California in the Times of the Have-Nots and the Have Yachts


The super-rich were boiling. They paid high taxes on the income they derived from the labor of the middle and lower class. FDR, whom Bush’s ancestors considered “a traitor to his class,” had instituted “The New Deal” based on Keynesian economics. It had called for reigning in corporate power which, like today, had been unbridled during WWI causing the Great Depression. The genius of Keynesian economics was twofold: it created strict regulations and governmental oversight of corporations and it established a safety net: progressive taxation, the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicaid, public welfare, etc. to protect the middle and lower class from the verities of the capitalist system. You might say that FDR “saved capitalism” by providing stability and security during capitalism’s inevitable “bust” periods. You hear it decried by the right today as “socialism” when in fact it moderated a perfect balance between corporate wants and the people’s needs.

But the ultra rich didn’t see it that way. They despised this great experiment in wealth redistribution but were powerless under Democratic domination to restore the inequities they had enjoyed during the Gilded Age. Their avarice had no theoretical underpinnings. It was seen for what it was; rich, greedy people wanting to get richer. But in the late 40’s their savior appeared.

Milton Friedman, a University of Chicago economist, created the perfect theoretical model to justify “free” market capitalism. Rather than have a balanced approach, he called for a capitalist fundamentalism: “Business” good, Government “bad.” His “Chicago Boys” spread this orthodoxy all over the world, working with every CIA backed thug dictator from Pinochet to Suharto, complementing their reign of terror and using his disaster capitalism–the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies reeling from shock, to dismantle democratic governments. The dissolution of civil rights as we have seen since 911 goes hand in hand with the institution of capitalist fundamentalism. Without a blink, they were able to eliminate Habeas Corpus and justify torture, invasion of our homes, wiretapping, etc. This is how they did it in Chile, Indonesia, Russia, etc. In every country where this Capitalist Fundamentalism has been instituted, it has failed miserably, has caused desperate poverty, economic collapse and the plundering of the resources by the ultra rich.

But this is the economic philosophy our California Republican “born-again capitalist” legislators still subscribe to. They have swallowed this fundamentalism hook, line and sinker. This is why they will never vote for tax increases. They want to kill government because they share the delusion that the “market” can solve all problems. Well the market cannot solve all problems. Look at the mess we are in with an economic crisis, an environment at the brink of collapse and our resources plundered by the corporations to make the ultra rich richer. Are we to give this world of the Have-Nots and the Have-Yachts to our children and grandchildren? I hope not. If we can change the two-thirds requirement for any tax bill to be passed in California to a simple majority, we can begin to restore the balance between the people’s needs and corporate wants.

I am running as the Democratic candidate for the 38th Assembly seat in “Red” Santa Clarita to dethrone one capitalist evangelical, Cameron Smyth (R). Democrats need 54 seats to change the requirement of two-thirds vote to simple majority on tax bills. If I receive assistance from Democrats in safe “blue” districts, I can be one of the four new Democrats which will allow us to make this vital change. November will tell us a lot about what kind of future we are leaving to our children. Please help me get elected.

Carole Lutness is running for the Democratic nomination in the 38th Assembly District. Visit her website at


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