Have Your Say On Our Socio-Economic Future!

36 posts / 0 new
Last post
SPAM_zana's picture
SPAM_zana
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2012
Posts: 2
Have Your Say On Our Socio-Economic Future!

What is state, what is the difference between a man and a person and on what is relationship between a man and a state based on? What is currency, how does monetary system function and why is money issued and distributed in this exact way? It is really strange that the wider audience that has recently been disgusted with bank robberies now starts to justify such acts.

How much is a life of a single citizen worth to a country, and how much to himself? How much is a million dollars worth to a man in desert, and how much a glass of water? How much is a kilogram of diamonds worth to a man on a deserted island, and how much one decent lunch? How much is a fridge worth to an Eskimo, and how much a heating unit? What is happening with a concept of value if instead of "how much" we ask ourselves "of what" and "why that in particular" as a crucial question? Is the ultimate success we all strive for to be rich or to be happy? What about a marketplace of products and services where everyone can express the value in anything - what do you think about that, how much compatible with fair trade principals is this way of business?

They say that the difference between science and corrupt science is in the fact that in corrupt science the results are already known in advance. Why evil people do evil things is not hard to understand, since it is a character flaw, but a question why the good people do bad things presents a real mystery. Or answer is more obvious now then ever before in the history of our civilization?

During the actual global financial crisis, ever more popular slogan: “Give man a gun and he can rob the bank, but give him a bank and he can rob the world” started circulating on the Internet. Many factors indicate that walking between the two worlds has finally lost every sense and that humanity is ready for transition. “We are sick of slow burning on a hologram fire, one-way ticket to happiness is in our pockets”, can be smelled at every step – from Zeitgeist ambient, to various alternative sites, all the way to social networks as Facebook and Twitter. There is no doubt that the way to the promised land leads trough monetary reform, but in what way should we restart global monetary system and how does the happiness that will take place all over the world after the transformation of society looks like from your perspective?

Spiritual evolution to which knowledge, freed of all hipno-dogmatic burdens, will lead us is a process followed by a blossom of love and cooperation. Or is it a wrong perception of the Free Planet to which we, if we really, strive? Financial independence as a part of a fair socio-economic and ecologically sustainable new system is maybe an option that should not even be considered in respect of happiness?

Alternative monetary system and alternative currencies

Now when the purchase power of the population and business sector have remained without fuel, complementary currencies, local currencies, alternative currencies, i.e. unconventional payment systems and exchange systems are becoming ever more interesting and popular option.
Anent upcoming “First International Conference on Social Transformation” this July, not quitting its principles, Crom Alternative Exchange Association publishes in advance the material with which it will present itself on that important event whose topic is transition into a better socio-economic future. In that way, by allowing everyone to express its opinion on our coming collective future currently entwined between debt horror and radioactive insecurity from Fukushima, the point of upcoming conference takes a wider dimension and much deeper significance: 

Global Monetary Reform And The Transformation Of Society

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2485
Hmmmmm

zana -

Welcome to the site.  Your first link goes to a site that is selling things.  Your second link has some interesting and intriguing material.

Three questions....

1. Have you watched Crash Course?  If so, what did you think?

2. Will you be posting more to add to the concepts and ideas from your second linked site?

There is an unspoken fourth question that will likely answer itself soon....

SPAM_zana's picture
SPAM_zana
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2012
Posts: 2
Finally one great

Finally one great compatibility with the need for monetary reform and the transformation of society:

Why Do We Still Work So Much In The 21st Century?
Author - Owen Hatherley.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
Run Away Screaming!

"Is the ultimate success we all strive for to be rich or to be happy? What about a marketplace of products and services where everyone can express the value in anything - what do you think about that, how much compatible with fair trade principals is this way of business?"

It seems that, under the programming of our current system and the institutions that support it, happiness is equivalent to being rich; or at least monetarily successful. I would suggest that the future will look a great deal different than anything we are capable of imagining for this very reason. We are forced to confuse monetary value with human value. In essence, within the current market paradigm, a human being is only worth what they are able to earn in their lifetime, and resources are only valuable if they are scarce enough to have measurable monetary value. A great example of this distortion is the fact that there is one resource that is more valuable to human life than any other. It is also the least valuable monetarily speaking. Here's a hint; you will die without it after only a few minutes. That's right, it's oxygen, or the air we breath. There is nothing so plentiful or worthless on the planet from a monetary perspective. This fact reveals the true nature of the problem.

We have been indoctrinated into a religion that supersedes all others. It is the religion of "monetarism", or the belief that a world without the pervasive controlling force of money is impossible. We are told that capitalism is the "only path to salvation"; or that "there is no alternative" as Margaret Thatcher put it. We are trained from birth to think that anyone who questions the above premise is a "heretic" or a communist or socialist. We are taught that there is an "invisible hand" that serves as the "god head" of this religion, and that he is a jealous and vengeful god as described in the bible of the capitalist, The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith:

Smith states in Book 1, Chapter 8, verse 39 of the chapter titled: Of the Wages of Labor:

"Every species of animals naturally multiplies in proportion to the means of their subsistence, and no species can ever multiply beyond it. But in civilized society it is only among the inferior ranks of people that the scantiness of subsistence can set limits to the further multiplication of the human species; and it can do so in no other way than by destroying a great part of the children which their fruitful marriages produce."

In other words, the wealthy are not subject to such laws. They are immune. The "inferior races" or the "race of laborers" as Smith calls them, are the ones who must suffer and sacrifice their children so that "supply" can come into balance with "demand".

Shaking off this false religion is the first step to a sustainable future. The changes that need to come will start inside of each one of us as we abandon tribalism, individualism, and embrace the reality of our interconnectedness. This is the "revolution of the mind" that must take place within us all.

When speaking of value, resources are only as valuable as their utility. Expanding our current technology that tracks and automates the measures of supply and demand is the easy part. It just needs scaled out to create a global network. Such a network already exists if you haven’t noticed. Here is the bottom line: Once you have adjusted every detail of a monetary system to be in balance and solve the social issues, the system of currency then becomes obsolete. Money would work itself out of a job and become a superfluous item. As it stands, money is not the facilitator of progress; it is a tool for manipulative control. The world that we are headed for, either the hard way or the "less hard" way, is one where money no longer exists. It is inevitable. Only then can the resources of our planet be managed reasonably and distributed equitably.

Here is the essence of why: Profit comes from scarcity, waste, and overconsumption. Without these factors, there is no profit within a monetary market paradigm. Remove all currency in circulation and you still have all of the same resources, all of the same infrastructure, all of the same needs, and all of the same systems in place to continue operating as you always have. It is a fiction used to manipulate and control. My vision of the future is one in which the world has been released from the limiting and destructive force known as money. There is no such thing as "fair-trade" when some of the children have seen fit to claim ownership of the playground. There is no justification, divine or otherwise, for their claim. None of us was born with the deed to a tract of land or a corporate charter strapped to their leg. We belong to the Earth, not the other way around. The sooner we realize that and fall into compliance with natural law, the better chance we have to survive our self-induced eco-genocidal folly, and finally get to something that could be called "civilized".

http://hessianbinary.bandcamp.com/

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1476
Alihaymeg..

