Many poor people don’t bother to vote, and those ones at least are clear-headed about what’s in their best interest. Poor people are easily exploited in any number of ways, which is frustrating but difficult to blame them for. A lot of middle-class people make the mistake of believing that because they have agency in their own lives, then poor people must have agency in their lives.
Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category
Long-term, lets say 50+ years or maybe even 30+ years, there’s no such thing as a good investment, since the world (with respect to human habitation) is dying and no, capital won’t be able to escape to outer space, at least in that time frame.
Disastrous garbage mega-banks are “too big to fail”, yet during the Copenhagen sham the US was only willing to give $10 Billion to help save the planet. Apparently the planet is NOT “too big to fail”. Wrap your head around that logic and continue to tell me that the elite are “rational”.
In the short to medium term, I completely disagree with those who say there’s no such thing as a good investment. Right now there is a massive India/US alliance and with US power backing India, investments look good in India. Investments are also strong in areas with positive near-future expectations, like the Western-allied Pakistan. China is a strong economy right now and with the exception of their stock market bubble which could crash this year there are many good investment opportunities.
Green technologies which are successful would be tremendous investments, at or exceeding the value of early investments in Microsoft. Much of the elite, barring big oil, big coal, etc. of course, are behind green technologies.
What’s a more pertinent question perhaps is the issue of whether one’s primary focus should be on power calculations, which is what investment is all about, versus a focus on saving the world. Power calculations are amoral. Power calculations can lead one to believe mega-banks are “too big to fail” while the planet is worth, well, $10 Billion.
Existentialism and psychoanalysis were invented by the West in order to turn Western society’s attention inward, toward “it’s problems” rather than the problems it was causing in the world through world capitalism of which it was (and is) the imperial center. Existentialism is the leading cultural cause of Western global destruction. The neurotic is not waging a battle for his soul between wealthy dominator and compassionate decency, but endlessly self-absorbed, with ongoing “issues”, which serve as a perpetual bubble keeping the world at bay. The neurotic wants one of two things – either endless attempts at reconciliation, whereby he visits psychoanalysts, takes pills which don’t work, talks about his “feelings” over and over, or he’s “cured”, where he feels “peace of mind” with no substantial change in his identity.
Far from radicals, Nietzsche, Kafka and others are servants of imperial power, turning the West’s attention inward at the very time it was exerting increasing control through global capital networks. Existentialism fully succeeded in it’s tasks, and global capital reigned throughout the 20th century and so far into the 21st. Only the covert socialist Neoconservatives have thus far threatened global capital, and they’ve been shut down.
It’s extremely illogical if nothing else that the same people who fervently defend corporations are those who deride communism. In communism a small localized elite establish policy for an economy (that of a nation). This policy is then handed down and expected to be carried out, with punishments for those who do not do so.
In a corporation a small localized elite establish policy for that corporation. This policy is then handed down and expected to be carried out, with punishments for those who do not do so.
Alright then, so what are the *differences* between corporations and communism, which lead some people to celebrations of the former and demonizations of the latter?
Argument #1: Corporations are less powerful than communist states and therefore less threatening.
This is true in the case of many corporations, but not all. Many corporations now have a higher GDP than that of most nations. And given the tremendous privileges given to corporations under the law, their size and power are very much unchecked, unlike that of nations. No rational human being can say that in today’s world communism is more threatening than corporations (and corporatism, the political system of power than corporations wield).
Argument #2: Corporations compete against each other which leads to gains in productivity, unlike communist nations.
That’s false on both sides. Communist nations do compete against other nations in terms of economic performance. The Soviet Union for example was a failure of economics. Most giant corporations do not so much compete against other corporations as compete against local governments, with respect to repressing any laws that favor workers and allowing low costs for resource extraction. Having defeated the local government, profit naturally ensues, in the same sense that if I was to go to a neighbor’s house, extort him into giving me his family’s money in exchange for a kickback, profit to me would necessarily ensue. This would then be described as a “free market transaction”. That is to say, I am free to extort and run a “successful corporation” which is “more productive” than the competition. If others go out of business as a result that’s merely “competition” which weeds out companies that are “inefficient”.
But to be fair, corporations also compete against other corporations. They mainly do so through marketing and advertising, since their products are tremendously uniform (not that they are beyond hyping any minor difference in the product). This marketing and advertising establishes utterly irrational links, having nothing to do with the product. Hence the “Be Like Mike” campaign that helped Nike sell shoes. While Michael Jordan would probably have performed considerably worse if wearing sandals instead of shoes, the type of shoe he wore had more to do with who was paying him more money (and most improving his image and marketability) than anything else. Hence Michael Jordan himself would have “Been Like Mike” had he been wearing Adidas’s.
So, obviously, this competition does not result in gains in productivity, unless you consider irrational advertising to be in some way productive. It certainly doesn’t help Nike produce more shoes at a lower cost, and the price of Nike shoes reflects that.
Ha-Joon Chang’s book is excellent – a must read for everyone.