17 June 2013 Faith and Ethics of Today a podcast discussion with Robert Reich at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Reich is author of a book titled Supercapitalism (2008/9) in which “he argues that capitalism should be made to serve democracy – and not the other way around. ‘Supercapitalism’ – turbocharged, Web-based, able to find and make anything, anywhere – is working wonderfully well to create wealth. But democracy, charged with caring for all citizens, is failing under its influence.”- New Statesman.  This was an intriguing and concerning, well facilitated discussion with the Dean of Grace Cathedral.  Supercapitalism started to appear from the mid 70s.  Up to then there were few suppliers/manufacturers of goods and services, little really intense competition, (oligopolies) but democracy was doing well, with a small wealth gap in the US.  From the mid 70s, technology started to have a strong influence resulting in more choices, reduced real cost of goods, increased quality but less democracy and a widening wealth gap.  Washington changed from a bit seedy to glittering.  We have become consumers rather than citizens.  We need to practice ‘citizenship’ – to do it better!  In Reich’s view the only way to change the situation is to pass legislation and one of his first ‘acts’ would be to make donations for politics/electioneering made to a blind trust so there would be no opportunity for a ‘pay back’.  Spiritualism needs to be expressed as a society, in society values – not as individuals.

Would appear that the book is well worth a read!

Ian Harris

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