Question;  Who, or what entity becomes the all-knowledgeable, all-moral, all-ethical, non-corruptible manager and distributor of the planet's resources if it is not some form, however regulated, of market?

Only then can the resources of our planet be managed reasonably and distributed equitably.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
What Entity?

Why is it assumed that there is a need for one sovereign, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent entity to govern human affairs? All societies and systems are emergent. There is no steady state of human knowledge by which to determine ethical or moral behavior; especially as our needs change over time. We determine those things because we all live according to a "law we give ourselves". It is quite evident that the "morality bar" is set differently according to the agreed upon value set in a given society. Those things are completely "subjective" and not some law carved in stone.

Do we really believe that we as human beings are so powerless, so inept, so incapable of handling our own affairs that we have to appeal to some unseen force to govern our actions? Natural Law is a dictatorship. There is no way to circumvent the natural forces that govern us; try as we may. Our systems need to be brought into alignment with these natural laws; making sure to track resources instead of using them without regard to their most efficient and effective use. Relying on markets is equivalent to trusting in blind luck. Our current method of resource distribution is actually an anti-economy; completely disregarding the natural limitations and proper preservation of finite resources. What most seem to be missing is the fact that it is impossible to do things any other way under a monetary market paradigm. You can’t have efficiency and sustain markets. You can't preserve finite resources and have infinite growth at the same time. You can’t develop sustainable practices when your economy is dependent on waste and overconsumption. You all realize these truths I'm sure. What is less obvious to most (for some reason) is that the system itself (I.e. any monetary system be it communism, capitalism, or socialism) is doomed to failure as long as profit is placed ahead of human concern.

Solving social problems destroys markets. Cure cancer, diabetes, and heart disease and see how long it takes for our economy to collapse. Link all vehicles by satellite and prevent all motor vehicle accidents and see how long it takes for the insurance, repair, and medical service industries to collapse. Allow free energy technologies to be published and open-sourced and see how long our economy can continue to struggle along. Where money is involved, problems equal profit. Only by removing this barrier, which is now acting as a buffer to progress, can we get to the kind of sustainable and livable world that we want to see; for ALL people, not just a privileged few.

To answer your question more directly...we should govern our consumption and monitor demand. Just go to your local supermarket and look at how many employees it now takes to run the whole thing. A computer system tracks what is sold, automatically anticipates demand, and orders what it needs automatically. The technology necessary to track supply and demand has existed for decades. That is the easy part; no magical beings required.

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
Nope

There will be no global money or government. It will not be allowed. I am sure there are master minds who believe they can and should control everything and we the people need to be well behaved little debt slaves to do their centrally planned bidding. Not going to happen. This has never worked for any length of time. The word for it is tyranny. People want freedom. Property rights. Personal sovereignty. People do not want or need equal outcome - they want equal opportunity. America used to be about equal opportunity and freedom. Liberalism caused us to lose our way and has taken us down the path to disaster. The welfare centrally planned state will not continue as it never has. It is already coming apart - don't you read the news ? Check out the world. It is a mess. Tyranny is not the answer to our current problems. Freedom is. People all over the world want to be free. The coming financial emergency will lead us to either freedom or demigods who will try to steal our freedom and enslave us. I pick freedom. I want to chart my own course.

Watch the Crash Course.  Like Dogs I am interested in hearing your views on that data.  That is the data you should be worried about.

goes211's picture
goes211
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1109
How long would the infrastructure last?

ALIHAYMEG wrote:

Remove all currency in circulation and you still have all of the same resources, all of the same infrastructure, all of the same needs, and all of the same systems in place to continue operating as you always have. 

And how long would this infrastucture continue to function without some form of money.  How long would the roads, electric grid, water and sewer systems, telecomunitcations systems continue to function?  There is no doubt that some of what you say is true but not all resources are plentyful.  Those that are not, need some sort of system to manage their supply and demand.  That is the price system and without it, alot of what is required to function in the modern world would quickly disappear.

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Thanks to Alihaymeg for resurrecting this thread with a thoughtful and inspiring pair of posts. I hope you will continue to post here and share your thoughts.

Recently, Chris Martenson has challenged himself and the forum members to a fresh look at the Peak Prosperity vision, and his words are worth reading:

Link

Central to his challenge is the notion that we change, or at the very least, examine our belief systems in light of the convergence of finite resources and exponential growth.

Here are some excerpts:

Because of hard constraints, our exponential money and debt systems are on a collision course with reality.  We will first and most immediately -- and personally -- experience the deleterious effects of this in what we call 'the economy' in the form of stagnant growth, rising unemployment, and various ills and maladies within the financial markets. 

This is just another way of saying that very big changes are coming our way.  In fact, they are here already.

The simple conclusion is that we must either change our habits and ways on our own terms -- or on Nature's.  We face a future that will be shaped either by disaster or design.

(…)

So the first order of business is identifying which beliefs, which narratives, we are running. And then we need to figure out how to go about either modifying or replacing them if/as necessary.

We are currently holding beliefs about money, the economy, resources, and a number of other unexamined areas that simply must be held up to the bright light of reason.  If we don't, the odds of stumbling into a crisis of historic proportions are practically 100%.

(…)

So one narrative that we are seeking to open up to active questioning is the "need" for exponential economic growth.  If we are to do that and effect meaningful change, our view is that we have to build a critical mass of awareness…..

I read this perhaps in a different way than most on this forum, while I think “prepping” is for some a useful activity, for me challenging and hopefully understanding the belief systems that created this unsustainable system in the first place is infinitely more important and useful. An effective and accurate post mortem is a rigid requirement of any new beginning that is to be long lasting, and it is here that I hope some energy and direction from the CM leadership can be applied, and if I read his post correctly that is what is implied.

At first principles, we have in our current system a little recognized feature that requires, absolutely requires, exponential growth. That feature is the principle that each living human of working age in our population must sell his or her labor power to survive. And if one is to sell one’s labor power, there must be always be a buyer. A buyer for each and every seller. As the population grows, we can easily see that any system that requires such a transaction must also grow, and grow exponentially. The buyers for all that evergreen labor power are usually called employers, and the exchange mechanism is the job. Jobs are the purview of business, and business require lending, borrowing, and of course debt. Exponential debt. This is why every politician is always harping on jobs, this is why no leader, of any affiliation, ever proposes a static economy, it’s always growth, all growth-all the time.

The chain connection between population growth, the rigid necessity for exponential job creation, and exponential debt would seem pretty obvious, but belief systems are powerful things and this connection may not be challenged, or even discussed.

