Tag Capitalism

The Daily Mail would rather everyone worked longer hours for less

Public sector staff spend nine fewer years at work over lifetime than private employees AND earn 30% more

Apparently this isn’t an indictment of the private sector but of the public sector. Go figure.

Tax the hell out of Wall Street

Mark Cuban in response to yesterday’s stork market panic:

Tax every single share of stock that is bought and sold 25 cents per transaction … If you are a true investor. Someone who wants to own a share of stock in a company you believe in, then its an amount that is not going to impact your investment decision making process … If you are a day trader, you are going to have to be right more often or actually hold on to stocks for a longer period of time. That’s ok. I know it will be rough on some of you that make a living this way. But in reality, you don’t add anything to the markets.

Inside the Collapse

Last year I remarked on the subprime mortgage induced financial collapse:

To blame individuals acting within the rationale of a system for producing unwelcome outcomes is to deny the fundamental flaws of the system.

Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, being interviewed by 60 Minutes on the collapse:

The incentives for people on Wall Street got so screwed up that the people who worked there became blinded to their own longterm interests because their short-term interests were so overpowering.

Sounds like the definition of capitalism to me.

Supreme Court puts final nail in coffin of U.S. democracy

In 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the same constitutional rights as a person. This was the beginning of the end of any meaningful form of democracy in the U.S.

David Korten alludes to the reason:

The private-benefit corporation is an institution granted a legally protected right—some would claim obligation—to pursue a narrow private interest without regard to broader social and environmental consequences. If it were a real person, it would fit the clinical profile of a sociopath.

The basic design of the private-benefit corporation was created in 1600 when the British crown chartered the British East India Company as what is best described as a legalized criminal syndicate to colonize the resources and economies of distant lands to benefit wealthy investors far removed from the social and environmental consequences. That design has ever since proven highly effective in advancing the private interests of the world’s wealthiest people at enormous cost to the rest.

The private-benefit corporation uses its economic power to privatize (internalize) gains and socialize (externalize) cost.

The power afforded to corporations in the U.S. has, until now, been slightly curtailed by limits imposed on corporate spending in political campaigns. In a sweeping decision a right-wing majority U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to lift these limits.

Corporations, and the rich behind them, finally own America. Democracy for the rich.

The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
Alex Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy

Food for thought

Channel 4’s Dispatches last night: Do You Know What’s in Your Breakfast? A reminder that, in capitalism, it’s not the job of the food industry to provide good healthy food. Their job is to make as much money by whatever means necessary, even if that means sneaking copious amounts of saturated fat, sugar and salt into your child’s diet.

‘We invaded Iraq and all we get is this lousy t-shirt’

They invade and lay waste another country, destroy the lives of millions of Iraqis for generations to come, all on some trumped up drivel about “weapons of mass destruction.”

Now they’re arguing over the real reason. Oil. It’s not enough that control of Iraq’s crude is being divvied up amongst the capitalists of the world. Thomas Pickens—an oil tycoon and political activist who hasn’t served a day in the army himself—has been arguing a line, and according to Reuters, recently told U.S. congress that he thinks U.S. capitalists alone are “entitled” to Iraqi crude because “we” spent billions of U.S. taxes and the lives of 5000 U.S. army pawns invading and occupying the country.

Classy.

The Billion Dollar Gram

Infographic comparing relative spending of various multi-billion-dollar budgets. Keep it in mind next time you consider voting for any of the major political entities that have helped create such a world.

(via Daring Fireball)

Australian town bans bottled water sales

Someone’s cottoned onto the fact that they’re being conned:

[The town of] Bundanoon’s battle against the bottle has been brewing for years, ever since a Sydney-based beverage company announced plans to build a water extraction plant in the town. Residents were furious over the prospect of an outsider taking their water, trucking it up to Sydney for processing and then selling it back to them. The town is still fighting the company’s proposal in court.

Then in March, Huw Kingston, who owns the town’s combination cafe and bike shop, had a thought: If the town was so against hosting a water bottling company, why not ban the end product?

On Wednesday, 356 people turned up for a vote — the biggest turnout ever at a town meeting.

Only two people voted no. One said he was worried banning bottled water would encourage people to drink sugary drinks. The other was Geoff Parker, director of the Australasian Bottled Water Institute — which represents the bottled water industry.

Bankers being scapegoated

Bankers are predictably being scapegoated.

To blame individuals acting within the rationale of a system for producing unwelcome outcomes is to deny the fundamental flaws of the system.

If you want an economy dominated by injustice and greed then keep putting your trust in the ideology of the free market economy and those who promulgate it.

If you want an economy that propels us all forward together, then look elsewhere.