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The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay

by Guy Standing

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303646,690 (3.6)1
"In this thoughtful book, Guy Standing focuses on the central problem of modern capitalism--the tendency of great wealth to transform itself into political power that corrupts the political process and generates laws and regulations favouring the wealthy--and suggests useful and important solutions."--Robert Reich, US Labor Secretary 1993-1997 There is a lie at the heart of global capitalism. Politicians, financiers, and global bureaucrats claim to believe in free, competitive markets, but have constructed the most unfree market system ever made. It is corrupt because income is channelled to the owners of property--financial, physical and intellectual--at the expense of society. This book reveals how global capitalism is rigged in favour of rentiers to the detriment of all of us, especially the precariat. A plutocracy and elite enriches itself, not through production of goods and services, but through ownership of assets, including intellectual property, aided by subsidies, tax breaks, debt mechanisms, revolving doors between politics and business, and the privatization of public services. Rentier capitalism is entrenched by the corruption of democracy, manipulated by the plutocracy and an elite-dominated media. The Corruption of Capitalism argues that rentier capitalism is fostering revolt, and concludes by outlining a new income distribution system that would achieve the extinction of the rentier while promoting sustainable growth. Guy Standing is a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network.… (more)
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Reviewed in the December 2017 issue of the Socialist Standard:

http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2017/12/standing-orders-2017.html
  Impossibilist | Dec 6, 2017 |
This book from 2016 is a complete catalog of the problems in today's capitalism. Examples are provided from the US, the UK and Europe. Although most of the problems described are not new, having all of them presented at one time makes the magnitude of the problem feel overwhelming.

Standing is not opposed to capitalism itself but claims throughout the book that what we have today is neither true capitalism nor a true free market.

The last chapter includes some recommendations for the precariat to rise up and to form political parties based upon class. ( )
  M_Clark | Nov 21, 2017 |
A polemic and a call to action to step towards the "euthanasia of the Rentier", Guy Standing's book is strong on the failure of the world's political and financial systems leading up to the crash of 2008, and immediately afterwards, up to the present day.

There are arguments for a basic income and better defence of the common good, but for me the element of human nature was missing.

I found this book disappointing. It is nevertheless insightful and well-argued, so others may find it more worthwhile than I did. ( )
  SunnyJim | Jun 30, 2017 |
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"In this thoughtful book, Guy Standing focuses on the central problem of modern capitalism--the tendency of great wealth to transform itself into political power that corrupts the political process and generates laws and regulations favouring the wealthy--and suggests useful and important solutions."--Robert Reich, US Labor Secretary 1993-1997 There is a lie at the heart of global capitalism. Politicians, financiers, and global bureaucrats claim to believe in free, competitive markets, but have constructed the most unfree market system ever made. It is corrupt because income is channelled to the owners of property--financial, physical and intellectual--at the expense of society. This book reveals how global capitalism is rigged in favour of rentiers to the detriment of all of us, especially the precariat. A plutocracy and elite enriches itself, not through production of goods and services, but through ownership of assets, including intellectual property, aided by subsidies, tax breaks, debt mechanisms, revolving doors between politics and business, and the privatization of public services. Rentier capitalism is entrenched by the corruption of democracy, manipulated by the plutocracy and an elite-dominated media. The Corruption of Capitalism argues that rentier capitalism is fostering revolt, and concludes by outlining a new income distribution system that would achieve the extinction of the rentier while promoting sustainable growth. Guy Standing is a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network.

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