I find it interesting that anytime such a discussion is attempted, the immediate reflexive action is usually an attack, or at very least, someone inserting the specter of centrally planned Soviet style economies as if to warn anyone seeking to go off the reservation that bad things await.

As Alihaymeg makes clear, Soviet style centrally planned economies are not only unnecessary, but – as virtually anyone would tell you- ill advised. So lets be clear and say definitively that community level resource management, not centrally planned master economies can, and should, be effective mechanisms of governance.

That said, I can’t help but chuckle at the fear mongering and preposterous contradictions around this subject of central planning.

For example, you could walk into any chain store, say a local Bed, Bath and Beyond store (not sure why anyone would go there, but that’s me) . Every item on the shelf is placed based on a predicted traffic pattern for the typical shopper. Upon entering the store, they (central store planners and central management) know with high statistical probability which direction you will turn, which aisle you will go down first, what the nominal aisle widths should be (very narrow it turns out) and how to stage the products so that those with the maximum profit margins are easiest to find, easiest to reach, and constantly rotated to extract every last bit of turnover from each product. Impulse buy items are placed near cash registers, items that are most commonly purchased are usually placed nearer the back, requiring you to experience maximum exposure to other items that you didn’t know you needed but will likely buy anyway.

They know how many parking spaces to put in the lot, they know how long you will drive in circles looking for a spot before you leave in frustration, they know how far you are willing to walk from your car to the entrance door, they know how long you will stay per visit, and how much you will spend per visit. There are hundreds of these stores, each nearly identical, excepting small regional differences.

The supply chain logistics are centrally planned, the pricing models are centrally planned, the fulfillment mechanisms are centrally planned, the warranty and return policies and associated systems are centrally planned, and the building construction, staffing, locations, and wages are centrally planned.

Apparently, this is all OK.

But if for example, a government entity were to require that a sustainable product be placed more prominently in a store than an unsustainable product in the meager hopes that you would be at least exposed to the possibility of purchasing it, why this would be Socialism, or Communism, and as such, unthinkable.

(Oh, and here we go, who is to decide what is sustainable and what is unsustainable- might as well just stick our heads in the oven. You see, those rocket scientists that run Bed, Bath, and Beyond can make these types of centrally planned determinations, but no one else possibly could)

It will indeed be interesting to see how Chris’s message on belief systems and the “need” for exponential growth plays out in the months ahead.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1476
central planning...

I am not one to fear monger.  I continue to be completely dumbfounded though by so many of the concepts presented by Darbikrash, and now Alihaymeg.  Not because I don't agree with many of the criticisms of the current system... clearly our debt money and the exponential growth requirements it entails will have to be replaced with something else.

Darbi said,  So lets be clear and say definitively that community level resource management, not centrally planned master economies can, and should, be effective mechanisms of governance.

How on earth would this work?  I fully support idea of relocalizing things that are amenable to relocalization... but last I checked there is not much Lithium mining going on in my neck of the woods... so the Lithium for the batteries for my electric car is going to have to come from some place far away.. some value chain that stretches possibly worldwide.  What you are proposing is nice sounding and idealistic, but completely untenable in the real world where (some, not all) resources are not very evenly distributed.  

So again, I ask... how does the Lithium (or any good like this.. be it oil, Cerium, Silver, or a biological that comes from the bark of a rare tree in Africa) get distributed, if not through a non-local market?   Where does this, "natural law" say the Lithium should go, and what would be the motivation for any group to continue mining Lithium in your vision of the future?         

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
...

Jim H wrote:

I am not one to fear monger.  I continue to be completely dumbfounded though by so many of the concepts presented by Darbikrash, and now Alihaymeg.  Not because I don't agree with many of the criticisms of the current system... clearly our debt money and the exponential growth requirements it entails will have to be replaced with something else.

How on earth would this work?  I fully support idea of relocalizing things that are amenable to relocalization... but last I checked there is not much Lithium mining going on in my neck of the woods... so the Lithium for the batteries for my electric car is going to have to come from some place far away.. some value chain that stretches possibly worldwide.  What you are proposing is nice sounding and idealistic, but completely untenable in the real world where (some, not all) resources are not very evenly distributed.  

So again, I ask... how does the Lithium (or any good like this.. be it oil, Cerium, Silver, or a biological that comes from the bark of a rare tree in Africa) get distributed, if not through a non-local market?   Where does this, "natural law" say the Lithium should go, and what would be the motivation for any group to continue mining Lithium in your vision of the future?         

Not really sure what your question or point is Jim.  The Crash Course gives plenty of coverage to many things not being available in the future, due to intractable distances and/or high fuel costs. So there just might not be any lithium batteries, and it may well be that most if not all of the things we use in the future are substantially sourced locally.

But I think  the crux of your objection has nothing to do its lithium, it has to do with a belief system that maintains that a free market system based on profits is the best means of allocating scarce resources, and to this I disagree.  So whether you or I are able to propose a better system or not is moot, change it must and change it will.

There are dozens of textbook quality tomes discussing distributive justice, utilitarianism, theory of marginal utility, etc, etc and many propose systems that use criteria other than profits for distribution. Why is it necessary to reinvent the wheel, and why is it so baffling to interchange other criteria other than profits, such as factors that consider society as whole? I view this whole tact as a diversion to reinforce a belief system in free markets, that is why the "questions" are asked about central planning, not based on any genuine desire to acquire information.

In the process we conflate the notion of maldistribution of profits, and accumulating those profits in an obscene fashion, with earning an honest living without involving exploitation. They are not the same thing. 

Have you not made the very same point in your last post directed at me?

Jim H wrote:

I prefer a meritocracy... and I want to be able to own the means of production (my own business) if I want to... there is nothing much stopping a bunch of like minded non-capitalists from pooling some resources and setting up their own Nirvana somewhere in Montana.. right?   

No offense, but I think this line of argument is so academic, so disconnected from reality, and certainly from my own beliefs that the good of free markets can be maintained with appropriate regulation (and maybe some new ideas like Aziz' suggestion that smaller, less centralized Gov't is inherently less corruptible) that I just need to bow out from commenting further.   

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1476
It is about the Lithium Darbikrash...

So you are saying that we need to revert to a, "World made by hand", to quote the title of Mr. Kunstler's book.. in order to fulfill some ideal that some people hold with regard to fair distribution on resources?  If everybody can't have an electric car, then nobody can have an electric car?  

