The blog posts that follow are about the book and news that pertains to the book.
Why is capitalism so mystified? It is merely a way of accounting that legitimates “ownership” of society’s assets. And those with the assets participate, based on the amount accounted to them of the total accounted assets. – and make the key decisions for society. Democracy has been pushed to the side.
Society needs to evolve because of too much extraction of wealth from people and nature has created a network of destructive dynamics . But any movement of adaptation will undermine the assets as currently distributed.
The rich don’t want to accept that so they are resisting, and society is immobilized just as it is getting clear that letting capital make the decisions will be self serving for that part of society that own the capital, at the point that, for survival (we can’t live with 3 degrees and probably not with 2. ) we must evolve.
Capitalism is a simple and obvious target for rethinking so why don’t we?
One alternative view is the capitalism puts the decision making power in the hands of those who know how to use it. But will they?
The shortfall in production (no workers) because of covid led to savings and lack of product. Now that things are more open people are ready to spend but the product is not there.
Second, panic buying, as if everything will disappear – land, houses, food and energy.
A mix of the rational, #1, and the irrational, #2
This feels like the beginning of a deeper unravelling.
Capitalism has meant efficiency, but it is only efficient in producing profit. For quality of life it is definitely not efficient, rather very sub maximizing and worse, killing the client society that hosts it. It definitely did not deliver on the post WW2 promise of enhancing the lives of almost everyone, and Keynes’ view that we could distribute the technology of work and free up most for increased leisure and life, free from wage incarceration, did not happen ( Did the economists notice?). But the political process controlled by wealth co-opted all savings to the owners leaving them with the riches and the workers with the work.
Now it gets worse, because the workers will be neither needed nor paid. Time for new choreography.
|Something is wrong. This amount of money is probably not well spent and much if it goes into corporate profit and raising the stock prices. Obviously it would be good to treat medicine as a public utility as one system where everyone is enrolled, manage for high morale.|
|International Financial Institutions’ Covid-19 Approvals through Q1 2021 Surpass $260 BillionA CSIS Commentary by Stephanie Segal & Dylan Gerstel |
May 2021 | CSIS Economics ProgramThe CSIS Economics Program is tracking commitments and approvals by major international financial institutions (IFIs) to meet the massive financing needs generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. These IFIs include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group, and major regional development banks. We also include select regional financing arrangements (RFAs), which, together with the IFIs, central bank bilateral swap lines, and individual countries’ foreign reserve holdings, comprise the Global Financial Safety Net (GFSN).Read on CSIS.org
Three pieces of language to rethink.
- ‘People have been left behind.”
People were not left behind as if no action was involved and it just happened. People were pushed behind or denied access or the upward rungs were placed out of reach.
Inclusion is currently used to describe, more, advocate, moving from the dark skinned world to the light skinned world. But there is no social movement among whites to move to the black. One way illusion. This is deep racism because its effect – and aim – is to eliminate black culture. This is tragic and evil. It implies a value, it implies what is better. Inner city kids are bilingual and grow up in families rich in emotion and often with exemplary caring and solidarity. Same can be said, more mildly, for Jewish families. These home culture of care and culture is a serious resource for the future of humanity – though how we can get these two cultures and their emotional development into a secular society is very unclear.
3. “black and white”.
The very language, “black and white”, is too extreme. It is obviously incorrect, so what work is it doing? The variety of skin colors in any meeting are awesome and beautiful. My tannish pink, your bronze blue. We lose so much by collapsing these into the anti-color language of black and white. Po
Rob Johnson from the Institute did this interview with me in November. audio version https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/podcast/doug-carmichael
Transcript of podcast.
Most discussions of climate future talk about declining in economic activity and how to counter that by creating jobs.
What is missing is a reporter’s style awareness of how the story is moving. For example, if it becomes clear that a business will be forced into decline, people who stat jumping ship before the new policy actually has an impact.
The logic is clear
we must stop some economics activity to drop co2 production now
no one will accept cuts in their industry.
Hence we have to live with rising temperatures. This means effects nowocean problemstop soilmigrationsclimate turbulence coming faster than temperature rise.
The tech solutions cannot happen fast enough but the consensus will be to support them at all costs, moving us toward big data, algorithmic monopoly solutions. I read the Carney book. Everyone is holding out for a win win future but the reality is win lose or worse lose lose. The world has the resources to do much better but no institutional base capable of reconfiguring so that lose lose could mean simpler living and higher quality of life for everyone.
I have been vexed by conversations that talk about the future as if it were 1960 and the future is more wealth health and a larger house. So I have turned back to reading the Greek plays. The Greeks are known for facing life directly. If we turned from appreciation of the Greek achievement to asking how would the Greeks see things now, we can return to philosophy and the profound Greek questions. Who am I, how should I live?
Human life ends in either of two ways. Natural catastrophe – asteroid or volcanic winter or plague. Or that we kill each other with large and small weapons in dwindling food and habitat.
We like to think we can ignore the “long distant future” but the realty of these futures are already and increasingly pressing in on us and it is important to help ourselves and our children and other future generations live in this looming shadow. Some starting positions: “Love it while it lasts”, ” or “work to keep humanity going full speed” engaged in partnership with technology, understanding that the long term future is known but the intermediate futures are not.
How then should we live?