Sunday, March 23, 2014

Comment posted on another website

Posted this morning in comments at


You amusingly take your contrarian tendencies to meta-levels of self-revolution that virtually are always entertaining! But you must be dizzy at times. Thanks for being so entertaining!

Two comments semi-germane to today's post:

1. As I've pointed out before, the rehearsal of catastrophe is always good entertainment (Aristotle), but that doesn't mean it's wrong! W.r.t current forecasts of collapse, my personal take is that the economy still exhibits the signature of pre-collapse seen before the Great Depression: excessive debt/GDP, mostly bad debt not being cleared by the banks; and very high income inequality. So I expect another financial collapse. This is a judgment call resulting from 30 years post economics PhD following the economy and learning to separate the mainstream propaganda from "the truth" as far as I can discern it.

2. John Robb is out with a proclamation that the problem with the world is that "the American dream" (that one should be able to get ahead by working hard) and that it needs to be reborn. I assert that it is excessive greed of the "managerial capitalist class" and their focus on profit (i.e., usually by screwing labor; record high profit/GDP etc.) that is the problem, and until all corporations face regulations similar to those in Germany and Scandinavia recognizing that employees are valid stakeholders in a corporation the problem won't be solved.

Back in the 'Seventies when regulation was in its heydey businesses used to say (re: environmental protections, for example) that they couldn't do it by themselves, that it needed to be required of all or they couldn't make a decent profit. Same thing applies today. Employee rights need to be enforced via law around the world in a reasonable way.

In my more optimistic moments I speculate that, as the most powerful form of social organization on the planet today, that corporations will naturally evolve to optimize their internal distributions a la Wilkinson (see his great TED talk on inequality) to maximize health and welfare benefits of all.

Interestingly, Putin has encouraged his oligarchs to register their businesses for tax purposes in Russia to support the nation. Radical concept.

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