I understand the crash course ideas... and I understand that I may not be getting cheap fresh fruit from South America and plastic crap from China in a more energy-starved future.. but there will still be things that are worth the energy cost to move around the world, like rare earth metals for electric motor magnets and Lithium for batteries.  My question stands;  By what means are these more scarce, less evenly distributed resources to be re-distributed in your model of the future?  I am trying to hone in on this one point and you keep changing the conversation.  I am all for a more austere life, getting rid of the false, tertiary wealth that fiat debt money has created, and being more in tune with the available resources left on the planet....  I just don't happen to believe this requires complete reversion to the dark ages. 

jonesb.mta's picture
jonesb.mta
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 11 2008
Posts: 101
Government vs Business

The supply chain logistics are centrally planned, the pricing models are centrally planned, the fulfillment mechanisms are centrally planned, the warranty and return policies and associated systems are centrally planned, and the building construction, staffing, locations, and wages are centrally planned.

Apparently, this is all OK.

But if for example, a government entity were to require that a sustainable product be placed more prominently in a store than an unsustainable product in the meager hopes that you would be at least exposed to the possibility of purchasing it, why this would be Socialism, or Communism, and as such, unthinkable.

(Oh, and here we go, who is to decide what is sustainable and what is unsustainable- might as well just stick our heads in the oven. You see, those rocket scientists that run Bed, Bath, and Beyond can make these types of centrally planned determinations, but no one else possibly could)

/quote]

What you leave out is that government doesn't have to make a profit whereas the business does. Pretty lame argument from you.

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
Jim H wrote: My question

Jim H wrote:

My question stands;  By what means are these more scarce, less evenly distributed resources to be re-distributed in your model of the future?  I am trying to hone in on this one point and you keep changing the conversation.

To some extent Jim, the question you pose, or at least a version of it was asked and answered on the “Crony Capitalism” thread. As I remember it, you didn’t actually read my post, but were quick to blast a criticism based on some reflexive understanding of the content, which by the way, contained a specific example of a mining interest operating outside of the capitalist mode of production.

While the specifics of your latest “question” are somewhat different, as they go more toward distributive justice than ownership of the means of production and the related distribution of surplus value, I’m not really inclined to write another 2000 word post that will be summarily ignored and roundly criticized anyway.

So while there are answers to your question, let me ask you a question; how much effort have you personally put into researching this topic on your own? Your question is central to the theme of 400 years of post-Enlightenment thinking that has been covered by tens of thousands of pages of scholarly content, how much of it are you actually familiar with?

It may be much more fun to fold one’s arms across the chest, and put up posts that demand that others provide cogent arguments meant to push you off of long engrained belief systems, but I can assure you the thrill is not mutual, and at the end of the day irrespective of the validity of the arguments, it’s just some guy on the Internet, and who would believe that anyway?

If you are legitimately interested in the subject of distributive justice, here are some references to start with;

Jeremy Bentham

John Stewart Mills

John Rawls

“Veil of Ignorance”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

And if you have time for a deeper dive, consider the series of excellent (and free) Yale on-line courses on political philosophy, of which distributive justice is a large component.

On Utilitarianism:

And the whole semester course:

Link

You’ll find all the answers you could ever want.

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2485
Turd in the punch bowl......

darb -

Not trying to put words in anyone's mouth but I think what Jim might be asking is how YOU would address the issue of distributive justice and resource allocation in your world?

Answering questions with more questions and linking to someone else's work doesn't let those interested know what YOU think and how YOU would tackle the issues raised in the questions. 

Stated differently.....use fewer words but say more.

Dogs

PS - If readers on this site wanted the "Appeal to Authority" approach in these discussions we wouldn't have to have them.

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 348
Blah blah blah

This  whole thread is an exercise in mental masturbation... 

BTW Dogs, that isn't a turd in the punch bowl, it's a Baby Ruth... Ala Caddy Shack.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
Why?

goes211- Love your Username by the way!

What exactly is it that exchanging fictitious pieces of paper has over simply allocating resources where they are needed? Don't get me wrong, I understand where the idea that money is some essential part of the equation comes from; I used to think so myself before exploring the issue further. You've stated it quite matter-of-factly, but you haven't supported that conclusion with facts. You are assuming that a system based on the logical allocation of resources would require the influence of some external and extraneous force to operate. Why?

Does it make more sense to hope for the best and use resources based on nothing more than how much of them are demanded, or to use them in a manner that takes all variables into consideration and uses them in the most efficient, equitable, and sustainable way possible. You wouldn’t start a business and look for some external and illusive force to govern your operation would you? Of course not; you would set up a system to take absolutely every minute detail into consideration to maximize efficiency and output. That’s all I’m talking about; sensibility over magical thinking.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
More Socialist Propaganda For You

Jim H,

    Thank you for that well thought out response. Let us not presume to be able to foresee every nuance of what a system that has never existed prior would look like. Most systems are “emergent” in that they are the product of input from many sources over generations. An economy based on the logical and sustainable allocation of global resources, although vastly superior to throwing salt over your shoulder and hoping for the best would not be perfect. There is no perfect system and never will be. The point is that holding on for dear life to a dogmatic position that the current system is the “only” way to do things is ridiculous. There was a time in our history when capitalism and the free market were the logical next step in building the modern world. The system “emerged” gradually, adapting as it grew into what we now have. It has outlived its usefulness though. It has reached the limits of what it can do “for” us and is now acting “against” us, by limiting the efforts of those who could solve social problems, and relegating them searching for the latest band-aid to place over this open wound. The only reason that technology “can’t” produce the solutions to poverty, disease, pollution, and plentiful energy is due to the limiting influence of the need to make money. Only those technologies that preserve the system and do not threaten it are allowed to be developed. Any form of “free” energy technology has absolutely no profit potential within the free market; obviously. Remove that pre-condition and you open the floodgates to new and innovative technologies that could transform the world for the better. Who cares how much it costs if it makes the lives of human beings better?

If I were forced to venture a guess though, I would say that the rare resources of the planet needed to create the products necessary to make the required items desired would be distributed in a manner that makes the most sense, based on demand data gathered by a globally integrated system of resource and demand mapping. At least that seems to make the most sense. Knowing what and how much you have, and then distributing it in the most efficient way seems logical. What most people seem incapable of doing is decoupling the concept of value from the concept of demand. Demand can be measured independent of value.

Another painful departure in thinking is to recognize that what we want is not “ownership” of things but “access” to them. It is not possible to make one of everything for every person on the planet; we would need 4 ½ Earth-sized planets for that. It makes more sense to create enough of each item to meet the demand for it at any given time and make those items available and reservable as needed. A car spends 90% of its life cycle sitting idle in a lot or garage. That is certainly not the most efficient use of rare and non-renewable resources. It would be an economy of access; freeing us from the limiting anchor of ownership; giving us a new definition of freedom; the freedom to go anywhere at any time and do anything that we desire. Future generations will look back at this period in time and marvel at our shortsightedness.   

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 372
It is possible

Alihaymeg

What you are proposing is entirely possible, and I do think that you hit the nail on the head regarding access vs. ownership.  Part and parcel with that are fear and trust.  And that stems from your fundamental relationship between yourself and the other.   Also an understanding that competion is the foundation that creates the division between the self and the other, that allows the concept of winners and losers to evolve, that has allowed us to become one of the most violent cultures in the history of the world.

