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We're living through the new industrious revolution?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by innonimatu, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    For very much of the world, the material goods of people do define their real human condition. They don't have very much stuff and life is hard, dangerous and a struggle. I think what you actually mean is that you don't like rich people accumulating things and creating similar desires in who are not rich.

    If the goal is to reduce the "must accumulate" mindset, then you need to think about how to change peoples values.

    Wiping out debt is interesting and could be useful as a tool, but just as easily will work against you. Wiping out Jared Kushner's billion dollar debt on 666 Broadway (or whatever the address actually is) only make it easier for him to be richer. Rich people would certainly benefit from having no debt and getting to keep what they bought on credit. Poor people too. Debt elimination would certainly work against banks, CUs, owner financed home sellers and folks who depend upon government bonds for income.
     
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Meddling is always acceptable!! :)


    Were ancient Jews or Sumerians communists? Idk, but think they were probably not because sheep and goats were owned as were people. As for debt wiping, I think the best approach would be to wipe it for poorer people only. But such action would have to be randomized to keep folks from finding ways to game the system.
     
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Firstly because capitalism requires integrated markets in, first of all, land, labor, and money. Secondly, you will find that "savvy traders" accumulated wealth mostly with the aim of giving it away in order to secure other kinds of social obligation in return. In pre-capitalist society, wealth is not generated for the purpose of reinvestment in an enterprise existing for the sole purpose of generating more wealth.
     
  4. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    So a return to landed gentry and social regulation by religion? Your point is that it certainly doesn’t have to be the way it is now. My point is that the things preventing capitalism from being the main game was the existence of worse games like wardlordism and theocracy. Absent more directly violent social regulation, markets give rise to capitalists. If you want us free from that too, invent a self sustaining, competition withstanding mechanism of providing wellbeing. Capitalism arose out of a few millennia of money and markets so it’s probably something that already exists.
     
  5. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    First I'm not sold on your definition of capitalism and secondly, you have to convince me that your second point is actually true. I'd be surprised if ancient temples in Sumer or Egypt weren't set up to be ongoing sources of government wealth. Temples were the first corporation-like entities.
     
  6. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    How can someone claim rents from other people, people that one does not even know, without violent social regulation? Capitalism is the system that absolutely requires violent social regulation, not the other way around.

    Markets naturally have competition, and cannot by themselves allow for very great accumulations of capital by any one person. For that you need the full power of violent states, with its repressive apparatus, to allow accumulation well beyond the realm of the immediate, personal relations any one person can engage in. Capitalism, the comfortable use of property rights without personal involvement, always makes use of the state machinery for enforcement, it must depend on it. The great profitable deals of any age are made in complicity with states: tax farming, housing speculation, rents on extensive lands, slavery... and this has been true since the days of the ancient states.

    States as enforcers, but also states as the largest buyers, states as the sellers of monopoly rights, etc. Capitalism is not a natural emanation of the market economy. I see it as a political construction against the market economy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  7. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yeah, I'm hearing lots of complaining, but few solutions.

    Communism and debt relief. Not particularly exciting options.
     
  8. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    It's against what the market economy would, or could, be doing without capitalists running the show, certainly.

    I'm not arguing for a return to landed gentry and social regulation by religion. I'm arguing for a market economy where purchasing power is distributed on the democratic and egalitarian principles rather than on the principles of hyper-competition and inherent inequality. My view is that the "means of production" have become sufficiently sophisticated that consumption is driving investment, and the capitalist no longer has a social role to play by extracting profit for productive investment. The fact that capitalism was necessary to get us to this stage doesn't mean it is continually necessary, in the same way that the ancient temples in Sumer or Egypt were perhaps once necessary to create a social surplus leading to the development of writing, irrigation and so on but eventually their time passed.

    What's the point? With people who already believe no alternative is possible, no debate seems possible. To describe the ancient temples in Sumer or Egypt as institutions that existed to create an ever-increasing balance sheet surplus is completely absurd. Pre-capitalist business activity was embedded in non-economic institutions that existed for social purposes, not for the accumulation of financial wealth to create yet more financial wealth and so on. Even if we were to define capitalism in such an expansive way, it existed at most in pockets surrounded by a vast sea of production for immediate use-value where markets played little if any role in mediating exchange.
     
  9. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I do not understand what your revised market looks like or how it functions. How will the productions and technologies of the future be funded? How are you going to tease apart the corporations, wealthy investors, governments, research facilities? What happens to ownership?



    What's the point? With people who already believe no alternative is possible, no debate seems possible. To describe the ancient temples in Sumer or Egypt as institutions that existed to create an ever-increasing balance sheet surplus is completely absurd. Pre-capitalist business activity was embedded in non-economic institutions that existed for social purposes, not for the accumulation of financial wealth to create yet more financial wealth and so on. Even if we were to define capitalism in such an expansive way, it existed at most in pockets surrounded by a vast sea of production for immediate use-value where markets played little if any role in mediating exchange.[/QUOTE]I am more than willing to listen to cool new ways of doing things economically. As I have said elsewhere, income inequality is way out of control.

