Provocation 229 Oct 14.
Two thoughts. Bezos and Goldman-Sachs.
Most of us probably saw or read about the Jeff Bezos article in The Atlantic. $150 Billion, increasing a billion a month, and using it to get rid of the earth and fulfill his childish identification with Starwars. – Why did monopoly and size get such an upper hand? The equilibrium point in markets is concentration to one because small factors, of which there are many, repeatedly give the wealthier the upper hand in the majority of transactions.
But since something like Amazon has to exist because someone has to be the biggest, we need policy to work against such absurd result. Since Amazon is the result of a societal process, we are all part of making Amazo what it is, so why shouldn’t we all benefit? So here is a proposal that conserves most of capitalism. Let the corporations perform as they do, including salaries as they deem desirable, but put all the profit of all corporations into a national fund, like the Alaska oil fund, and distribute equally the profits with a check to every citizen once a year. That would take away the incentive to concentrate wealth and to buy back stock to push up executive pay.
2. If we look at the prose that just won the Nobel prize, at economics proposals in Project Syndicate, on Medium, Forbes and more, we are still getting silo proposals, each issue dealt with as if the others did not exist (externalities),
Growth to create jobs despite the negative impact on co2.
Education to give people the skills to get the up the ladder jobs which are not coming. Technical skills are the easiest to turn into algorithms.
Climate action which is driven by desire for corporate profit and leading to more concentration of wealth. This from Market-watch today”
“In July, Goldman Sachs formed a Sustainable Finance Group, a much-hailed project that CEO David Solomon in a letter called a “significant, long-term” priority that is increasingly a “strategic growth opportunity and competitive necessity for our firm and our clients.”
Push for AI despite its negative impact on jobs.
The spokespeople for each of these are economists.
I sense a research project for dealing with a situation where when A goes up it drives B down, but both are desirable, what to do? (Arrow says there is no logical procedure, but something has to happen. Each treating the other as if it doesn’t exist is not a socially productive solution.)
Might be interesting to take an anonymous community poll on how long do we have before we are past the point of being able to keep below 2 degrees?
The consequences are shocking when dealt with in the following way, also from Goldman Sachs. “From a note in April, researchers found that if the temperature increased by just 4 degrees Fahrenheit, US GDP would drop 2%. If it went up 8 degrees, then 4% would be lost.” This is mal-practice. At 8F, 5 C, humanity is done for except for niche living post collapse.