What you are talking about is an evolution in consciousness, and the attendant economic system that might evolve along with it.  The "long emergency" just might be the midwife to such a change, when we are forced against our lower natures to once again to depend on one another, but this time without the attendant fear of the outsider and the frightening forces unleashed at times by the natural world.

A lot of free market fundementalists ( Mr. Potters from it's a wonderful life ) love to quote Potter without knowing it, "What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty, working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas."

Yes, we hear a lot about the need these days for a "thrifty working class" (austerity measures).  Don't need any starry eyed dreamers!

Reach for the stars, I'm reaching along with you.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1476
Alihaymeg

Starting at the end of your post,

Another painful departure in thinking is to recognize that what we want is not “ownership” of things but “access” to them. It is not possible to make one of everything for every person on the planet; we would need 4 ½ Earth-sized planets for that. It makes more sense to create enough of each item to meet the demand for it at any given time and make those items available and reservable as needed. A car spends 90% of its life cycle sitting idle in a lot or garage. That is certainly not the most efficient use of rare and non-renewable resources. It would be an economy of access; freeing us from the limiting anchor of ownership; giving us a new definition of freedom; the freedom to go anywhere at any time and do anything that we desire. Future generations will look back at this period in time and marvel at our shortsightedness.  

I think you just described ZipCar... a business that is thriving in the NYC area, as I routinely see their (well labeled) cars escaping the confines of NYC on their way upstate.  The "market system" that we have already decided that this makes great sense, and Hertz is already copying it;  http://www.zipcar.com/    

As one who works in high tech... I have to say, I don't believe, outside of possibly some instances in the pharma space (where we all know that non-patentable molecules get no development/clinical trial interest) that technology that could truly make life better is somehow held back.  I have never seen any evidence to suggest that evil profit-oriented forces (like I just acknowledged do exist, above)  are holding back some kind of free energy source.... and I don't think it possible that they could.  If, for instance, there is something to LENR, and I am deeply skeptical myself.. but if there is, there are numerous efforts underway, financed by existing capital markets, and capitalists, that will flesh it out.  My own bet would be on new catalysts for cracking water to get Hydrogen with less electicity, at which point you could have a solar installation that powers your house via generating and storing Hydrogen to be later used in a fuel cell to generate electricity... a less lossy, and less costly proposition than (todays) batteries.

To finish my thoughts for now... the main reason my gut reaction to the ideas both you and Darbi propose is so negative is that I am jaded, and simply don't believe that humanity could set up such a system without somebody trying to take advantage of it for their own good.  Who decides what is the best use for Palladium?  What if this is the magic metal that in conjunction with a few other elements creates the catalyst that allows a significant reduction in the energy barrier to cracking the chemical bonds in water?  Who decides who or what entity/company gets how much of the limited Palladium?  Why am I to believe that humans are now non-corruptible... or the "system" for determining best use has not been corrupted in some way by those who run it?  How do I know that the Palladium czar, responsible for equitable and non-profit oriented best use of Palladium, is not directing most of the Palladium to Cooperative X simply because they are giving him kickbacks? I don't trust it. 

So as not to just throw stones.. I will make a proposal.  The JimH system is a hybrid... it guarantees everyone on earth a basic, subsistence level of services and income.. as is their right to the bounties of the earth.. however much still exists.  Overlaid over this admittedly expensive Socialist system would remain a well regulated version of free market capitalism, sans the fiat money banking system we have today... so as to allow the engines of innovation to keep operating, fueled by what I contend is the natural human tendency to want to better one's condition, compete for success in the marketplace, and achieve a higher level of control over one's own existence (and happiness).   Crazy, eh?  The high cost of the safety net would naturally lead to more equitable dist. of income (ala Sweden, which has one of the lowest Gini coefficients among developed nations as per Wikipedia)... but would still leave room for those who are more gifted in ideas, or leadership, or whatever, to make use of their talents, whether they choose to do so for the betterment of Humanity, Themselves, or some combination of the two.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
The Turning Tide

Thank you treebeard,

It is a rare thing indeed to find others willing to give voice to these ideas. I've almost come to expect nothing but opposition from others; but it seems the force of reason is beginning to overcome the indoctrination.

It is exactly that: A "evolution in consciousness", and what Krishnamurti called the "radical revolution of the mind". There is merit to the argument that human beings have traditionally been competitive and acquisitive beings. We have, but we are crossing a threshold into a new era; a new age of reason that will leave the "enlightenments" of the past seeming like minor epiphanies in contrast. We are capable of so much more than we have even begun to recognize.

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 372
Ancient art of book reading

Alihaymeg

I see that you too are practiced in the ancient art of book reading.  I have read and seen many of Krishnamurti's lectures (via videos and not in person alas). I am a big fan of his.  He understood the relationship between competition and violence, and spoke about it in length.  It is sad that human consciousness has not seemed to evolve much in the past few milenium.  But I would agree that we seem to be at perhaps a 100th monkey point, where things may change rapidly in ways that would seem mind boggling to us now.

Human beings as they are presntly constituted will screw anything up, whether it be free market capitalism or communism. I think that any system could work if human beings were not fearful, small minded, greedy, self center and self destructive.  Most of our beauty lies in our potential and not in our current constitution.

Another point the Krishnamurti made over and over again is that we all love to point blame at someone or something.  If you are left leaning, big business is the blame, if you are right leaning then big government is to blame. But nobody ever says this is my fault, I am to blame, I will change. And in that statement is all the difference.  That is the transformative change in human consciousness. If you think someone else is to blame that you are a victim and have no power.  If you are to blame then you also have the power to change.  Change yourself and the world.  As Krishnamurti said so many times "you are the world"!  All that madness you see out there is you.

So oftet you hear the talk about freedom, you see that word often.  How about the word responsibility.  Who is willing to take responsibility for the mess we are in and do something about it. I think that local is the answer as so many others do say here, where the individuals that make the decisions are the same individuals who see the results and consequences.  I would think that a superstructure that connects smaller local entities would evolve from the relicts of the systems that currently exists and is collapsing.

Already you see the centralized means of communitaction and information distribution crumbling and decentralized participatory communication system taking their place.  In a way this very site is one of those new network hubs where the local meets the planetary, connecting small entities to others all over the world. And we, in this moment are making it happen.  Once the localization gets up a real head of steam, I think you would see the dynamics of this site become more energetic and interesting.  I think that we are just seeing the birth pangs of the future here!

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
"you are the world"! All that madness you see out there is you.

