Sunday, April 12, 2009

Multiple Choice Questions for New Times

by Norman Markowitz

I have an idea for a regular blog feature. A question with a series of answers that you can choose from, or come forward with your own answer, but Hopefully this will get people to start thinking about what can and should be done in many areas. I will try, I said, try, to do this on a daily basis. This is the first question, with some humor thrown in:

Question 1--What would you advise the Obama administration do with the big transnational banks

a. fire the chief executives and their boards of directors and replace
them with central computer programs developed to adjust the flow of capital based on maximizing production, employment, mass purchasing power and consumption in the economy. (Is this a possible way to get rid of careerist bureaucrats, not to mention capitalist crooks)

b.Nationalize the banking system before it collapses and shift all stocks into long-term public bonds, making these stock investments the equivalent of pension funds (the investors can't take them out without serious penalties) and making the investors personal assets depend on the success of a public sector based investment system (the wealthy wouldn't lose everything or necessarily even that much, but their capital, which of course derives form past labor, would be directly tied to higher levels of employment, production, and living standards (meaning present and future capital and, of course, they could not export their capital.

c. Establish a decentralized peoples banking system, with administrators elected by the people in the communities and investment decisions made by elected popular organs at various levels from the bottom up, with referenda and recall of elected bank officials who make destructive or corrupt decisions Would such grassroots from the bottom up economic democracy be possible?

d. Focus popular anger at the systemic corruption in Wall Street and Banking by seizing all assets of all institutions that have profited from these corrupt activities without compensation and re-opening Alcatraz for major economic criminals like Bernard Madoff, using this to make the bankers and the brokers understand that greed is no longer good but now quite dangerous to their futures.

e. Any idea that you might have in line or or different than any or all of these ideas.

Feel free to respond.