|Maria Bartiromo and the “Moral Imperative” of Capitalism, Again by Steve Jonas|
October 20, 2015
Lavishly paid celebrity journo Bartiromo at her desk: cheerfully spreading ignorance and misinformation about social and economic realities. Her gender —and looks—in a milieu overpopulated by geeky, frat-boy mentality Wall Street honchos certainly didn’t hurt her career. Then came Fox.
Bartiromo’s Blitz resume: Born: Sep 11, 1967 (age 48) · Brooklyn, NY Height: 5′ 5″ (1.65 m) Net worth: $22 million USD (2015) Spouse: Johnathan Steinberg (Since 1999) Awards: News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting – Long Form (2010)
Maria Bartiromo was a long-time financial market analyst for CNBC [if we can call what she did “analysis”] who left that channel and transferred over to the more consistently right-wing Fox Business Network. She appeared occasionally on CNBC’s pre-market-opening show, “Squawk Box.” On one of those occasions, she was engaged in a discussion about the problems that capitalism is facing. I believe that it was in the context of what one of Squawk Box’s co-hosts, Andrew Ross Sorkin (also of The New York Times, and not so right-wing), was saying about the subject. In the course of it, Bartiromo uttered a quite remarkable phrase, hailing what she termed “the moral imperative of capitalism.” In that context I wrote a column about the tobacco and fossil fuel industries, and their “moral imperatives.”
Several items came over the wires recently that made me think about the topic once again. First, there was the Times article on Thomas Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce, who acts as a flunky (oops, I mean lobbyist) for the US tobacco industry in their attempts to prevent foreign governments of countries that are their export targets from enacting strong anti-smoking regulations against the world’s number one drug-habit killer.
Then of course there was Volkswagen and the diesel-emissions cheating scandal (which seems to be getting bigger almost by the day). Coming right along, were a number of drug companies — Valeant comes to mind — that somehow corner the market on the supposedly cheaper generic versions of pharmaceuticals that are oldies but goodies and then jack up the prices. Finally, there’s Exxon, which knew back in the 1970s (!!!) that global warming was coming and that the burning of fossil fuels had a lot to do with it. It still funds PR companies and etc. that sow the winds of confusion on the subject, the whirlwinds of which all humanity will eventually reap.
Now of course all of these moves were in search of profits, greater ones if possible, which of course is the number one focus of capitalism. However, given the “side effects” (or major effects, one might say) of each of these moves, all of which happen to affect health from the individual to the global level in one way or another, some would question the morality of all of them. Yet Ms. Bartiromo tells us that there is a “moral imperative” underlying capitalism, especially in contrast to “socialism,” even Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialism” (otherwise known as 'The New Deal on Steroids,' but that subject is one for another time).
Golly gee, Ms. Bartiromo (and every other similar apologist for capitalism and its destructive forces), I just wonder how you square that circle.