I think you have nailed it treebeard. My current world view is so completely opposite of what it was just a few years ago. So many reversals of polarity have happened in just a short time that I can barely keep up. One of the most important realizations was exactly what Krishnamurti was talking about; seeing ourselves in every other and accepting our interconnectedness. It's not a very popular point of view within our society. We are encouraged from birth to be egocentric and seek to become individuated. That is part of the value change that is coming. It is impossible to care about the fact that 50% of the people on the planet live on less than the equivalent of $2.00 per day for ALL of their living expenses and sustenance. Can you imagine? Tribalism is the enemy of cooperation. We must abandon these baser illogical tendencies that only serve to demonstrate our complete lack of maturity as a species. Only then can things change in any lasting and meaningful way.

And you are 100% correct that decentralization of EVERYTHING is needed. The larger a system grows, the more vulnerable it becomes. Our economic system is the reason that we can't reverse the trend; it always leads to monopoly and cartel; not to mention the fact that a world full of houses and buildings that each power themselves would destroy the system as we know it. It is the inevitable end state however; either by choice or by collapse. There would be no power grid to fail and plunge the nation into the 17th century if things were done this way. The same is true of food security. Aquaponic and hydroponic vertical farms could produce all of the food necessary for any town, even in the middle of a city. Indoor farming solves so many problems, including overuse of pesticides and herbicides, drought, and seasonal limitations, not to mention the dreadful waste of non-renewable establishment fuels for plowing, planting, harvesting, processing, packaging, and shipping. What many fail to see is that the system is set up as it is for this very reason; to cater to the needs of large corporations and secure those markets. Human wellbeing and preserving our world are last on the list of concerns.

A new paradigm is coming, not because we simply want to try something different, but because it HAS to. We've been accelerating this runaway train toward the cliff for a century and now we either jump off or follow it over. You can't save what was doomed to fail as soon as it was imagined.

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
centrally planned socialism

An interesting thread.

Centrally planned socialism has never worked for any length of time in a large population. "Things" require price discovery so markets can allocate them efficiently. Otherwise, you get corruption, cronyism, and malinvestment leading to financial emergencies. Have you been watching the news ? I will just leave that as it is for now.

CM brings up an excellent point in the crash course - a system designed on infinite expansion will fail in a finite world. This is clearly true. There will be an adjustment. It is going to be pretty radical. This is the end of a super debt/credit bubble. Governments and people all over the world are going to have to bring their spending in line with their revenue streams. In the US the Federal Government consumes far too many resources and is straining at the bit to consume far more. The unfortunate fact is the US economy simply does not produce enough surplus to support the government we now have much less the one we seem to be heading for. It is impossible. The Federal Government will be reduced about 50% over the coming years. It will either be via some kind of organized legislative activity or through emergencies. But one way or the other it is going to get smaller - a lot smaller. The class of dependency is going to be outraged as their free stuff is reduced or removed. Some percentage will object strongly enough to require action in order to maintain a civil society - certainly police action and possibly military action.

While many feel that constant fiddling in the markets by the central banks and governments is detrimental (including me), I also find a positive in that it is allowing people time to prepare for the coming events. You should use this time wisely.
 

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
What the heck is that?

Centrally planned socialism has never worked for any length of time in a large population.

What exactly IS "centrally planned socialism" as per your definition dshields? Are you saying that human beings are incapable of cooperating for mutual advantage, and will always be forced to compete for scarce resources; violently and selfishly if necessary? If so, why do you believe this; and are you sure that you are not just repeating a mantra forced into your thinking through endless repetition and social reinforcement?

I would love to go back to believing that way. It was so much easier than being an outcast. But I could never go back to that point of view after seeing past it. Give me even the slightest reason to and I’ll gladly go back to the easy way of believing.

"Things" require price discovery so markets can allocate them efficiently.

Not when markets are not doing the allocating. Not when allocation is based on the most efficient use of available resources within the context of human need. Markets are what distort the true value of "things", making some items which have very little practical value, like a Prada bag, seem to be worth so much more than the utility of the materials involved in making it. That is the very source of the waste. We produce and consume items that have very limited utility (if any at all) out of an insane need to constantly consume more and more; creating inferior products that end up in landfills instead of being built to be upgradable; for no other reason than our incessant desire to perpetuate an insane and obsolete system. Why can’t we see past it?

In the US the Federal Government consumes far too many resources and is straining at the bit to consume far more.

Absolutely, but what is rarely discussed is the fact that our system is set up to operate this way. All of those "entitlement" programs that are so dreaded and hated by those who have no need of them are a source of revenue for thousands of businesses. That money doesn't just evaporate into this air. First, the banks that issue the credit to our government to pay for the programs profit handsomely; (understand the difference between liability debt and asset debt) then state government workers are paid to facilitate the programs; and then the recipients of those benefits spend every last dime of that directly back into the local economies where they were received. Just try taking those billions of consumer dollars out of circulation and see how fast the ship capsizes. The causes and solution are much more nuanced than the rhetoric.

I also find a positive in that it is allowing people time to prepare for the coming events. You should use this time wisely.

Use it wisely by doing what though? Most of the solutions and preparation advice disseminated here seems to be aimed at those who have the means to buy precious metals and other commodities in anticipation of having something of value after the crash. I can tell you that there are millions of us out here that do not have that option opened to us. A solution that only protects the few while watching the rest perish is no solution at all. The only way to get there is together, with strategies that transition us away from this insane system that is so disconnected from reality.

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
ALIHAYMEG wrote: Centrally

ALIHAYMEG wrote:

Centrally planned socialism has never worked for any length of time in a large population.

What exactly IS "centrally planned socialism" as per your definition dshields? Are you saying that human beings are incapable of cooperating for mutual advantage, and will always be forced to compete for scarce resources; violently and selfishly if necessary? If so, why do you believe this; and are you sure that you are not just repeating a mantra forced into your thinking through endless repetition and social reinforcement?

I would love to go back to believing that way. It was so much easier than being an outcast. But I could never go back to that point of view after seeing past it. Give me even the slightest reason to and I’ll gladly go back to the easy way of believing.

dws - You can not just confiscate the private property of people and redistribute it based on your opinion what who should get what. There is a name for that - it is called Tyranny. There are these little things called the constitution and the bill of rights that get in the way of that.

"Things" require price discovery so markets can allocate them efficiently.

Not when markets are not doing the allocating. Not when allocation is based on the most efficient use of available resources within the context of human need. Markets are what distort the true value of "things", making some items which have very little practical value, like a Prada bag, seem to be worth so much more than the utility of the materials involved in making it. That is the very source of the waste. We produce and consume items that have very limited utility (if any at all) out of an insane need to constantly consume more and more; creating inferior products that end up in landfills instead of being built to be upgradable; for no other reason than our incessant desire to perpetuate an insane and obsolete system. Why can’t we see past it?

dws - We agree here to a point.  There is surprising waste.  Stupid stuff should not be made.  A Prada hand bag might be a good example.  However, if people want to work and use their income (their private property) buy stupid stuff it is their right to do so.  Once again, there is this little thing called Tyranny that we need to avoid if we are going to survive as a civil society.

