefit,” he said.

“If you inject even dlrs 100 billion a week into your ailing economy, you will not survive,” underlined the president.

“Your fate will not be much better than that of Pharaoh and Nimrod, unless you repent,” he said.

The Iranian nation is unified and will cut off the hands of any aggressor, underlined President Ahmadinejad.

“28 years ago you imposed a cruel war on the Iranian nation but the brave Iranian nation pushed you towards a humiliating defeat,” he said.

“Our youths are capable enough to give you a crushing response,” underlined the president.

The president’s speech was interrupted several times by the crowd chanting “Death to America”.

Tyranny and violation of people’s rights are the root cause of economic recession in the West, the president said.

It is about 30 years that the great Iranian nation has been exposed to economic and political pressures only because they wanted to be independent and believe in monotheism, he said.

“We have heard that since the beginning of Iraq’s occupation, over 100 million barrels of oil have been taken out from the country,” he said.

President Ahmadinejad, along with his Cabinet members arrived in the city of Rasht, capital of the northern province of Gilan Wednesday morning.

He made the initiative to visit different provinces since he took office in 2005 in order to bring the government closer to ordinary people.

The president will also hold a Cabinet meeting in Rasht to discuss the needs of the province.

Iran celebrates global economic meltdown as punishment from God

October 10, 2008

By John Leyne

Amidst the financial wreckage around the world, one government is celebrating.

Watching the global gnashing of teeth, the Islamic Republic of Iran is enjoying the ride.

“We are very happy that America’s economy is in jeopardy and they are paying the price for their misdeeds. God is punishing them.”

That is the verdict from Ayatollah Jannati, one of the most senior clerics in Iran.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks during ... 

President Ahmadinejad has pronounced on the collapse of global capitalism, and announced that Iranians should stand ready to manage the world.

If there is a Persian word for “schadenfreude”, this is it.

And for the moment, Iran does seem to be above the fray.

Shares on the Tehran stock exchange, while down slightly in recent trading, have increased in value….

Read the rest:

The End Of American Capitalism?

October 10, 2008

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 10, 2008; Page A01

The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is claiming another casualty: American-style capitalism.

Since the 1930s, U.S. banks were the flagships of American economic might, and emulation by other nations of the fiercely free-market financial system in the United States was expected and encouraged. But the market turmoil that is draining the nation’s wealth and has upended Wall Street now threatens to put the banks at the heart of the U.S. financial system at least partly in the hands of the government.

A money changer counts out US 100-dollar banknotes at a currency ...

The Bush administration is considering a partial nationalization of some banks, buying up a portion of their shares to shore them up and restore confidence as part of the $700 billion government bailout. The notion of government ownership in the financial sector, even as a minority stakeholder, goes against what market purists say they see as the foundation of the American system.

Yet the administration may feel it has no choice. Credit, the lifeblood of capitalism, ceased to flow. An economy based on the free market cannot function that way.

Read the rest:

We need socialism and capitalism

October 9, 2008

By Ed Gurowitz
The North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

Something went unnoticed this week as Congress wrangled over what was ineptly termed the “bailout” — on the last day of September, the national debt hit $10 trillion plus. President Bush signed legislation in July that raised the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion.

Meanwhile, the financial bailout legislation passed by the Senate last night would raise the debt ceiling further to $11.315 trillion. The gross national debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product has, under the Bush Administration, hit a 50-year high.

There has been an enormous amount of (barnyard epithet) circulated to push this bailout. Yes, banks have tightened credit. Yes, we are in a recession. But the problem is not that the banking system is frozen. The problem is the collapse of the $8 trillion “housing bubble” (really a “dubious credit bubble”), about which many so-called experts continue to be in denial. The decline in housing prices to date has already cost the economy $4 trillion to $5 trillion in housing equity. Homeowners have been consuming based on their home equity, much of which has now disappeared. Given that, we would expect that consumption would fall and that banks would be reluctant to lend to people who no longer have as much collateral. It has been estimated that we will see a decline in annual consumption on the order of $160 billion to $300 billion.

That is the long and short of the downturn, and the bailout does almost nothing to counter this drop in demand. At best, it will make capital available to some marginal borrowers who would not otherwise receive loans. We should demand more for $700 billion.

The last downturn of these proportions was, of course, the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt was president — the scion of a wealthy family, he was considered a traitor to his class by the big money (read Republican) interests of his time, but he stood up to the opposition of big business and, in the New Deal, created a remarkable and rapid turnaround of the economy.

