1. THE REAL STORY BEHIND OUR ECONOMIC CRISIS
We have been told that factors such as the over-regulation of business
and the "declining moral fiber of the American worker" caused
the worst economic crisis since the depression.
However, testifying before the California Senate Committee on Industrial
Relations, a UCLA professor, Maurice Zeitlin, outlined one basic cause
which was not widely publicized.
In brief, Zeitlin said we no longer have a competitive economy, and
that monopoly, militarism, and multi-nationalization are at the root
of our economic crisis. Following are just a few of the points he made
to support his thesis:
* The 200 largest non-financial corporations control at least 60%
of the net capital assets of all American companies.
* The 20 largest manufacturing corporations alone control about a
third of the total net capital assets and get some 40 cents of every
dollar of profit made by all the manufacturing companies in the country.
* The 100 largest commercial banks control about half of the deposits
of the nearly 14,000 banks in the country; the 14 largest alone have
a fourth of all the deposits.
* The 400 largest U.S. companies played the foreign-exchange markets
and gambled against the American dollar. The compounded result fueled
inflation and diverted capital from productive and job-creating investments
in the U.S.
Military spending is the most inflationary form of federal expenditure
and preempts capital and technical resources from the civilian economy.
By 1979, 53 cents of every federal tax dollar was going for past, present,
or future military operations. At the same time, the 20,000 prime military
contractors were encouraged to minimize efficiency and maximize profits
by cost-plus contracts and always allowable cost-overruns.
Through his analysis, Zeitlin documents how monopoly, militarization,
and multi-nationalization caused the inflation and stagnation we now
suffer from. Critical economic decisions have been based not on what
is best for us as a nation but rather on what is best for specific individuals
and economic groups.
Clearly defining and publicizing the real cause of our economic problems
could help us correct them. The media's failure to expose the roots
of these problems qualifies this story for nomination as one of the
"best censored" stories of 1981.
Voice, 1/81, testimony by UCLA Professor Maurice Zeitlin before the
California Senate Committee on Industrial Relations, in San Francisco,