In the US the Federal Government consumes far too many resources and is straining at the bit to consume far more.

Absolutely, but what is rarely discussed is the fact that our system is set up to operate this way. All of those "entitlement" programs that are so dreaded and hated by those who have no need of them are a source of revenue for thousands of businesses. That money doesn't just evaporate into this air. First, the banks that issue the credit to our government to pay for the programs profit handsomely; (understand the difference between liability debt and asset debt) then state government workers are paid to facilitate the programs; and then the recipients of those benefits spend every last dime of that directly back into the local economies where they were received. Just try taking those billions of consumer dollars out of circulation and see how fast the ship capsizes. The causes and solution are much more nuanced than the rhetoric.

dws - The Fed Gov needs to be cut approximately in half. Spending must be brought in line with revenue or there is going to be a financial collapse. We have a government we can not afford. Our economy simply does not generate sufficient surplus to pay for the government we have. Half the Fed Gov needs to be released back into the private sector where they can be productive. That is a problem right now as there are not enough jobs for them. We are caught in a terrible debt trap at the end of the largest credit/debt bubble in recorded history. The politicians have massively screwed up. They promised impossible things and people voted for them.  I personally attribute this a fundamental failure in the education system.  People do not have sufficient critical thinking skills to understand what the politicians have and are doing to them.  It is going to be a terrible ordeal to get back into some kind of reasonable balance. Many people are going to suffer.  Many of them are completely innocent of any wrong doing other than not voting for responsible politicians or simply just not voting.  One problem with my view here is there have not been a lot of responsibile politicians to vote for.  Oh well - it is all water under the bridge now.  If the people had demanded responsible politicians they would have got them.  It may be harsh but America will get the government it deserves.  We got what we asked for and now we are going to pay the price.

I also find a positive in that it is allowing people time to prepare for the coming events. You should use this time wisely.

Use it wisely by doing what though? Most of the solutions and preparation advice disseminated here seems to be aimed at those who have the means to buy precious metals and other commodities in anticipation of having something of value after the crash. I can tell you that there are millions of us out here that do not have that option opened to us. A solution that only protects the few while watching the rest perish is no solution at all. The only way to get there is together, with strategies that transition us away from this insane system that is so disconnected from reality.

dws - This we both agree on. Preparing for what is coming is difficult. It definitely helps if you have some money you can spend on it. If you live in a city you have a real problem. Cities depend on complex logistics systems to operate. If a city's supply system is impaired by even 25% there is going to be an emergency. There are lots of people that live in cities that will exhibit unacceptable behavior when the situation becomes difficult. I believe a breakdown in the family and the resulting insufficient training of people when they are young is the root cause. Once again - too late for that now. A reduction in standard of living is being forced upon us by the world. Nobody is going to be real happy with that. We are all going to suffer. And, you are right, with the exception of the super rich (the 1%), we are all going to suffer together.

OMG - I could go on forever on this.  Where to start  - hmmmm...

There are these nasty little things called facts and numbers. They always get in the way. They get in my way all the time. I can see they are getting in your way also. Please see my embedded comments prefixed with "dws". I would suggest you read a book called "Liberty and Tyranny" by a crazy named Mark Levin. He gets a little carried away sometimes but he is on the right track.  We have to get the government back under the control of the people.  The fundamental function of the US government is to protect the rights of the people.  The government has lost its way.  And, you are right -- we all need to work together as best we can in an effort to reorient the government back toward its intended purpose.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
Not So Far Apart

dws - You can not just confiscate the private property of people and redistribute it based on your opinion what who should get what. There is a name for that - it is called Tyranny. There are these little things called the constitution and the bill of rights that get in the way of that.

Every definition of tyranny that I have seen includes the element of coercive force. There is no situation that I can think of where that approach would be either justified or desirable. It also isn't necessary. What is needed is for people to realize that they have been programmed to believe a certain way; that a person or group who has the power to take something also has the "right" to do so; regardless of the harm their avarice causes to others. What we are debating is really regarding the difference between "negative freedom" and "positive freedom". It's a long-standing debate among intellectuals. Negative freedom is the absence of restriction, and is most often the position taken by those who already poses at least some level of mastery over themselves, as well as a level of comfort within their society. It is the spear arguing that limiting his ability to skewer as many fish as he likes is a tyrannical limitation of his freedom. Of course, the fish see freedom as the right to live free from the threat of being skewered. Perspective usually determines a persons definition of freedom.

The other understanding of freedom is its "positive" state. If negative freedom constitutes "freedom to" then positive freedom is "freedom from". The popular analogy is to imagine yourself stopped at a traffic light. If you are able to turn in any of the three directions in front of you, then it could be said that you have complete "negative freedom" to choose, or the absence of any external restriction. What "positive freedom" does for you is to cause you to go strait in the direction of your place of work, rather than turning right to go to the local crack-house for a fix. It is a level of personal mastery, and often manifests as "delaying gratification" so as to reach a more desirable goal in the future. When perverted, this type of freedom can be used to justify many horrific things as it has been in the past. Governments use it all the time to justify limitations that are supposed to guide us toward "higher" thoughts and purposes. But, true positive freedom can only manifest itself from the inside out. True strength, power, and control are only valid when turned inward; never outward in an attempt to control others.

I hope you understand now that my image of the future does not involve confiscating anything; nor would I ever support such a course of action. This must be a voluntary transition, as more of us begin to identify ourselves as individuals within a collective of equals; and also realize that an equitable world would mean better and more fulfilled lives for us all; including the 1%. It will happen eventually. It is inevitable.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
Still Not So Far Apart

dws - We agree here to a point. There is surprising waste. Stupid stuff should not be made. A Prada hand bag might be a good example. However, if people want to work and use their income (their private property) buy stupid stuff it is their right to do so. Once again, there is this little thing called Tyranny that we need to avoid if we are going to survive as a civil society.