    What is the problem you are trying to solve?What will the world look like if your solution is implemented?
     
  10. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    All of them, of course!

    Ideally people would be free to do whatever they felt like doing, and would be free to associate without the great burden of all the coercive institutions created by capital to regiment society to create more capital.

    In all seriousness if you want to talk real proposals based on a different economics from the one you're used to...how much time you got?
     
  11. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    See this here is where you’ve gone way off. It’s not not the other way around. And that’s suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper important.
     
  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Those are the kind of conversations that are most productive. :)

    I was thinking that this thread might go that route.
     
  13. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    I'll just have to agree to disagree for the time being. "Does capitalism require state coercion" is some thread we already had, or can we do a new one for that and avoid mixing topics on this one?

    I'm more in the mood to view the current arguments here rather that participate :D
     
  14. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    im on a dying phone and I don’t promise to do your old post justice in reply but to be clear what I’m saying is the things that held back capitalism from market logic were intrinsically violent. You can say capitalism is the source of great violence but the systems it displaced weren’t peaceful at all so what’s your solution.
     
  15. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    My solution is constraining financial instability and purchasing power inequality, and exercising more democratic control over investment and workplaces.
     
  16. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    How do you do those things?
     
  17. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Constrain financial instability:

    The government must return to its supervisory role over the financial system. This means reinstating the criminal referral process that Bill Clinton got rid of. It means actually prosecuting criminal cases against actual fraudsters, instead of hitting their institutions - which are being defrauded along with shareholders and mortgage holders - with civil cases.

    Most importantly it means the Fed needs to stop conducting open market operations and force the banks to rely on the discount window if they want reserves from the Fed. This means they are obliged to show their books to the Fed because the Fed needs collateral to secure its loans of reserves. That will greatly ease the task of supervision and will facilitate the building of criminal cases against any fraudsters.

    Segment the financial sector. I would favor essentially a public bank which would not turn a profit for basic banking functions like allowing citizens to have a checking account and operating the payments system. At any rate investment banking activity and commercial/consumer banking activity should not be handled by the same institutions. Regulation should be focused on ensuring that investment banks are mostly "financing the capital development of the economy" rather than layering debt on debt on debt. The whole concept of "Too Big To Fail" institutions should be scrapped, and any institution that is insolvent should be placed into receivership to be resolved by the federal government in accordance with existing law.

    Constrain purchasing power inequality:

    Make full employment the central goal of economic policy. Abolish the payroll tax. Institute a progressive tax on wealth that would kick up to almost 100% after someone accumulate $1 bn worth of assets. Institute a federal Job Guarantee to hire anyone who wants to work. Still sort of on the fence about UBI but willing to experiment with it. Institute a universal health care system, either single-payer run directly by the federal government or a public-private regime which forbids private insurers from turning a profit. Implement a Green Manhattan Project investing massively in zero-carbon infrastructure as well as R&D to develop new zero- or even negative-carbon technologies.

    Exercise more democratic control over investment and workplaces:

    The federal government should be using the full extent of its regulatory and tax-and-spend powers to encourage the existence of employee-owned and employee-governed firms and to discourage the existence of traditionally-owned and governed firms. International capital mobility should be sharply curtailed. Require the beneficial owners of any corporate entity to be identified clearly on its corporate registration, and create a single federal system for corporate registration to replace the multitude of state-based systems currently in existence.

    There is probably more on this third item that I'm not thinking of at the moment. And more imaginative minds than mine will surely be able to come up with more ideas once they are set to thinking about how to accomplish these goals.
     
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  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Nice post.
    Nothing wrong with those.
    Why end the payroll tax? Would you end the company paid share too? I'd keep it and extend it more progressively beyond its ~$100,000 cap. What would be covered by your wealth tax? I like the idea of a stepped wealth tax for portfolios over $50 million, but administering one is quite a challenge. It wold also have to be synced with the income tax. making $10-30 million a year will run up one's wealth pretty quickly. And a banner year in the stock market will create huge unrealized gains. That would impact the balance of short versus long term investing. I can't see an easy answer. I agree some kind of single payer healthcare program is needed in spite of a likely doctor shortage that will follow. Lesser skilled workers will likely become dominant.

    I think you need to think more about which corporations you want to curtail. Traditional corporations include from small family owned, small privately held, project oriented LLC companies often used in real estate and films, large domestic private or publicly held, large international public or private companies, and foreign owned companies operating in the US. Which types do you see as a problem? Why?
     

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