Material by and with Dr. Batra on PROUT Globe (click and scroll)
Salient ideas of Dr. Batra's new book:
- The main cause of our myriad troubles is monopoly capitalism, which is a system dominated by giant companies that charge high prices, pay low wages and extract huge productivity from employees. Consequently, supply remains high, while demand stagnates, resulting in overproduction and hence layoffs; so the solution lies in breaking up the behemoths and returning to free markets, where small firms engage in price and quality competition.
- That requires new legislation and the cooperation of Congress, which itself is either divided or beholden to monopoly capitalists. So we can’t count on the legislature.
- The president can bring about a competitive-capitalism effect, though not actual free markets, without recourse to Congress.
- A competitive-capitalism effect occurs when, through certain official proclamations or policies, a market arrives at a similar outcome that would prevail in the presence of small firms operating as competitive enterprises.
- With the help of the agencies such as the FDIC and the CFTC that work for him, the president can bring about this effect in several industries including banking, oil and gasoline, pharmaceuticals as well as foreign trade.
- The FDIC has the legal authority to start its own bank, which could compete with banking giants and bring down interest rates on credit card balances from the current range of 15 – 30 percent to just 5 percent.
- The CFTC can legally raise margin requirements for oil futures to control speculation and bring petrol price down to $20 per barrel from the triple digit levels that prevailed until mid-2014, in spite of a relentless decline in American petroleum imports. In 1998 even a puny fall in these imports brought oil down to just $12 per barrel.
- The president and the Federal Reserve should and can eliminate our trade deficit by doing what China and Japan do; he can offer an export-oriented exchange rate to raise our exports to the level of our imports, so that we follow a policy of balanced free trade.
- The measures described above will raise consumer demand and create at least 5 million manufacturing jobs within a year. They will help retire federal debt, slowly but surely, and put an end to poverty.