Tyranny wears many faces. One of them is the forced subsistence by the majority due to the greed of the minority. I really don't care how many houses, cars, boats, etc. the wealthy man wants; not so long as there are 20,000 children dying every single day from poverty and preventable diseases. Again, the "spear" wants the freedom to skewer as many of the little fish as he sees fit, and considers it a limitation of his freedom to be kept from it. That is usually what politicians mean when they use the word "freedom"; "The power to take as much as I want; without regard for any other or the planet; and I will consider any challenge to that "divine right" to be an act of tyranny." I would suggest that a new definition of freedom is needed. One that doesn't defend exploitation of one group to benefit another; one that is balanced and reasonable; taking into account the sustainable practices that will allow our species to survive; without all of the religious notions of some divine "invisible hand" guiding markets and providing prosperity for a privileged few. We can no longer afford such childish notions.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
"By Design"

dws - The Fed Gov needs to be cut approximately in half. Spending must be brought in line with revenue or there is going to be a financial collapse. We have a government we can not afford. Our economy simply does not generate sufficient surplus to pay for the government we have. Half the Fed Gov needs to be released back into the private sector where they can be productive. That is a problem right now as there are not enough jobs for them. We are caught in a terrible debt trap at the end of the largest credit/debt bubble in recorded history. The politicians have massively screwed up. They promised impossible things and people voted for them. I personally attribute this a fundamental failure in the education system. People do not have sufficient critical thinking skills to understand what the politicians have and are doing to them. It is going to be a terrible ordeal to get back into some kind of reasonable balance. Many people are going to suffer. Many of them are completely innocent of any wrong doing other than not voting for responsible politicians or simply just not voting. One problem with my view here is there have not been a lot of responsibile politicians to vote for. Oh well - it is all water under the bridge now. If the people had demanded responsible politicians they would have got them. It may be harsh but America will get the government it deserves. We got what we asked for and now we are going to pay the price.

I sympathize with your position here, but I think you may have missed the underlying point of that section of my post. The point is that the system and the way that it currently operates is "BY DESIGN" leading to great wealth for a privileged few at the top. I don't claim to know every nuance of the issue, but I am positive that giving even more power and control to the international private interests that caused this crisis in the first place is the absolute worst idea I've ever heard. Corporations perfectly fit the definition of a psychopath; and since they are considered to be "persons" under the law now, they have been set free to wreak havoc on our lives and our economy without any of the responsibilities and social pressure that being a “person" usually comes along with. Private interests and their continuing campaign to use their hegemonic control over the wealth of the word; hiding behind their make-believe "persons" known as corporations, are the CAUSE of the problem, not the solution.

ALIHAYMEG's picture
ALIHAYMEG
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2010
Posts: 22
Still Not Far Apart

OMG - I could go on forever on this. Where to start - hmmmm...

There are these nasty little things called facts and numbers. They always get in the way. They get in my way all the time. I can see they are getting in your way also. Please see my embedded comments prefixed with "dws". I would suggest you read a book called "Liberty and Tyranny" by a crazy named Mark Levin. He gets a little carried away sometimes but he is on the right track. We have to get the government back under the control of the people. The fundamental function of the US government is to protect the rights of the people. The government has lost its way. And, you are right -- we all need to work together as best we can in an effort to reorient the government back toward its intended purpose.

Numbers do not concern me nearly as much as seeing the world become the kind of place that EVERY human being DESERVES to live in. The sad truth is that "we the people" have never HAD control of our own governance. That was just an illusion. Our government is "privately owned and operated" and always has been. There is nowhere to get "back" to; the only way is ahead, and together.

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
ALIHAYMEG wrote: dws - The

ALIHAYMEG wrote:

dws - The Fed Gov needs to be cut approximately in half. Spending must be brought in line with revenue or there is going to be a financial collapse. We have a government we can not afford. Our economy simply does not generate sufficient surplus to pay for the government we have. Half the Fed Gov needs to be released back into the private sector where they can be productive. That is a problem right now as there are not enough jobs for them. We are caught in a terrible debt trap at the end of the largest credit/debt bubble in recorded history. The politicians have massively screwed up. They promised impossible things and people voted for them. I personally attribute this a fundamental failure in the education system. People do not have sufficient critical thinking skills to understand what the politicians have and are doing to them. It is going to be a terrible ordeal to get back into some kind of reasonable balance. Many people are going to suffer. Many of them are completely innocent of any wrong doing other than not voting for responsible politicians or simply just not voting. One problem with my view here is there have not been a lot of responsibile politicians to vote for. Oh well - it is all water under the bridge now. If the people had demanded responsible politicians they would have got them. It may be harsh but America will get the government it deserves. We got what we asked for and now we are going to pay the price.

I sympathize with your position here, but I think you may have missed the underlying point of that section of my post. The point is that the system and the way that it currently operates is "BY DESIGN" leading to great wealth for a privileged few at the top. I don't claim to know every nuance of the issue, but I am positive that giving even more power and control to the international private interests that caused this crisis in the first place is the absolute worst idea I've ever heard. Corporations perfectly fit the definition of a psychopath; and since they are considered to be "persons" under the law now, they have been set free to wreak havoc on our lives and our economy without any of the responsibilities and social pressure that being a “person" usually comes along with. Private interests and their continuing campaign to use their hegemonic control over the wealth of the word; hiding behind their make-believe "persons" known as corporations, are the CAUSE of the problem, not the solution.

It seems clear at this point there are some problems in this topic. There are always going to be some people who are more intelligent or industrious or just plain lucky than other people. On the other hand there can be excesses. We have excesses. Compared to say the 1950s we have a very different wealth distribution now. This is a problem. History has shown that nations become unstable when wealth distribution becomes to lopsided. We are heading that way right now.

Debt is a choice. People choose to be in debt or not - and how much they are in debt. Self discipline is key. A few years ago I woke up one morning and decided I had too much debt and I did not want to spend a majority of my time working on paying it. So, I started an austerity campaign and focused on getting out of debt. While not perfect I have done pretty good and I have a lot less debt than I had a few years ago. And, I feel good about it. Debt is the enemy. In a couple more years I will be in even better shape. It is crazy when you think about it but we have created a society where people want debt. Just look at the TV ads. Check out the Cap One ads. Don't you want to pay an outrageous interest rate and get a little bit back ? LOL Only babies don't want cash back. Barbarians ? It is all bad. Once you buy in and they get their hooks into you you are toast. Debt debt and more debt. Then you work and work to pay them. Not good. College is another one. Let's load young people up with big debt before they even get anywhere in life. Get them off to a good start with some big debts to work off. It is crazy. A small minority of the population are reaping huge wealth from the debt frenzy.

Another part is globalization has resulted in massive numbers of decent paying jobs being exported to third world countries. When a young person could get a job at a factory in their town and with some work and diligence they could move up into management and do well for themselves over the years. Even people in the middle made decent wages as compared to the cost of living at the time. That is basically gone. Very few people are in that position now. The majority of those people over the last 20 years were pushed down. At the same time credit spread like wildfire. Credit everywhere. A wall of credit - easy credit. People tried to use the credit to increase their standard of living. Unfortunately that does not work. Pretty soon servicing that debt eats up your cash flow and now you are working to pay "the man". Also not good. But the people themselves have to knuckle down and do something about it. Don't buy that 50 inch flat screen when a 42 inch will work. Don't buy a vette if a camaro will do the trick. That is hard to do when they are dangling the thing in front of your face with tons of credit at your disposal.

People have to reduce their standard living. It is a tough thing to do. It is a good feeling having some money. One of the things people can do to prepare for what is coming is to pay off debt and start saving money. While it is not perfect it is better than doing nothing. I do not see how one ends up worse off by having less debt.  Less debt also means less money for "the man".

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments