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Dear Kristof

malagodi's picture

(cross-posted from

A response to a friend’s championing of a recent article by Nicolas Kristof.

Dear Landlord*
Please don’t put a price on my soul.
I’m not about to argue,
I’m not about to lose control.

Each of us at times
We might work too hard
Too heavy, too fast and too much.
But anyone can fill his life up with things
And you see that he just cannot touch
.” ~Mr.Dylan, of course.

*A landlord is the owner of the factory, the house, and the land upon which we all pay rent or mortgage, and to whom all profits from Keynesian demand-side spending goes. In the 1930s, when very few households had refrigerators or cars or any of the consumer products that we have today, government stimulus of consumer demand for necessities made perfect sense.

This policy has worked spectacularly well in peacetime and in wartime to stimulate the capitalist economies and has produced an environment filled with the excess of the things we enjoy, and a few of the things that everyone needs. It has filled our lives up with things, and we are completely out of touch, even, or especially, with ourselves.

Perhaps we should envision an economy not driven by insatiable demand by consumers but one sustained by human satisfaction.

It is of course the American mindset not to be satisfied with anything. Our entire culture is based on dissatisfaction. So we are presented with a set of false alternatives; ‘more of the stuff we are dissatisfied with’ (Keynsianism) or ‘less of what you deserve’ (austerity).

I will not cheerlead for Keynsianism, nor acquiesce to the further robbery of the poor.

If you are offered a set of choices by this culture, all of them are probably poison.

No votes yet


Submitted by libbyliberal on

We jumped the shark already on "basics for human satisfaction" thanks to the present amoral and back-stabbing administration and the books of Cheney and Greenspan and as I see it facing fiscal cliff to a drowning scenario for so many of us. That again is the horror of the Obama administration that ramped up the speed of this progression and which the lesser evilists just don't want to see. Denial is a bitch and the dead weight that is destroying any democracy left.

You are so right about over-consumption and commercialism having wrecked us to a great degree as a culture of human beings, our identities are consumer not citizen and family of man and woman human ones.

Crisis and opportunity will inspire I hope a spiritual re-awakening, but with the government of either party playing "death panel" seriously to many who will die from gratuitous horrifying conditions for the profiteering and power and control addiction of sociopaths in power, the bastards of the universe. Death panel certainly for foreign peoples and more and more death panel for US citizens! No matter if it is a Dem or Repub death panel.

best, libby

Submitted by chadwick newsome on

I got somethin' in my pocket that'll make your eyeballs swim
I got dogs that'll tear you limb from limb

You've been accused of murder
How do you plead?
Tbe self same Mr. Dylan as he expresses his displeasure with the O regime