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Yves here. While the thrust of Perelman’s post is no doubt familiar to readers, take note of how simple and few in number are the essential principles for creating a highly unequal society, and how easy it is to describe them them in antiseptic language.
By Michael Perelman, a professor of economics at California State University, Chico who also writes at Unsettling Economics
What follows requires an intense dedication to spirit of WEM (The Wondrous Efficiency of Markets).
A Successful Engineer will have to learn to refrain from falling victim to foolish feelings of justice or sympathy, both of which threaten to undermine WEM.
The architecture of inequality must be carefully constructed. As the founding fathers of the United States clearly understood, democracy must be kept in check. For this purpose, they invented the Electoral College to prevent the president from being elected by popular vote.
To ensure an effective electoral system, an obsequious media must be skilled in drowning the public with a flood of misinformation to maintain a constant level of fear to make them more likely to side with the CS (corporate system).
Knowing that the media is not currently up to the job of managing the electoral system, even with a generous flood of money from the CS. In order to protect the WEM, sophisticated methods are required. Gerrymandering almost essential by placing groups of people, too ignorant to understand that WEM, in districts where their votes will be inconsequential.
Now we get to a more important part of the architecture: the legal system. For example, courts in the United States agreed that corporations are people, deserving all the rights of an upstanding citizen. Moreover, the electoral system insurance that the appointment of judges will be restricted to those people who are sincere believers in the WEM. Their role is essential because some legislators get out of hand and create abominable regulations that undermine the efficiency of WEM. Some benighted members of the judiciary are too lackadaisical to rule these regulations as unconstitutional. For that reason, CES must offer very lucrative employment to the regulators who are intelligent enough to see the wisdom of WEM. Consequently they ignore the foolish regulatory structure.
Regulators are not the only ones to see the benefits of working with the CES. Politicians who resign or are defeated are almost inevitably destined to enjoy the benefits of their dedication to the WEM with the returns from taking a rewarding position with a major corporation, lobbying, or even a lucrative contract to write a book that virtually no one would want to read.
When done correctly, this system works magnificently, although it periodically it seems to fall apart until the detested government apparatus rescues it. In the meantime, huge amounts of wealth and income fall into the hands of the top 1%, the people of greatest importance, while the rest of the public can enjoy watching the spectacular performance of the CES, a reward worthy of their place in society especially because envy of the wealthy brethren will obviously make them work harder to succeed, adding to WEM.
All power to WEM!