Central to the recovery was the Reconstruction Finance Administration. FDR took this failing Hoover-era agency and increased its funding, streamlined the bureaucracy, and used it to help restore business prosperity, especially in banking and railroads, and provided for work relief, which Roosevelt used to pump money into the states by extending loans to businesses and local government projects.

An RFA-type solution including the government refinancing mortgages directly would do more to turn the economy around than the $700 billion Band-Aid the Congress applied last week. I can hear my conservative Republican friends (and foes) crying “socialism” at this idea. Well, how is the government taking over banks, bailing out insurance companies with loans, and generally intervening in the economy any less “socialistic?”

I think it’s time we put the “socialism” bogeyman to rest once and for all. I would propose that the current economic crash is the other shoe dropping for extreme economic theories — in 1991 the collapse of the Soviet Union was gleefully celebrated by the advocates of Free Market Capitalism — hurray! Communism doesn’t work! And they were right.

As an extreme system that distorted socialism into an oppressive political system, it fell under the weight of its unworkability. It took another 17 years for Free Market Capitalism, which distorted capitalism into an dictatorship of the wealthy to fall, but fall it has. We now know that, in economics as in so many other areas of life extremes fail, and Free Market Capitalism is an extreme.

Communism is based on myths, chiefly that the “proletariat” will rule wisely and fairly; Free Market Capitalism is based on myths of its own, chiefly that the market will cause wealth to “trickle down” from those at the top to those at the bottom.

Try watering your lawn by applying water only to the blades of grass and see how well this works.

Just as grass takes in water by its roots and the water “trickles up” to feed the blades, an economy must take care of those who are producing its wealth and the wealth will then trickle up.

Neither Socialism nor Capitalism, which were products of the Industrial Age, will do this. In today’s world, we need an economic system that combines the best of both, with a government that regulates the economy so that wealth is created and basic human needs are guaranteed to all. This bailout is more of the same and will not work.

Ed Gurowitz has a doctorate in psychology and is a management consultant. He has lived in Incline Village since 1995 and is active in the Democratic Party.

Aussies joke – and hope – that China can save capitalism

October 9, 2008

SYDNEY (AFP) – A cartoon on the front page of Australia’s national newspaper Thursday neatly illustrates an irony admitted by the government: communist China could save capitalism.

File photo shows the Chinese and Australian flags in Sydney. ... 
File photo shows the Chinese and Australian flags in Sydney. A newspaper in Australia has used a cartoon to illustrate the fact that the powerful communist Asian nation could save Australian capitalism from the global credit crisis currently afflicting markets.(AFP/Torsten Blackwood)

The illustration shows a Chinese man in a Superman outfit telling exactly this to a bankrupt, cigar-smoking Wall Street tycoon covering his nakedness in a barrel.

“Oh, you’re just loving this, aren’t you,” the fallen high-flyer replies in the cartoon in The Australian.

Amid turmoil in the world financial sector, the International Monetary Fund predicted Wednesday that China’s economy would grow at more than 9.0 percent next year while much of the West faces recession.

That’s good news for Australia, whose own economic boom has been driven for years by China‘s insatiable demand for mineral resources such as iron ore for steelmaking and coal to fire up its industries.

“China is now a major influence in the world economy and it’s significant that the IMF doesn’t downgrade its growth prospects,” Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner told national radio Thursday.

“So we are well positioned to continue to sell an awful lot of exports to China and we believe that that’s one of the important factors that’s protecting Australia, to some extent, from the influences of the US financial crisis,” he said.

Read the rest:

Danger in China’s Capitalism: The Wild, Wild East?

January 11, 2008
By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press 

GUANGZHOU, China – Ron Rust and Beve Kozub were poking around the toy booths at China‘s biggest trade fair two years ago when something caught their eye: pouty-faced baby dolls snuggling in light blue and pink fleece blankets, their eyes tightly shut or gazing with a newborn’s woozy stare.

The American dealers plunked down $22,052 for a shipment of 2,740. But the lifelike dolls turned out to be knockoffs. Rust and Kozub were slapped with a lawsuit that could have cost them their home in Harmony, Pennsylvania.

The Americans fell prey to one of the many dangers of China’s rough and raw capitalism. It’s a cutthroat, predatory world where many factories cut corners to make an easy buck or just stay ahead of the thousands of others vying for their business. Safety scares, copyright ripoffs and outright thuggery are endemic.

Read the rest: